Wire guard(ian)s/stretching necklace wire

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Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 2, 2009 11:23 AM

 

SunriseJewelry:
Sherri, I think you probably are our resident expert on wire guards.  So, where is the best/cheapest place to find them in bulk?

Sorry I didn't get to this sooner - its been a busy week!

Well, I get mine from Rio Grande when I read this I went to the site to find out their current price.  I do believe these are less expensive than FMG's price, and they have more weight to them which is good!

Rio goes by the current silver market.  Today's prices for Sterling wire guardians, in packets of 50, are:

1-2 packets - $6.62 each

3-4 packets - $5.71 each

5-9 packets - $4.57 each.

So if you want them in bulk, order more packets, and the more packets you buy, the cheaper they will be.  When Sterling dropped to below $10 an ounce last fall, I stocked up on these.

Also..........when I was at the site, I discovered that they carry silver- and gold-plated wire guardians!  I've never seen plated wire guardians anywhere - only gold-filled or Sterling.  So some of you might be interested in THESE prices.

144 silverplate wire guardians - $6.80

144 goldplate wire guardians - $7.95

You have to have an account with them though, to see the prices and order on the site.  Anyone can open an account there.

 

 

 Sherri S.

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on Apr 2, 2009 2:17 PM

 No problems Sherri, I suspected that you've been busy.  Is there a weird kinda cold/sinusitis going around there?  Just found out that a lot of the band parents I know have had the same thing I've been fighting and that doctors out here have said is their main concern epidemic-wise at the moment.

 Thanks a huge bunch for the info!!!  I don't remember off hand if I have a Rio account, I may have.  Not a big deal to open one though, and you can't beat those prices!

 I have a distinct feeling that I'm going to be re-doing all my creations to include these wire guardians.  If I do that, it leads to another question....

 Can crimp covers be re-used?

 Dawn   Paradise

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Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 2, 2009 2:23 PM

SunriseJewelry:

 Can crimp covers be re-used?

 

 No Ma'am, crimp covers cannot be reused!  But get the 3.2mm ones from Rio when you get the wire guardians (once you get a job).  They fit better than FMG's flimsy 3mm ones.  However, not sure if they'll work with the Magic Crimper - you'll have to ask Sue about that!

 Sherri S.

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DebWAZ wrote
on Apr 2, 2009 2:46 PM

SunriseJewelry:

 I was hoping to hear that, Sue.  I have some beads that I think I'd like to float on wire, but didn't want to waste money on a tool that I might hate.  So, the Magic Crimper stays on the wish list.

 

Dawn,

I second what Sue said - I fell in love with the Magical Crimper when it was brand new and demonstrated in Tucson. You should plan a road trip to come and see us and I'll give you a personal demonstration! Wait until August or later and you can help us inaugurate the new (bigger) store!

With a Magical, you MUST use the proper diameter wire and the proper crimp for the particular tool you have. It MUST be sterling, gold filled or copper 2mm tubes. I've had customers come in and complain because plated crimps don't work or that they couldn't get round ones to work.

It IS possible to "float" beads on a single strand of beading chain with the Magical crimps, but you have to be VERY VERY light handed when you crimp the beads or you'll cut the chain. Practice on the end of your chain and then save the practice bits in your scrap can. Floating beads on flex wire like Beadalon or SoftFlex means that you need 2 strands of the appropriate wire through the bead you are floating AND the crimp. It's tricky to cut the second strand of wire flush, but it can be done.

Hope this helped a little,

Deb - AZ Bead Depot

 

Deb

azbeaddepot.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 2, 2009 3:00 PM

Deb, you are a WEALTH of information!  We are SO HAPPY to have you here!  Big Smile

 Sherri S.

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on Apr 2, 2009 3:31 PM

 ** Jumping up and down with excitement **

 I just found out that a good friend of mine could no longer hold her own excitement -- she's known that I really wanted a pair of Magic Crimps, she's sending them to me as an early Mother's Day gift!!!  Yippee!  WooHoo!!  Seriously, I have been blessed with some of the best friends God could give anyone!

 Deb, I am so glad that you were able to log on and give us your thoughts.  It's very important to me that I not waste my money and that I have done my homework before buying something.  I love the gal at my LBS, but sometimes I'm still not sure she's just saying something to get me to buy from her, ya know.

 It's actually not that far between us, only about 6 hours...I may drive over and HELP you MOVE the store!  Wink  And then we'll inaugurate it!!

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SCB1 wrote
on Apr 2, 2009 4:47 PM

Sherri S.:
No Ma'am, crimp covers cannot be reused!  But get the 3.2mm ones from Rio when you get the wire guardians (once you get a job).  They fit better than FMG's flimsy 3mm ones.  However, not sure if they'll work with the Magic Crimper - you'll have to ask Sue about that!

You don't need the crimp covers because done right the crimp made with the Migic Crimper will finish to look just like a solid 2mm bead, doesn't even look like a crimp.

Happy Beading!!

Sue,

Small-town USA. 

Michigan.

 

 

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on Apr 2, 2009 7:12 PM

 AH, good point, Sue!  It would never have dawned on me, regardless of my name.  Stick out tongue

 Another question.....can I do 2 or more magic crimps next to each other to make something more secure?  LOL....I guess I have some more in-depth homework to do before I get the tool and actually use it the first time, huh.

 I re-stocked my crimp covers several months ago, and I think I did upgrade from the 3mm, which just seemed too small, to the 3.2, which are slightly smaller than the 4mm crimps I had used before and which seemed a bit too big.  Although I may not need them once I do get the Magic Crimp Tool, I've become a hyper-recycler and try to recycle or re-use whatever I possibly can.  Oh well, I'll figure something else out.

