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  #31  
Old 2011-06-24, 2:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
How about hollow rods, where do you find those if you want to make your own. My welding supply place didn't have any, and the steel place has steel in 20' lengths (at least a different type I was looking for a while back), so that isn't feasible either.

Oh, and I cut the ends off my rods because they were flattened for the printed info, so my mandrels ended up being a little over 11". Is that normal?
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Originally Posted by squid View Post
I cut the little flattened part off too.
i actually dont bother, because i burn them in on one end before i start i always use that end anyway and i dont wast that much of the rod

oh and i dont round the ends either - i use a really big set of bolt cutters and they cut the ends very cleanly, i run my fingers over the end and if it feel burred at all i rub it on the cement (i'm usually outside on the cement cutting them anyway)
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  #32  
Old 2011-06-24, 7:39am
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I use a bolt cutter. When I first started out I'd smooth the rough ends by scraping them on concrete. That was way too much trouble so I just learned to be careful.
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  #33  
Old 2011-06-24, 8:58am
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Does anyone making their own mandrels use an EMS? if so are the mandrels straight enough? Shawnette you mentioned 308L or 316L is this grades and does that make a difference to how straight they are?

Liz
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  #34  
Old 2011-06-24, 10:15am
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Originally Posted by eross View Post
Does anyone making their own mandrels use an EMS? if so are the mandrels straight enough? Shawnette you mentioned 308L or 316L is this grades and does that make a difference to how straight they are?

Liz
I've pretty much always made my own mandrels and I used them with an EMS. They have to be perfectly straight, though. It doesn't matter if they're 308 or 316. they just need to be straight. Roll them on a perfectly flat surface and if they roll smoothly, then they're straight.
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  #35  
Old 2011-06-24, 10:34am
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Thanks Shawnette. I discard mandrels so fast for the EMS due to them being warped. Couple of uses and they are toast! Making my own would be so much more economical, more so to save on shipping costs than anything else!

Liz
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  #36  
Old 2011-06-24, 1:50pm
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Originally Posted by eross View Post
Thanks Shawnette. I discard mandrels so fast for the EMS due to them being warped. Couple of uses and they are toast! Making my own would be so much more economical, more so to save on shipping costs than anything else!

Liz
Make sure you clean up the edges because they'll mess up the sleeves if you don't.
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  #37  
Old 2011-06-24, 3:34pm
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Your right. I have marked mandrels with nail polish (for classes) that I have tried to use and have to remove it before I can use them, they just do not fit in the sleeve!
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  #38  
Old 2011-06-24, 9:37pm
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Can i ask a dummy question? What is an EMS?
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  #39  
Old 2011-06-24, 9:41pm
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Can i ask a dummy question? What is an EMS?
http://www.bearfootart.com/pages/DeluxeEMS.php
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  #40  
Old 2011-06-25, 5:57am
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Thanks Shawnette! That looks like a great tool. I can see why you ned perfectly straight rods for that
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  #41  
Old 2011-06-25, 7:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eross View Post
Does anyone making their own mandrels use an EMS? if so are the mandrels straight enough? Shawnette you mentioned 308L or 316L is this grades and does that make a difference to how straight they are?

Liz
The welding shop where I purchase steel has never sold me any that wasn't straight. Since I mainly use 1/16", they all eventually bend, but they start life perfectly straight. I suppose they could get bent in the process of cutting and grinding if you either have dull bolt cutters or put too much pressure on the ends while grinding instead of letting the grinder do the work.
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  #42  
Old 2011-06-25, 2:48pm
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I can usually get one or two, ("maybe" three with small beads) uses out of a mandrel , then they are toast. They warp when I remove the bead!

Liz
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  #43  
Old 2011-06-27, 4:36am
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Another way to test how straight they are is to hold the mandrel at eye level and turn it in a tail stock holder. If the mandrel is bent I'll try the other end. I check them like this one at a time, every single time, without fail. I'm pretty anal about the perfectly straight mandrels, so it's part of the routine. A bit boring to check each of 200+ of them, but gotta do it.

