Wire guard(ian)s/stretching necklace wire

This post has 34 Replies | 2 Followers
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 2,114
Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 18, 2009 3:28 PM

Lisa:
I agree with Jeni that you should be sure to use the right wire thickness and store your necklaces flat (I actually store all of my jewelry in anti-tarnish Ziploc bags instead of my jewelry box.  Living on a tropical island, the salty, humid atmosphere tends to tarnish silver even faster than other environments, so it’s a constant battle against tarnish.  And I DETEST polishing silver! Devil  The anti-tarnish Ziplocs work great.) 
 

Lisa, are your anti-tarnish ziplocs something special?  Can the jewelry inside "breathe" at all?  I don't know if you use pearls in your creations, but pearls need to breathe in order to maintain their luster.  I use anti-tarnish drawstring bags for my jewelry.  It keeps the silver from tarnishing and allows the pearls to breathe (I use LOTS of pearls in my creations).  We have a lot of sulfur in our well water, so any silver jewelry sitting out tarnishes quickly.  and I detest polishing silver, too!  I have a china cabinet that's full of it!

Lisa:
I know that the “standard” way of crimping is squeeze twice with the crimping tool (once in each opening), but I was taught to add a third squeeze with the tip of my chain nose pliers to reinforce the crimp’s fold.  So I end up with a smashed-flat folded crimp.  This technique is VERY secure – I’ve never had one come loose on me.  But when I stop after the second squeeze with the crimping tool, I’ve found that sometimes the crimp isn’t completely secure.

 One thing that I do know from learning about working with metal in jewelry-making, is that if you manipulate any metal too much, it will become brittle.  I make sure that I'm crimping correctly, with the two ends of the beading wire separated before the first crimping action and then one squeeze for the fold.  I've tried to "adjust" a crimp that wasn't crimped the way I wanted it, and after that third manipulation the crimp was brittle.  That's my two cents on that issue.

Lisa:
I’ve tried using the Magical crimping tool, and don’t like it at all. Sad  I’ve carefully followed the instructions and am using the right tool/wire/crimp size (green handled tool for .014-.015” wire, 2 passes of .014 Accu-Flex, and 2mm sterling crimp tube). 

Me too, Lisa!  I don't like them at all and ended up giving mine away!  I much prefer crimps with crimp covers, and I'm getting better and better at using them all the time.

Lisa:
When it comes to the type of bead stringing wire I use, I’m a bit of a snob.  I only use 49-strand wire (and use Accu-Flex because I’m an FMG shopper).  It’s the strongest and most flexible, resists kinking well, and I’ve never had it stretch on me.  

We're like two snobs in the same pea pod!  I'm the same way - I will only use 49-strand wire, but I am a firm believer in Beadalon.  I'll have to give Accu-Flex a try.

Lisa:

Sherri, what size wire guards do you recommend?  FMG carries sterling guards in 4x3mm, 4x4mm, and 5x5mm.  Their 4x3mm size comes in a package of 20 for $1.90 (at their lowest assortable price), which is pretty close to Rio’s price.  And FYI, they also carry gold-filled, silver-plated, gold-plated, and copper wire guards.  Silver-plated 4.6x4mm come in a package of 144 for $6.87 (again, lowest assortable price).

 I've never heard of wireguards sized this way.  Usually they size them according to the diameter of wire they will hold.  I usually use wireguard sized for either .20 diameter wire or .24 diameter wire. 

I only just found out that Rio carries wire guards in plated metal at a good price.  I don't like FMG's wireguards because they seem extremely flimsy to me.  Rio's wireguards I believe are a bit more sturdy and I much prefer buying them there.  I hate using flimsy materials that aren't meant to be flimsy.   I bought a ton of Rio's sterling wireguards when the price of sterling silver dropped below $10 an ounce - they price their items according to the silver market.  You only ahve to buy three packets to get to their next discount level.  I like FMG for many things, but not their sterling silver products or their wireguards. 

Lisa:

Crimp covers – I can never seem to get them to close just right.  They end up closing crooked, so the C shape looks like an open jump ring instead of a closed one.  Does that make sense?  And my pliers usually leave a flat mark on the crimp cover so that I don’t have a nice round silver bead, but rather one that’s both crooked and flattened on 2 sides.  Does anyone have any advice for me?  Maybe I’m not using the right tool or technique when closing them???

Let me get this straight - you are using PLIERS to close your crimp covers?  Darlin', you need to buy yourself a crimping tool, you know, the ones with the two notches?!  Get 'em at FMG for about $12 I think!

