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

View Poll Results: Wet or Dry?
Yes, I soak my bead & mandrel before removing the bead. 227 81.65%
No, I just do it dry. 35 12.59%
Yes, I clean my beads in water. 197 70.86%
No, I just clean them dry. 5 1.80%
Yes, I give my mandrels a bit of a scrub before redipping. 137 49.28%
Scrub? I just stick them straight back in the bead release. 56 20.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 2012-09-29, 9:05pm
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SilverRiverJewelry SilverRiverJewelry is offline
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I soak my beads on the mandrel in a tall glass for however long it takes me to get to them.
I use a pair of crimping pliers to hold the mandrel and a paper towel to twist.
Beads go in a glass bowl of water until I get to them lol.
I use the dremel on wet beads but I don't hold them underwater when I clean them.
They go into a clean bowl of water, once they are all cleaned they get rinsed, dried and listed.

My mandrels go back in the cup of water and once I am done, I take a scrubby sponge to them under the running faucet.

I use a mix of devardi's bead release and Frantz's bead release mixed together. No particular ratio but roughly half and half.
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  #32  
Old 2012-09-30, 6:19pm
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Best yet. After removing beads from the mandrel, I set the mandrels off to the side as I was going to clean later ( I rinse and use a scrubby before redipping) The next morning, I found that DH has washed all the mandrels and I found them in the silverware drainer. I'm going to try that with the next batch and see if he cleans them again-I may be on to something!
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  #33  
Old 2012-10-01, 1:45am
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oooh good luck with that!!

I told mine that some DH's clean mandrels and beads..he had a good laugh..it'll never happen here

The only time he sees mine is if I literally hand them to him lol.
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  #34  
Old 2012-10-01, 4:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eregel View Post
Robyn - I use Foster Fire. My routine is to pull the fully cooled mandrels out of the crock pot or kiln and pop them into a tall glass full of water - generally a takeout cup from Starbucks or wherever. I let them soak anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days, depending on what's going on and how badly I need the bead.

Later, I pull them out of the water, grasp the bead with a towel and the mandrel with a pair of pliers, twist and pull. 90% of the time the bead slides right off; for really stubborn ones I might need to scrape the release away (with whatever's handy - anywhere from a fingernail to a knife) and let it soak some more. I drop the beads into a plastic bowl of water, and put the mandrel back in the cup to soak. Once all the beads are off, I pull the mandrels out one at a time, take a quick swipe with a paper towel, and the release almost always comes right off.

* It occurs to me to wonder if the difference in getting the release off has to do with the drying method. I never flame dry, mine usually sit for anywhere from several hours to several days after dipping.

The beads get the release cleaned out holding the bead in the water while using a reamer or dremel, then for transparents a wire-bristled pipe cleaner. Then I dump them into a container of clean water to get the gunk off the outside. When all are done I simply fish them out and let them dry on a towel. The water in the containers goes to the houseplants out on my porch.
Every single step is exactly how I do it! You saved me a lot of typing haha --Except I flame dry all the time. No problems with Foster Fire.
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  #35  
Old 2012-10-01, 4:23am
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As we are literally in the middle of our busy season and I am usually designing them almost as soon as they dry, my DH takes pity on me to help speed up the process! (It doesn't hurt that he is also my business partner). Since I am my own worst critic, it prevents me from pitching what I think are ugly beads and he thinks are cool ones. Lol
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  #36  
Old 2012-10-01, 7:12am
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In the one and only class I've ever taken, I was taught to first soak the bead, then remove it under running water to minimize the release from going airborn. I use a pliers to grip the mandrel and wrap one of those cheap rubber husbands around the bead and twist off. Gives me better traction. Bead goes into clean water where I use a dremel to clean again under water. Then into a soapy bath to remove anything else.
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  #37  
Old 2012-10-01, 9:40am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekkie View Post
I soak the mandrels because I was told it isn't good to breathe in the dry bead release because some types contain ingredients that can damage lungs. I don't know how accurate that is but as I'm prone to hayfever and asthma I avoid any risk. I alwys clean beads underwater or keep them wet while cleaning for the same reason.
Same here. I've shaken my bead release up before (wet) and opened the jar in the light and seen the particles flurry out of the jar because of the dry release on the cap/threads. I don't wanna breathe that mess ever.
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  #38  
Old 2012-10-02, 9:50am
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Always wet as others have mentioned it is not good for your lungs to breathe in dry bead release particles.

