Topics: Choosing a Bottom Versus Side Bead Tip

Q.
I'm sort of a beginning jewelry maker and wanted to know, how do you know which kind of bead tip to use: bottom vs. side? I'm trying to make a 3-strand (varying lengths) wire necklace.
- Rionne
A.
Bead tips are designed to provide a finished look to the end of a necklace that has been created with thread or beading wire. All bead tips are used to conceal knots at the ends of beaded strands or crimp beads on the ends of beading wire and to connect the strands to the clasp. The standard style provides a cup with a hole in the bottom and an attachment loop. The bottom clamp-on style has a thread hole in the hinge. The lower portion once again forms a spherical bead with a connector loop for attaching to the clasp. Both the standard style and bottom clamp-on style are very secure bead tips as the thread is passed through the hole and the knot made within the bead tip. These are best for use when starting a design from the beginning.

The side clamp-on style goes over the finished knot or crimp and forms a small spherical bead with a connector loop for attaching to the clasp. The side clamp-on style is not as secure as the standard style as it is only clamping over the knot, unlike the standard and bottom clamp-on styles where the knot is made and held inside. The side clamp-on style is great when adding to an already created necklace so you don't have to restring, yet want to conceal the knots near the clasp. Adding a drop of glue to all bead tips before closing over the knots is advisable for extra security. We recommend G-S Hypo cement adhesive.

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