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

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  #1  
Old 2013-08-29, 10:54am
kansassky kansassky is offline
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Default I want to deliberately break beads...

I have read the threads already posted here on LE.
However, I didn't see any direct answer to this question.

Is there a good way to cleanly break a finished round bead into two halves (e.g., two cabochon shapes)?

I was wondering if anyone has tried to score the surface with a glass cutter or something similar? (I'm thinking a score line from North Pole to South Pole. Not a score line on the equator.)

Are there other techniques that work better? I don't have access to a diamond saw.
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  #2  
Old 2013-08-29, 11:51am
rnmcginnis rnmcginnis is offline
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You might try letting the bead cool rather rapidly and not annealing. Remove the mandrel and try dropping the bead on the floor or a table. You often get a nice straight break along the mandrel core. Don't ask how I know.
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  #3  
Old 2013-08-29, 12:13pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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Yup, just letting it get cold with give you that shock line and you will have two almost perfect bead halves. You can then clean out the mandrel hole and kiln fire to have a cabochon. However, 104 really likes to be worked only once and you may experience devitrification if you don't use a flux based overcoat or even some diluted 20 Mule Team Borax with distilled water and a drop of soap (dispersing agent)
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Old 2013-08-29, 1:01pm
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I don't think the scoring method would work, the glass is too thick. I think I remember something about having to score to 1/6th of the total thickness for glass to break but I may be wrong.
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  #5  
Old 2013-08-29, 1:02pm
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I use a nail with a little bigger diameter than the bead hole and tap it in with a hammer. Splits evenly every time.
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  #6  
Old 2013-08-29, 3:27pm
kansassky kansassky is offline
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I forgot to add that I want to split beads I have already made and annealed.

Any trick to the way you hit the nail or anything? I will try that first.
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  #7  
Old 2013-08-29, 3:34pm
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The scoring method doesn't really work. Getting two complete clean halves seems to be impossible. Even with a tile saw.
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  #8  
Old 2013-08-29, 5:21pm
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One could also try a nail set or any tapered punch that would fit into the hole.


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  #9  
Old 2013-08-29, 5:49pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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Scoring glass with a diamond tool does little more than create a fault line. If you want to try that, you can and then put the cold bead into the outer reaches of the flame, rotating to heat it up, bringing it in closer but never getting it hot. Then plunge into cold water in hopes that the thermal shock will follow the fault line you created.
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  #10  
Old 2013-08-29, 6:00pm
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A score in glass does not need to be 1/6 of the thickness. It just needs to be clean and not all chipped up. I have scored up to one inch and while it was harder to run, the score is the same as with thinner glass.

Glass manufacturers use a cutter for any glass they cut and it is spring loaded. They use one setup for all.
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  #11  
Old 2013-08-29, 7:48pm
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I center the nail in the hole and tap it with a hammer. On small beads I've also used tile nippers.
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  #12  
Old 2013-08-30, 6:18am
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Maybe experiment with some plain beads the same size before you try it on any fancy beads.

I've scored 1" thick rod and broken it cleanly, so thickness is not the big issue. If you can get your score line neat and even on a bead, and make sure that it is clean and free of chips like Rough_necked suggested, it could work. Adding a little water to the score line helps.
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  #13  
Old 2013-08-30, 7:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnmcginnis View Post
You might try letting the bead cool rather rapidly and not annealing. Remove the mandrel and try dropping the bead on the floor or a table. You often get a nice straight break along the mandrel core. Don't ask how I know.
I agree...
I would also note that some colors will break better than others. I recently made some really pretty beads that was encased stringer wound bead, all cracked so perfectly in half I could match them up with the other bead halts and they fit almost perfectly. (I have never been so proud of broke beads! No molds idea at all) I had a stringer of rech. Raspberry, w/ opal yellow and black then heavily encased with rose quartz color. They were beautiful!! But alas.. All now perfect round halfs.. And that was fully annealed. No cracks between colors or anything. I also made the same effetre pink spacers with Rubino dots, and they have figure 8 cracks around the Rubino dots! So disappointed, but the coolest crack I've seen so far I think! It's just like a wavy line between dots.. Too perfectly cracked!
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  #14  
Old 2014-01-15, 2:04am
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I'm having an issue with NOT being able to crack beads! I've recently begun cracking beads to make cabs. Just grabbed the Hothead and started quickly churning them out. At first, all went well. Got several cracked beads by simply letting them cool in the air. But after that first day, it stopped working! I've begun going to extremes to try to get them to crack. Blowing on them, dipping them in water (after an initial 3-4 min. cool-down), pelting them into the sink with all my might, freezing them and dipping in hot water, baking in the oven and dipping in ice water... at 200º nothing happened, but at 350º they simply crackled all over, but didn't break. I'm getting frustrated, because oddly enough, I'm also getting some of the best colors out of my silver glasses that I've ever gotten, and now they've all endured such abuse, I fear using them for jewelry, even if I batch anneal at this point. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.
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  #15  
Old 2014-01-15, 2:05pm
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Stacylynne developed a technique for hot beads and it was in one of the Bead magazines. Can't remember which one. You will need a tea strainer.

make bead, let harden a bit so it doesn't distort, place the bead on mandrel in tea strainer, hold this up to your exhaust and it should break cleanly in half. She called it half-baked beads.

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  #16  
Old 2014-01-16, 12:41am
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This is a great idea! Thanks, Melinda! I'm sure I have a tea strainer around here somewhere.
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