Essential Techniques: Basic Techniques 1 – Crimping & Calottes

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Flat crimping

flat-crimp-1

 

Step 1

Take a flat or ribbon crimp and place the end of the cord level with the end of the crimp. Using chain or flat nose pliers, bend one edge in against the cord. Don’t press too hard at this point.

flat-crimp-2

 

Step 2

Now press the opposite side over on top of the side that is already against the cord. Press the edge from the middle or it will not bend level.

flat-crimp-3

 

Step 3

Use the pliers to make sure the tube you have created is even and that the crimp end looks neat. Finally give a good squeeze to make sure the end is secure.

 

Using a calotte

calotte-1

 

Step 1

Take a calotte and pass the thread or wire through the hole from the outside in. If using thread make a double knot, if using nylon coated wire, use a crimp bead. Then add a dab of glue.

calotte-2

 

Step 2

With chain or flat nose pliers, close the cups until tight together. Take your time as calottes can close at an angle and look untidy. Check as you go that they are closing correctly.

calotte 3 ok

 

Step 3

To finish, make a loop with round nose pliers. This loop will remain an open loop. If you are feeling confident, make a loop before closing the cups and catch the end inside the closed calotte, the glue will hold it in place.

 

Crimping a bead

crimping 1 ok

 

Step 1

Hold the crimp bead in the pliers with the bead sat in the hole that has a round side opposite a ‘W’ shape, this will close the bead into a ‘U’ shape. To show this clearly I have not used any thread, yours would be inside the bead.

crimping 2 ok

 

Step 2

Before closing the pliers check that the bead is sat straight or the crimp will not close correctly. Close the pliers, the bead will make a ‘U’ shape, with a fold in the middle. The thread should fall either side of the bend.

crimping 3 ok

 

Step 3

Move the ‘U’ shape crimp to the other hole with two round sides. Turn the crimp so the ‘U’ faces sideways, press the pliers closed as tight as you can, this will leave you with a small finished bead.

 

Add a cover

crimp cover 1 ok

 

Step 1

To keep your work looking tidy it’s nice to add a cover to any crimp bead. Take a crimp cover and place it over the crimped bead, make sure the bead is completely inside the cover. I have used a silver crimp bead and gold cover, so you can see exactly where the bead is.

crimp cover 2 ok

 

Step 2

Take a pair of chain or flat nose pliers and carefully grasp the cover. Gently press the cover closed, be really careful as covers are quite thin and can dent very easily. Check as you work that the cover is closing correctly.

crimp cover 3 ok

 

Step 3

The finished bead should be closed into a perfect bead shape. If you have nylon nosed pliers, they do this job very well as they won’t mark the cover.

Using a coil end

coil end 1 ok

 

Step 1

Take a coil that is about the same size as your cord or larger. Feed the cord through the coil and make sure the cord end is level with the coil end.

coil end 2 ok

 

Step 2

Take a pair of chain nose pliers; grasp the end of the coil. Be careful to only hold the very end of the last coil. Squeeze the pliers to push the coil end onto the cord.

coil end 3 ok

 

Step 3

The rest of the coil will remain round and the cord will be held in by the end. If concerned about strength add a little glue to the cord end before feeding it in to the coil.

 

Using a crimp end

crimp end 1 ok

 

Step 1

Crimp ends are a tube of three
sections with a small cut in between and a loop at the end. Feed the cord into the tube until you can see the cord at the end by the loop.

crimp end 2 ok

 

Step 2

Take a pair of chain nose pliers and squeeze the middle section of the tube only. This is the crimp section.

crimp end 3 ok

 

Step 3

A common mistake is to squeeze closed all three sections of tube, this does work but doesn’t look as good on the finished piece.

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Article Details

  • Date 7th July 2016
  • Tags Essential Techniques
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