radhardened: (on the metro)
my LED snowflake

I recently made the above LED snowflake based on Syuzi's tutorial. I ran into several bumps, so I thought I'd record them here, especially since I've been thinking it could make a nice group-build workshop at HacDC when I get the bumps smoothed out.

First I should note that I haven't done beading or other jewelry-making before, so that probably accounts for a lot of my difficulty.

At the local craft store there weren't any 3" head pins in stock, so I got the 2.5" head pins, which worked fine. But I think this is a place to "do as I do, not as I say" with regard to the tutorial and get eye pins (i.e., pins with a loop on one end) like the ones used in the illustrations rather than the head pins (i.e., pins with a nail-head end instead of a loop) called for in the parts list. Step six assumes you actually are using eye pins.

Next came the (optional) crimp beading part. I've never used crimp beads before, but in this project they looked useful, so I bought some along with a crimp tool. But all I could find on the packaging or the internet were tutorials on using crimp beads to attach two parallel wires, whereas in this project they would be used to secure adjacent beads on a single wire. Help? The tutorial doesn't explain how to do it, and while it's an optional part, I would've had an easier time if I didn't have to fuss with the beads wanting to slip off the pins.

The tutorial calls for insulated "wire wrap wire." I couldn't find anything called that in the craft store, so I got insulated multi-strand beading wire. The insulation on the wire I got was so thin that it was difficult to strip it from the multi-strand metal core without cutting into the core—I ended up ditching the wire strippers and picking at it with my fingernails. Also, the multiple strands of metal only made soldering it and threading it through beads more difficult. So next time I'd get a single-core metallic wire with thicker insulation.

On the matter of heat: a hot glue gun isn't necessary for this project; regular glue works just fine. And be careful while soldering wire to your magnetic clasp parts: I accidentally de-magnetized half of my magnetic clasp in the course of soldering the wire to it by heating it above its Curie temperature. D'oh.

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radhardened

August 2017

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