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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2016-11-10, 8:19am
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istandalone24/7 istandalone24/7 is offline
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Default boro beadmaking, 1/16" mandrels. shoot me please.

hello everyone, long time no post.
i've got a bit of an issue that maybe you guys can help with. i'm going to start making and selling boro beaded jewelry (earrings, necklaces and the like) and i need some mandrels that are small diameter, ideally 1/16". the issue is, those 1/16 mandrels burn right out, even if kept directly out of the heat. gtt torches kill them. i've even melted 3/32 mandrels when not paying attention.

it seems any stainless steel mandrel will, in time, get soft enough so that it burns out easy...the ones i'm using now are the ones i learned on with my hothead back in '12.

what i'm thinking of doing is using tungsten rod as a bead mandrel. not the "release less ones" that arrow springs sells, but just regular tungsten (non thoriated) dipped in release and used as normal. tungsten melting point is like 3400c!

anybody got any thoughts or ideas about it? maybe i'm not the first one to try it and it's not a good idea (i know i'll have to make a mandrel holder...tungsten is very heat conductive)?

i'd just order them and try it, but that shite (tungsten) sure isn't cheap!

TIA
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Old 2016-11-10, 10:16am
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Hey well let us know how those work. I make a beads for my earrings and use the regular 12 inch 1/8diameter as I melt everything else.
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  #3  
Old 2016-11-10, 10:20am
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i think i'm going to go to the local welding shop and get one piece (expensive by the foot) before i invest in a bunch of them.
i'll let you know how it goes
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Old 2016-11-10, 8:50pm
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Have you tried turning your torch down a bit? If you want small beads, you probably should work small.

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  #5  
Old 2016-11-11, 1:10am
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Yea I was going to say you can turn the torch down and make boro beads with a mirage/lynx just fine.

Iv turned my propane down to 6psi and use an 8lpm 15psi oxycon, run my outer fire oxygen only with 2 5lpm oxycons to cool the torch a bit more and she beads like a dream. Oxycons are realy great for bead-making unless you want to do 50mm inside out beads, LOL.

I can see totally how a GTT will make soup of the mandals, boil glass like nothing but it can be tuned down and not be running a dangerous flame that could harm the torch.

Making beads on tungsten does not sound like a bad idea but will be a bit spendy for mandrels .

Man you have skills way beyond mine, you can do it.
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  #6  
Old 2016-11-11, 9:08am
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Okay ... I must be a freak ... I make boro beads on 1/16" mandrels all the time and when I'm on a roll (and paying attention) I rarely burn through a mandrel.

I'm using a GTT Bobcat and tanked oxy.

It's just like the glass ... you gotta watch the glow. When it starts glowing too bright ... get it out of flame. I work mostly above and below the flame with boro and close to the candles of the torch FWIW.

It is still HELL on the mandrels as far as making them soft but I rarely burn through.

CGBeads was selling small (I think tungsten) mandrels to use with her mini rollers. So it should work nicely. I used those a couple times.

I also bought the "special" mandrels from AuraLens and didn't find them any better than regular 308L Tig.

Report back ... would love to know how it works out and just how painfully expensive (lol ... off to google tungsten rod)
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  #7  
Old 2016-11-11, 11:49am
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I went searching and found Titanium TIG rod and the pricing doesn't seem too bad. Googled the melting point and it is 3034 degrees.

