Bead Cap Primer
by Judy Larson
We have all done it-purchased beads because they are pretty and we like the color, not bothering to check their quality.

If some of the beads have flat sides here and there, there is nothing that can easily be done to fix them. If the flat sides are really noticeable, use them with nugget beads and they will look right at home.

Sometimes the drilled holes are chipped around the openings. If the chipping has sharp edges, don't use the beads as they can wear away at and cut stringing material. In some instances, using bead caps over the holes can help.
Instructions
Cut the discs:
The color of these rondelle beads pulled at me so I purchased them, not realizing the tops and bottoms were flat-definitely not top quality. Easy fix...cover with a bead cap.
Consider using pre-textured sheet metal to make bead caps.

Bead caps are usually made of thinner gauge metal sheet. 26 gauge sheet metal works well to make bead caps, but 24 and 28 gauge will work, too.

The diameter of the bead is the diameter of the disc to cut. For 10mm beads, cut 3/8" discs. For 8mm beads, cut 5/16" discs. I do not generally make smaller bead caps, but measuring and forming them follow the same steps.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Cut the discs:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Punch the holes:
Mark the centers. Use a 1.25mm hole punch to make the holes. If the hole is off center, use the next size up hole punch (1.5mm) in the same hole, punching away the excess metal closer to the center of the disk. If is still off center, a smaller purchased bead cap can be used over that hole and it will look fine as well as purposeful.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Punch the holes:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Punch the holes:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Embellish the Bead Caps:
Bead cap discs can be textured using a variety of hammers before forming.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Embellish the Bead Caps:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Embellish the Bead Caps:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Form the bead caps:
To round the caps, place a disc in a larger well of a dapping block.

For the 3/8" disc, that would be the well that best fits the #11 dapping punch.

For the 5/16" disc, that would be the well that best fits the #9 dapping punch.

Make sure the disc is fully rounded before moving to on.

Move on to a smaller well in the dapping block. For 10mm beads, start in the well that fits the #11 dapping punch.

For the 3/8" disc, that would be the well that best fits the #10 dapping punch.

For the 5/16" disc, that would be the well that best fits the #7 dapping punch.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Form the bead caps:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Form the bead caps:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Finishing:
It is advisable to check the edges of each bead cap because tumbling will not remove sharp edges. Once the bead caps are formed and refined, if needed, tumble them for several hours to as long as overnight. Because the bead caps can nestle and stick together, preventing the light polishing tumbling provides, string them bottom to bottom, top to top, on beading wire. Thread the beading wire ends through a crimp tube. Flatten the crimp tube. Throw the unit into the tumbler. Why beading wire? The bead caps can move more freely on the beading wire than on wire, such as copper. The tumbling medium can then more easily polish the caps more evenly.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Finishing:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - Finishing:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
What bead caps can do for my rondelle beads:
Seven 10mm rondelle beads string to 1¾" in length.
Adding bead caps to each of the seven beads adds an inch in length.
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - What bead caps can do for my rondelle beads:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - What bead caps can do for my rondelle beads:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer
Judy Larson's Bead Cap Primer - What bead caps can do for my rondelle beads:, Wire Jewelry Design, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Filing, Finishing, How To Punch Holes, Hole Punching, Punch A Hole, bead cap primer

Materials

26 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-26SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $34.25
  • Gold Club Price: $25.69
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Tools

Professional Texturing Hammer With 12 Faces
HAM-480.00
  • HAM-480.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $47.97
  • Gold Club Price: $35.98
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24 Piece Dapping Punch Set
DAP-705.00
  • DAP-705.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $85.97
  • Gold Club Price: $64.48
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Euro Punch Plier 1.50mm
PLR-133.70
  • PLR-133.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Dapping, Filing / Finishing, Hole Punching