 Lisa, this takes practice, and you need to use a tool specifically for crimping.  You have to have the crimp cover situated in your crimping tool just right, i.e. straight (or positioned on your crimp and in your hand just right).  If the crimp cover is positioned straight, I find that if you squeeze ONCE to the point where the crimp cover  is almost closed and one edge is slightly higher than the other (picture it as if you squeezed again, one edge would go under the other), then squeeze ONE MORE TIME from a different angle, the cover closes and comes out pretty nice.  But the more you manipulate the cover with your crimping tool, the more "deformed" it will look.  Try to only squeeze the crimper twice on the cover.

One thing I have found helpful is to not use cheap crimp covers.  I always use Sterling silver (and more recently brass or copper), and the ones I've purchased from FMG are really thin and are not easy to handle because they are flimsy and bend so easily - there's not much to 'em.  Not to mention, at FMG they come in 3mm.  Rio has them in 3.2mm, which gives you a little more room to work with and I have found them much easier to use than the 3mm - and the 4mm is too big (in my opinion).  Another thing about Rio's crimp covers, is they are more substantial so they won't deform as easily.

I hope this information helps you!

 Sherri S.

Check out my Etsy Store......

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6321824

Check out my Etsy Beads Store.......

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7141344

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 815
LisaKwaj wrote
on Apr 19, 2009 2:03 AM

 Sherri,

You're right -- we do seem like 2 peas in a pod.  You know, it just so happens that I was adopted when I was 3 weeks old, maybe we're long-lost sisters!  Big Smile

Sherri S.:
Lisa, are your anti-tarnish ziplocs something special?  Can the jewelry inside "breathe" at all?  I don't know if you use pearls in your creations, but pearls need to breathe in order to maintain their luster.

Yeah, I buy them from FMG.  Do a search for "tarnish" and you'll find them, as well as the anti-tarnish organizer box that I keep my silver in.  Check item #H20-2089PK, a pack of 50 3x3" anti-tarnish ziploc bags for $2.80 (lowest assortable price).  Have you tried anti-tarnish paper?  It works pretty well, too, but I prefer the ziplocs.  I actually didn't know that pearls need to breathe.  I do use them fairly often, and I'm glad to know that.  Where do you get your drawstring bags?  Or do you buy silver cloth and make them?

Sherri S.:
One thing that I do know from learning about working with metal in jewelry-making, is that if you manipulate any metal too much, it will become brittle.  I make sure that I'm crimping correctly, with the two ends of the beading wire separated before the first crimping action and then one squeeze for the fold.  I've tried to "adjust" a crimp that wasn't crimped the way I wanted it, and after that third manipulation the crimp was brittle.  That's my two cents on that issue.

Yeah, I know what you mean about metal getting brittle.  Fortunately, I don't experience that problem with my "extra step" crimping.  But, like you, I have found that once a crimp tube has been messed up, you can't really fix it -- you have to start with a new crimp (and sometimes fresh wire, too).

Sherri S.:
Let me get this straight - you are using PLIERS to close your crimp covers?  Darlin', you need to buy yourself a crimping tool, you know, the ones with the two notches?!  Get 'em at FMG for about $12 I think!
 

Silly girl, of COURSE I have a pair of crimping "pliers"!  I only used the generic term "pliers" above because I've also heard of closing a crimp cover with chain-nose pliers.  I have to use the crimpers because I don't believe in flattened crimps, I think that folded crimps are more secure.

Sherri S.:
I don't like FMG's wireguards because they seem extremely flimsy to me.  Rio's wireguards I believe are a bit more sturdy and I much prefer buying them there.  I hate using flimsy materials that aren't meant to be flimsy.

Believe it or not, I've never ordered from Rio.  I've been a die-hard FMG shopper for as long as I've been beading.  But I totally agree that it's best to use the best quality supplies that we can find/afford, so I'm glad to hear about Rio.  I'll see if I can open an account with them and order some crimp covers, wire guardians and maybe some other silver findings.  I use 2mm crimps.  Should I use the 3.2mm covers with them?

Sherri S.:
You have to have the crimp cover situated in your crimping tool just right, i.e. straight (or positioned on your crimp and in your hand just right).

Yeah, I figured that one out.  When using a crimp cover, I'm always careful to seat it into the pliers straight, as you described.  But they never seem to close straight.  I'll try the method you suggested and see if I can get the hang of it.

