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 A Guide to Bails 


by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group

Bails expand jewelry-making options by making it possible for most focal pieces to be easily transformed into pendants without the use of metalsmithing or soldering equipment. Learn which bails work best for what jewelry projects in this informative resource guide. When choosing adhesives for transparent and clear materials, opt for glues which will not cloud or discolor them. Remember to follow all safety recommendations for all types of adhesives.

Donut Focal Components:

Folding Donut Bails
  • Clamps over any small and medium-sized gemstone or glass donut and can be beaded directly into a necklace. These bails can also be hung from chain or cord for a quick-change necklace: remove from chain, open bail, replace donut, close and re-hang.

Casting or Pressure Donut Bails
  • Holds any small and medium-sized donut behind a detailed casting to create a pendant.

Bond-On Donut Bails
  • Gives a donut the illusion of weightlessness. Bond donuts with two-part epoxy** or Loctite® 454.

Wire Wrap Donut Bails
  • Turns any donut into an eye-catching pendant. This sterling silver wire piece works especially well for uncalibrated donuts, freeform donuts and go-go shapes.

Focal Components, undrilled:

Fold-Over Bails
  • Manufactured with two flat pads on each end of a straight portion, often with a leaf design. Metal folds in half. Two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 is used to glue the pads to the item to be suspended. These bails work especially well for irregularly shaped flat items.

Bell Caps with jumpring
  • Can make any object into a drop earring or pendant. Legs of the bell cap are bent to follow the shape of the object and are bonded in place with two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454. Add a jumpring. These bails work especially well for freeform three-dimensional items such as undrilled tumbled stones.

Flat-Backed ''Y'' Bails
  • Has double loops to suspend it evenly along the stringing wire, cord or chain. Has one pad for attaching an undrilled item (two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 are recommended glues). An excellent choice to turn cabochons or other flat-backed components into quick pendants.

Aanraku® Bails
  • Copyrighted glue-on bails with a flat area for gluing on an undrilled item (two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 are recommended glues). Flat area is textured for better adhesion.

Flat Pad Bails
  • Glue-on bails with a large stringing hole and a flat area for attaching an undrilled item. Flat area is textured for better adhesion. Two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 are recommended glues.

Bead Holders
  • Two-sided findings which hold an undrilled bead, usually round, using a combination of pressure and adhesive. Two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 are recommended glues.

End Caps with Loop with jumpring
  • A finding which allows for a bead, component or stringing material to be inserted or otherwise attached inside it. End caps can be used to create drops or to provide a professional attachment to stringing material using two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454. Add a jumpring. These bails work especially well for spherical items.

Half-Drilled Beads and Focal Components:

Screw Eyes with jumpring
  • Is bonded into the holes of half-drilled items with two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454. Add a jumpring.

Upeyes with jumpring
  • Is bonded into the holes of half-drilled items with two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454. Add a jumpring.

''Y'' Bail with Pegs
  • Has double loops to suspend it evenly along the stringing wire, cord or chain. Has a vertical peg for gluing into half-drilled beads (two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 are recommended glues).

Focal Component--Drilled Front to Back:

Ice-Pick Bails (also called Pinch Bails or Prong Bails)
  • Have horizontal prongs which are pinched into the hole of a top-drilled bead. For extra security, use a bit of two-part epoxy** or Loctite 454 to glue the prongs in place.

Split Loop Pendant Bails
  • Have a wide smooth bail and a split loop--just open, insert wire loop or jumpring and close.

Hidden Loop Pendant Bails
  • Are cast metal with a decorative accent which conceals a hidden loop which accommodates small or narrow pieces. Easy to use and refresh with new pieces.

Focal Components with Wire Loop or Jumpring Attached:

Standard Bails (also called Snap-On Bails)
  • Can be quickly snapped open to make a pendant attachment. Some styles use a magnetic clasp-style loop, some a hinge and a clip--others use simple tension to remain stable.

Interchangeable Hinged Bails (also called Strand Hangers or Pearl Enhancers)
  • Open and close with a snap or magnetic closure. The centerpiece is hung from the loop, hole or jumpring at the bottom of the bail for easy transfer from one necklace to another. Ideal for focal pieces that work with different parts of a parure (pah-RUR), or jewelry set.

Split Loop Pendant Bails
  • Have a wide smooth bail and a split loop--just open, insert wire loop or jumpring and close.

Hidden Loop Pendant Bails
  • Are cast metal with a decorative accent which conceals a hidden loop. Open the loop, insert wire loop or jumpring, and reclose. Easy to use and refresh with new centerpieces.

Bead with Fully-Drilled Hole:

Bead Hanger Bail Components with jumpring
  • Make large-hole beads into pendants, quickly and easily. String bead onto shaft, add a jumpring to the hole on the top.

Drop Pin Bail Components
  • With a quick twist, turns handmade beads into pendants and earrings. Twist off ball-end, add bead and re-attach the ball-end. Easy to use and refresh with new centerpieces.

Headpins with jumpring
  • Turn beads into pendants or pendant drops.

Pin or Brooch:

Brooch Converters
  • Temporarily change a brooch or pin into a pendant by allowing the pin to be slid through a tube, then relatched. The brooch can be easily removed from the convertet and worn again as a pin. Available in both horizontal and vertical styles, with both styles having attached loops for easy hanging. Ideal for focal pieces that work with different parts of a parure (pah-RUR), or jewelry set.


**When choosing between 5-minute and 30-minute two-part epoxy, refer to the length of time necessary to complete the entire gluing project. When working on a lengthy individual project or a multitude of smaller gluing projects, the 30-minute epoxy is recommended.
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