View Full Version : Attaching clasp and jump rings...Help...

08-05-2004, 11:32 PM
Hello Friends, Well the car cruise went great...my husband was like a kid in a candy store showing off his 57' Chevy, I even won him a hat!
I am taking a stand...I am not making any more bracelets until I discuss this with all of my Wet Canvas friends, so I hope you will all add your comments, ideas...
I love making these bracelets, I string the beads on Accuflex then sew the fringe on with Fireline and haven't had any problems. My problems is with the ends. I was taught to put a SS bead between the clasp and the crimp, but look at the picture. The SS bead is up against the clasp and the crimp is hidden in the bead.
Okay I fess up, I have made MANY of these bracelets and yesterday I received an email from a customer telling me that her bracelet broke the first time she wore it :crying: . Now I haven't seen it yet (she is mailing it to me) but I am horrified!! I have never had this happen and I am so embarrassed. I still think the problem is with the ends of my bracelets. She claims the crimp came off. I should have it by Sat., she would like me to fix it, but I don't know if this is possible with all of the fringe. Oh my, any advice would be so helpful...Thanks bunches...Debbie (The Jack Russell's mom)

08-05-2004, 11:57 PM
hi Debbie! I just love that puppy!! it is so adorable.

your bracelets are beautiful, I love how frilly they are and cant wait to try firewire one day as I think I like the look better than headpins.

the problem, it looks like the silver bead rides too close to the clasp, therefore fraying the wire and allowing it to break. The bead pushes on it, it pushes against the toggle and blammo batman you have a problem. This also means the crimp is probably way too close to the toggle. I would push the crimp away from the toggle further, then crimp it. the bead should ride the double strand between the toggle and crimp taking up all the action from wearing it. (at least one hopes). I was given a lecture on this recently. LOL anyway try this and let me know what you think. I will try to photograph my ladybug bracelet for the exchange as this is how I did it.

Oh yeah and btw, even the best jeweler has pieces that break. dont let them fool you, they just dont admit to it! Uness the dog ate it or they wash and dry it, I will fix it no problem. I dont get many items back at all, and when I do, it was usually worn to death or had an untimely demise :rolleyes:
Hope this helps some -Mary

08-06-2004, 12:33 AM
Here is a bracelet that I put Swarovski cube crystals on right after the crimp so nothing woudl push on the SS bead. What do you think? Should I go back to these. Yes Mary, I would gladly exchange bracelets, just let me gain my confidence back :crying: Thanks for all of your help :p

Shirley C.
08-06-2004, 01:30 AM
hiya, debbie!
there should be a bead strung between the clasp and the crimp. use a bead with a bead hole small enough so that it won't cover the crimp. i usually use a seed bead between the clasp and the crimp. in the picture i've attached, i used a silver bead with a fairly small hole.

it looks as if the loops in your beading wire at the clasp are much too small. this makes the bracelet very tightly strung, and doesn't allow the clasp ring to move freely. here's a picture of one of my bracelets in progress. the beading wire (softflex) is purple - notice that the loops are large enough so that the clasp can move freely within the loop.


do you use crimping pliers? if you do, when you make the first "squeeze" with the pliers (where you're making that crease down the center of the crimp bead), you should end up with one beading wire on one side of the crease and the other wire on the other side of the crease. then when you make the second "squeeze" with the front part of the pliers to fold the crimp bead in half, you're actually making a sandwich that is metal/wire/metal/wire/metal.

how about your crimp beads? not all crimp beads are created equally. some have thinner walls than others. some even have seams (aaaccckkkkkk!!!!). i get mine from softflex, and they are very high quality.

i'm also wondering about accuflex - i've heard some negative things about it, but i've never used it so i don't know first hand. i use softflex all the time, and i've never had a problem with it.

hope this helps a bit!

08-06-2004, 01:38 AM
Oh my, any advice would be so helpful...Thanks bunches...Debbie (The Jack Russell's mom)

Hello there, Debbie!

