check out our store
check out our store

How to Make Lanyard Beads

Written by:
Dr. Braide Honest
Updated:
March 30, 2024
Soldering Metal Parts of Lanyard Bead

Lanyard beads are often patronized by Knife Enthusiasts, due to their functionality and aesthetic effects. These beads can be personalized to suit individual preferences and styles. A knife enthusiast can also have separate lanyard beads to match different knife pieces. These beads are not only aesthetically fascinating and appealing but also come in practically helpful when deploying one’s knife. A Lanyard bead also aids good grip. In a nutshell, these beads provide both aesthetic appeal and functional utility.

There are two distinct ways of manufacturing lanyard beads, they include 3D Modelling and Mold Making.

Video credit: Noblie Custom Knives

How to Make a Paracord Bead

Making lanyard beads is fun and engaging. The fulfillment of transforming raw materials into beautiful pieces is priceless. Every step along this journey has its own twists and turns, from conceiving the whole idea to admiring the finished piece. Let’s take a stage-by-stage guide to making lanyard beads.

lanyard bead

Lanyard beads: 3D Modelling

3D modeling is like sculpting in a digital realm, using special software to bring the bead’s design to life. Every curve and every detail gets meticulously crafted, serving as a blueprint for what comes next. This step ensures that the final product is precise and accurate, reflecting the artisan’s vision with perfection. Plus, it’s not just about looks; we also consider how the bead will function. And the best part? This process allows us to tweak our ideas back and forth until we get it just right…just the way we want it!

3d model of lanyard bead

Mold Making for Lanyard Bead

Once we get the 3D model right, the next step is to make a befitting mold. This step is all about bringing that sculptured digital image to reality. You should see as though you are crafting a perfect guide that will see us all through the process. One popular method we use is lost-wax casting, known for its attention to detail. Here’s the scoop: we carefully encase our 3D model in rubber, shaping it to capture every curve of the bead. Then, we create a wax copy inside the mold. Once we heat it up, the wax melts away, leaving us with a perfect space to cast our bead. It’s tricky, but it guarantees that each bead we make stays true to the original design, no matter what material we use.

Material selection is an important aspect of mold making. If you decide to choose between materials like silicone or rubber, you should consider how complex the design is and what you expect to get as the finished piece. Each material comes with its own uniqueness in the quality and durability of the mold.

mold making

Metal Casting

Metal casting is where the magic really happens in creating lanyard beads. It’s like bringing the lifeless design to life, turning your idea into a touchable piece. Usually, bronze is mostly used for lanyard beads because of its fantastic look and versatility. We also need to consider the colour and hardness, choose perfect alloys – they happen to be that special secret that gives every lanyard bead its unique quality. So, selecting the perfect bronze alloy brings us a step closer to our envisioned finished piece.

The casting process itself involves several steps. First, melt the bronze employing heat in a well-ventilated place and adhere to all safety rules. For intricate designs, centrifugal casting may be considered to ensure uniform metal flow and minimize air bubbles.

Carefully pour the molten bronze into the mold afterwards and allow to solidify taking the desired shape. Allow the mold to cool, then carefully break open.  The freshly cast bead is then ready for the next phase – post-casting.

Post-Casting

Once the lanyard bead is been revealed after casting, carefully cut off the leftover pieces of materials that might be sticking to it. Ensure you use the right tools and cleaning agents to ensure the lanyard bead is very smooth and shows excellent luster. It’s all about making sure our bead is perfect before it moves on to the next step in its journey.

lanyard beads

Soldering Metal Components of Lanyard Bead

When it’s time to put together lanyard beads, soldering steps up to the plate like a dependable friend. It’s the sturdy handshake that ensures all the metal parts stick together just right. Whether we’re linking beads or adding clasps, soldering gives us those strong connections we can trust for the long haul. It’s like making sure our beads are ready for anything, with every bond standing strong and looking good. So, when we’re assembling lanyard beads, soldering is the reliable buddy that holds everything together.

