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  #1  
Old 2012-01-01, 9:54pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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Default What am I doing wrong?

Just bought Fusion bead release, highly recommended by LE members.

Let it dry on mandrels overnight, heated some up in the flame others not.

Put the completed beads from last night into warm water to loosen. Went back 2 hours later, and they were extremely hard to get off!

Bent some mandrels, lost a few beads, and still have some permanently stuck on there!

Did I let them soak too long and the bead release swelled up?

Help! Thought that the Fusion was the best, but it hasn't been so far for me!

Barbara
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  #2  
Old 2012-01-01, 10:15pm
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alb6094 alb6094 is offline
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Barbara, the thing about bead release is that the area you live in can play a part in how a specific release works for you (dry climate vs hot climate, etc) and I think most of us starting out had to go through several different releases to find what works. I mix two different releases to get the properties I need for the type of work I do (dip and go sludge 50/50 with bucket of mud) but just because it works for me doesn't mean it would work for you.

KRAG mudd is really good for releasing beads easily but you have to flame dry and use it (at least I do) right away. If it sits on dipped mandrels overnight it flakes and cracks.

As frustrating as it is not just in lost beads but also from a financial standpoint you just have to work through a few releases to find what you like.

I can tell you to stay away from the pink stuff from Fireline, I think there is universal agreement that one is horrid for everyone.

You might try the dip and go sludge, I've had really good results with that just on it's own.

You didn't soak the beads too long, the bead release won't swell up. Some things to try to get the beads off are:

Soak them in cola, sometimes the carbonation helps to break the seal.

Take all the release off around the bead as much as possible and let it soak some more.

I know I've heard that folks will put them in the freezer but I've never tried that.

Good luck! There really is no *best* bead release IMHO, just the release that works best for you.
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  #3  
Old 2012-01-01, 11:13pm
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Imaglassgal Imaglassgal is offline
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In my opinion it is far better to work a bit to get beads off after they are annealed rather than lose beads still on the mandrel to bead release failure before they are even completed.
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  #4  
Old 2012-01-01, 11:25pm
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Also, if you're just new to this, make sure you're not breaking the bead release when your making the beads, if hot glass touches metal you pretty much never going to get them off
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  #5  
Old 2012-01-02, 1:31am
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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I love the way Fusion comes out of the bead so easily compared to some other releases I have tried (lots). So far, I like the ease of Smooth & Tough. Maybe I need to try the Bucket of Mud, too.

Have some beads on Fusion coated mandrels annealing in the kiln again tonight. Will try to get them off the mandrel more quickly and not let them soak as long tomorrow and see if that helps.

Good to know the release isn't reconstituting itself!

Marina, you're about 1.5 hours from me (near the mountains)!

Barbara
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  #6  
Old 2012-01-02, 2:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 28676bhe View Post
I love the way Fusion comes out of the bead so easily compared to some other releases I have tried (lots). So far, I like the ease of Smooth & Tough. Maybe I need to try the Bucket of Mud, too.

Have some beads on Fusion coated mandrels annealing in the kiln again tonight. Will try to get them off the mandrel more quickly and not let them soak as long tomorrow and see if that helps.

Good to know the release isn't reconstituting itself!

Marina, you're about 1.5 hours from me (near the mountains)!

Barbara
Soaking time should make no difference
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  #7  
Old 2012-01-02, 5:29am
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Imaglassgal Imaglassgal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 28676bhe View Post

Marina, you're about 1.5 hours from me (near the mountains)!

Barbara
Hey Barbara, make a road trip and come play with me some weekend! You don't need to bring anything, I have tools, torches and glass to share. Send me a PM.
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  #8  
Old 2012-01-02, 7:25am
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Little Brushy Little Brushy is offline
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Barbara, you might try leaving the lid off of your bottle of Fusion overnight and let it thicken up just a little bit. That would probably help make it easier to get the beads off the mandrel. The last bottle of Fusion I bought is a little runnier than usual.