I use Fusion bead release.

I have an old salsa jar full of water that I do everything in:
- pop the mandrels with beads in for 5 minutes
- pull beads off mandrel, then clean the bead hole with the same mandrel
- wipe mandrel off with towel and set aside for next use
- run a pipe cleaner through the bead to catch any residual bead release and set aside to dry

I love Fusion. I have never had to use anything but my hands to get the beads off the mandrel, and I have never used anything but the mandrel and a little pipe cleaner brush to clean the beads with. Simple and effective.
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  #39  
Old 2012-10-02, 11:25am
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...unless it's for a specific event/order, mine just get piled into a bowl of water with a bit of dish soap and sit there for days, weeks (or sometimes months, lol ) until a few days before a show when i bribe my son with kisses, sweet snacks and pop to spend a few hours cleaning them with the Foredom.

If i'm really excited about the bead, it gets pulled off the mandrel right away and travels around with me for a few days and/or gets a place of honour on my worktable so i can stare at it lovingly every time i torch.

I use that blue bead release - can't remember the name. It's great for sculpting large beads since it holds for several hours of flamework as long as you don't reheat it too often but it can be a challenge to get those beads off afterward.

i scrub my mandrels and redip a pile of them in one sesssion every few weeks (or months depending how much torch time i can get in) and there they stay nicely lined up in flower pots filled with sand and ready for use. I scrub cuz once i hadn't and dipped maybe fifty or so used mandrels and then as soon as i tried to heat them the bead release cracked and slid right off. I had to redip the whole batch - mucho annoying.
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  #40  
Old 2012-10-02, 6:18pm
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I use Fusion bead release, and put the mandrels and beads in a Sonic cleaner which losens the beads beautifuly.
After they are removed I put them back in the Sonic cleaner.
The release is much easier to remove with the Dremel
I always work with the bead underwater.
Hope this helps
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  #41  
Old 2012-10-02, 6:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekkie View Post
I soak the mandrels because I was told it isn't good to breathe in the dry bead release because some types contain ingredients that can damage lungs. I don't know how accurate that is but as I'm prone to hayfever and asthma I avoid any risk. I alwys clean beads underwater or keep them wet while cleaning for the same reason.
Ditto. Dry bead release has some nasty components in it, never inhale dry bead release.

I always soak my beads on the mandrels before I remove them, then I let the beads soak in the container of water (mostly because I am lazy and don't do all of this at once.); I dremel the bead holes while the bead is wet.
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  #42  
Old 2012-10-02, 9:26pm
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What is a cheap rubber husband? I have most of this figured out and a pretty good imagination - too good I think.
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  #43  
Old 2012-10-03, 6:04pm
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Find that using pliers for bead removal has a tendency to deform the surface of the mandrel depending on pressure.

Have been using a machinist's vice with a leather glove that works well to remove beads from a mandrel. This one has a 2.5 inch face for a larger gripping surface.

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  #44  
Old 2012-10-03, 6:35pm
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I soak mine in water but usually make a point to not leave them too long as sometimes they get rust-like stains near the ends of the bead if they sit for a very long time.

And I use a vice grips to hold the mandrel - it lets you set the pressure you want for a good grip that doesn't squash the mandrel.
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  #45  
Old 2012-10-03, 9:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debim View Post
What is a cheap rubber husband? I have most of this figured out and a pretty good imagination - too good I think.
(I'm thinking it must be like a cheap rubber woman! )
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  #46  
Old 2012-10-04, 3:49pm
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I usualy just twist off the bead, is a homemade release basicly kiln wash, DE and powdered graphite. I usualy have a butt load prepped before the session so I don't need the flame dry stuff. Though my mix seams to dry fairly quick just being near the torch.

I use a damp bit of shammy to grab the bead and catch the dust.
I soak the beads in water and then scrub at them a bit with real pipe cleaners with stiff bristles with BHB I twist together more pipe cleaners sort of my own hose brush.
Then wipe down the mandrel with a green scotch brite pad before the next round.

I have not had any beads stick after I started adding the graphite to the bead release.
I suspect is because the release is a bit thicker then when i started but the graphite may be helping.
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  #47  
Old 2012-10-05, 2:09pm
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What I do:

1. Soak beads on the mandrels for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than 2-3 hours, because the mandrels can rust and make stains around the bead holes.

