Clasps And Cords.

Q: Most of what I do is polymer clay combined with other beads. My Q is, how do you tell how strong the clasp and cord needs to be to support the piece? I used 'Tiger Tail' on the heaviest pieces, but I don't like the way it drapes with smaller pieces. Also, I have carpal tunnel, so I have to get help with crimp beads and such, and is a lobster claw the best for heavy pieces, or can I use a large barrel?

A: Well, you ought to get lots of response to this question. I like the barrel clasp myself, but alot of people complain about them and go with the lobster claw!! Use 'Softflex' instead of 'Tiger Tail'. If you have to exert pressure to crimp beads, you're either not using a crimp plier or you're not using it properly. I would never use a barrel clasp on anything. They come apart by themselves. A lobster claw or toggle or hook would probably be fine. Oh my! I always use the barrel clasps because I thought it was easier to grasp with arthritic hands, but I've only been doing this for a few weeks so what do I know!? I'm glad to know what others opinions are. I will experiment with other types of clasps from now on! I use 'Soft-Flex' for all but seed bead and pearl stringing. If you use crimping pliers, instead of chain nose, it's a lot easier to manipulate and takes less "strength". I like toggle clasps, and hooks for necklaces. I find the toggles easiest to use, and the weight of the necklace will hold them "closed". Some toggles are decorative and can be used to close in front, so they show. I use hooks because I can make them fairly easily from wire - this may be difficult if you don't have much range of motion in your wrists, but I've seen it done by somebody wearing a wrist brace. The hooks are used mostly for light weight necklaces. Thanks to all for your responses. You've reinforced my hunch that 'Soft Flex' was going to be the way to go. About the clasps, I think maybe I'll stick to opera length pieces mostly, because I'm fairly tall and have a long neck. lol The idea of using a donut and bar is intriguing, and I'm going to play around with that one, too.