Split ring pliers help take the fiddle out of jewellery making. This week Kat has been helping to save her friend’s fingernails by giving her some useful advice on these handy tools.
A friend in need
A good friend of mine has recently started to make her own jewellery, she seems to have quite a flair for it as a number of shops in her locality are already stocking her designs. Needless to say she orders lots of things from the Beads Unlimited website, which might help to explain her instant success! Most of her pieces are made up of lengths of chain and ribbon, with charms attached. She was using jump rings to add the clasps but mentioned her concerns that the finished pieces weren’t as secure as they might be.
Split the difference
“Why don’t you use split rings instead of jump rings?” “Oh I can’t get on with split rings, they’re too fiddly to use.” “Not if you use split ring pliers.” “I don’t have any, I never use split rings.” Therein lies the problem! Now I’m certainly not going to say a word against jump rings. They’re pretty much indispensable to any beader worth his or her salt, in fact even I have a small collection of them in a tin at home. There are, however, times when a split ring is going to do the job a little better. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt a necklace slither down the front of a T-shirt because a jump ring was misbehaving!
Split rings and jump rings – what’s the difference?
For anyone who isn’t clear, a jump ring is a single circle of wire with a split. This is gently pulled apart to join two other pieces together, such as a pendant and a chain. A split ring is a double circle of wire; coiled tightly together without a pesky gap for anything to escape through! The larger variety of split ring is most commonly seen forming part of a keyring. The smaller variety is just perfect for important tasks such as attaching the clasp to your latest creation – but lots of people won’t use them. Why? Because it’s rather tricky to hold the tiny loops apart whilst adding a clasp with the third hand that sadly, most of us just don’t have.
Split ring pliers – what are you waiting for?
That is why split ring pliers were invented. They look much like half-round nosed pliers, with the tip of one side bent inward to form a hook. The split ring is braced against the flat surface, the handles are squeezed and the hook is forced between the coils. It then very kindly stays there, allowing you to add pieces to the split ring with the free hand you now have! It really is that simple, why not give them a try and give your fingernails a break?
Win a pair of split ring pliers
Sorry, this competition is now closed. Congratulations to Theresa Thrussell who posted her comment on 12th October 2012. We hope you find your tools very useful Theresa!