How to Make Bead Caps for Jewellery – In this article i’m going to show you how to make simple bead caps for your jewellery projects. Bead caps are generally used to embellish beads, whether stringing them together or linking them with eye pins and head pins. They can frame and help it stand out. But bead caps can also be used as end caps for work such as my unisex bangle.
In this article i’ll take you through the three steps: cutting, drilling and shaping to make plain bead caps. If you wanted to add a design you, could etch it into the copper, and I’d do this before shaping. The only material you need for this is some copper sheet and it needs to be thick enough to hold its shape. In this post i’m going to use some 0.6 millimeter and some 0.9 millimeter thick sheet.
Bead Caps for Jewellery Making
The tools you need are a disk cutter, a hammer – a brass mallet is perfect if you’ve got one, a permanent pen, a center punch, drill, file and dapping block and punches. So I’ve got my disk cutter here and I’ve taken all the pins out apart from the one i want to use. I’ll just take the pin out for now and then I can position my copper in the center, and I just want to make sure that there isn’t any edges. showing, so within the circle it’s all copper and no black. And this is the. 0.9 millimeter thick copper I’m using at the moment.
I’ll then. replace the pin and I’m just going to need to hammer that a few times. I tend. to hold on to the pin to start with, just to stop everything jumping around. Then I’ll give it some fairly heavy hammer blows and you’ll feel the copper give underneath once it starts cutting through. Then I’ll continue hammering that pin down and you’ll see that it’s gone right the way through the block and my copper disks just sitting on the end of it there.
So I’ll take that off, but now my copper is trapped so I just need to continue hammering on that pin to take it right the way through. I should just be able to grab on to that and then you can remove the sheet. Now for the 0.6 millimeter thick sheet, I’m just going to use an offcut from a previous project and I’m going to cut the smallest disk here. So I’ll put the pin in, in exactly the same way and you’ll find the thinner sheet is a bit easier to get through and there’s the disk.
Using Bead Caps Jewelry Making
Now most of the time when I’m cutting these discs they cut through really quite cleanly, but if you do get any burrs like there is on this one you can just file that off of this stage and I just want to make a nice smooth edge to the disk. We then need to drill a hole in the center of each of the disks and I start by marking the center with a permanent pen. I try to make as small a dot as possible and then if it’s a bit off-center I can enlarge it until it looks central and I just judge this by eye.
I can then position my center punch on that mark, make sure it’s lined up. properly and then hammer the punch a couple of times to make a divot in the disk. This will stop the drill skidding over the disc when I’m making the hole. Now the difficulty with drilling these holes that the disks are a bit too small to hold on to, so I’ve lined them up on a couple of pieces of duct tape.
I’ve positioned them so where I’m drilling the holes isn’t going to be through the tape, so I don’t have to worry about the glue gumming up the drill. And I’m just folding over the edges,. so the tape holds at the top of the discs as well and I’ve got something to hold on to. And then holding my drill vertically, I can just drill each of those holes and then the drilled disks will just peel off the tape.
Jewelry Bead Caps
Now you’ll probably find a burr on the underside of the disk where, the drill has pushed the metal through, so I just file that off so the disk is smooth. So we’re now ready to shape the bead caps by doming the disks. I’ve got my dapping block here and I’m starting with one of the largest disks, putting that in one of the larger holes and I’ll use my largest dapping punch and hammer several times.
I find in the larger holes the disk does move around quite a lot so you need to check that it’s evenly domed. And then I’ll move to a slightly smaller hole and do the same. And I’ll just keep moving down the sizes on the dapping block and switching to a smaller dapping punch as necessary. And you just carry on until you’ve got the dome that you want.
I’m going to leave these fairly shallow for the smaller disks, it’s exactly the same process, but I can start in a smaller hole. I’m going to dome this one as much as I can but only go as far as the disk will fit into the holes, or you’ll get a ridge around the side. And here’s how the completed bead cap looks.
So just to show how to use these bead caps in a standard way, I’ve got an eye pin here a couple of the bead caps and a bead. So we’ll thread one of the bead caps. onto the eyepin – dome out, thread on the bead and then the other bead cap trim the eye pin and then holding the bead caps tight against the bead, I’ll make a bend in that eye pin and create the loop. And that’s how the bead caps will look against the bead. Thanks for read this tips, get the best jewelry information on rebecca jewellery only.