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Thread: Enlarging holes in pearls...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    1,744

    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cornwall
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    3,168

    Default

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    838

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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.
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

  4. #4
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    Feb 2011
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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
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    838

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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.
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    NS, Serbia
    Posts
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    Default

    How clever!

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

    Gonna try it out definitely!
    Imela Online

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    20

    Default

    Old thread but handy to know a possible solution -

    A bead reamer is what you need. They come in different diameters, manual ones that you twist or battery operated ones. A "bead reamer" search will bring up many results.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    No you don't. They take hours, you will get RSA and the tip will snap in the hole.
    As I said above. New drill bit and ordinary drill on full power and fastest speed possible.
    I spend my days drilling pearls for a living
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    No you don't. They take hours, you will get RSA and the tip will snap in the hole.
    As I said above. New drill bit and ordinary drill on full power and fastest speed possible.
    I spend my days drilling pearls for a living
    It all depends on the ratio of difference between the original pearl hole and the desired size of hole, obviously if it is a great difference, a bead reamer will not be adequate or a quick fix. Bead reamers are for smallish adjustments or unblocking poorly drilled holes or for pearl dust build up left over from the original drilling process that can block the hole.

    Anyway, I hope you found the correct answer for your specific problem.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    838

    Default

    Nope. Reamers are never the answer
    A few drills in 0.1mm increments are.
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

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