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

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  #1  
Old 2013-03-17, 6:21am
Heather Behrendt's Avatar
Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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Default Electric Mandrel Spinner. Love it? Hate it?

So I discovered videos for the EMS last night and I'm considering getting one. I used the search function here and I saw a lot of people really loved it, but there were a decent amount who struggled with the learning curve. These were older threads though, so did you all figure out how to use your EMS?

I don't currently have any pain in my hands from spinning the mandrel. Do you think this will help me prevent future problems? Do you feel like the EMS helps you make beads faster and more efficiently?

Which model do you have? I've kinda steered away from making pandora beads, so do you think I would find the deluxe size useful? Or would I be better off getting the midsize because the tool itself is smaller for my hands?

Any other thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 2013-03-17, 10:26am
queenofsheba52 queenofsheba52 is offline
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Hi Heather, I own one of the very first-gen EMS, bought it way back when they were advertised as a new tool in Lapidary Journal magazine. I use it primarily when I'm working on a large bead and need to soak the bead in the flame so it gets soft enough for shaping. IMHO the mandrel spinner excells at this: I just hold the spinner and the bead rotates nicely in the flame. I don't use it for spacers although I have seen others do this. I know it has saved wear and tear on my forearms because if I don't use it, my arms are sore the next day. As they say, "Your mileage may vary." Good thing to ask others before you buy.

Best regards, Helene
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  #3  
Old 2013-03-17, 3:18pm
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I bought the deluxe thinking I might want to do bhb. It is a bit large for my hand but I've gotten accustomed to it. If I had it to do again, would probably go smaller. Use it for spacers a lot and in conjunction with the rolling marver to get tube beads centered on the mandrel for even pressing. Also really like it for making twisties.

My learning curve has not been speedy but nothing in lampworking has come easy for me.

Days when I use it my arthritis does not seem as bad the next day. All in all money well spent for me.

Georgia
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  #4  
Old 2013-03-17, 6:59pm
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I just got one this past weekend. I had used one at a friend's and thought it was something that would be nice to own. I definitely think it will help with cranking out massive amounts of spacers! I am also very pleased with the ease that a basic bead is formed. Seems like everything just goes much faster. I also got the magnetic base to hold the spinner and I discovered it sticks to the base for my face shield perfectly.
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  #5  
Old 2013-03-17, 7:50pm
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Which one does everyone have?
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  #6  
Old 2013-03-18, 10:21am
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I have two. One for pandora size 3/16 and one for regular (1/16, 3/32, 1/

I had the adapter for doing pandora size beads for thank-you regular size - which I had first - and the weight made it struggle. I thought I could get the larger one and *just* use that, but it's so heavy, that I don't like it for regular beads.

In general, and it I've said this in numerous threads, I love this tool

Every bead base starts with it. If it's highly sculptural, I remove it and finish by hand. If not, it stays in get holder the whole time. Once you're used to it, you can lay down a base bead and get a good shape at faster than without it. Because it spins, you can also have incredibly even shapes.

It has totally saved my left thumb.
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  #7  
Old 2013-03-18, 12:53pm
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I have the petite deluxe so that can use lots of mandrel sizes but so far I haven't used anything to large. I love it with the rolling marver. It took awhile and several phone calls to Scott to get the hang of it. I'm still learning but I really like how it helps me lay down glass quickly and evenly.
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  #8  
Old 2013-03-19, 11:50am
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I have the midsize.
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  #9  
Old 2013-03-19, 1:27pm
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I have 2 of the Deluxe and one of the original Spinner size. If you are going to make anything on a larger mandrel then you need the Deluxe. I make a lot of large discs, hollows and rings.
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  #10  
Old 2013-03-19, 1:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnglass View Post
I have 2 of the Deluxe and one of the original Spinner size. If you are going to make anything on a larger mandrel then you need the Deluxe. I make a lot of large discs, hollows and rings.
I currently use a max size of pandora style, but I'm working on phasing those out. It sounds like a midrange would work for that size and bellow. Am I correct?

I'm just a little iffy on the 7oz weight of the deluxe. It doesn't seem too bad, but after a long shift I'm not sure how that weight will feel.
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  #11  
Old 2013-03-21, 5:39pm
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Oh goody! I just saw the videos as well. I immediately thought, I've got to have THAT! Those? When he uses it for the vessel neck and uses the rolling marver, I just drooled.

Have you decided yet?
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  #12  
Old 2013-03-22, 9:17am
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I have one of the originals. I modified it before Scott made it part of his EMS to go both directions and I changed the range of speeds as well. I like it fairly well and think it a good tool but I do not make enough beads anymore to ever use it so it sits on the shelf.

PJ
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  #13  
Old 2013-03-25, 9:02pm
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I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again, any time someone posts one of these threads) - I LOVE THIS TOOL!!!

I can make beads several times faster than I could without it, and it makes it super easy to get an even footprint. As for my hands and wrists, it has allowed me to keep working with glass, where I am sure I otherwise would not be able to (nerve damage in both arms from my neck, etc.).

I have the mid size and the adapter for the big hole mandrels, and the adapter works fine for the times I use it, but I don't make a ton of "fits Pandora" sized beads. The trick I found when using that size mandrel is to cut it short - like 5-6" max, so that it stays balanced evenly in the spinner and doesn't feel tippy.

As for the learning curve, it does take a bit of practice, but once you play with it a bit it will become easy. And once you see how much time you save in laying down your base bead alone, you will be in love.