Soldering Metal Parts of Lanyard Bead

Finishing of Lanyard bead

Finishing here has to do with giving the lanyard beads a special glow! Use the right tools to cut off and smooth out all rough or ununiformed patches and imperfections to ensure the lanyard beads are very smooth without any rough edges. Afterward, we make them look shiny and all-glittering. We buff them up with sandpaper and special clothes until they’re sparkling and ready to steal the show wherever they go. It’s all about turning our beads into little works of art that catch everyone’s eye.

Optional finishing techniques offer further customization possibilities. Adding a patina through chemical treatment can impart an aged or antique look to the bead while experimenting with different polishing methods can create unique finishes such as brushed or satin textures.

finishing of lanyard beads

Assembly (Optional)

Once we’ve got the main part of the bead done, there might still be some extra work depending on how it’s supposed to turn out. It’s like adding those final touches to make sure everything’s just perfect. Imagine we need to drill some holes to attach cords or add little channels inside to keep things in place just to ensure our lanyard bead is just the way we want it to be. The catch is that each step needs to be taken carefully. Just like building a sand castle, one mistake might put all your effort into wasting. Hence, it is imperative that we execute the process of drilling holes or creating channels precisely to ensure that our beads function and seem as intended. Be a good craftsman!

Safety First

Throughout the whole process of creating these beads, our safety is paramount. With so much molten metal involved in the casting process, things may get quite hot and dangerous. It requires caution, much like working with fire. For this reason, please make sure that your workstation is adequately ventilated, wear PPEs, such as gloves and goggles, and strictly adhere to all safety regulations. It all comes down to keeping ourselves and our workstation secure so we don’t get injured while trying to make our lanyard beads.

custom knife bead

Conclusion

Making lanyard beads is ultimately a true labor and activity of passion and devotion. It all comes down to being mindful of the small details and giving each task our best. Every step we take, from conceiving the idea to adding the very last touch to each lanyard bead, culminates in something genuinely unique. It is just like stitching together a narrative, where each step advances us toward the finished work of art. And when we’re through, we have beads that feel pleasant to touch in addition to being attractive to look at. It all comes down to making something that, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, and functionally useful, has significance and puts smiles on our faces.

Author: Braide Honest | Connect with me on LinkedIn

References:

Heine, G. D., & Stark, J. (n.d.). Method for removing casting molds, in particular ceramic molds, from castings. Retrieved from https://patents.google.com/patent/EP0224672B1/en

How to Solder: A Complete Beginner’s Guide. (n.d.). wikiHow. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Solder

Kwerfeld. (2022, March 28). How I make my lanyard beads. There are countless possibilities in shape and color combinations. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/knifemaking/comments/sm1onq/how_i_make_my_lanyard_beads_there_are_countless/?rdt=51719

Lost Wax Casting Guide: Definition & Process [+ How To Start]. (n.d.). The Crucible. Retrieved from https://www.thecrucible.org/guides/metalworking/lost-wax-casting/

Finishing Touches for Jewellery – Polishing Jewellery. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.polishingjewellery.co.uk/blog/2019/05/23/finishing-touches-for-jewellery/

Leave a reply

We don't allow links in the comments. Any comment containing links will be declined.

Thank you for your comment, it is currently under review.
Fill in all fields for commenting!

comments

    There are no comments for this article yet.

Related materials
14.03.2024
Paracord's versatility allows for various weaving patterns, creating a personalized touch and a potential survival tool. In this post, we'll explore how paracord lanyards have symbolizelience and utility in the knife community, transcending their origins to become an essential component of everyday carry.
Read
06.03.2024
Among the huge variety of daggers, one unique type can be distinguished. The Qama dagger is a legendary weapon of the peoples of the Caucasus and Transcaucasia.
Read
04.02.2024
Carbon and stainless steel are the two most popular materials used in the manufacture of knives, which are essential tools for everyday use. There are several key differences between carbon and stainless steel depending on the user's needs and budget, which can influence a person's decision when buying knives.
Read
Rating: 4,9 - 64 reviews