When one encounters a product called "speed beader", don't ya just HAVE to check it out? Well, I ordered one right away so we could share it here. If you click on the name, you can watch their video.
Fran assembled this wooden loom-like item composed of a "dental molding" frame and opposing uprights, easily with a philipshead screwdriver, while I made notes and took these photos.
On the uprights are screws with rubber "nuts" that are meant to secure a single strand of beads. There are 3 sets of screws with a floating upright of 3 screws to accomodate shorter strands.
TIP: Wind the end of the strand around the screw in the same direction as the screw tightens (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey, as they say) so it does not loosen as you tighten the screw.
A caliper is provided so that a determined number of beads can be separated from the rest for easy restringing. This is to eliminate the need to count the beads each time. So, for this trial run, Fran suspended a strand from each of 3 hanks of Czech seed beads. She had to carefully untie each hank. She threaded a spool of fireline onto a size 10 needle and strung about 1.5 inches of beads from each strand in turn until all three strands were restrung.
When she loosened the screws she held the new thread in a deathgrip and pulled the original threads from the strands. The results: about 5' of size 11 beads strung in the chosen pattern in under an hour.
We imagine that practice, bead size and complexity of pattern will all factor into the time.
What will we do with this? I will slide these beads from the fireline onto bead crochet thread. I think this produced a pattern of beads for bead crochet in shorter time than if I strung them individually. A stringer would perhaps find this useful if they use many previously strung or Czech seed beads (on hanks) in their work.
If we were to improve on this clever and affordable item we would cut a beading mat to fit into the case for easy pick up of "oops" that fall from the strands during set up. And Fran suggested that a couple additional uprights would make it possible to add several more strands. I agree, I'm picturing druks, leaves, daggers on their short strands stretched out this way.
Ask your beadstore to get this for you if you think it will make your work more efficient. The major beadstore wholesaler, Helby/Beadsmith, has this item in stock for immediate delivery.