Several solutions - both wire and for crimps - please, read the
- WIRE: As others have said, go to 49 strand in Beadalon or
SoftFlex. Also, the diameter of the wire makes a difference -
generally, the heavier the wire, the stronger (6 lb test vs 18 lb
test, etc.). The more strands, the more flexibility and the better a
piece hangs. I've heard of people who string and knot PEARLS with 49
I visited your website and I don't understand why you're finishing a
piece with tigertail - tigertail is not strong, tends to kink if you
even look at it the wrong way and it is very cheap looking! If the
tigertail is what's breaking - quit using tigertail!
If the wire is breaking where it goes through the clasp, there is a
"french wire" which is essentially a tube that the stringing wire
goes through to protect and reinforce it and keep it from breaking at
- CRIMPS - I have had a love/hate relationship with crimps and
crimping pliers for years. Most of the time, I wind up with an "okay"
crimp on one end and the other winds up looking like mangled metal -
or breaks and I have to start over. Some of it is from the pressure
used in squeezing the crimp, some of it is from the quality of the
crimp bead itself, some of it is just dang bad luck! Until now, the
best you could do is use a crimp cover or clamshell to hide the crimp
and give a more professional look - but I don't care for that very
much, either. Depending on what I'm creating, crimp covers or
clamshells can look almost as bad as a messed up crimp.
BUT - there is a tool from Beadsmith that will be on the market in a
few weeks. My husband Mike and I discovered it in Tucson at the To
Bead True Blue show. We have several dozen of these on order for our
shop - no retailer will have them until early June.I had to whine and
beg and plead to get a pair for doing demonstrations in our shop.
The tool is called the Magical Crimping Forming tool. We met the
inventor of the tool in Tucson and according to her, you must
use.018" or.019" diameter wire (any number of strands - SoftFlex or
Beadalon) and 2 mm crimping TUBES of sterling, or gold filled. (I'm
thinking copper crimps - if not plated - would work, also.) It must
not be plated - the plating process changes the temper of the metal,
making the finished crimp at best, look only slightly better than
"traditional" crimped tubes. I know from experimenting.
Okay - so what does this Magical tool do? It turns a 2mm tube crimp
into a PERFECTLY round bead! It takes a couple of seconds longer than
doing a traditional mashed crimp, but the result is so professional
looking! And the crimp is STRONG, too!
The Magical is made like a good jeweler's tool, with a nice box
hinge, good springs and a nice grip. It feels good in your hand! I
have been trying to get traditional crimping tools made like this
instead of the piece-of-junk, stamped-from-metal ones we've had for
years. We have a waiting list of at least a dozen customers who want
I do several demonstrations a day with the Magical pliers and in
that time, I think I've probably only messed up 1 or 2 crimps at the
very beginning when I was still learning how to use the tool. The
tool will retail for $20, but it's well made and worth the price. My
stepfather and my husband Mike both say, "Get the best tool you can
afford and use the right tool for the job, so you can do the best job
you can." IMHO, the best tool for strong and professional looking
crimps is the Magical Crimp Forming Tool.
You can see a video demonstration of the tool on our website at
Sorry for the long URL and I apologize for the "commercial", but
these Magicals are a tool I definitely believe in!
::DISCLAIMER: I do not receive any compensation from BeadSmith in
making this recommendation - I am merely a satisfied customer who is
very happy to have found a tool that works!::
Weller's Jewelry LLC
AZ Bead Depot
Apache Junction, AZ