2. Clean holes with Dremel and BeaDreamer.

3. Wash and rinse beads in Dawn in a plastic colander, to get rid of residue from the bead cleaning water.

4. Drain colander well and pour beads out on a towel or old t-shirt to air dry.

5. Mandrels are usually pretty clean from sliding the beads back and forth when removing them. They must be completely dry before I dip, or that can cause cracks in the bead release.

6. K.R.A.G Mudd is the best for me, and I've tried them all.
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  #48  
Old 2012-10-07, 8:58am
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I have a tub of water that I put all the mandrels in. I don't soak but rather just start pulling the beads off right away. I use the water so none of the bead release becomes air born while removing the beans. Then in the same tub of water I either leave the beads there until I get around to it or clean them right away with a Dremel.

I've notice that if the mandrels soak the metal from the mandrels can leave behind a rusty fume on the sides of the beads.

Also after all the beads are removed I take all the mandrels(up to 30 at a time) between my hands and rubbed them back and forth between my hands in the tub. This seems to remove anything that may have have gathered on them. Through out the process I wear dish washing gloves. They help with the removal then the cleaning on the mandrels.

When you clean the mandrels this way it helps if they are all the same length.

I use FPI Fusion bead release with boro beads and soft beads. Works great
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  #49  
Old 2012-10-07, 2:49pm
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It has always been my understanding that the dust from the mandrel release was extremely bad for your lungs.
I have always removed my beads in (slow) running water after soaking them for a couple of hours or overnight. Usually, if I want the bead right away it will come off pretty easily but I still run water over it while I remove it.
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  #50  
Old 2012-10-07, 2:51pm
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Oh, and I use Bucket O' Mud. I really haven't found anything that works better for me. I just gather all the mandrels and rub them back and forth to get the release residue off and then dry them and re-dip.
I clean my beads with a Dremel tool. Also with water running over them.
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  #51  
Old 2012-10-08, 2:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorraine Chandler View Post
I soak in water with dish soap over night, most of the beads are in the bottom of the dish by morning.

Then I wash and dry the mandrels, buff them with a block buffer, wipe and then dip in release and put back in the rack.


Then I clean the beads with a BeaDreamer. Then beads are inspected, bagged and catalogued with inventory numbers and prices, then they are listed in my computer inventory program. Viola' all done.
Which bead release do you use?
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  #52  
Old 2012-10-09, 7:30pm
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I work out in my garage so as I'm walking back into the house, with my fingers, I break off all the extra bead release so I don't bring it into the house. Then I just pop them into water to soak and remove them from the mandrel with a pair of pliers and a sponge cloth.
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  #53  
Old 2012-10-12, 2:18am
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Reading this thread I realize that many of you don't seem to be very clear on how or why bead release dust may be harmful so I'll try and clarify it as much as I can.

What is harmful to the lungs is fine silica containing dust... you've all heard about people working for the jeans industry dying of silicosis by being exposed to sand dust used for etching (if that's the right word...) the jeans.

That's where it gets a little technical :

- The type of silica that is toxic for the lung is crystalline silica. For this kind of silica, we are talking the same kind of toxicity as asbestos. The silica that is used for making bead release (either silica gel or diatomaceous earth) is supposed to be non crystalline BUT:
1) most natural sources can contain a small percentage of crystalline silica and 2) Furthermore, high heat may turn amorphous silica into crystalline silica and in certain circumstances there is a risk that this can happen in the flame.

-"Fine" means particules that the eye can't see, larger grains will be stopped by the nose. That means that just like with asbestos, a simple paper face mask will not stop the harmful grains. You need a specific fine dust mask, which is very expensive. To avoid breathing the dust, the best way is not to produce any, i.e. to work under water when breaking off bead release and cleaning beads.

- Not all bead releases are made with silica, some use alumina instead. The problem is that manufacturers rarely provide this info.

All this is why bead release should be treated by default as a substance whose fine dust is potentially harmful. Hence the need to take the beas off the mandrels and clean them in a wet environment.
It is also good to clean your workspace using wet mops rather than a vacuum cleaner, which may release very fine dust back into the air.
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  #54  
Old 2012-10-14, 9:24am
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[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by loribeads View Post
I have a little plastic tub I soak the beads/mandrels in.
I pull the beads off and the release flakes off into the water and settles to the bottom.
I wait for all the release to settle to the bottom and I pour off almost all the water into the sink.
I pour the remaining water and release into the garbage.
I pour clean water into the tub and clean my beads with a dremel/beadreamer in that water unless they are sculptural, then I clean them under running water.
All the beads get a final rinse and then set on a paper towel to dry.
I rinse the mandrels off and put them in a jar until they're dry.
Then I dip and place them in a large flower pot filled with sand.


