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Glossary Tools and Supplies

Glossary: Jewellery Tools

Good tools are required; the four essentials are Round, Chain or Flat, Crimping Pliers and Side Cutters. Stored properly tools will last for years.Do not purchase unnecessary or "gimmickyā€¯ tools as they are not necessary.

Round Nosed Pliers

Round nose pliers have a round and tapered nose. They are used to bend and shape wire into loops and circles. Use the narrower end of the nose to make small loops, and make larger and larger loops as you work towards the base of the nose. A narrowly tapered nose is preferred for finer work.

 

Chain Flat

Chain/Flat Nosed Pliers

Chain/Flat nose pliers are flat on the inside of the nose.
They are used to hold jewellery findings and wire securely when working.
Chain nose pliers have a more tapered nose than flat nose pliers and can get into tighter spaces; though which ever tool you choose is personal choice. They do more or less the same job.
Make sure the inside of the nose, the flat area, is smooth and not textured, as textures will mark the wire or metal when working.

Side/Wire Cutters

Side/Wire cutters have a sharp, fine pointed nose like a pair of scissors.
They are used when you need to trim wire as close as possible

  • ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR EYES WHEN CUTTING.
  • Never cut memory wire with side cutters as the blade of side cutters will be damaged - use memory wire cutters instead.

Make sure the two sides of the nose of the cutter you purchase meet evenly at the tip. Only purchase a good quality set of cutters. Side cutters will need to be replaced when they are no longer cutting properly (blunt).

Crimping Pliers

A crimping tool is specifically designed to squeeze closed crimps.
Crimps that are closed by using crimping pliers will give smaller, rounder and stronger crimps; crimps closed flat, can loosen, are not as strong, can scratch the skin and look less attractive.

Nylon Jaw Pliers
Nylon jaw pliers have a nylon lined jaw and are used to straighten or bend wire into shapes; they do not to leave a mark when working.

Split Ring Pliers/Tweezers

Split ring pliers/tweezers have a triangular, pointed, 90 degree angled jaw that hangs over a flat nose jaw; they are used to make opening split rings easier.

Mandrel

A mandrel is a round metal bar of graduated thickness. Mandrels are used to make jump rings and round shapes with wire. Glass beads are also formed around a mandrel.

Scissors

Small sharp scissors are a very useful tool in your tool box; use when cutting temporarily strung strands, bullion/French wire or when working with silk or cords.

Pearl Tweezers

Pearl tweezers are used when knotting beads on silk thread; use to

  • tighten knots,
  • push knots close to beads,
  • re-open a dropped knot or
  • move a knot.

Awl

An awl is a beading tool also used for tightening and positioning knots in the correct position (a sewing pin with a glass end will work just as well).

Bead Board

Bead boards have curved grooves with measurements and compartments, handy for setting out a design and keeping beads in order as you work.

Bead Mat

Bead Mats are soft felt mats that helps stop beads from rolling away.

Adhesives

A two part epoxy resin type glue (for example 5 minute Araldite) is ideal when a clear and strong bond is required, always follow the packet instructions.

Collapsible beading needle

This is a re-usable beading needle that is flexible and is most commonly used with beading elastic. The eye of the needle collapses as it is pulled through beads the eye can be re-opened with a sewing needle or awl.

Measuring tape/rule

A measuring tape/ruler is useful in your beading box. Mark it with your preferred necklace, bracelet and elastic bracelet lengths. Also, mark the centre point to help when positioning pendants or features beads.

Bead Reamer

Bead reamers are small tapered diamond coated files that are used to clean or enlarge holes in beads. Bead reamer sets include three files and a handle. When using, keep the file wet as the diamond coating can strip off if used dry; the water also keeps the beads from overheating, cracking, shattering or chipping. Files can be fitted to a slow speed hand drill; NB use only a battery operated drill as you do not want to work with water and electricity together.

Creation Keeper

A creation keeper or bead stopper is a spring, preferably stainless steel that secures beads on thread/s and will maintain the structure of beadwork until a project is completed.