 Thank you, Everyone, for your input and guidance!

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SCB1 wrote
on Apr 5, 2009 4:45 PM

Sorry it took so long for me to answer. I have been at Mom's and she has no computer or internet even if I took my laptop with me.

Anyway here is an answer for you. Yes, you can put two magic crimps beads together, and if you are doing an Illusion necklace try  spacing them a few paces apart. it would give the appearance  of floating 2mm beads.

Happy Beading!!

Sue,

Small-town USA. 

Michigan.

 

 

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Sherri S. wrote
on Apr 5, 2009 5:05 PM

Sue B:

Sherri S.:
No Ma'am, crimp covers cannot be reused!  But get the 3.2mm ones from Rio when you get the wire guardians (once you get a job).  They fit better than FMG's flimsy 3mm ones.  However, not sure if they'll work with the Magic Crimper - you'll have to ask Sue about that!

You don't need the crimp covers because done right the crimp made with the Migic Crimper will finish to look just like a solid 2mm bead, doesn't even look like a crimp.

 

Duh! *Sherri kicking self*......  Sue, I knew that - I don't know why I said what I did!  I must have been tired.....Thanks for straigtening that out for Dawn's sake! Big Smile

Dawn, glad to hear that you're getting one as a gift.  I know it't tough being unemployed and not being able to buy the things that you want.  I hope that with Sue's guidance you can figure out how to use it.  Wink

 Sherri S.

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Cat_P wrote
on Apr 5, 2009 7:05 PM

 So with all this talk of Magical Crimping Pliers... Are these different than the crimping pliers I have? The blue handled ones I bought when I started messing with beading two years ago? I'm just wondering if there is something new I don't know about.

These are the basically like the pair I have

Bead Crimping & Nipper ToolsCrimp Tool

Cat     Blog  Artfire  Etsy

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Billy Z wrote
on Apr 6, 2009 5:19 AM

 Yes maam, they are WAY different. The magic crimpers will turn a silver crimp bead into a round bead. They only work with certain sized wire and silver crimps, but they make a beautiful connection without the need for a crimp cover bead.

 Billy ;o)

 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio

 

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Cat_P wrote
on Apr 7, 2009 11:23 AM

Alastar Dragonfly:

 Yes maam, they are WAY different. The magic crimpers will turn a silver crimp bead into a round bead. They only work with certain sized wire and silver crimps, but they make a beautiful connection without the need for a crimp cover bead.

 Billy ;o)

 

 Thanks Billy, I am going to get me a pair then! I just watched a video for them. Big Smile

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LisaKwaj wrote
on Apr 17, 2009 7:36 PM

Wow, lots of subjects in this thread…

 

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.)  Sherri has a good point about beads settling, especially chips.  I haven’t needed to go to extremes to ensure all of the slack is taken out, but, like Shawna, I do tend to manipulate the strand quite a bit to help the beads settle into place before crimping.

 

Is it possible that the cause of your necklaces stretching is crimps that are slightly insecure?  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.

 

Dawn and Deb, 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).  I find that I do indeed get a 2mm silver ball, BUT (1) the crimps it produces aren’t secure and (2) the tool requires a bit of space on either side of the crimp – it doesn’t crimp right up against the next bead.  Granted, it’s only a hair‘s breadth, but that’s too much for me.  Anyone have thoughts on what I might be doing wrong?  Please don’t ask me to view an online video – I’m on dial-up!  I just tried again after having it sit unused in my tool caddy for several months, and got the same results.

 

For back-of-the-neck scratching, I make it a habit to use smooth beads for the 4 inches or so that will fall against the back of your neck.  This is my habit regardless of the technique – stringing, stitching, whatever.  There are endless options for implementing this.  For example, if your design includes 6mm crystal bicones and 4mm gemstone or metal smooth rounds, switch to 3mm crystals surrounded by 4mm rounds for the back of the neck.  Placing a 4mm round on either side of a 3mm crystal will lift the crystal slightly away from the skin, preventing scratching.  Or you could simply eliminate the crystals for the back of the neck and only use rounds and seed beads.  For a somewhat dainty necklace, I’ve even switched to seed beads only for the back of the neck.

 

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.  Just be very careful to never pull stringing wire against a sharp edge, as it will curl like curling ribbon!  Even the small metal loop on a clasp is a sharp enough edge to cause curling.  I teach all my students to hold onto beads when tightening wire for attaching a clasp and crimping – NEVER hold onto the clasp when tightening.  After you’ve threaded the end of your wire through the crimp, seed bead, clasp, back through the seed bead, crimp, and a few more beads, hold onto the last few beads and gently pull on the end of the wire to pull out slack.  Then use your thumbnail to slide the last few beads away from the clasp and (holding onto the beads) pull out the slack again.  Repeat that last step until you’ve got all the slack out (but not so tight that your strand is stiff).  It takes another few seconds to use this method, but it’s tried and true and works great.  Never again will you have the last ½” of a strand curl on you! Big Smile

 

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).

 

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???

Thanks everyone, and have a beadiful day!

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on Apr 18, 2009 7:20 AM

 Hi Lisa, I haven't used crimp covers yet, but I've seen/heard you should use the oval part of your crimping pliers to close the crimp cover.  That's supposed to keep the flat pliers from marring the surface.  I'm sure others will chime in.  When I look at crimp covers I have hard time imagining that they ever close up real nice and look like a regular bead.  But, maybe there are some that work better than others?

By the way, I read the post where you told us where you live and what life is like.  It sounds very interesting.  It's great to have you here on the forums.

Kirsten Coffee 

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