Help on Beadmaking

Help on Beadmaking

Post by Jodi McMaste » Tue, 17 Feb 1998 04:00:00



Hello to all the glass people out there--I'm new to this news group
(like today) and am astonished at how many little tips I've caught
already.

I'm stumped on something, and thought someone might be able to diagnose
my problem and offer a solution.  I've worked primarily in lead/copper
foil, but recently got a jewelry kiln and have been playing around with
trying to figure out how to do some bead work.  My supplier isn't very
into warm/hot techniques, but had some mandrels and a neat assortment
pack of stringers, iridescents (sp?) and other stuff for
slumping/fusing/etc.  I also got a hothead and put it on a Mapp tank.
BUT when I try to wrap the glass on the mandrels I got, the mandrels
melt.  Wrong glass, wrong mandrels, wrong heat  or something else?

Thanks.

 
 
 

Help on Beadmaking

Post by sculpt » Wed, 18 Feb 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>Hello to all the glass people out there--I'm new to this news group
>(like today) and am astonished at how many little tips I've caught
>already.

>I'm stumped on something, and thought someone might be able to diagnose
>my problem and offer a solution.  I've worked primarily in lead/copper
>foil, but recently got a jewelry kiln and have been playing around with
>trying to figure out how to do some bead work.  My supplier isn't very
>into warm/hot techniques, but had some mandrels and a neat assortment
>pack of stringers, iridescents (sp?) and other stuff for
>slumping/fusing/etc.  I also got a hothead and put it on a Mapp tank.
>BUT when I try to wrap the glass on the mandrels I got, the mandrels
>melt.  Wrong glass, wrong mandrels, wrong heat  or something else?

>Thanks.

Hi Jody,
You may have gotten ahold of some aluminum rod. Stainless steel is the
material of choice. Stainless withstands the heat and has the added
benefit of not transmitting the heat directly to your fingers, helps a
bunch when you want to be able to hold onto the mandrel! <g>

Also, be sure and coat your mandrel with bead release, this allows you
to remove the finished bead from the mandrel after it has been
annealed.

Good luck, stay hot,

Sculptor - Art can't hurt you, the artitst might

 
 
 

Help on Beadmaking

Post by Roger Peterso » Wed, 18 Feb 1998 04:00:00


Jodi,

Sounds like your mandrels are not made of stainless.  You can sometimes
overheat stainless to the melting point with a oxy/propane flame, but I
doubt a HotHead can get that hot.  Right off the top of my head, I
cannot think of a good way to tell what metal you might have been sold.

If you have the time, drop by your welding supplier and ask for some
straight, 308L SST, TIG welding rod.  Some times they will give you a
few pieces of 1/16" or 1/8" diameter rod.  Cut it to 9"-12" long and you
have an excellent mandrel.

There is one thing missing on your list of materials -- bead release.
This is a mixture of kaolin clay and other stuff that you coat your
mandrels with the allow you to remove the bead after it is finished.

Commercial bead release goes by the names of Sludge or Black Fudge or
Vesuvious -- depending on teh manufacturer.  A 1# jar is more than
enough to get you started.  

Last, get Cindy Jenkins book "Making Glass Beads" (Lark Publishing).  It
has great pictures and descriptions of the process.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Roger...

 
 
 

Help on Beadmaking

Post by Marth » Thu, 19 Feb 1998 04:00:00


Frantz Beads and Arrow Springs (both of which have web sites) sell stainless
steel mandrels.  I think they charge about $4 for 12 of the small-diameter
mandrels.  This is probably more expensive than if you get the rod from a
welding supplier and make your own mandrels, but it's still relatively cheap.
I've purchased mandrels from both companies in the past.

These two companies also sell several different kinds of bead release, which
one uses to coat the mandrels before melting glass on them.  I don't know
enough about the different kinds of bead release to say which is best, but the
people at these companies have seemed very willing to answer questions like
this.  :-)