You say that the bracelet broke the first time she ever wore it? Hmmmmm.... I wonder what she was doing when she had it on and how long she wore it before the break happened. It could be that the sharp edge of the hole in the silver bead cut through a bit, as Mary pointed out.... or that the crimp wasn't as tight as it appeared. It could also be that she knocked the <word deleted> out of it! Not to worry, as these things do happen.

I am neurotic about possible breakage (well, I'm neurotic anyway :rolleyes: ).
When I finish a piece, I yank and pull on it like mad (but not enough to actually weaken or damage the necklace or bracelet) - put it away for a little while - then return to yank and pull some more. I'll even wear it myself for as long as time will allow and put it through its paces... so to speak. If there is a weak point, I'll usually find it. It's really more for my own peace of mind! :D

All my best,


Oh! I wanted to mention that the cutest Jack Russell has just moved into a house on my street.... so cute! A real character, as they all are. He's making friends fast, as everyone just loves him.

08-06-2004, 08:53 AM
Hi Debbie,
I have to agree with what Shirley said along with the others. For the bracelet to break the first time she wore it, I'd say it was in the crimp closure or possibly strun too tight. (they need some wiggle room!) One thing I found that helps me.... is that I now wear my "four eyes" or magnifying visor when closing crimps..... I really am amazed at how much better I can see the crimp and feel much more satisfied that the crimp is secure. Also, when (if) I get a bracelet back, I just resign myself to a total restring..... sure don't want anything to happen again..... so give it a new base. :D :rolleyes:

I would also check out some other beading material. Beadalon or Soflex are really professional style that will hold up to the weight of your elements...... more expensive..... but worth the peace of mind!

Good luck, and don't fret..... we've all had this happen.... it's what you do when it happens that makes your reputation!

08-06-2004, 09:40 AM
OH Thank You my dear WC friends, I do have an excellent pair of crimpers and do crimp the correct way, I agree that the work is getting too tight. I go wild with the fringe and the more fringe the tighter the bracelet becomes. I cannot wait until the broken bracelet arrives, I am very curious.
Claudia-I just told my husband what a great description you gave, yes our Ginger is a REAL character
Shirley- hello and thanks a bunch for the picture
Lois- thank you but I need more advice. I am using Accu-flex clear .014 What would be the equal in softflex or beadalon? I don't care how much it costs, as long as my bracelets hold up!
All of you are the greatest, thanks again...Ginger's MOM Debbie
PS Mary- thanks for your PM, I appreciate the time you take to help

08-06-2004, 10:11 AM
I do have an excellent pair of crimpers and do crimp the correct way, I agree that the work is getting too tight. I go wild with the fringe and the more fringe the tighter the bracelet becomes.

Hi Debbie!

I do a lot of embellishing on my base. It really tightens things up, doesn't it? I crimp one end, and work my way embellishing along the base. I use a small bulldog clip at the other end to keep the base in place and move it along a little as the base tightens. I crimp the far end when I have nearly finished embellishing. I find this also makes things easier to judge the final length. This is the method I used in the lush garden exchange, and also in a bracelet that I hope to finish very soon and post over the weekend. hth

08-06-2004, 10:36 AM
Here (http://www.softflexcompany.com/ ) is the softflex website. I think they have a forum that might help you... it's a q & a type thing.... lots of good info.

I currently use Beadalon and since I use lampwork, I go for the heavier one... I think its .019..... 49 strands. The more strands the more flexible. My next purchase will be Softlex to try it out and see if I can determine the difference and if it is worth the extra bucks!! :D (accuflex is less than beadalon which is less than softflex!) I've used beadalon for 4 years with no issues.... but if a product is better.... I would like to know!

You might also want to ask those who are doing your style bracelet, what style is best for you...... (I stay simple.... any elements I add, I do with headpins.)

