One of the most common repairs in semi-rimless eyewear is the replacement of a broken or loose cord.
Rimless eyewear has been popular for centuries. Over time, this eyewear category has evolved from mountings that use drilled lenses secured with nuts and screws to a variety of clever lens suspension methods including tension and cementing. In the 1970s, a new type of rimless eyewear became popular where the lenses were grooved and held in place with a tight fitting nylon cord. Known today as cord-mounted, semi-rimless frames, mounting styles like this appealed to a lot of people because of their clean, attractive look and the absence of a lower rim. Like any other style of frame, there are times when it needs repair.
1. Replacing the nylon cord on a cord-mounted semi-rimless mounting takes a little dexterity and skill. It also takes a few tools. Pictured here are all the things you’ll need including a hooking tool, a push pin (or other pointed tool), snipe pliers and some cord (two cord-mounting kits are pictured).
2. To remove the broken line, you’ll need a pointed tool to pry it from the holes in the rim that hold it in place. A push pin or other pointed tool works well for this. Once that’s done, push one end of the new cord through the lower hole in the rim from the inside and loop it through the upper hole leaving an inch or so of extra length. Pull the cord so the loop closes and tightens.
3. With the loop tight, cut the end of the cord that’s inside the rim to about 2-3mm long. Using snipe pliers or a similar tool, squash the end of the cord flat and press this tiny portion into the rim so that it is flush.
4.Take the other end of the cord and push it through the lower hole on the opposite side of the eyewear from the inside; then snake it through the upper hole creating a loop like you did on the other side. Tighten the loop closed leaving a good deal of slack in the cord. The exact length of the cord for a given lens is determined by trial and error. Fit the lens and judge how much length adjustment the cord needs. Make this adjustment, refit the lens.
5. After several tries, you’ll find the perfect cord length. When you do, cut and squash the end of the cord as you did before and push it into the rim. This picture shows the perfect cord length. Notice that the cord must be stretched a bit to fit into the lens groove. If it is too loose, the lens may fall out or wobble in the frame. 6. While you can use the hook tool pictured in the last illustration to insert the lens, most opticians use a ribbon or similar material to stretch the cord and slip it into the lens groove. Slide the ribbon between the lens and cord, fold it in half and grasp it as shown. Starting at the bridge, place the cord in the lens groove and slide the ribbon around the lens to position the cord into the groove all around the lens. As the cord nears the lower temporal corner, it will become very tight so you’ll need to pull it a bit to fit it properly. 7. The cord comes in multiple colors and is a fun way to add excitement to cord mounted semi-rimless frames. Notice the maroon color on the frame shown here.

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