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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    Default Size of drill holes?

    I'm about to buy some pearls from etsy and want the vendor to drill the pearls. The pearls are 12 - 15mm. What is the usual size to have them drilled? I will be using Beaders Secret 30 with doubled thread. I will also need a little room for the back stringing by the clasps.

  2. #2
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, I like to use a heavier thread (#20) with heavier pearls (above 12mm). I use that doubled and with a 1.0mm hole. But if you are using #30 thread, I'd stick with a hole of 0.8mm otherwise you might find your knots slip into the holes if they are any larger. Personally, I prefer the "heft" of the heavier thread with larger pearls.
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  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    Thank you JerseyPearl. The information will be very helpful.

  4. #4
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I agree with JP . An 8mm drill hole for regular pearls and I do .9 and redrill the outer 3 larger to accomodate the double back thread. I too like the larger thread with the really large strands . Good luck !

  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    0.8 mm is my favorite hole size and like Katbran said, you can always enlarge the end pearls if necessary. (you can't make the holes smaller once drilled )

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    I have only drilled at .8mm and the regular thickness BS had to be quadrupled to keep the knots in place, so I am going to redo them with the thicker BS when I have time. I didn't enjoy four strand knotting very much because the threads tend to wrap around each other too much. My largest pearl is about 12.8mm. If you plan to redo the strand and use the pearls in a medley of different types of pearls, you may want to consider keeping all your drilled holes the same size so you won't have to worry about knots slipping at a later date.

  7. #7
    Professional Rethreader Senior Guide Member Bernadette's Avatar
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    I like working with .8 and if all the pearls are quite large .9

    On a personal level I use four strands either 4 fine - or 2 medium combined with two fine.
    I find the finer the thread the neater the knot. #30 I would class as medium.

    The last two pearls at the back I like to hand ream, or if the nucleus is stubborn I will drill to a maximum of 1mm.
    'Tis not good if the holes of the pearls are too big, this can be detrimental to the finishing off process.

    If too loose, the knot where finished off will weaken.

  8. #8
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Thats interesting Bernadette - do you use two needles with the 4 strands?

  9. #9
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Good question, Luvglitz,

    Most of the pearls I knot are already drilled, and the larger ones at .08 mm, usually. Most smaller cfwp probably .06-.07 mm. I very seldom ream the end pearls, and prefer not to, as pearls get rearranged sometimes.

    I do vary the combinations of thread sizes to fit the holes, then before stringing check to see if I can double back comfortably and check knot size, too. (Having really thin needles makes a difference, imo.)
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  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I agree about using the thinnest needles! And about not reaming the end pearls, for the same reason.

  11. #11
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    I triple that about thinnest needles and not reaming. I find that Beader's Secret in #30 make wonderfully neat knots. Yes they are a tad larger, but they don't look odd given the larger size of the pearls. I find that 1.0mm makes it easier to back knot through on the last pearls on the ends. Since I drill my own pearls, these are my preferences...but honestly, it's really up to you! Keeping in mind of course that the difference between 0.8mm and 1.0mm is 0.2mm...or in other words, really tiny at two tenths of a millimeter.
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  12. #12
    Professional Rethreader Senior Guide Member Bernadette's Avatar
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    Hi Katbran, I use one needle only- the type of needle I use are the stiff sort.

    Reaming and drilling that's for another thread- the difference between 0.8 and 0.9mm isn't going to make a difference in later rearranging the pearls.

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert amti's Avatar
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    Bernadette, interesting on the two different size threads. I bet it makes for a pretty knot! Do you use the Chinese method of stringing or another style? If so, how do you keep the threads from twirling around each other? It doesn't bother me when I string with a doubled thread, but with four threads, I spend more time untwirling than I'd like.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Luvglitz's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the wealth of information. The way I knot using a needle is basically back stringing so doubled thread ends up 4 ply. I usually use BS #30. So .8 drill holes sound good.

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