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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2013-03-28, 1:21am
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Default Can You Straighten Bent Mandrels?

I have a heap of 1.6mm mandrels (don't ask me what that is in inches, I can never remember! anyway the thin ones) that I was given as part of a bunch of stuff that I bought from a lady who taught beginner lampworking. I think there must be more than 150 mandrels, but I reckon more than three quarters of them are bent . Not badly bent, but just enough that when you spin them, the end doesn't rotate, it makes a little circle in the air, to look at them, unless you looked really closely, you would think they were straight, it's only when you try to make a bead that you discover they aren't .

Obviously having been used by beginners they have had a hard life, is there any way to straighten them or am I just better off to turf them all & buy more? It seems a pity to throw them all out if they can be straightened, but for the sake of $XYZ it's driving me crazy!
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Last edited by MrsD; 2013-03-28 at 1:27am.
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Old 2013-03-28, 2:44am
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Robyn, if they're bent on the end or near the end, cut that part off with bolt cutters. I can't imagine they could be made perfectly straight again. Course, I don't ever use the 1/16" size mandrels either.
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Old 2013-03-28, 4:01am
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Well, they can be recycled. Maybe you know a sculptor who could use them for making armatures?
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Old 2013-03-28, 4:09am
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Plant sticks!
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Old 2013-03-28, 4:10am
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It's about 1/16" for us emperial types.
I think there are a few threads that talk about hitting them just a little with a mallet to straighten, or rolling them between two hard surfaces.

I find that its not worth the trubble there are a lot of uses for less than perfect mandrels.
Bead Displays, pins, looped around to hold pictures or note cards for your cheese board, S hooks... the possibilities abound.
Wind chimes, and mobiles seam popular this time of year.

Then again as I have a lot of mandrels that I sell my opinion maybe a little bias.
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Old 2013-03-28, 7:48am
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I cut them off, if not then I throw them out, they are cheap to make. Not worth the irritation to me if they are bent.

I make my own from welding rod, so they are very cheap for me also. CC2
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Old 2013-03-28, 9:17am
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You can roll them between two steel blocks..it does work for straightening wire.
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Old 2013-03-28, 3:12pm
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I use them to glue CZs on the ends of them. Since they are pretty cheap, I'd toss them or another idea is what I've done is cut them down to 2"s and get little blocks of wood and hammer them in to display focals! that works out great.
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  #9  
Old 2013-03-28, 7:50pm
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Thanks everyone, annoyingly, they are mostly bent about 3 inches from the end (sometimes both ends), my guess is that the students were grabbing them & trying to get their beads off & bending them that way.

I think I will turf them (or recycle them in one of the ways mentioned here) & just replace them.
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Old 2013-03-29, 1:21am
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Overall it is not worth the time and effort. If slightly bent and making a round bead it makes it very tough to determine if the bead is round/even. As suggested, cut off the good part and make hair pins or toss in the trash.
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Old 2013-03-29, 3:56pm
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Without reading any of the other posts, I'm going to give my input and I hope I don't get flamed...

The question is: can you straighten bent mandrels?

My answer: Nope!

Seriously, it can't be done so don't waste your time. Buy new.
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Old 2013-03-29, 6:28pm
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I also use them for CZ's, to get to places my fingers won't fit sometimes in soldering. As for straightening them, I wouldn't bother...mandrels are kind of disposable supplies in my opinion. I don't usually use smaller than 3/32 because I am too heavy handed, and bend them all.
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