Good luck!
PS.... I won't have that package in the mail to you until next week! :D :D

08-06-2004, 10:41 AM
Looks like you've gotten tons of good advice already. Like Mary said - even the best have things happen sometimes.. Your bracelets are beautiful - hang in there!! ;)

08-06-2004, 10:41 AM
Thank you ladies, I am off to buy beadalon and softflex adn maybe even a bulldog clip, you have all been so kind and helpful :clap:

08-06-2004, 10:45 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention that I protect the wire from the clip with a small piece of folded paper. Some clips are fierce! :)

08-06-2004, 11:21 AM
I've been searching for the last hour on the internet. I am going to purchase softflex and beadalon...but first a few questions...do you think I should stick to the .014 since that is what I used in Accu-flex? Also what color would be equivalent to the clear accu-flex. Thanks again...I promise not to bother you again today...have a wonderful day...Debbie

08-06-2004, 06:02 PM
I think the smallest most jewelry designers suggest for bracelets containing heavier lampwork bracelets is .18 If you are using the .14 if im thinking correectly that could e part of the problem too I have had problems in the past with that thinner beading materials.

08-06-2004, 06:38 PM
The only time I use the .012 or the .014 in Beadalon is if I'm using more than one strand. When I make the Kate McKinnon style garden bracelets I use the .018 for the base strand. There are 3 cable types of Beadlon. 7, 19 and 49. Those numbers tell you how many tiny steel strands are in the twisted cable. 7 is the cheapest and stiffist and 49 is the most expensive and most supple. As far as the equivalant to the clear Acuflex my guess would be what Beadalon calls silver. It has a clear plastic sheath over the steel strands and appears silver in color. The 7 Beadalon comes in lots of colors and I use 7 unless I don't want the stiffness. I have used the 49 for bracelets, I have to balance my desire for suppleness balanced against the more colors available in the 7 strand.

Shirley, I really appreciate that super close up of the way you use the bead with the crimp. I'm going to do that from now on.

Shirley C.
08-07-2004, 05:04 PM
softflex recommendation: use AT LEAST .019. if you're going to string lots of heavy stuff, like many rocks or lampwork beads, use .024. .019 is my softflex "workhorse" - i bought a huge honkin' spool of it when i was in tucson. that's what i use for most of my work. i do have a few pieces in which i used .024 because the piece was made up entirely of rocks, some of which were quite large.

i've used .014 on a few pieces, but they only contain one large bead - they're mostly strung pearls and crystals. the focal is a lampwork bead, but these are triple-strand pieces in which there are 3 .014 wires going through the lampwork bead.

hope this helps!

08-07-2004, 05:23 PM
This thread is great! I just rated it. Excellent photo Shirley!

kate mckinnon
08-08-2004, 01:42 PM
The bracelet that Shirley posted a photo of was from our class at the Gathering on making jewelry with lampwork, and it's a good shot of exactly how I like to teach it. Thanks, Shirley, for spreading the Crimp Word.

One thing that she forgot to mention is that when doing the crimp, it's important to actually look right down the barrel of the tool- hold the crimping plier up at eye level so that you can see the folds happen. I think it really helps to do the crimp from behind, not from in front, so that you can spread the tail of the beading wire with your fingers. Here are some photos that might help, from my book.


edit: I forgot to say: I NEVER use .014 wire for anything! It's way too fine, not really to support the weight of the beads, but to support the crimp at the clasp. I only use SoftFlex, and only in the .019 or .024 weights. May as well just use the best- it only costs a few cents more per piece and the difference is huge.

Shirley C.
08-08-2004, 05:33 PM
i've got to tell you folks, if you EVER have the chance to take a class with kate mckinnon, RUN don't walk to her class!! you will learn so much and have a great time in the process. kate is extremely generous with her knowledge, has a great sense of humor, and creates the most wonderful eye candy! :clap:
and for heaven's sake, if you can't take a class with her, buy her book - it's wonderful!!
and no, i'm not getting paid to say this. :D

kate mckinnon
08-08-2004, 10:35 PM
Shirley jumps out of AIRPLANES! I just found this out tonight.

Shirley C.
08-09-2004, 01:42 AM
Shirley jumps out of AIRPLANES! I just found this out tonight.

well now, kate, let me know when you finally move out here to california and i'll personally escort you to the nearest drop zone. ah what fun we'll have - i haven't jumped since 1997. :evil: :D