Anyone know if titanium is safe?? (or as safe as tungsten and or 308L/316L steel??)
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  #8  
Old 2016-11-11, 11:50am
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Oh and for a mandrel holder for using the mini tungsten rods ... I use a pin vise.
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  #9  
Old 2016-11-11, 5:22pm
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If the jewelry you are making requires you to use thinner stringing material or wire, you can always use the 3/32" mandrels and fill the holes with Tygon flexible tubing pieces so nothing wiggles.
Like this- https://www.amazon.com/Tygon-Non-DEH...909933&sr=8-26
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Old 2016-11-11, 11:07pm
TiberiusDestructo TiberiusDestructo is offline
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I don't have any real bead experience, but could you use a larger mandrel and shrink the hole on either side with a pinner flame?
Also how would you like to be shot? If you want to be hit with a mandrel it will probably take some kind of custom crossbow like device...
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Old 2016-11-12, 5:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebiDeaux View Post
Have you tried turning your torch down a bit? If you want small beads, you probably should work small.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
no i use a raging outerfire flame for tiny beads. that's not how i'm supposed to do it?
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Old 2016-11-12, 5:47am
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Originally Posted by Three Muses Glass View Post
If the jewelry you are making requires you to use thinner stringing material or wire, you can always use the 3/32" mandrels and fill the holes with Tygon flexible tubing pieces so nothing wiggles.
Like this- https://www.amazon.com/Tygon-Non-DEH...909933&sr=8-26
that is a good idea!! thank you!
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Old 2016-11-12, 5:48am
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Originally Posted by TiberiusDestructo View Post
I don't have any real bead experience, but could you use a larger mandrel and shrink the hole on either side with a pinner flame?
Also how would you like to be shot? If you want to be hit with a mandrel it will probably take some kind of custom crossbow like device...
yeah that would not work, and would add a ton of time to a 2 minute spacer bead. idk what you're talking about "hit with a mandrel"......
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Old 2016-11-12, 6:14pm
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When tungsten gets hit with the flame, you run the risk of leaving a fume deposit on your glass, I've done it while using my tungsten poker to make holes.

Sometimes you can burn it off, but not always.
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Old 2016-11-13, 6:22am
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yeah i've had the same experience. yesterday i really sat down and braced my arms to keep them steady, didn't burn through even one.

and these are "pre burnt" from my hothead back in 2012 lol...i think i'll have better luck with new mandrels, which are on order.
thanks to all who commented
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Old 2016-11-13, 7:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone24/7 View Post
yeah that would not work, and would add a ton of time to a 2 minute spacer bead. idk what you're talking about "hit with a mandrel"......
LOL, read the title of the thread again.

And yes, let us know what you find out works please?
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Old 2016-11-13, 10:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone24/7 View Post
yeah i've had the same experience. yesterday i really sat down and braced my arms to keep them steady, didn't burn through even one.

and these are "pre burnt" from my hothead back in 2012 lol...i think i'll have better luck with new mandrels, which are on order.
thanks to all who commented
YAY!!! Good news!!
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Old 2016-11-14, 4:18am
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shoot me....with a rubber bullet not a mandrel you crazy bead people
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Old 2016-11-14, 2:36pm
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LOL

I've used 1/16s with boro, but mostly by accident. My biggest problem is bead release. What kind do you use?
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Old 2016-11-14, 4:05pm
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LOL

I've used 1/16s with boro, but mostly by accident. My biggest problem is bead release. What kind do you use?
I'm using Super Blue Ultra. Once you warm it up on the mandrel you need to keep the release warm. When it cools ... it releases ... literally. LOL
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Old 2016-11-15, 5:16am
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i use foster fire smooth and tuff and/or HD. i think by now i have a mix of both in one bottle.

i think my issues stem from not making any beads in years. i just needed to keep the mandrel more steady and just let the flame brush the wrap of glass. took some getting used to.
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Old 2016-11-15, 11:35am
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I am probably getting the bead release too cool, that makes sense. Thanks for your answers.
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Old 2016-11-15, 12:19pm
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Hey 24/7, great to "see" you! I don't have anything to add, since I don't work with boro, but just wanted to give you a friendly shout.

--Helene
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  #24  
Old 2016-11-16, 5:49am
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nice to see you too! been a long ass time since i've logged in here, but you will be seeing more of me in the future. looking to start making lots of beaded jewelry to add to my lineup.....only certain types of people buy marbles and the market sucks right now, so bad that i almost gave it up.

@ kjohn just keep the bead release as hot as the bead. once it cools and then reheats it usually pops (as you well know i'm sure) but with the foster fire i've had great luck not having my bead pop loose when the extra release goes pop pop pop. might just be luck.
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