Kommol tata!  (That's thanks a lot in Marshallese.)  And check it out, I managed to follow your directions for including quotes in my post.  Yay! 

lisa

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 46
Chibimimi wrote
on Apr 19, 2009 8:49 AM

If you do have gaps show up after you make a necklace, you can fill up the space by putting a crimp cover over it.  This is not my original idea; I read it in a beaders-sharing-tips board or article.  It really works well!

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 2,114
Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 19, 2009 9:29 AM

Lisa:
Yeah, I buy them from FMG.  Do a search for "tarnish" and you'll find them, as well as the anti-tarnish organizer box that I keep my silver in.  Check item #H20-2089PK, a pack of 50 3x3" anti-tarnish ziploc bags for $2.80 (lowest assortable price).  Have you tried anti-tarnish paper?  It works pretty well, too, but I prefer the ziplocs.  I actually didn't know that pearls need to breathe.  I do use them fairly often, and I'm glad to know that.  Where do you get your drawstring bags?  Or do you buy silver cloth and make them?
 

You know, I used to use just regular little ziplocs that cost about $1.15 for 100 of them (you can find them on eBay), and they always prevented tarnishing.  I can't imagine that a little plastic bag that shuts out air would have to be treated for tarnish protection.  I'll have to check those out on FMG and see if there's something special about them.  My feeling is that it may just be a gimmick. 

I get my tarnish resistant pouches at Rio.  They're a little expensive though, so I buy enough to get me to their first or second discount levels.  3"x4" is a good size for bracelets and earrings, and the larger size is good for necklaces.  If you are protecting your own jewelry or have a thriving jewelry business, they are definitely a good investment.  For my own jewelry, I'll put multiple jewelry pieces in the same pouch.  You can't see through them, but they let your pearls breathe while preventing tarnish on the silver.

Lisa:

Silly girl, of COURSE I have a pair of crimping "pliers"!  I only used the generic term "pliers" above because I've also heard of closing a crimp cover with chain-nose pliers.  I have to use the crimpers because I don't believe in flattened crimps, I think that folded crimps are more secure.

 I hate flattening crimps, too!  I went into a jewelry store in California (where a jeweler resides and they also sell strung jewelry), and they had some bracelets for $68 that were strung with tiny microfaceted tourmaline stones and tiny sterling spacer beads - I was mortified to see that whoever strung them flattened their crimps!  I never thought I'd see that in something sold in a jeweler's shop!

Lisa:

Believe it or not, I've never ordered from Rio.  I've been a die-hard FMG shopper for as long as I've been beading.  But I totally agree that it's best to use the best quality supplies that we can find/afford, so I'm glad to hear about Rio.  I'll see if I can open an account with them and order some crimp covers, wire guardians and maybe some other silver findings.  I use 2mm crimps.  Should I use the 3.2mm covers with them?

 If you did a test run of both internet stores and bought some wire guards and crimp covers from both places, you'd see what I'm talking about.  Rio has much better quality.  Even Rio's crimp tubes are heftier.  And don't you find that sometimes with FMG's crimps, the hole in the crimp is plugged?  Rio's crimps have more weight and are made better.  I've never run into this problem with Rio's crimps.

I use 2mm crimps also.  The 3.2mm crimp covers, as I said, "give you more room" to work with them.  They work SO MUCH better than the 3mm crimp covers! 

I'll tell ya what!Idea  Why don't I send you a few of each so that you can try them and see the difference?  I have a few wire guardians that I got from FMG and can send you some from both places so you can try them before buying them!  I'll send examples of the crimp covers and crimps from Rio also.  If you want me to do that, send me an email (click on the "contact" link in any of my posts) and give me your address. 

 Sherri S.

Check out my Etsy Store......

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6321824

Check out my Etsy Beads Store.......

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7141344

Not Ranked
Posts 5
mommy115 wrote
on Jan 22, 2013 8:34 PM

I wonder, similarly to the 'hang your beaded project before you finish it idea' it would help go use do a similar thing before you start your beading project....tie or use an alligator clip to fasten to the wire and then tie  an object a little heaver than your beads will be like piece or two of silverware to the alligator clip or tied end of the wire.  then hang the wire off of a curtain rod door knob or similar item.  I also agree that settling of the beads might occur, especially with the bead chips.  I was wondering, and would appreciate input from others about this, if it would work to put a minute drop of glue on the end of the wire before putting the end into the last bead , or if the wire won't fit into the bead, onto the wire end.  Maybe apply it with the end of a toothpick?  Just a thought.

Page 3 of 3 (35 items) < Previous  1 2 3 | RSS