Cleaning beads

Hi all, I’m having trouble removing old thread used to string
necklaces. These are 1930’s-1950’s necklaces of jade, lapis, etc.
Some of the necklaces were in pieces, so I decided to use the beads
in new designs. All of them were knotted between the beads and some
of them appear to have been glued near the ends where they fasten. I
have tried thin wire, thin needles, but there are still remnants of
the thread in about six of the beads. Does anyone have any
suggestions to remove the thread? Can you soak it in something that
will not damage anything but release the thread? It is a thread
with a visible twist to it and very tight knots. TIA–Cheers! Dinah.

Dinah - If you have a flex shaft or Dremel motor tool, try simply
drilling them out. Just be sure to use a bit that’s smaller than the
bead’s drill channel. Just go slow, and withdraw the bit
periodically, to clean off the bits of thread it collects as it chews
its way through. You might have to work at it from both directions,
but that always does it for me when nothing else will, and does it
quickly. Good luck, Margery

Have you tried using a bead reamer? That is what I use to remove
glued-in thread, and to clear bead holes. It’s also useful for
enlarging holes or smoothing the edges. It consists of a tapered
diamond-coated awl (which must be used in water) in a handle, and you
should be able to obtain one from any good beading supplier.


most jewelery supply places sell a product called attact, we use it
to remove glue on pearls so it is usually not harmfull to most
stones Rick