Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teresa's Tool Talk

One of the really fun aspects of being a jewelry maker is all the toys, I mean tools, that you get to buy and play, I mean work, with. One of my favorite new tools is a bead reamer. I know you can get powered bead reamers, but I decided to go the frugal route.

I have to admit that I was skeptical that it would really work, but I find myself using both this and a pearl reamer on a regular basis. A reamer is especially helpful when I make bangles like the one below using 14 gauge or heavier wire for the base. It is hard to find a great variety of beads with holes big enough for this wire, so this tool can expand the palette that I have to work with.

It is best to use the reamers in water if possible, and I find that it works best if I try to 'file' the sides of the bead hole rather than forcing the reamer into the bead. You do have to be careful not to use to much pressure or you can crack or break your bead. I'd love to hear other artisan's opinions on their bead reamers, especially if you have any experience with the powered ones.

1 comment:

ChezChani said...

Thanks for this, I always wondered about those bead reamers.