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Does anyone have a good way of reusing old, bent or slightly bent mandrels? It seems like a shame to throw all that stainless steel away.
Yep! You can make pot stickers out of them. I've had people at art shows request beads that are stuck to the mandrel so the can put them in plants, on desks, ect. They especially seem to like the kooky animals. My mom likes them too. :)
Can you cut off the part that is bent? I always cut my 1/16" mandrels at 12" then snip off anything that gets bent. If you have someone in your area who does recycled art I would give them the mandrels. Or, maybe you could make something wonderful with them. A little elbow grease to clean them up, weld together and whoosh a new lampshade.
Wow..uses for old mandrels...which are really hard wire...there are a gazillion!
I use old mandrels for all sorts of stuff, both bead and non-bead-related:
One of my favorites is to make s-hooks for hanging all manner of things such as orchids and other plants, clothing, bags of beads, signs or banners in your show tent.
To make an s-hook, use a scrap piece of PVC or other pipe as a mandrel. With bolt cutters, cut off the burned part of the mandrel, as this is weak from use. Use a pair of needle-nosed vise grips to clip the wire onto the pipe, so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. It needs to be pretty tight. Using your hand, wrap the wire around the pipe away from you until bend the old mandrel almost completely around the pipe. Remove the vise grips, flip the old mandrel around, re-clip to the pipe and repeat the proceedure. Voila! You have an s-hook.
These are great for hanging plants, but don't use the tiny mandrels for heavy houseplants. If you need to hang something heavy, use the 1/8 mandrel wire for these...this takes a LOT of hand strength to bend. I use the rubber-dipped knit gloves that you can buy for $5 or $6 dollars a pair to help me get a grip on the wire.
A couple of other uses for old mandrels are:
Sorting bead sets as they're made.
Using them as a mandrel to make jump rings and coils. Just wrap your silver or other wire around the mandrel to the desired length.
Keep a handfull of old mandrels in trunk of the car for who knows what use...I once wired a gate hinge together for a friend with an old mandrel...still works, stainless steel lasts darned near forever.
Uncut 1/16" mandrel stock(36" long) is also great if you've managed to lock your keys in the car :oops: make a hook and fish them out...
Oh oh oh I saw a COOL way to use small mandrels
A guy from germany was doing a glass blowing demo, but he also had his things for beadmaking.
He used a large lead pencil where he then put the 2-3inch mandrels into the leadslot.
The clamps that hold the lead tight, hold the mandrel tight in its place, then when you are done with the bead, you push the button on the back of the pencil and release the mandrel into the kiln/vermiculite.
Kinda like this pencil
You can fairly easily straighten mandrels too. I straighten at LEAST 50 a week using a hard piece of very flat wood and a hammer.
Lay the mandrel flat on the wood, and using very light taps, tap it at the bend, and either side of the bend. It is really hard to explain, but very easy to do.
Any hard flat surface will do. Sometimes, I'll tap a mandrel out on a hard plastic sheet (about 1/4" thick) we have under our toaster oven, on the kitchen counter.
It is really important that whatever you use, be on a really solid surface. I normally get down on the floor, with my wood block on top of the hard ceramic tile we have on our kitchen floor.
Don't know if anyone said this but use them to make jewelry hangers when selling or displaying necklaces or whatever! That's what I use em for.
I usually end up using them as hooks to hang things too.. Nice for hanging up tools, cords and whatnot.
If they're long enough you can make a set of small marble grabbers by basically putting a loop on each end and bending in the middle so the two loops line up parallel to each other.
I use em to remove glass, wipe off glass, close ends of tubing......ect... When i'm done i throw it in some water the glass breaks off and its ready to use again.
There is a thread in the tut section on making little bead stands out of them.
Love this idea! God knows I have a ton of wonkies and fuglies!
I put a tight "loop" on one end, load the mandrel with a bunch of wonkies and uglies, then put a hook on the other end and hang it in a tree in my yard. when the sun hits the tree - even those wonkies are pretty!!
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