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Tool Talk Thursday Bail Making Jewelry Pliers

Ceramic beads love to be wire wrapped.  I have found that  Bail Making Jewelry Pliers

work even better than round nose pliers. They hold the wire better and can handle thicker wire.  And best of all, without much effort all of your wire loops are the same size.

Wire wrapped raku beads and chain links

Wire wrapped unglazed stoneware beads and pendant.  These colors are made for each other

Below are some tips on how to use the Bail Making Jewelry Pliers

Begin by making a right angle bend in your wire
Put the angle into the pliers using the jaw size you want.  Most of these pliers come in two sizes.  You want to put the jaw size you want on top because you will be bending your wire over it.  I mark the handles of my pliers with the one I use the most so I am sure.
Draw your wire over the jaw of bailing pliers and down straight
You will begin this step by turning your pliers over to reinsert your loop into the jaws of the pliers since this time you will be using the jaw to wrap the loop. You will know which jaw is the right one  if you have marked the handle of your pliers.
You will now draw the wire around the bottom wire --just as you do when you make a regular wrapped loop using round nose pliers.  The only difference is that you do not have to worry about where to place the wire on the pliers to get consistency as you would with the round nose.
You can now continue to wrap your wire around and the rigidity of the pliers makes this much easier since the wire won't be slipping off.
Once you have your first wrapped loop, you can slip on a bead and make the next one.
Make your right angle bend abut 1/8 inch above the bead--just large enough to slip in jaw of the bailing pliers.
Bring the wire over the bailing pliers and straight down.
Bring the wire around the loop and before you start to wrap the loop attach it to the loop of the bead you want to string it to and then wire wrap your loop closed.  It is very easy to forget to attach your bead before you close the wrap.  Mindfulness helps here. 
Once you have the bead attached to the one above it you can finish the wrap.  And then you are on your way to a lovely piece with consistent sized loops.

These bailing pliers come in several sizes and are also useful for making consistent size coils and bails.  Some people use the largest size to bend filigree over stones and pendants since these  long round nose jaws are less likely to damage your filigree.

If you have a favorite way to wrap your ceramic beads, please share them with us and leave a comment.  We love to hear from you.


  1. I've not seen pliers like that, but must look for them. I'm never happy with the way my wires look and I'm thinking that tool would help a bunch! Thanks for sharing, very helpful!

  2. Mary, great post, I too was not aware of these pliers. I assume they can be used to make bails as well...I am always looking for bails for my pendants.

  3. Thanks Mary! I don't have really great tools for wire-wrapping. I'm going to get some of those!!

  4. Mary! Where did you buy your wubbers?

  5. Those are very cool. It looks like they would work well on all grades of wire.

  6. Thank you all for stopping by and making a comment. I am happy to introduce you to a new tool. You can click the link in the post--highlighted in light blue--for a source for purchasing these Bail Making Jewelry Pliers. You can also check Amazon.com I have seen a listing for them there as well.

  7. hobby lobby also carries these for approx $16

  8. P/S the post~tuesday tips about the show shows up on my google reader but when I click on it to read the whole thing, I am told it isn't found?

  9. Awesome Tutorial Mary! I didn't know about these pliers either!


  10. HI Boot-C!
    I think that the Tuesday Tips Post about the bead show is being worked on ahead of it's scheduled unveiling.... You'll have to check back on Tuesday to see how the show went :-)

  11. Thanks for sharing, I have never seen these pliers before, must keep my eyes out for a pair.

  12. These tools are great! I got mine at www.wiredupbeads.com and I love them. The owner, Patti Bullard, is an absolute doll. Check them out. You can reach her at www.patti@wiredupbeads.com.

  13. Your tutorial is an awesome inspiration! Many thanks for sharing. I would like to feature your designs at http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

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