Hi all, this is my first instructable so bear with me. I have found it very frustrating to find cord ends that are high quality materials and decided I would create my own from gemstone spheres that I use. The image shown in this intro is a green peridot cat's eye that was attached with Gorilla Glue epoxy to a 12 strand kumihimo cord that I made with a head pin shaped into a loop to attach the chain and other findings to.
Step 1: Dremel Diamond Point Bits
The gemstone spheres I use are pre-drilled with a 2mm hole for beading. I widened one side of the gemstone sphere using the Dremel bit #7144 shown. The Dremel was the ideal tool for this job.
Step 2: Identify a Gemstone Bead With Sufficient Diameter to Accommodate the Cord
The diameter of the bead should be 2-3 times the diameter of the cord. The bead shown is a 13mm tiger eye sphere and will accommodate a 4mm cord.
Step 3: Widen the Hole
This step come with a CAUTION warning. It is VERY important to find a way to clamp the gemstone sphere with a material that will not mar the surface. I modified a wooden clothespin and held it in my left hand as I drilled but that was not an ideal method. I am still experimenting with methods for clamping the sphere but I believe that two pieces of hard wood with a small divet placed within any metal clamp will suffice. Holding a clothespin while drilling the sphere can result in injury and that diamond bit will go through a fingernail pretty quickly.
Step 4: Insert a Head Pin Into the End of the Cord
The technique for finishing the cord end is similar to methods using other caps and cones. Insert a head pin through the weave of the cord through the center of the cord to protrude through the end as shown. If you use nylon cord like I do you may have to cauterize the end to prevent fraying. If that is the case you will have to create a hole prior to inserting the head pin.
Step 5: Slide the Modified Sphere Onto the Cord
Since the sphere has a 2mm hole predrilled you can simply slide the cord over the head pin. I use Gorilla Glue 2 part epoxy. Mix up the epoxy you require and apply it to the very end of the cord and a small amount inside the widened hole and slide the bead onto the cord end, pulling the head pin with a pair of chain-end pliers to ensure the cord is fully inserted into the bead.
Step 6: Create a Loop
Once the glue has dried form a loop close to the bead, wrapping excess around the head pin a couple of times. Trim the excess and smooth the end down to complete the end loop.
Step 7: Finish the Piece
Once the glue has dried and the loops are created you can add findings to the end and finish the piece. Gemstone beads are elegant and are just one possibility for creating cord ends. The same technique can be used to modify wood, bone or other beads to create unique, completely custom cord ends. I hope this is a useful technique to other jewelry crafters like myself and I hope you enjoyed my first instructable. Happy Crafting!