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

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  #1  
Old 2009-01-10, 6:00pm
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Default Troll Beads

Well I got myself some larger mandrels today as I have been receiving a lot of requests via Etsy to make my florals into troll beads.

So I figure what the heck. It seems everyone and their uncle is making them. I give a whirl and what's the deal? Don't you find the mandrel difficult to manage? I had a heck of a time twirling it around and getting a round bead. Infact, I don't think my bead ever came out exactly round.

Are these beads difficult to make or is it just me? The mandrel was clumsy and heavy and my hand was getting hot from the flame. The mandrels I bought are 9 inches long. Is that standard?

Jacqueline
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  #2  
Old 2009-01-10, 6:59pm
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Personally, I have 12" mandrels. Generally, the larger diameter mandrels are more awkward intitally simply because you're not used to them. You'll get more comfortable with the feel of them. Then, when you go back to a "normal" size mandrel, it'll feel so skinny!
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  #3  
Old 2009-01-10, 8:23pm
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Yes, I have the same problem Jacqueline. Sometimes I keep adding more glass and I get a huge bead. I wish that someone made these mandrels with the handle the "regular" size.
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  #4  
Old 2009-01-10, 8:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemsinbloom View Post
Well I got myself some larger mandrels today as I have been receiving a lot of requests via Etsy to make my florals into troll beads.

So I figure what the heck. It seems everyone and their uncle is making them. I give a whirl and what's the deal? Don't you find the mandrel difficult to manage? I had a heck of a time twirling it around and getting a round bead. Infact, I don't think my bead ever came out exactly round.

Are these beads difficult to make or is it just me? The mandrel was clumsy and heavy and my hand was getting hot from the flame. The mandrels I bought are 9 inches long. Is that standard?

Jacqueline
Gems In Bloom
They are clumsy and difficult when you first use them, but you definitely get used to them with a little practice .
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  #5  
Old 2009-01-11, 8:52am
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Okay, okay........but I really do not like the mandrels! I am glad I am not alone though. That is why I posted to see how others do with these........

Do you get a perfectly round bead or is that impossible? I want longer mandrels for sure. I will order some from the ebayer I was linked to.

Also, they make fairly big beads, yes? I don't like really big beads in bracelets but I guess this is all the rage..

Jacqueline
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  #6  
Old 2009-01-11, 9:40am
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my beads are pretty even
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  #7  
Old 2009-01-11, 9:49am
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i found them very difficult to adapt to at first as well. i definitely found that using 12" mandrels was better for me and that tubing is much lighter than solid. As for getting the beads even - that just takes practice. it's all about getting an even footprint. The glass just doesn't balance itself like it does with smaller diameter mandrels.
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  #8  
Old 2009-01-11, 10:41am
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There's a explanation for. Glass always want to go to a thickness of 6 mm. Thats why the rods also have a thickness of 6 mm.

When the hole is bigger, there is less glass to get the 6 mm. That's way it is more difficult to let the glass go evenly round.

I do it the James Smircich way:

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  #9  
Old 2009-01-13, 4:55pm
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Margriet, I have heard this principle with fused glass, but hadn't heard it applied to lampwork. Seems to me we have more control in this field to make the glass thinner or thicker... but you may have a point about what the glass wants to do naturally.
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  #10  
Old 2009-01-13, 5:07pm
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I've been making them regularly and I still have trouble with wonkiness everytime I torch. I made my rods from welding rods from lowes that I cut down to 12 inches. I have also noticed that the bigger rods get hotter when you hold them so you have to hold them farther out.
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  #11  
Old 2009-01-13, 8:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margriet@stainedglass.nl View Post
There's a explanation for. Glass always want to go to a thickness of 6 mm. Thats why the rods also have a thickness of 6 mm.

When the hole is bigger, there is less glass to get the 6 mm. That's way it is more difficult to let the glass go evenly round.
i'm not sure how true this is. i would definitely like to see where this has been published. i have heard glass always wants to be round but why a thickness of 6 mm? and not all rods are pulled in 6 mm diameter.
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Old 2009-01-13, 9:05pm
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It's important to get the narrowest footprint possible to start. That will give you a head start on a non wonky bead. The mandrels will feel less awkward and heavy after awhile too.
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  #13  
Old 2009-01-13, 9:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlivELampworK View Post
i'm not sure how true this is. i would definitely like to see where this has been published. i have heard glass always wants to be round but why a thickness of 6 mm? and not all rods are pulled in 6 mm diameter.
when you fuse, glass does like to be 6 mm (1/4"), so I can see where it might be true for beadmaking. Why? I have NO idea - it's just a law of nature.

Pulling is changing the natural tendency of glass, so it would prevent it from doing what it wants on its own.
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  #14  
Old 2009-01-13, 9:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squid View Post
when you fuse, glass does like to be 6 mm (1/4"), so I can see where it might be true for beadmaking. Why? I have NO idea - it's just a law of nature.

Pulling is changing the natural tendency of glass, so it would prevent it from doing what it wants on its own.
what if i add so much glass that it decides to be 10 mm? do you know what i mean? i don't think it holds true for beadmaking. i understand fusing, but not beadmaking.
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Old 2009-01-13, 9:54pm
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Originally Posted by AlivELampworK View Post
what if i add so much glass that it decides to be 10 mm? do you know what i mean? i don't think it holds true for beadmaking. i understand fusing, but not beadmaking.
I think if you heat the 10mm enough, it would go to 6mm, but I also think it would drip off the mandrel too. Beadmaking is a balance of heat and gravity - I think the rule doesn't apply because we can't let it apply
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  #16  
Old 2009-01-13, 10:01pm
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hm.. that idea is so strange to me.
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Old 2009-01-13, 10:06pm
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If you put a little square of 3 mm glass in the kiln and fire it hot hot hot it will ball up into a little 6mm ball with a flat back - it's SO cool.
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  #18  
Old 2009-01-14, 5:34am
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I use hoiiow mandrels aslo and they are only about 6" and the only time they heat up is if there is any undried bead release in them. In which case I just give a little blow in the end and then they are fine. I actually find it easier to work with a larger diameter mandrel, it's easier for me to grip. The glass does have a tendancy to try to droop but I just don't work as hot and they turn out fine.
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  #19  
Old 2009-01-14, 5:45am
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What size are troll, pandora etc beads supposed to be... I think that maybe my 'test' beads are too big..I totally agree with you on the fat mandrels being unwieldy... feels like Im trying to make a bead on a log
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  #20  
Old 2009-01-14, 9:40am
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Hollow mandrels will help you control your glass a lot better than solid ones. Solid ones get quite hot also. My DH gets stainless steel tubing at some place called Speedy Metals. They also have brass and aluminum tubing... practice on aluminum.... You could do a "search" ...........
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