Crimping beads.

Q: I am making a necklace for my Step-mom for Mothers Day and this is the first time I used tigers tail and I can't figure out how to use the crimping beads to close the clasp together. Can anyone out there help me?

A: I have used needle nose pliers in the past and found that the acculon slips. You are going to have to break down and purchase a crimping tool from your local bead store. They run @ $13.95 and work great. There are instructions included but just to let you know, there are two crimping positions. The position further back on the tool is shaped like a C and is the first crimp to make. The closest position to the tip of the tool is next. Squeeze the same crimp bead perpendicularly to shape the crimp bead into what is supposed to look like a round bead. Voila!!!!!!! I use crimp beads on watch bands that I bead. You might also send the acculon through a small metal bead that will fit snuggly into a clamshell for another way to end with tigers tail. To finish with a crimp bead, just run the end of your tigertail into the crimping bead, make a loop and put the end back into the bead again (leaving a loop). Then, crimp the bead with pliers. The crimp bead grabs onto the tigertail, holding it firmly in place. You can then trim the end. Usually, a better finish is to pull the end through one or two beads and then trim it. Makes for a little less scratchy feel for the wearer. You can also get special crimping tools that pinch the bead and then fold it over to leave a more rounded appearance. These make a better finish than just crimping with a pair of pliers and leaving the flat bead. Electronic and Electrical supply houses carry a large variety of crimping tools. Lots of different sizes and shapes. They normally go for between $3.50 and $10.00. If your paying $13.95 for a crimp tool, your getting hosed!