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

View Poll Results: How do you finish the last step in flattening your bead liners
Use a large press - i.e. Jim Moore press 17 47.22%
Use a dapping block 4 11.11%
Use a chasing hammer 6 16.67%
Other 10 27.78%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 2010-03-30, 1:01pm
Vicki B.'s Avatar
Vicki B. Vicki B. is offline
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Default any bead lining tips?

So this week I've been working on trying to line beads with copper tubing with only moderate success. I've learned every flaw of the shape of every bead I've tried to core with some chipping because they were not even and with the coring copper splitting because I cut the cores too long. I'm working on a new batch of hopefully smaller beads (the first batch were gigantic compared to the others I see on here - I keep adding on glass trying to even the beads up).

Here are a couple questions for those of you with the beautiful linings

1. Is it better to have nice indented holes on the beads as usual or more flat ends?

2. Do you use a chasing hammer to achieve nicely domed metal on the last step? I am getting flat looking ends with the Jim Moore plastic final press.

3. Is there some secret to getting the glass on the 1/4 inch mandrels more evenly to start off with? These larger mandrels seem to resist evening up.

4. I am getting a big burr on the underside of the tubing cut with the Harbor Freight cut-off saw. It's hard to remove. Is there any way to prevent this, and how should I clean up the metal ends of the copper before I start to work with it. They seem pretty rough.

Thanks for any help you can point me to. I've searched on this forum and came up with a couple threads that had a lot of info, but maybe some others have tips too.....
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  #2  
Old 2010-03-30, 2:25pm
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For #1 it depends on what you mean by 'better.' In general, I think the less you work metal, the better for metal integrity (unless you're annealing the metal ... which isn't really part of the coring process). If you mean 'better' as in better looking ... it depends on the buyer's opinion, but I think that many appreciate rounded better than flat.

In the interest of full-disclosure - I don't use a liner, I do my cores by hand, so my thoughts don't apply to your use of the liner tool. The way I've been most successful getting the tubing to curve, rather than just flatten, is by flaring the tubing with successively larger dapping punches with a good brass hammer. I softly use a chasing hammer to tighten things up at the end, but it has the potential to flatten things (along with cracking the bead).

As far as the burr goes ... can you change the blade in the cut-off saw to something with more, smaller teeth? I usually use my jeweler's saw with a 3/0 blade to cut tubing (or I'm lazy and use a small plumbing tube cutter). A couple of passes with a flat jeweler's file should help remove any burrs.
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  #3  
Old 2010-03-30, 2:29pm
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Thanks Julie,

I tried the plumbers' cutter once and I thought it made a larger burr, but maybe I just didn't remove it properly. It did seem to give me a cleaner cut though.
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  #4  
Old 2010-03-30, 2:38pm
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Hum. It does press the tubing in at the ends and sharpen the ends, but the way I flare the tubing it didn't make a difference. What I liked about it better than a saw is that the cut was always perfectly perpendicular to the tube, making even flaring MUCH easier.
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  #5  
Old 2010-03-30, 2:51pm
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I thought maybe it was because the tubing wasn't too thick, and I was also worried about distortion when I clamped my tubing into the vise to hold it while I rotated the cutter, but it didn't seem to hurt it. I'll have to try that method again. It cuts quite easily with that little tool and no residue that I can see as there is with the saw.
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  #6  
Old 2010-03-30, 4:29pm
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Get an Impress - seriously it will make you wonder how you ever tried it any other way.
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  #7  
Old 2010-03-30, 4:34pm
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And get the champhering tool ... (not sure of the spelling - or the name - perhaps it a deburring tool) - it's magic and smooths off those pesky burs! I cut my tubing with the jewelry saw - much quicker.
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  #8  
Old 2010-03-30, 4:47pm
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Default Coring

I have the Impress and if I could afford it I think I would get the one made by Nortel. There a some things I don't like about the Impress but since it is all I can afford at the moment I am making do.

