Restring a semirimless

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Restringing a simi rimles frame is one repair that many opticians find intimidating and difficult.  It is also one of the quickest and easiest repairs to do, you only need to know the quick and easy way to do it.  Most of the time it takes longer to clean out the old eyewire than it does to install the new one.  Sometimes that wire is snapped close to the frame and it’s difficult to get out.  Have a pin or thumbtack on hand to help poke through the hole or to pry out the loop from the outside.  Once the loop is big enough you can get in with a needle nose and pull the remaining bits out.  Older nylon can split so make sure the area is cleaned out from any fragments that have fractured off.  Always check the figure 8 liner or t bar at this point too just in case it also needs replacing.  Once it’s all clear you can start to install the new string.

You can order this from you optician supply store, it can be expensive.  You get small pieces with most nylor frames also, you can save up those little pieces for when you need them.  I like to go to a fishing store and get a role of it.  Make sure you get clear, they come in opaque and blue also but you want the clear variety.  Also you need .5mm diameter.  That used to be 25 lbs test line but there’s some new polymers out there that make that thinner now so be careful and just look for a roll that has the diameter one it.  One role will last you forever and it’s way cheaper than getting it from an optical supplier.

Get a nice long piece, I sometimes use it still attached to the role.  Start on the side that has the easiest access to the holes.  Go into the frame (from the outside to the interior) through the bottom hole.  String it through to go out through to opposite bottom hole.  Then bend around to go back in through that top hole.  Leave a little tag and pull the string back to tighten it up.  You now have one end in and finished and the other end long and the eyewire loose.  Insert the lens, the eyewire will be loose, just get the lens in so it is fitting in the frame and the end you have finished is in the groove.  Now pull the loose end of the eyewire until it is tight around the lens.  Pull the loose end down so it crimps the nylon where it’s tight.  Now take out the lens.  It will pull some of the loose end inside but that’s okay.  With the lens out just pull the eyewire out until the kinked part it in place.  Cut the eyewire with a little tag, maybe 3 or 4 mm.  Now all you need to do is feed the tag in through the top hole and pull it tight.  Insert your lens.  That’s it.

If your eyewire is a bit tight, first off you know you cut your tag too short in the last step and on the next one you can cut it a bit longer.  On this one just push a mm or so our from one of the tags and pull it tight.  It only takes a little bit to make it loose.  As long as there is some tag on the inside the nylon should hold and not fall out.

If it’s too big you can just pull a tag in by a bit.  Again only a little makes a big difference.  If you are only big by a little, you can use a little heat to shrink it.  Either use your frame warmer or in a pinch you can use a lighter.  I’ll sometimes do it with the lens in, if you are quick it doesn’t risk crazing and it tightens right around the lens.

Also a not on cutting you string.  Don’t use a clipper.  Clippers leave the end crimped and it makes it hard to get through the holes.  Also if you clipper the ends after they are through the crimp doesn’t fit in the groove correctly and can sometimes cause the lens to sit up or to chip.  Use a scissors to snip the string and it will have a much nicer end to feed through.  If you have an especially hard time getting the string to feed into the hole use a blade to cut the string.  Cut it on an angle and you will have a nice tapered end that should feed through nice and easy.

Once you know how to do it, this repair is the easiest and most impressive repair you can do.  So many of my customers have come in thinking they need a new frame and I fix it in 2 min, they are wowed and you won a customer for life.  Also it’s timely and costly if you have to send it out to do.  You don’t need any special tools so you should be able to accomplish this in any dispensary.  Find a frame and give it a try.  Comment, share your experience and ideas.

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