One of the most difficult parts of making polymer clay beads is piercing or drilling a hole through them. I don't even want to count the number of beautiful beads that have gone into the trash can because of an inaccurate drilling! Talk about stealing my joy!!!
I tried piercing before hand and my beautiful beads got distorted -- no matter how careful I was. I tried holding the bead in pliers and drilling. I even tried putting the bead in a vice and drilling. As my skill with making the beads increased, so did my search to find a solution to the hole piercing/drilling problem. After all, a bead without a whole is just a round lump of clay!!! Not totally useless, but close.
Then, while looking for a burr cup to round the ends of my wire, I ran across the Centerline Pearl Drill Jig!
This is just the coolest thing! The plastic on the base and on the end of the screw are both cupped so that a round bead fits in nicely. It holds the bead in place and centered so that you can then use your dremel to drill the hole. Nice, straight, clean! No beads flying across the room. No drilled fingers!
It is designed to work with a tiny, tiny drill bit, however I enlarged the hole enough that the size bit that I prefer for drilling my holes fits through nicely. With the tiny, tiny drill bit that would go through the jig when I first got it, I was forced to drill again after the initial hole was drilled. I hate doing anything twice that I don't have to.
I found this lovely little tool at Monsterslayer.com For the record, I do not work for nor am I affiliated in any way with Monsterslayer.com. I'm just delighted to have found a solution to my drilling problem. Now when I have a fairly good supply of beads that have been tumbled, I can relax in my recliner with a towel, a box with the undrilled beads, a box to put the drilled beads in, my cool little jig and my dremel. Add to that a good Gaithers Homecoming dvd and I'm set!