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  1. #1
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Enlarging holes in pearls...

    Has anyone tried this method?

    http://barbarasfernald.com/2010/02/0...y-pearl-holes/

    I need to string around 50 pearls onto 1mm griffin silk cord and the thought of drilling them individually fills me with horror, not due to laziness but more because my hands are currently really hurting and even if they weren't I'm pretty sure I'd end up breaking pearls.

    That said, I don't want to end up with a bunch of wrecked pearls which might shatter.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    I've never tried it but it does sound like a really good idea. Let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
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    Hi. Why are you stringing on 1mm silk? That is very big silk. far bigger than we use for even the biggest pearls. We use size 4 for everything and for really big pearls we use a synthetic silk to avoid stretching.
    If you really have to use 1mm silk then use a 1mm drill bit to enlarge the pearl holes. faffing around with a reamer or a saw blade will take forever and not do the job properly either.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    Hi. Why are you stringing on 1mm silk? That is very big silk. far bigger than we use for even the biggest pearls. We use size 4 for everything and for really big pearls we use a synthetic silk to avoid stretching.
    If you really have to use 1mm silk then use a 1mm drill bit to enlarge the pearl holes. faffing around with a reamer or a saw blade will take forever and not do the job properly either.
    It's because I'm stringing with larger beads with a 1mm hole. I used to use some of the semi-precious small beads but was asked to use pearls for this one instead. I'll have a go with the drill though I guess I'll need to get a vise to hold it with as well.

    I might give the saw blade a quick go just to compare, but will bow to your superior experience for the actual job

  5. #5
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    Sep 2011
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    You'll struggle to hold pearls in a vice without scratching them. finger and thumb I'm afraid (and you'll get the hang after you've drilled your thumb a few times!)
    I think I would try for big knots to hold the 1mm hole beads rather than make the pearls bigger.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  6. #6
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    Nov 2015
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    NS, Serbia
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    How clever!

    I tried expanding them with a hot needle, but this seems better.

    Gonna try it out definitely!
    Imela Online

  7. #7
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    Oct 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by medusa View Post
    Has anyone tried this method?

    http://barbarasfernald.com/2010/02/0...y-pearl-holes/

    I need to string around 50 pearls onto 1mm griffin silk cord and the thought of drilling them individually fills me with horror, not due to laziness but more because my hands are currently really hurting and even if they weren't I'm pretty sure I'd end up breaking pearls.

    That said, I don't want to end up with a bunch of wrecked pearls which might shatter.

    What do you guys think?
    I do this all the time as I put pearls on 0.8 or 1.00mm wires. I use an old ice cream box with a little piece of wood at the bottom and shallow water, and my flex shaft with a pearl drill bit in it. I hold them firmly in my fingers and go slow - don't do too many at a time as that is when you get tired and miss and scratch your finger. If you really don't want to do this you can thread them onto an old saw blade and then onto your jewellers saw and rub the pearls against the blade - it might be enough. Watch out for the pearl dust though -that is why it is useful to keep them under water.

  8. #8
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    We just hold them between finger and thumb and drill using a normal house type mini battery drill from Aldi (replacement for reallly old one).
    I query the going slowly - you are much more likely to overhead the pearl and the drill tip that way. The big professional bench pearl drills drill really really fast and no water
    If you are enlarging from 0.7 (standard size) to 0.8 or 1mm there isn't much to remove and the drill should just go through easily - but drill from both ends to the middle because if you go through one direction the exit hole is liable to splinter layers of nacre
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  9. #9
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    Oct 2016
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    'Go slow' as in take your time and concentrate so you don't hurt yourself.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2011
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    Drill fast but concentrate. Drilling your thumb a few times helps!
    videos here of drilling with a pearl drill and drilling with a hand held (and other pearl related stuff)
    http://www.pearlescence.co.uk/extra_...uakptjks1ne9o0
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

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