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

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  #1  
Old 2013-08-02, 9:53pm
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Default cleaning tiny beads

Like these ones...
They are very difficult to hang onto between thumb and finger while I dremel them, especially because they're wet and slippery. My hand cramps up immediately when I try.
Does anyone have any ingenious ideas to share?

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  #2  
Old 2013-08-02, 9:55pm
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Make larger beads?
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  #3  
Old 2013-08-02, 10:03pm
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David, I saw that you had responded, and thought, for a brief and flighty moment, that you might have some good advice to offer. Good grief! Lol... another couple of minutes I will never get back.
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Last edited by bexrox; 2013-08-02 at 10:06pm. Reason: I don't think it's a run-on sentence, I really believe all those commas are in the right place.
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  #4  
Old 2013-08-02, 11:19pm
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Use a hand round file instead of a dremel?
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  #5  
Old 2013-08-03, 12:04am
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The issue is more with my left hand, the one that is holding the bead. It's just too small to get a good grip on, regardless of the tool I'm using to clean. That being said, the dremel has whipped it out of my lousy grip a few times, but it's the holding part that is the problem.
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  #6  
Old 2013-08-03, 12:24am
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how about a clothes peg?
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  #7  
Old 2013-08-03, 12:59am
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How about soft-jaw pliers like these?

http://www.edmundoptics.com/lab-prod...aw-pliers/2931

Or if you have a tumbler, this might be worth a try:

http://lampworketc.com/forums/showth...ht=tumble+wire

Last edited by PattyK; 2013-08-03 at 1:05am.
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  #8  
Old 2013-08-03, 3:10am
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I made some small spacers like those before. I found out that easier hold few of them together when I clean them with dremer.
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  #9  
Old 2013-08-03, 5:06am
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Wear a latex glove to hold the beads.
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  #10  
Old 2013-08-03, 6:32am
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dip a mandrel in abrasive and ream by hand (though rather tedious!). Putting them in a ultrasonicator will remove all the loose stuff, but won't get rid of the more fixed bead release.
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  #11  
Old 2013-08-03, 7:23am
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Got some good suggestions to try here. I have some soft jaw pliers, so I'll give that a try first. Thanks everyone!
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  #12  
Old 2013-08-03, 1:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Beads View Post
Wear a latex glove to hold the beads.
Yep, this is good. Dremel cleaning is more thorough and it just takes one second per bead.
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  #13  
Old 2013-08-03, 2:07pm
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I bought a Gobert, I think that is the name. It's a flex shaft like a foredom but cheaper and I have to say it has many uses in my glass fussing, I started using it with the foot pedal on both big and small beads and I would never use a dremel again for reaming beads. Don't get me wrong the Dremel is a worthy tool but this has made it much easier.
Bob
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  #14  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:30am
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Using a diamond tapered bead reamer from Widget Supply. About 60 cents each for the 1/8 inch style. And less for the 1/16 inch type.

The 1/16 inch style works well for beads made on a 1/16 inch SS mandrel that are in the range of 9 mm OD by using a hand reamer.

http://www.widgetsupply.com/product/BCZ32.html
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  #15  
Old 2013-08-04, 7:04am
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Find a tobacconist or head shop and buy real pipe cleaners.
Then string them on the end and slide the beads back and forth.
You might also try a lab supply house or kitchen supply for specialy togs or hemostats.
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  #16  
Old 2013-08-04, 8:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexrox View Post
David, I saw that you had responded, and thought, for a brief and flighty moment, that you might have some good advice to offer. Good grief! Lol... another couple of minutes I will never get back.
How are you going to survive 5 days with me @ GSW?
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  #17  
Old 2013-08-04, 12:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Beads View Post
Wear a latex glove to hold the beads.
I tried this last week because I wanted to keep my fingers from getting 'pruney.'
Bad idea!
The glove got caught up in the spinning bit, pulled my finger in and sort of twisted and hurt it. I wasn't hurt badly, but it felt like it could have been worse and I was glad to escape with just an 'ouch.'

