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

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  #1  
Old 2007-11-17, 1:42pm
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Default Electric Mandrel Spinner - Help!

I got my EMS last week and have spent several hours over 4 sessions trying to get the hang of it, but I can't make a round bead with it to save my soul! I can round up a bead without any trouble at all without the EMS. I thought maybe my 1/16" mandrels were bent a little, even though I couldn't see it. So I've been using just 3/32" mandrels, and I know they're not bent. I can tune it so the mandrel is spinning true, but no matter what I do I end up with an off center bead and can't round it up. I am definitely EMS challenged! Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 2007-11-17, 5:26pm
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I couldn't get by without my EMS. I find there are two ways to center a bead, 1. slow down the spin and let the melted glass sag until it's centered (slow method); 2. use a graphite tool to push the glass on the center until it's centered, then do the same on both sides. You may have to do it a couple of times, and you have to keep reheating to keep the glass soft.
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  #3  
Old 2007-11-17, 5:43pm
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If your mandrels are bent, they'll "wiggle" at the end as you spin before you put glass on.

Did you watch the video that comes with it?

It shows how to evaluate if mandrels are too bent to use well, and if you are spinning too fast, he says that it will stay disc shaped and not round out well.

When I want to do a reallly round looking bead on this, I get the glass on, shape it into a fat barrel, and then heat the bead at the bottom of the flame so it just rounds up.

It rounds up really nicely too, if you heat most of your glass to a gather on the rod, touch it gently to the mandrel and spin slowly to round.

good luck!
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  #4  
Old 2007-11-17, 9:54pm
Henrywashere Henrywashere is offline
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Your mandrels do have to be straight. I find to round up the bead use your fingers on the "clutch" to slow the spinning down. If its top heavy heat that spot then rotate it so its up then stop and let gravity bring in down on the mandrel then spin again to round up. I think it helps if you have a dark surface under where you work you can eyeball it easier. It sort of stop and start stop and start to you get it rounded then let it spin away.
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  #5  
Old 2007-11-17, 11:46pm
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I think you would know if your mandrels were crooked. Are you making tiny beads? If so, you may have the mandrel farther into the flame than you need while applying hot glass so that gravity is working faster than you are. On bigger beads the same thing can happen even if you are out of the flame. The heat in the glass can pull it out of shape.

I know it took me a little time to get the hang of working with it. I just loved not having to spin myself, but it has been a couple of years and I've kind of forgotten what I do differently. I do know that I let what glass is on the mandrel cool a little more than I would if I were hand spinning when applying glass. It's very easy for the glass on the hot rod and hot glass on the mandrel to 'catch' and throw the whole thing off balance.
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  #6  
Old 2007-11-18, 9:19am
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm going to practice with the EMS again this afternoon. It sounds like a large part of my problem is speed control. I usually just heat the glass to droopy then take it out of the flame and spin to round it out, but I haven't got the speed control (yet!) to do that with the EMS. I'm also going to try the start-stop method and using a marver to see what works best for me. Also looks like I need to be a little more careful in laying down the glass to avoid throwing it off balance then.
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  #7  
Old 2018-11-28, 3:38pm
Aceunderfire Aceunderfire is offline
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Judy,
I just got one. How do you tune it? Mine has a slight but noticable *wiggle*, my mandrels are brand new and not bent.
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  #8  
Old 2018-11-28, 9:45pm
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I have used the EMS for many years, enough that I’m challenged in working without it to form the beads. (I pull the mandrel out for detail work because I’m not coordinated enough to “brake” accurately.

Judi, do you have one with a controller (rheostat?) for the speed? You can use that to slow it down and/or use your finger as a “brake” on the clutch.

After the time you’ve already put in, try watching scott’s Videos again. You might notice some other subtle details that could help.

Ace, I think there also is a video segment about how to adjust the wiggle by twisting the brass mandrel holders, at least there used to be. Also, in my experience it is possible to succeed using slightly bent mandrels with the EMS, with or without additional forming by hand (without EMS).

Hope this helps!
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  #9  
Old 2018-12-08, 3:43pm
Aceunderfire Aceunderfire is offline
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Thank you Roberta! Will watch again. I thought I was supposed to turn the mandrel, not the brass sleeve, so that's likely my problem.
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