A deburring tool is what you need to remove the rough edge or you can also use a round file.

I use the small tubing cutter and it works fine, doesn't squeeze the end if you don't tighten it down too much.

Don't try to tighten your core all the way down with the corer. If you leave a tiny little gap and then tap it gently with a chasing hammer on the outer edge with a downward motion it should bevel nicely. At least it works for me.

Colleen
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  #9  
Old 2010-03-30, 5:03pm
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Get the Retro tools beadliner - no problems whatsover.
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  #10  
Old 2010-03-30, 6:32pm
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I had a Retro beadliner and cracked almost every other bead. Got so frustrated with it that I started lining by hand and that was okay but slow. Got an Impress and I LOVE IT! I got Dave's deburring tool too and it works great. Haven't cracked any beads and the whole process is easy peasy!
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  #11  
Old 2010-03-30, 6:49pm
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I appreciate all the comments - keep 'em coming. My second batch of beads is in the kiln as I write.

Here's the first tortured bunch

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Last edited by Vicki B.; 2010-03-30 at 6:58pm.
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  #12  
Old 2010-03-30, 8:02pm
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So when you do the final tapping or hammering, what's the best support surface under the bead? thanks again
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  #13  
Old 2010-03-30, 8:23pm
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It's hard to offer help without knowing what you are using? Or did I miss that info?

I've tried them all and love Jim's. I find its the most balanced, the least likely to give users problems and it's got lots of attachments for other uses.
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Old 2010-03-30, 8:38pm
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I have Jim Moore's, but I think the last step of using the chasing hammer or the mallet might help and I'm not sure how to support the bead.
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  #15  
Old 2010-03-30, 8:51pm
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I have all three systems ... plus I used to hand dap as well. This is what I currently do ...

1. press in the Jim Moore until it's reasonably flared ... use the plastic thingeys to press it further. Quickest easiest to get the job done.
2. Pop in into the Impress to get the flat look (my preference) ...
3. Hand dap if there's still some room between the bead and metal. Using doming block, or bench block (depending on final look) and hammer (gentle touch).
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  #16  
Old 2010-03-30, 9:13pm
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I have a Jim Moore and an Impress, I am in love with the Impress. All I do is ruin beads by making the core uneven with the Jim Moore. I love the doming of the Impress. I tried doing it manually before I bought either press and I ruined all my beads. I applaud people that can do it manually, I just don't have the patience.
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  #17  
Old 2010-03-30, 9:20pm
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Dollar for dollar, I think the IMPRESS is quite the bargain. I've seen Nortel's, Jim Moore's and the Impress. At almost 1/3 the cost, and just about the same amount of fiddling around with the bead, I'm quite happy with the results achieved.
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  #18  
Old 2010-03-30, 10:43pm
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I've never had to hammer with Jim's and the rubber dies. Not sure why you would? The Impress turned the tubing and was uneven.
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  #19  
Old 2010-03-31, 1:52am
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Gave the impress a try with 5 mm sterling silver tube with 3/16 inch mandrel boro bead holes. Seems that it is one of those maybe it will work and maybe it will not sort of thing. Found that making a new center pin with a closer fit plus moving the pin up higher (unscrewing) seems to help. Plus making sure the bead is well seated on the center pin.

With 1/4 inch SS no luck at all. The tube just likes to swag to one side. So far collecting a lot of cores that just did not make it. Too bad that it is not .999, then it could be used when making beads.

Not sure if the amount of movement in the impress is the issue. Or if a tool with a dead center that was true and no movement would be the answer.

It would be great if a tool would have a 98% or better success factor. Perhaps that is asking too much!

