How to use Cone Shaped Coil Crimps
Large Cone Crimps are one of the hardest findings to use as they are made from a particularly hard wire so can prove rather difficult to master at first. However they are perfect for larger diameter cords such as 5mm Round Leather and Braided BOLO as well as multi-strand designs so it is worth persevering with them.
This tutorial is designed to help you get over any issues you have in using them.
First make sure that your cord fits the internal diameter of the crimp. Cords up to 5mm in diameter are perfect. For single cords of 3mm or less use a smaller coil crimp (or a folding crimp- please see our other tutorials for these).
Here is the BIG secret in successfully using these crimps. BEFORE you place your cord within the crimp take a moment to tease the FIRST coil slightly away from the rest of the crimp. This will make your job so much easier later on.
The best tool for this is a good pair of long nosed pliers. We don't ordinarily recommend pliers that have serrated jaws as these serrations can lead you to damaging your crimps if you are not very careful but in this instance a serrated jaw is essential in order to grip the wire.
Just pull the coil away enough to create a slight gap between this first coil and the rest of the coils. You will need to pull quite hard to create this gap as the wire is very tough.
Now slide your cord as far into the coil as possible.
If necessary you can trim your cord as needed, either by reducing the diameter slightly or 'sharpening' the end of the cord into a slight point so it goes further into the coil. We don't find it necessary to trim our 5mm round leather at all with these crimps.
Once the leather is snuggly within the crimp it's time to lock it in place. This is where the tip given above really comes into its own. You need to be able to grip ONLY that last coil, this time from the side. Only grip around half of the coil. We have pulled the first coil much further out than normal in this photo to make it easier for you to see that it is only this ONE coil that you are interested in.
Now with a very firm grip squeeze this coil until it traps the leather in place. Be careful not to damage the leather. You can use a felt or cotton pad at the back of the cord to protect it if necessary. DON'T get too carried away. You might also find it easier if you locate the bottom jaw of the pliers onto the main part of the crimp for extra leverage. Again a felt or cotton pad is advised to avoid any damage.
Crimp the wire down as much as needed to grip the cord firmly. A little bit at a time is the best method here. Bend the coil a little them test it by gently trying to pull the cord from the crimp. If it moves before you have exerted much pressure crimp it some more and test it again. You don't want to go OTT and damage the crimp and cord.
Here you can see the finished result and can also appreciate the reason the wire is so hard. It is only that little bit of the coil that is holding the entire cord in place. If the wire was softer it would work loose fairly easily.
You can of course use glue/resin as well if you are worried about the cord pulling loose but we have found it totally unnecessary plus as a safety measure it would be best that the cord be allowed to pull free under extreme pressure just in case the wearer managed to get the article of jewellery caught up in machinery etc..
All you need to do now is add a jump/split ring and the clasp of your choice.
Here are a couple of examples of finished bracelets
This one is made from the same 5mm cord as shown in the example.
As you can see the Cone Crimps really make this piece.
Here the same Crimps have been used with Leather BOLO to make a braided leather bracelet.
We hope this tutorial helps you master these crimps and hope you continue to enjoy your jewellery making.
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