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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Bead reamer

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Work Room chat:
Here's an interesting article on an understanding of pearls; What you should know before buying pearls.

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One of the type of beads that I use a lot, apart from Swarovski crystals, is freshwater pearls. Unlike faux pearls, freshwater pearls are organic bead and the thing about some organic bead is that they tend to have holes which are smaller. Which is why you may notice that when you buy these beads in strand, freshwater pearls are strung onto a piece of thread, unlike gemstone beads which are strung onto a piece of fishing line.



The head pins and eye pins sold in the market on the other hand comes in varrying wire thickness; or gauge as the correct term; and more often than not, the gauge of these head pins and eye pins are rarely stated. Nevertheless, I think you can safely assume the gauge of most of the head pins and eye pins sold on the market are of 0.7mm. Occasionally, you might also get some with lesser gauge.

Well, this might not be something that a beginner would take notice of but the problem with working with frehwater pearls with these commercial head pins and eye pins, there is always the high probability that you might find that these head pins or eye pins not being able to go through the pearl bead.

When I couldn't understand the situation, I blamed it ont the pearl bead. I was pretty much cursing the manufacturer of the pearls as I was forcing the pins through the bead! LOL.....
With some force, sometimes I managed to get them through and sometimes not. Bottom line is, it was frustrating because buying them online means there is no way that you'll know for sure that the pins will go through the hole.

Little did I realize though that it has actually got much to do with the pins. But then I know that there is no way that I can change the gauge of the pins. If only I could make the holes bigger.......now, that's something possible.


This bead reamer is pretty sophisticated looking, right? ;P You sure can't get more pro looking than this..... LOL.......



This is a picture of other types of bead reamer I found on the net. But mine is still cooler, right? :P


Anyway, this bead reamer tool I got is from Beadalon. The description reads:

“Three tools in one! Enlarge, de-bur, or round out bead holes. Three different tips are included, fitting bead holes from the smallest up to 5.0mm. Each tip is coated with diamond dust for smooth, even reaming..............”


So, exactly where are the so-called tips?



Jang! Jang!





I actually use more of the two at the bottom only to enlarge holes. The one at the top is used for de-bur and round out bead holes which I hardly use, if at all! What is meant by de-bur, is actually something like filing, to smoothen out surfaces but not for your wires. You’ll need a different tool for that.

So, how do you a bead reamer tool?

See the front of the tool, here?



Turn the head to loosen and open up the hole within.



Next, place the end of your chose tip into the hole.



Tighten the head to secure the tip at the front.



And there you have it! The bead reamer tool is good to go. See how the surface of the tip is coated with diamond dust which will enlarge the holes from the friction as you turn the tip inside the bead hole like this.



Pretty neat, huh? But this is going to set you back at



But this tool is not necessary at all if you uses wire. From past experiences, I can safely say that wires of 0.6mm thickness or 22 gauge and below will almost definitely go through all pearls, which is why I hardly use this anymore. It’s pretty much just something for my own collection. ;)

And just in case some are wondering...... no, you can’t drill holes with this. You need something else. :)


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2 hollers:

corra said...

Sounds like something I would need!

Frances said...

This is one piece of information that is most useful. I was on the verge of crying when I found out that no pins I bought can get into my pearls (except for sterling silver pins which are finer and softer - must have been 0.6). I was starting to regret having bought so many pearls. Then I realise 0.6 wires can go through them, which means I can't do single loops. I have to do wrapped loops. Well, that's better than not being able to use pearls at all with wires. :) Thanks for the info though...

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