Monday, June 1, 2015

What is that Finding?

It's time for another instalment in the What is that Finding? series.
Four silver ball chain ends

At first glance, this little finding, with its round cup at one end and tag with a hole at the other, looks rather similar to a calotte (aka clam shell or bead tip). Like a calotte, this finding is designed to encase the stringing material ready for attachment to a clasp. But because it's hinged on the side rather than on the end, it's able to accommodate a different kind of stringing material. Can you guess what that stringing material might be?

Let me give you a hint. It's a type of chain.

If you've guessed ball chain then you're spot on. This little finding is called a ball chain end or a ball chain crimp end.

If you've worked with ball chain before, you're probably more familiar with the ball chain connector that has a slit at each end for the last link of ball chain to sit in.
Silver ball chain connector

Ball chain connector with ball chain

A ball chain connector eliminates the need for a clasp but it only works for a single strand of chain.
Lenth of ball chain with a ball chain connector used as a clasp.

The beauty of using a ball chain end is that it allows you to include it in a multistrand design. As you can see, ball chain ends come in a range of sizes to fit different sized ball chain.
Three ball chains attached to a jump ring

If you open the ball chain end, you will notice that the hinge is on the side, rather than the end. This allows you to place the last ball of the chain in the bottom of the cup......
Last ball of the silver ball chain placed in the cup of a ball chain end.

and then you simply close the top half of the cup on it.
Closing the ball chain end around the last ball of a length of ball chain.

Insert a jump ring through the hole on the end and the ball chain is ready to be included in your design.

Ball chain ends make attaching ball chain a breeze and I think you'll find they give you a very secure and professional finish to your jewellery.

'Til next time.......

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