I can only do this method when using Fusion bead release. Some of the other releases stay mixed in with the water for too long rather than settling to the bottom like Fusion.
I use fusion as well. It's pretty simple. Shouldn't breathe the bead release? I rinse it under running water and pull the bead off. If it's stubborn, i hold the mandrel with pliers when removing the bead. No soaking. After the bead's off, there's enough water in the center that I ream it out under a trickle of running water. No breathing bead release, no soaking. I don't understand why people all say they need to soak them...
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  #55  
Old 2012-10-14, 2:14pm
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I soak difficult beads or if I'm feeling lazy. Its hard on my hands to remove beads sometimes. I clean mandrels to remove excess release and wipe them down to keep them from feeling gritty. My finished beads are cleaned with water, a file and brush. I like to remove as much release as I can to prevent powder shedding when they're worn.
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  #56  
Old 2012-10-20, 8:34am
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Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
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Maybe a list of what NOT to do and why.

1. I never remove dry. Causes dusts to be released that could be harmful to my health.
Soaking also helps my 58 year old hands and fingers that are starting to show signs of arthritis and most of the time the beads come off easily.

2. I never use pliers on mandrels, it is too easy to bend, warp and deface the surface and your beads can become very wonky when using bent mandrels. I prefer the freezer method. Once in a blue moon I need to freeze or ask DH to remove a bead a for me.

3. I NEVER work under running water. This stuff should never go down drains or into septics.

4. Soapy water versus water, I find that soapy water releases most of my beads for me. I also work like Lori using tubs.

Because I use soap I need to make sure to clean all of the soap off and prepare the mandrel surface for a new coating of release. If there is any soap residue left it is a barrier for release to adhere to the mandrel.

5. I investigate everything I use in my craft and since hubby is a scientist he clues me in on what is not to be breathed, or allowed to touch my skin etc. Basically a lot of hobby supplies are harmful from glues on up to acid etches.

To be on the safe side adopt the attitude of protecting yourself, your loved ones and the environment until you know for sure. That way you really can lessen your carbon footprint.
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  #57  
Old 2012-10-28, 6:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenesque View Post
where can I buy one of these?
Pick me, I am very affordable....

I am still in my first month so this may be a process already discovered.
I have one of those ultra sonic jewelry machines. It helps with the stubern ones if you remove the plastic tray and set the bead/mandrel in touching the metal bowl at the top(mandrel) and the bottom(mandrel/bead). I add 10% acid(from the swimming pool) to the water to remove anything that may be on the bead like finger-grime or kiln dust. They come out very clean.

Then I put all the mandrels back it for 5 mins of cleaning. Dry with paper towel and dip again.
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  #58  
Old 2012-11-08, 5:49pm
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I just put the mardrels in a bowl of water right before I take them off, use pliers to hold the mandrel and twist. I leave the beads in the bowl and dremel them right after. Your diamond bits wont last long if you don't do it under water. Plus so messy and probaly bad for your health to do it dry. Always scrub your mandrels, better hold for the release, worth the couple of minutes!
-Echo
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  #59  
Old 2012-12-26, 7:29am
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catsarthouse catsarthouse is offline
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I sit the beads in water for about thirty minutes. Then remove with a locking plier. The mandrel cleaning is simple. Gather the whole bunch together and hold them together while twisting them against each other. This is followed by dunking in the same water container. They are all perfect to reuse at this point. The left over release settles at the bottom. I just use this container over and over and then dump it when it gets too much release sediment.
Don't remove bead dry. That puts your lungs at risk for inhaling dry release.
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Old 2012-12-26, 5:21pm
Nolly Nolly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clan tabby View Post
I start off by kind of crimping the dry bead release on either side of the bead with my pliers to break it so that if comes off in chunks. Then I hold the mandrel with the pliers & twist the beads & pull them off. They almost always come off super easily. Since all of the bead release is already off the mandrels, I just swipe them with a towel before re-dipping.

When I get around to cleaning the beads, I do soak them in water & ream them out in the water because that bead release, if done dry, is really fine particulate stuff that floats in the air.
This is me, too. After the beads are cleaned, I wash them in hot, soapy water and rinse them off. Bead release can be a little bit oily and a good wash takes care of that. Schermo taught me this trick.

Nolly
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