I've been using Accu-flex beading wire in various guages for bracelets, but have had many of them come apart because the thin wire slips through the the split rings. Fortunately the bracelet doesn't fall apart due to the crimp bead, but I am tired of all the fixing (just closing the rings again after being pulled apart) and I really don't want this to happen when I give jewelry as a gift.
Any suggestions? Should I not be using split rings? I have a wide variety of split rings and I'm sure quality too. Are some just better than others or is there something else I should use? I have jump rings also but they look less formal I guess.
Thanks in advance!
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You might try split rings made from Stainless Steel. It will be stiffer. What I do not understand is how the ends of the split rings are raising up to where the wire can slip in the slot. Are you springing the split ring too far open while sliding the Accu-flex wire into the split ring? Any good split ring should come back together to where it does not have a gap.
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Maybe I am splitting them too far?? When I am finished and close them there is zero gap, but they are tending to pull open with any slight tug on the bracelet. Even after they come apart sometimes you can still barely see a gap. I have many little baggies of split rings- some say "SS" on them. Does that mean Sterling Silver or Stainless Steel typically?
And maybe I'm calling them the wrong name. I'm talking about the metal (silver or steel?) that makes a circle with a split that you can twist open and then shut. Do I have the name wrong? I think a jump ring is the metal loop that overlaps like a keyring, right? This is NOT what I'm using, or rather, what I'd rather not use.
Thanks so much for trying to educate me!!
I would just use some wire guards. They look like horseshoes "U". They have holes and a canal for your wire to run through. It will keep your soft flex from coming out of the split ring, and have a more professional looking finish to it. Or another way to solve your problem is to just soldered jump ring. The wire can not possibly come out because there is no opening to do so.
Well you've taught me something new. Never heard of or seen horseshoes. They sound like the ideal solution! I'll add some to my next order. Thanks so much!
Kristin, You do have the names switched. the ones that overlap like a keyring are "split rings" and the ones you just use two pair of pliers to open and reclose are "jump rings"...........
Opening a jump ring goes like this......hold the jump ring in two pairs of pliers with the split on top. Bring one pair of pliers towards you, the other away from you, insert the wire into the narrowest gap possible and then reverse the motion to close. If you are doing it that way it eliminates problems associated with opening them too far, etc.
If you are opening your jump ring correctly and the wire is sliding through, it is the fault of the jump ring itself, due to cheap construction materials. If they are pulling open, you may be hanging too much weight on them and need to use a thicker ring. SS "should" mean sterling silver.
A while back I purchased rings in a gold plate........but it was gold on top of copper and they were SO soft as to be useless. I returned them to the store (which had already taken a bunch of them back, they didn't realize they were too soft until they started selling them) and got a better quality of ring. I don't use jump rings unless they are holding up felt balls or vintage acrylics, never for glass. For heavier items I use only split rings and actually purchased a split ring plier which makes life much better.
Test your bags of rings..........open one out of each bag, hang something heavy on it, then pull. If it opens easily mark the bag very light. Test all the rings you have and hopefully you will know which ones to use for decorative only and which ones will actually hold a bracelet together. Also, buy only from vendors who supply real jewelry makers, not the junk peddlers who sell stuff from one particular foreign country where they are clueless about quality or structure.
Hope we have helped you. Donna
Ha! Good thing I admitted to being a beginner! I've been calling them the wrong thing all this time!
Well thanks so much for all your pointers and expertise Donna! I've definitely been using jump rings and the quality must be the issue. I've used them with various weights of beads which really didn't make much difference. I'll do the test like you suggested and mark the bags so I know. Might need to buy some new stuff! I am using my mom's stash of stuff (she passed away in 2011) so I dont' know the origins of everything, but I do know she bought a lot from Fire Mountain Gems. Unfortunately many of the bags aren't labeled at all... plus she's not around to teach me so I'm just learning as I go on my own.
Anyway, thanks again for taking your time to help out! So appreciated!
If you start using SPLIT rings it is best to have a pair of split ring pliers to open them with. Split rings are the best, but as stated before, good quality jump rings work almost as well. They just need to be made of a harder wire than what you are using.
A trick I learned from June Huber is to end all pieces with a MICRO BEAD. They are sold only by Fire Mountain Gems, the product number is
H20-6043 for gold and h20-6044 for silver, both plated. The size is 2.5mm. It looks like a crimp bead but is much stronger and it has a large opening. I think that it makes a much nicer finish on earrings, necklacers and bracelets. I don't have to worry aboutthread slipping thru the opening in the split ring or jump ring. The hole is large enough to sew thru several times with Fireline and still put on either a split ring or jump ring. Here are a coup of examples that I have enlarged that section so you can see the bead. (note they are sold in packages of 100 only. You will see a bead that looks like the same thing in packages of 1000, that is not the same, only buy the packs of 100, they ae about $1.99 for a 100. I have tried to include images here where you can see the tiny metal bead between the jewelry piece and the clasp or earwire.
look at the small metal bead between the split ring and the beaded loop. that's the micro bead. A much cleaner look.
The silver bead a the top of the brick stitch that the jump ring goes thru.
I left the images large so you can see the micro bead.
Hope this helps.
I have also used beads before to put my jump rings through. It eliminates the problem of the string or wire slipping through the opening in the jump ring. I use any size 8 bead to match my project for this. It takes a little planning while you are making your project to remember to substitute an 8 for one of the beads.
Another thing you can try is to use oval shaped jump rings. This way the opening will be on the side of the ring, and your wire is less likely to slip through..
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There's a new type of ring, they're called Snapeez. You open it the same way like a jump ring, and when it closes, an extra inner ring snaps into place. And u end up with what looks like a soldered ring. I haven't bought any yet, but i found it on one of my Aussie supplier website.
gosh so many options and helpful advice!! thank you all. I'm sure this will be helpful for others as well! Can't wait to get some of these and try them out!!
I have had good luck with oval jump rings or (if you can find them) jump rings that have no split. I think they are called solid or soldered jump rings. You can probably find them online or at your local bead specialty shop. They will probably not be at places like Michael's, JoAnn crafts or A.C. Moore.