Beth
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  #9  
Old 2012-01-06, 9:10am
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I mix my fusion with fosterfire. I had problems getting the beads off the mandrel with fusion.
Heat your mandrel to a slight red glow on the area you want to put the glass..... maybe 10-15 seconds. then let the glass drip onto the mandrel. Don't push it on. Let the glass be flowing so that it does not tug on your bead release.
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  #10  
Old 2012-01-06, 9:32am
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clan tabby clan tabby is offline
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I've heard that, for some folks, Fusion can be a bear for the actual "release" part, although it's reputation for holding glass while it's being worked is excellent. I ordered some Fusion when I got unhappy with an older bead release, but I was too skeered to use it by itself, so I mix it with whatever else I have to hand. The mixes always seem to work better than the brands alone. Hybrid vigor, I suppose. I got the idea of mixing after reading a few "bead release" threads on LE & reading the numerous accounts of mixed bead releases that worked like the bomb.

BTW, I never soak my beads before taking them off the mandrels, & they come off very easily; I hold the mandrel with my pliers & twist them off by hand. Then the beads go to soak & I clean the holes while they're under water.
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  #11  
Old 2012-01-06, 10:22am
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Toni Lutman Toni Lutman is offline
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I use Sludge Dip & Go, and it holds on pretty tight to the large beads I make. The only time usually have a hard time getting my beads off is if I've been in a hurry, and didn't preheat my mandrel enough before applying the glass. The mandrel needs to come to a slight glow, then get the glass on there before it cools too much.

Also, too much heating and cooling of the bead release will weaken it.

There is some really good info on bead release (and other things) in this Arrow Springs Tips & Tricks. I would think it would apply to most releases. It is in PDF format, so you'll have to download from their link, but it is worth taking a look at.
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  #12  
Old 2012-01-06, 10:57am
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Hayley Hayley is offline
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I use a mix of Fusion and FosterFire Smooth N Tuff for my long beads and Sludge (the gray one) for big-hole beads. If I use Sludge for anything longer than 1.5", I can't take the bead off. And if I us Fusion/Smooth N Tuff on my 1" mandrels, the release often cracks as I am winding the glass on. Just to show you that there is no one perfect bead release for everything!
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  #13  
Old 2012-01-06, 12:07pm
Jenn L'Rhe Jenn L'Rhe is offline
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I never soak my beads. Use of mix of Fusion and Fosterfire just grab the rod with pliers under running water and twist the bead. If the release is extra thin, I may have to use a dish cloth to help me twist, but that's it.
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  #14  
Old 2012-01-06, 12:53pm
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Toni Lutman Toni Lutman is offline
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Keep in mind that some bead releases shouldn't be allowed to go down the drain. They can settle in the pipes and harden, and almost act like cement. I remove my beads in a bowl of water, then let the release settle and pour off the water, then I wipe the release particles out and throw them away.
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  #15  
Old 2012-01-06, 1:16pm
nevadaglass nevadaglass is offline
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I find it interesting that so many of us do similar things that we learned by simply using the products.

I'm also using a mix and dont soak beads. I use a mix of sludge and bucket o mud but mine is a 2 mud to 1 sludge mix. I find BOM to be too "flaky" on its own - no pun intended, and sludge too aggressive as it doesn't want to let go, so I mix them.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE BOM - its my favorite but I know there was an issue at some point in the past with its quality/durability and I think I had some of that/those batches. To get around the issue, I discovered quite by accident that by mixing the two I get better results. I simply had used sludge by itself and didnt like it but had a small jar of it sitting around, so one day I just decided to mix it into the 3 bottles of BOM I had simply to get rid of the extra jar and voila - happy results....


I never soak my beads except when cleaning the holes. After annealing, I take pliers and quickly scrape off all the release thats on the mandrel around the bead right over the garbage can. I then grab the mandrel near the bead with the pliers, grab the bead in my other hand, and then just give a lil twist and slide them off.