Just like a person would tie long hair back and not wear jewelry or loose clothing when working with power tools, polishers, etc., I ran into that same rule on a small scale with the latex glove and the dremel bit.
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  #18  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:20pm
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Lori's tumbler tip is spot on. Works like a charm.
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  #19  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:21pm
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I think I have the answer everyone is looking for, I just need to go find the tool and snap a pic
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  #20  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flame n fuse View Post
dip a mandrel in abrasive and ream by hand (though rather tedious!). Putting them in a ultrasonicator will remove all the loose stuff, but won't get rid of the more fixed bead release.
I agree. Most everything comes right off when you trap a few on the mandrel and go back and fourth a bit. If you are still having issues consider a different bead release for this type of bead. The less you work the bead/less super heat the easier the bead release will come off.
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hand dyed silk ribbons in many colors!
WASHERS & TOPPERS - layering components for interchangeable glass topper and to use in other jewelry/metalwork.:
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  #21  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhamilton117 View Post
I think I have the answer everyone is looking for, I just need to go find the tool and snap a pic
Here's the pics, its a hemostat type tool used for piercing with locking grips. There is a few different ways you could use this to hold the beads.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by jhamilton117; 2013-08-04 at 1:49pm.
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  #22  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houptdavid View Post
How are you going to survive 5 days with me @ GSW?
That's a load many of us will have to suck it up and bear.
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  #23  
Old 2013-08-05, 12:05am
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I use fusion release and I just use my mandrels like Jaci and flame n fuse said, for spacers I just load a few on and move them up and down, it only takes a few seconds. (*while they are still wet, I throw my mandrels into a cup of water)
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Old 2013-08-05, 6:48am
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If you decide to not use a Dremel (which in my opinion is the best way to remove all traces of bead release) and your holes are looking powdery and whitish, then you need a better bead release. Like KRAG Mudd.
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  #25  
Old 2013-08-05, 11:49pm
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Or Fusion I never have any white, and I just use mandrels.
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Old 2013-08-06, 3:26am
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Two Ideas come to mind;
1)They have these rubber mat type hand grips used for getting stuck jars open. Grab the bead in the fold near the edge. This leaves a tunnel for the bur tool to go in on the back of the bead.

2)When I was working on my car breaks I put two inches of fuel line hose on my needle nose vice grips to pinch the break line without damaging it. I think the same would work over needle nose pliers or hemostats.

Ok 3 ideas
3) Heat shrink over the hemostats JHamilton pictured would give it grip on wet beads, have a pocket for the bulge of the bead and lock enough to hold it still.
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  #27  
Old 2013-08-06, 4:35am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenesque View Post
Or Fusion I never have any white, and I just use mandrels.
I've used Fusion too and it's fine for opaque beads, but for transparent beads, the holes are a lot cleaner with the KRAG Mudd. No residue left at all. In fact, I have tried almost every bead release out there with my transparent color beads, and the KRAG Mudd beats them all. The runner-up is Dip 'n Go Sludge.

A lot of transparent color beads that I see on Etsy and ebay have those whitish holes, and I see that a LOT. They are rough looking, and the close-up photos show bubbly looking whitish stuff in the holes. I have always thought if only those lampworkers knew what I know, and that is how to get better holes. Clean as a whistle, and it's really easy to do.

For years people have asked me how I get the holes so clean, and I would only tell those who would PM me about it. So my secret's out, and there it is:

For super clean holes: KRAG Mudd and a BeaDreamer bit from Art in the Round. Just a couple of seconds to clean each bead, and that's it.
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  #28  
Old 2013-08-06, 10:18pm
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Glad it works for you Everyone's environment is different and Krag doesn't come out as easy for me. Promise my holes are fine lol.

Really not sure why you would need tools, I've even seen some load them up on a length of wire and throw them in a tumbler, with I believe dawn dishsoap? I don't own a tumbler so no clue. That or just running them back and forth on a mandrel should be sufficient.
*eta, it was twisted wire

Last edited by Ravenesque; 2013-08-06 at 10:21pm.
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  #29  
Old 2013-08-07, 10:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhamilton117 View Post
Here's the pics, its a hemostat type tool used for piercing with locking grips. There is a few different ways you could use this to hold the beads.
This is pretty cool. I could see a few uses for this. Do you have a link to where it came from?
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  #30  
Old 2013-08-07, 10:39pm
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Thanks for the tips everyone! I have a tumbler, so I'll probably give that a shot. I also found that if I held them differently, I could get a better grip.

Karolen, that can be scary. I work in building, and have had my work gloves catch in a spinning drill bit or screw. Luckily they're stretchy!

The bead release issue mystifies me; there are so many differing opinions on the same products. There really must be several factors involved in how well each one performs. I've heard people discuss that certain climates are better for certain bead releases, for instance. I have found Krag Mudd to work very well, and clean up really well for my small spacers, but not nearly strong enough for larger beads. My best release was a blend of KM and Fusion, which I find will often not release my beads on its own.
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