I do almost everything in the spinner - even my sculptural stuff for the most part. Occasionally, I will take the mandrel out to do a few details toward the end but often I don't even have to do that.

Best.tool.evah!
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  #14  
Old 2013-04-08, 10:41am
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Do you think the EMS would help making beads more possible with this crazy tremor my left thumb has acquired??? I imagine it may be possible to grab it in such a way as to not use the end of my thumb to hold it. Is this possible?
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  #15  
Old 2013-04-12, 4:48am
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I set mine up on a scientific glassware holder and put it in the same position that I would hold it in the flame, I could lay glass down for a footprint one handed and just move it in and out a bit to stay warm by pushing the holder out and back as required. Great for just taking a little break for stretching or answering the phone whatever. Nifty! I want a delux though now for a little more oomph.

Kym
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  #16  
Old 2013-04-12, 7:57pm
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I have had one for several years, and the only thing I don't love is that some mandrels just don't fit right, apparently due to tolerances in the mandrel sizing. Even with roughing up the mandrels per Scott's guidance some of them just don't work. But keep in mind that this is with an older and much abused EMS. If mine kicked the bucket I would definitely get another to make beads.

Ilene, if you were temporarily stopping the rotation to place dots, you would use your thumb to control the stopping and starting (on a rubber part of the EMS).

Kym, that is a great idea!
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  #17  
Old 2013-04-12, 8:42pm
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I had one, didn't get used to it with several tries and sold it again.

Why I didn't like it:
I'm a notorious mandrel bender ... mandrels need to be straight to work properly in an EMS.
My mandrels didn't fit properly ... they were not fitting tightly, which was a big problem.
I found it too much of a hassle and too much effort involved/too time consuming to fit the mandrels, do the bead, remove the mandrel to add additional decorations etc.
Also the added equipment cluttered my workspace & the cable gave me not enough mobility (I tend to move quite a bit to see the beads from different angles, get additional rods etc.).

If I ever get any serious wrist issues (my problems were solved after surgery), I might give it another try. But overall it was not worth the hassle for me.
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  #18  
Old 2013-04-12, 8:54pm
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I have an older one, but it does turn both ways. I really like it for soft glass beads, perfect for spacers, and even do some small boro on it sometimes. I have several mandrel sleives for it, I have learned how to tweek them to make them work easily with the mandrels. I have found it works best with the mandrels I get from arrow springs. I get the long 12 inch ones, and have the ones I use with the spinner set aside for use only with the machine, so they stay pristine, they need to be flat to work with the spinner.
I think of it like it's a lathe. It's a lot of fun to shape the glass on it, I work mostly boro, but get my soft glass out once in a while just to play with the spinner. I'd say if you were just getting one, the small size would be good if your hands are small. I have small hands, and I'm glad I didn't get the large one.
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  #19  
Old 2013-04-13, 10:07am
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Well I decided I want to try a midsize, but then taxes came along and I am broke.

I will buy one once my April sales have picked up a bit and I can dig myself out of the tax man hole I'm in.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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  #20  
Old 2013-04-18, 4:37pm
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You can try mine if you are in the neighborhood!
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Old 2013-04-21, 7:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
I have an older one, but it does turn both ways. I really like it for soft glass beads, perfect for spacers, and even do some small boro on it sometimes. I have several mandrel sleives for it, I have learned how to tweek them to make them work easily with the mandrels. I have found it works best with the mandrels I get from arrow springs. I get the long 12 inch ones, and have the ones I use with the spinner set aside for use only with the machine, so they stay pristine, they need to be flat to work with the spinner.
I think of it like it's a lathe. It's a lot of fun to shape the glass on it, I work mostly boro, but get my soft glass out once in a while just to play with the spinner. I'd say if you were just getting one, the small size would be good if your hands are small. I have small hands, and I'm glad I didn't get the large one.
I have small hands too, and have the petite one. I love it!! I am so much faster with this tool. I love it for spacers in particular and for using with the beadrollers. But I also like to use it like a lathe (as was mentioned).

I haven't gotten the hang of the rolling marver. Once I get my studio finished I hope to work on that some more. Or I might just sell it.

I wasn't sure if it would work well with mandrels dipped in the middle, but actually it works just fine. I sometimes use mandrels dipped on the end, too, but I still like to use the ones dipped in the middle...that way if I want to take it out of the EMS to do dots or whatever, I can still use both hands to work on the bead.

I get the 12" mandrels from Sundance. Sometimes I have to crimp the end of the mandrel sleeve a little if it gets too loose, but it's not really a problem. 5/64" is my favorite size, and I got the sleeve for that.

It is pretty much my favorite tool.

-Patti
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  #22  
Old 2013-04-23, 1:19pm
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Quote:
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I would love to if you have the time.
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  #23  
Old 2013-04-24, 10:19am
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I have 2. When my first one broke I couldnt even make beads without it!! So I bought another while waiting for the 1st to be repaired. It takes some time getting used to but my wrists are ever so happy for it
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Old 2013-04-24, 4:16pm
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I like mine for laying down and shaping a large base bead quickly.. then I remove the mandrel and decorate it hand held. Great for working silver glasses, because you work the glass hot as snot, and it makes the colors pop
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  #25  
Old 2013-04-24, 5:30pm
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Where can I purchase one?
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  #26  
Old 2013-04-24, 6:26pm
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Scott at Bearfoot makes 'em.
http://www.bearfootart.com/
There usually is some wait time.
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