However the dapping set should be here this week. Maybe that in combination with the some of the above processes will have a better outcome.
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  #20  
Old 2010-03-31, 5:46am
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"With 1/4 inch SS no luck at all. The tube just likes to swag to one side."
That is exactly the problem I had..and it happens with smaller tubing at times. I have to constantly make sure the tube is centered on the pin. I don't have big hands but the small work space between the flaring tip and the centering post is a pain especially when you add a bead cap to the process. More often than not the beginning flare is not even....probably movement of the tube again. I have quite a collection of tubing that will be scrapped. Needless to say I am saving up for a better quality tool.
Colleen
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  #21  
Old 2010-03-31, 6:06am
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I just got an Impress. I love it. I've had no issues and can core a bead in under 2 minutes. I've never cracked a bead. My flare is either domed or flat depending on what I want (if you want flat, do 1/2 turns. If you want domed, do 1/4 turns. The more times you flip the bead, the bigger the dome. ). Make sure you are using the correct size peg for your tubing! You don't want any wiggle room on the peg. I core with copper and sterling silver... with bead caps and without bead caps. Beautiful every time. I've never even needed to using a chasing hammer afterward.

Oh, I use a $5 plumbers pipe cutter and $3 deburring tool that I got from Harbor Freight. They work just fine for the 1/4" tubing I use.
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Last edited by BellaBean; 2010-03-31 at 6:08am.
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  #22  
Old 2010-03-31, 6:38am
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I think I missed the "flip many times" instructions, so this batch I'll try smaller increments. Thanks all!
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  #23  
Old 2010-03-31, 7:59am
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Vicki here's how I core using Jim's, like I said the others were not successful for me.

I cut my tubing using a chop saw from harbor freight, clean up the edges of it. I only core beads with perfect holes. Flare one end of the tubing. Place in bead, flare other end small amount, flip, flare small amount, flip, flare small amount. If you are trying to flare in one shot you need to flip your bead. I find twice per side is a minimum. I then use the rubber dies to finish it off if needed.
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  #24  
Old 2010-03-31, 8:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki B. View Post
I think I missed the "flip many times" instructions, so this batch I'll try smaller increments. Thanks all!
If you try to flare too much at one time (using any method) you'll crack the tubing. You've got to flip in a lot. I usually flare each side 3-5 times for a flat one and 5-8 times for a domed look.
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Old 2010-03-31, 12:55pm
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Crack the tubing? NOT ME (as you can see in the batch I already did). Guess I'm prob being heavy handed AND cutting the tubing too long AAAARGH!


Do you think the copper or brass is much different than silver? I'm using a fairly thin walled variety sold for this purpose. Guess the stuff you buy at Home Depot won't work, right?

Still no opinions on what to place under the bead when tapping the final round? Wood work?
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Old 2010-03-31, 1:34pm
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I got my copper tubing from an online hobby store. I put a small steel bench block under my beads if I need to tap with a hammer, but I've also done it on many other surfaces and not noticed too much of a difference.

I usually make my tubes about 3.6 - 4 mm longer than my bead. Digital calipers are great for measuring. I got mine at Harbor Freight for under $10. They make life a lot easier. Put the bead in them, then zero the calipers, then open them until it reads 3.6 or so... then hold them against the tubing and mark it.
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Old 2010-03-31, 1:37pm
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Also, copper is softer than silver, so it flares with less force. I practiced on copper quite a bit until I bought silver.
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Old 2010-03-31, 1:58pm
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I've used both, I don't find one any easier than the other they are both the same. I don't hammer so I can't help you there.
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Old 2010-03-31, 2:05pm
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I'm really glad I started this thread - a lot of fine information. Working with metal is not my forte. I know that from long ago when I took a couple metal working classes - making bezels was the toughest thing I've ever done in my life (artistically speaking!) Thanks all for answers. I am working on the second batch and no splitting, but my liners are not very wide. Still having some deburring issues- using the pipecutter, but the deburring tool feels rough. Guess I'll just plug along through a dozen or so that I made yesterday and see if it gets any easier...
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Old 2010-03-31, 2:06pm
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I need to find someone in northern California who can show me in person how to use my Impress.
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