Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cable Thimbles - Almost a Product Review

Some of you who have been on FB recently might have heard that I've been making jewellery. That literally means NO making beads. I've been missing the flame and the cold in the conservatory, where my "studio" is at the moment. But. One has to do what one has to do. So many beads, so little time!

A while ago I bought these little "cable thimbles" from Palmer Metals - this company does offer best prices on sterling silver and some other stuff. I forgot all about the thimbles, as you do! So today, while looking for something else - again, those of you who have been on FB will be able to imagine just what this means on my desk! - I came across these little fellars and I thought, I'd give it a go.

The bracelet I was working on was almost ready: I only needed to attach my toggle clasp. While it is the "finishing touch" on a jewellery piece, everyone knows that attaching a clasp could take longer than making the actual bracelet itself. The first end was easy: I always start with the toggle, and here I had a lot of space wire-wise, so I pulled the stringing wire and hid it under the bead - no problem. AND I THOUGHT: hey, this is great! My bracelet ends are going to look soooo neat and professional!!! And I would do anything (well... to an extent!) for my jewellery to look just that. And I went on to attach the "toggle ring"...

... put the wire through the first groove...

...and back into the opposite one...

...got my toggle ring on...

...and began to pull the wire, and that's where all the problems started. You can see, that the thimble simply disintegrated.

It took me ages to arrange it in the way which would be acceptable to my own quality control and to customers. Another thing was happening: the tiny crimp kept getting onto it as well, unfortunately, I haven't got that photo, I was too stressed to let go of my work and take the camera to take a shot!

Verdict: at 16p per thimble (remember, you'd have to have two - for each end) as an addition to your cost and having spent a good twenty minutes putting it on... sorry, I don't think so. BUT: if you've had better experience with these, please do share it!


  1. I don't usually have any problem with these. Put the wire through the guard, thread through the toggle, then bring the wire back through the crimp and through a few beads. Then, holding the toggle in one hand and the wire in the other, pull until the wire guard pulls up close and neatly to the crimp. Then crimp the crimp, cut off the excess wire and feed through beads to hide it.

  2. It sounds so easy, not like the nightmare I had! Maybe because it was the first one... But I actually think there might be a topic for a tutorial, Kaz! I'd buy it!

  3. I use them all the time, and if they do go out of shape they should be easy to push back into alignment. Maybe the ring on your toggle is a little chunky? The guards are usually available in a couple of sizes.

  4. Thank you for your comment, Julie! I've just checked, and yes, Palmer Metals offer three sizes: 0.021, 0.031 and 0.045; but it's probably a clumsy user rather than the chunky toggle! As I've mentioned in the previous comment, I could use a tutorial here!:)

  5. Hi Nellie I also use these all the time and have never had a problem. I also agree with Julie that your thread protector ( as I call them) is probably too small for your chunky toggle. Hope you get yourself sorted? If not I'm happy for you to PM me via FB or email me.
    Jane x

  6. PS I also use another bead the other side of the crimp bead, it can add a bit of length but then nothing gets caught up with the protector.

  7. Hi Jane, thank you for the comment! I'm really surprised these things are so popular! Everybody seems to be using them. I'll buy some silver-plated ones, and hopefully they'll stay in tact after my pulling lol!

  8. Jane, thank you for your kind offer of help - I'll most probably get back to you on that. Also, your post re Xmas trees etc was lovely, but there were so many comments that I thought you were probably tired to write replies! But I do follow your blog!x

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