I used just BOM for a long time about 5 years ago without issue but I like how mixing with sludge keeps the release from cracking and breaking down if I let them sit a week or two before using. The last couple bottles of BOM I bought about 2 years ago, crack in the flame if I let them sit longer than a day. Adding sludge seems to have resolved that. I havent tried any others so I cant comment on them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alb6094 View Post
Barbara, the thing about bead release is that the area you live in can play a part in how a specific release works for you (dry climate vs hot climate, etc) and I think most of us starting out had to go through several different releases to find what works. I mix two different releases to get the properties I need for the type of work I do (dip and go sludge 50/50 with bucket of mud) but just because it works for me doesn't mean it would work for you.

KRAG mudd is really good for releasing beads easily but you have to flame dry and use it (at least I do) right away. If it sits on dipped mandrels overnight it flakes and cracks.

As frustrating as it is not just in lost beads but also from a financial standpoint you just have to work through a few releases to find what you like.

I can tell you to stay away from the pink stuff from Fireline, I think there is universal agreement that one is horrid for everyone.

You might try the dip and go sludge, I've had really good results with that just on it's own.

You didn't soak the beads too long, the bead release won't swell up. Some things to try to get the beads off are:

Soak them in cola, sometimes the carbonation helps to break the seal.

Take all the release off around the bead as much as possible and let it soak some more.

I know I've heard that folks will put them in the freezer but I've never tried that.

Good luck! There really is no *best* bead release IMHO, just the release that works best for you.

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2012-01-06 at 1:40pm.
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  #16  
Old 2012-01-06, 1:38pm
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I'm a release mixer too. I love how strong fusion holds onto the mandrel when working huge beads for a long time, and I loved how easy it was to get beads made on foster fire off the mandrels. I mix them half and half and get the best of both worlds. I rarely rarely have release failure during the making of a bead and they come off the mandrels pretty easily. I don't want it to be TOO easy. Key to getting sticky beads off is grip. I use vise grips to lock onto the mandrel of stubborn beads (usually super long ones) and hold the bead itself with a damp washcloth. I've never actually not been able to get a bead off a mandrel.
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  #17  
Old 2012-01-06, 2:39pm
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Lyssa Lyssa is offline
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I have noticed that the shorter time I soak the beads the easier it is to get them off the mandrels. The reason I soak the beads at all is to prevent dry bead release from flying into the air and into my lungs. For years I soaked my beads for an hour or two and it never occurred to me soaking them for so long was making it hard to remove the beads. Now that I live on Kauai, if I soak my beads the mandrels rust and the happy by-product of trying trying to prevent the rust is that I discovered that the shorter soaking makes for easier removal.
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  #18  
Old 2012-01-06, 6:47pm
Jenn L'Rhe Jenn L'Rhe is offline
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Toni,
I keep heavy duty paper towel over the bottom of the sink, the drain plug is in so it drains s l o w. No bead release escapes me. Then I clean the sink of all signs of release with more paper towel.

Kay
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  #19  
Old 2012-01-06, 9:11pm
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AmorphousDesigns AmorphousDesigns is offline
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I use the Dip&Go brand from Arrow Springs and make small-medium size beads. What works best for me is:

- grab the mandrel in the middle with a good pair of pliers

- don't try to pull at this point, just twist the bead back and forth to loosen it

- soak in water for however long (length of time doesn't seem to matter and if I'm in a hurry I only use the water to keep the bead release dust down)

- then grip the mandrel again with the pliers and pull the bead off
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  #20  
Old 2012-01-06, 9:45pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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I like all the suggestions and everyone has been so kind to respond!

I'll try mixing some Smooth and Tough with the Fusion and make sure the consistency is what I need - or think I need!

I want the bead to come off the mandrel when I'm ready to take it off, and I want the bead release to come out of the hole with the diamond tool and Dremel.

Not asking much, right? ;-D

Barbara
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  #21  
Old 2012-01-07, 8:21am
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evvybuns evvybuns is offline
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I've been using Fusion for a few years with no problem. I also tend to leave beads on mandrels in water for a couple of hours after I pull them out of the kiln.

Did you try Fusion on the same mandrels you have been using for a while? The reason I ask is that a few years ago I bought some home-made mandrels from someone in the garage sale. I was using Fusion. The first beads I made using these new mandrels could not be loosened easily, and the mandrels bent with almost no prodding. It became obvious that the mandrels were not the correct stainless steel grade.
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