What are your thoughts on beading tools?

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Forum topic by Woodknack posted 03-31-2018 03:43 AM 2155 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13007 posts in 2983 days

03-31-2018 03:43 AM

I know many people just use skews but I have some homemade beading tools made from files and like them but they they are annoying to sharpen and need it frequently. Like most beading tools, mine are a C shape and come in different sizes for different beads. The Sorby Easy Beader is sort of turned inside out and looks slicker than snot on a doorknob. Anyone have one and if so, would you buy it again?

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-- Rick M,

11 replies so far

View BenDupre's profile


724 posts in 1091 days

#1 posted 03-31-2018 04:23 AM

These look interesting. What has stopped me from buying is i would not know how to sharpen one. And with what I have spent on sharpening already I am really not interested in another gadget to sharpen concave beading tools.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Lazyman's profile


4485 posts in 1990 days

#2 posted 03-31-2018 04:56 AM

I don’t have one but one problem I see is that it seems like the next detail has to have rounded half bead as well? What if you want the next cut to be square for example?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Wildwood's profile


2790 posts in 2738 days

#3 posted 03-31-2018 10:55 AM

There are couple different style beading tools and popular with a lot of turners because of speed & easy learning curve whether just need one small bead or want to do a series of small ones.

I don’t own either style and prefer using my bedan, spindle or skew. So have no idea which style is better but they do work. Essentially scrapers, guess a round hone would work well for sharpening.

-- Bill

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3118 days

#4 posted 03-31-2018 12:14 PM

Easy beader has been around for a while. But I’ve found not every Sorby tool is great. Robert Sorby has been around a long time, really old school guy. Some ideas have improved over what his company offers.

Always seemed to me that when you reach that last bead, using only one outside edge, when you push forward you have a pretty good chance of the tool hopping off the bead, (using only one half with the other touching nothing), and digging into the adjacent area when you never wanted that to happen.

The closed beading tools like the one Bill shows from Packard make more sense to me.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View OSU55's profile


2498 posts in 2593 days

#5 posted 04-01-2018 04:17 AM

Never tried one. Ive used a bedan, skew, and gouge- gouge is my choice.

View Wildwood's profile


2790 posts in 2738 days

#6 posted 04-01-2018 10:35 AM

Special tools for designated procedures like turning beads have limited applications. Yes once you learn how to use and sharpen them can save time and effort. When comes to sharpening just keep it simple!

Carl shows how he does it with nail and sandpaper. If have the larger size beading tool might use something from Harbor Freight transfer punch index with sandpaper.

Can also use round diamond files, hones and slip stones which come in wide range of prices & sizes.

Think John Lucas commented on his use of both his homemade and bought beading tools in either a video or one of his postings on various message boards. Sorry don’t have a link.

Not sure how long ago bought 1/4” round skew for turning small beads and still a work in progress, have both good ones & bad but won’t give up on the tool!

-- Bill

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1660 posts in 2333 days

#7 posted 04-01-2018 12:54 PM

For sharpening, why not go over to a local chain saw store, and get one or two stones that fit the bead size, and use those with a Dremel or drill?
For myself, I made a 3 bead tool for doing my trademark bead, but sharpening was an issue as the middle bead was lower than the two 3/16” outer beads and about 5/8”” wide. Couldn’t get them even, so decided to make one using carbide. I don’t think it will ever need to be sharpened as it’s usually a 1 minute application to get my beads turned…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 2888 days

#8 posted 04-01-2018 01:01 PM

D-Way beading tool are the best IMO. I have them and they work well. These are the tools used by those who do basket illusion turnings. You don’t need a handle and easy to sharpen

-- Bill R

View Woodknack's profile


13007 posts in 2983 days

#9 posted 04-01-2018 04:33 PM

Those DWay look nice.

Good ideas on sharpening. I will try those.

-- Rick M,

View bigJohninvegas's profile


722 posts in 2065 days

#10 posted 04-06-2018 01:07 AM

The D way tools look very good. I have not seen them before, and may get a set.
I use a modified spindle gouge for small beads.
$10 Benjamin’s Best spindle gouge. Grind the tip off at about a 45° angle and turn it upside down. It looks like it works about like the D way tool.
The spindle gouge works great, but you are limited to a few sizes
Looking at the Demo for the D way tools. I like the options for all the different bead sizes.

-- John

View Abter's profile


79 posts in 1230 days

#11 posted 04-09-2018 03:17 PM

double post. sorry

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

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