Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crimp Impaired

It would seem that I have forgotten how to use crimp beads. I am so frustrated. Granted it's been a couple years or more since I made crimped jewelry, but it's not rocket science. I seriously can not get one single crimp bead to crimp. (I cheated with the watercolor bead bracelet and only 1/2 crimped the ends...and the bracelet is slowly loosening b/c of it.)

At some point during our many moves in the past 4 years I have lost my old pair of crimping pliers. My trusty pliers that crimped a bazillion beads and made a 1/2 bazillion pieces of jewelry. Recently I bought a pair of inexpensive replacement pliers at Hobby Lobby. But I'm still using up silver plated crimp beads I got long ago from Fire Mtn. (I think.)

I believe the el-cheapo pliers package said they worked with 2mm or smaller beads. My beads are 2mm.

My problem is in the 2nd squeeze where you fold the bead in half. When I make the 2nd squeeze the bead gets pushed back open instead of folding shut. I have tried finessing it closed at several different angles but it never works. I NEVER had this problem in the past. Did I get a bad pair of pliers? I wondered if the U-channel is not deep enough. But I'm beginning to think it's just the operator and not the tool.

I even had Aaron give it a try. He had the same problem and decided the beads were too big for the pliers. Since he manipulates metal for a living I kind of trust his instincts. :) But here's a picture to let you see the size of the bead in the pliers:

(click to make bigger)

What do YOU think? Since the beads used to serve me well, do you think it's the pliers? What pliers and crimp beads do you use? I'd really like to hear what you think.


Cindy Lietz Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Are you using the same size wire with the same sized crimp as you did before?

I'm thinking the wire might be too small for that size of crimp and the crimp is not getting a chance to get properly creased. If the crease is not deep enough it won't fold right on the second squeeze. If it's not that, it could be that the wires are crossed inside the crimp. It would help if I could see what they look like.

Christie said...

Hi Cindy,

The acculon (I think it is) and the beads are the same old supplies I used in the past. The pliers are the only new component.
I do take care to run the 2 wires down either side of the bead so that the crease is between the wires. It's amazing that I used to be an expert crimper. LOL!

After sharing this blog post at the Etsy forum, and receiving lots of advice and suggestions, I've decided to get some regular size pliers AND sterling crimp beads.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!