Jewellery Making Tools
Tweezers:This simple tool is great for picking up and holding small items! Several varieties of tweezers are available for different purposes – Locking tweezers for grasping your jewellery as you work with it; Bent End Tweezers with angled or bent ends for a better grip on small objects; Knotting Tweezers with sharp tips to knot thread to the bead. Beading Awls / Stoppers: Mistakes are a part of learning but undoing knots is an annoying task, even for the most patient beader! The beading awl is ideal to undo irritating knots with great ease. It can also help in knotting and making small loops or winding wires and threads.
Now that you have some information about the pliers required for making beaded jewellery, this article provides some more data about some of the other tools needed to handcraft your special piece of jewellery.
Professionals in every industry have discovered the importance of Tweezers – Beauty Salons, Hospitals, etc. In jewellery making too, tweezers have found their place of importance. This simple tool is great for picking up and holding small items! Several varieties of tweezers are available for different purposes – Locking tweezers for grasping your jewellery as you work with it; Bent End Tweezers with angled or bent ends for a better grip on small objects; Knotting Tweezers with sharp tips to knot thread to the bead. While these are some of the more important tweezer types, it is common to find variations designed for specific purposes.
Bead Storage Box
Working with tiny items like beads is difficult and keeping track of all the tiny items used in jewellery making – head pins, beads and other tiny items can prove to be a challenging task. A storage box to store all these tiny findings is an absolute requirement. Bead storage boxes to suit every requirement can be bought or you make your storage box by collecting small boxes and putting them together in a larger box, but make sure you do have a bead storage box which will save you the time wasted on looking for findings while making your jewellery. A good storage box should be transparent, offer large open tops for easy access to the stored items and have separate sections to keep each item.
Beading Awls / Stoppers
Mistakes are a part of learning but undoing knots is an annoying task, even for the most patient beader! The beading awl is ideal to undo irritating knots with great ease. It can also help in knotting and making small loops or winding wires and threads. Another ancillary tool is the bead stopper which grips the end of the beading thread, preventing beads from slipping out.
If you are using thread to string the beads, a small pair of scissors or a sharp thread cutter/ nipper for snipping of the ends neatly is required. Make sure the implement is sharp and can cut the thread without fraying it. Some artists prefer to burn the thread ends using a thread end burner. This is especially good for plastic threads. For metal wires, a sharp wire cutter or Flush Cutter is perfect.
Sometimes bead holes may not be cleaned properly by the manufacturers or have small untidy bits sticking to the edges or the hole maybe too small for the wire to enter – for this purpose the bead reamer is helpful. It can be used to clean out the bead hole and to increase the size of the bead hole also. The bead reamer set has two parts the handle and the needles. A set will have several needles (for dealing with different types of beads) of varying sizes which can be interchanged on the same handle depending on the requirement. Separate needles can also be purchased without the handle.
Flexible Beading needles
These are indispensable while making beaded jewellery. Threading beads with large holes is easy but if you want to craft a delicate piece with seed beads a beading needle makes it easy to string the tiny beads. Beading needles are available in various sizes and remember a lower needle number signifies a needle that is thick and vice-versa.
are another great item to purchase if you plan to continue making jewellery. Beading boards have marked lengths which keeps track of the length of your chain or bracelet. Some boards even have deeper indentations so you can to place your findings along with the beads. Another advantage of using the Beading board is that making multiple strand jewellery becomes easier.
Wire Rounders/ Cup Burs
Wires have sharp points and the wire rounder softens the edges of the wire making the wire safe to work with. Cup Burs also serve the same purpose by smoothening out the ends. The same effect can be achieved by a simple file also – although it is likely to take a longer time.
A ruler or measuring tape to measure lengths is also required. If your beaded jewellery required soldering or hammering wires, a pair of safety glasses is handy. In fact sometimes even small eye pins or headpins can fly if not gripped properly; the safety glasses essentially protect the eyes against unseen mishaps. Artists working with tiny beads can buy magnifying glasses or Loupes to ensure their eyes are protected against excess strain. A loupe also makes it easier to follow the beading pattern and wire the beads. A small hammer comes of use when making metal beaded jewellery or working with wires where wires or findings to be straightened out or flattened.
Finally, Glue is sometimes needed to join uneven beads or surfaces for a better finish for your jewellery. Most manufacturers do not sell glue online but it is easily available at local stores. For plastic beads, a simple epoxy glue or even craft glue will do the trick but for metal beads, an epoxy is essential. Some jewelers use Hypo-cement for joining the beads together.
Professional jewelers use hi-tech tools like vacuum wands (an electronic gizmo which creates suction at the tip to pick up and drop tiny objects), solders, gem setting pliers, stone setting pliers etc. Their tools are highly specialized and include expensive tools not essential for an artist working from home or a hobby jewellery maker. Many manufacturers offer complete kits with essential supplies for different levels of expertise.
As the amateur designer becomes confident and graduates to professional jewellery design, it is advisable to invest in the specialized tools for jewellery making.