My solution for crimp problems is a new tool by Beadsmith. It's
called the Magical crimp forming tool. I saw them demonstrated in
Tucson and was sold on them for my personal beading and my husband
and I ordered several dozen pairs for our bead store.
There are a few restrictions in using the tool - you must use .018 or
.019 wire - either Beadalon or SoftFlex, whatever your preference.
It requires a 2mm x 2mm crimping tube and the crimp tube must be
sterling silver, gold filled or copper. Silver or gold plate will
work, but because of the plating process, the color will come off.
What this "Magical" tool does is turns that 2mm tube into a 2mm
ROUND crimp. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to make the crimp, so
you are less likely to break the crimp or the wire. The crimp is
I had a couple of "biker dudes" come in a couple of days ago looking
for something that make a crimp that would hold up to 110 mph wind.
I gave them a demonstration of the tool and they had a "tug of war"
- each one with a pair of pliers holding one side of the loop and
pulled firmly. The wire and the crimp passed the "test" and they
bought a pair.
With the "Magicals" you can place the crimp practically next to the
clasp (or close enough for flexibility) without having a big loop to
try to tighten. (IMHO, that probably is part of the reason why I
have problems with crimping and wire.)
There's a video demo on my store's website, so you can see how they
When you are crimping, you don't want to pull the wire so tightly
that there isn't any "give" with it - a TINY portion of the wire
will/should show so that there is a little flexibility. If you think
about cutting thread, a tight thread cuts more easily than one
that's hanging limp.
You didn't say what size Beadalon you're using. For large stones,
you should be using thicker diameter -.018 or .019 is a good choice.
You should also be using at least 19 strand, but I would use 49
strand both for the strength and the greater flexibility.
The "hollow tube thingamajigs" you are talking about are called
"French wire" and they are supposed to protect your wire from wear
and breakage at the loop on the clasp. I haven't used them, so I
can't say for sure one way or the other how they work or if they do.
Usual disclaimer: other than carrying the above named products in my
store, I have no affiiation with any of the manufacturers of any of
the above named products.
Weller's Jewelry LLC
dba AZ Bead Depot
Apache Junction, AZ