I'm careful not to bend them while taking beads off, but I check because I could have bent a couple and also the flame can bend them pretty good too. I try not to get the mandrel too much heat while working but it happens sometimes. For the 1/16" sizes, I mean. The 3/32" are a lot more heat warp-free and bend resistant when getting beads off.
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  #44  
Old 2011-06-27, 6:06am
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We went to visit our son's family this weekend (9 month old grand daughter is a big draw and we went to lunch on Saturday. When we came out we split up & DIL & I were walking down the sidewalk when I spotted a Hobbytown! Got myself 3 sizes to try and now I know where I can get more.
Thanks for telling me this, I'd never have thought to look otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doityourselfdiva View Post
I found stainless steel tubing in every size imaginable at the hobby shop. HobbyTownUSA in Idaho Falls to be exact. They had a ton of RC racing car stuff, so if you have a shop like that in your area, I'll bet you can find some hollow stainless steel there. I had bought two of the puffy mandrels and then made my own because of the cost. I paid about $3.00 for each tube and they were already cut to 12" lengths. I also found copper and brass tube for coring there in 12" lengths for about a $1.50 each. Try a hobby shop for RC racing cars or whatever the battery controlled cars you control with the remotes are called. I scored today!

I also cut the flat end off the mandrels, otherwise I don't pay attention and dip the flat end accidently and then the beads don't come of. Cutting off the end is normal.

I also use 316L for my rods when I can, I find otherwise the bend sometimes in my flame or as I'm taking the bead off.

Hope that helps!
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  #45  
Old 2011-06-27, 6:13am
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The fat mandrels needed for Pandora beads, hubby took them out of broken down commercial dishwashers, it was the pin in the hinge. Then he got somebody to cut them to lenghth for me, or maybe he did it in his man cave. I dunno, but I have about 15 of them.
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  #46  
Old 2011-06-27, 6:50am
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I got a bunch of 1/4" stainless mandrels when we put new eyeglasses displays in my office and the rods had to be cut to fit. They had about twenty 9" leftover pieces they threw away. After a quick "dumpster dive", they were MINE! lol

This is all great info, thanks everyone. I bend the heck out of the 1/16 size mandrels, so this will be great to get more!
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  #47  
Old 2011-08-06, 9:45am
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Just wanted to say that thanks to the advice in this thread I ventured out to a local welding shop that happend to be 4 miles from my home this morning. They have Saturday hours (the only ones in town that do) and purchased 2 lbs of 308L Stainless TIG, without feeling like a complete idiot!!

I've just started cutting them down since it's too hot to work on my new workspace in the garage (no AC and it's like a boiler room even with the windows and Garage doors open)

So thanks to all SuzyQ, Shawnette, Christy and everyone else who posted!! I now have well over 100 rods to practice with (and boy do my wonky little creations need practice!!) and got to play with the DH's dremmel too!

I just love this site - thanks again

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  #48  
Old 2011-09-16, 6:13am
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I know this is an old thread but thought I would chime in with my discovery.

There most certainly IS a difference between these SS numbers. The reason 308L is less expensive then the 316L is because one is MUCH stronger then the other. I've read threads for so long saying something different that I decided to buy a couple of each.

It is correct that they also do many different things in their application of welding but for us lampworkers we could care less on such things. The 308L's melt way faster in the flame. They bend far easier then the 316L's so that right there means they will last longer to all you "monster" grippers bending em all around as you get your bead off

Another quick tip, if you go into a welding shop and act like some confused newbie asking a billion questions, you'll get this price ... OR ... you do your homework and go in and ask for exactly what you need, confident on your need, you'll get this price (usually the correct price). Once you do business with a welding supply and know your getting a good deal, continue with them and don't try to penny pinch with the competition. Words of wisdom from a old counter salesman

If your still buying mandrels by the 12 pack, well, your glass stock and tools could be so much more

Chad
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  #49  
Old 2011-09-17, 1:02am
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A very good thread!

I was surprised to read that some of you guys only use a mandrel a couple of times before they are bent/unusable. I am still using my original mandrels (all of 5 years old!) I only buy TIG rod when I need a new size (bought some 1.2 mm rod the other day for the first time), or need more mandrels.
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  #50  
Old 2011-09-21, 2:00pm
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I bought my TIG rods after I had purchased my set-up for oxy-propane. Not much deer-in-headlights. They were so delighted to sell me stuff they didn't really care what I did with it. I discovered that if I bake my brand-new mandrels in the kiln before I use them that it is much easier to get the beads off them, so I wasn't losing as much to bending when I took off the beads. Of course, I wrecked a whole bunch before I figured out that I couldn't just leave the ends toasting in the flame of the Minor like had done with my Hothead.

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  #51  
Old 2011-09-21, 5:36pm
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Hi Celeste,

How long and for what temperature did you bake them (if you don't mind my asking)?

~Rachel
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  #52  
Old 2011-09-21, 5:39pm
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i dont bake mine, what i do is heat the last two or three inches in the flame till its cherry red then then drop it into my dunking water - i do them four or five at a time

this works well for me because i also dont cut the stamp off the rod, (i cut the bundle into a neat four) so burning one end in darkens it so i make sure i never dip the stamped end

also, if you stick to getting your beads off with a rivet gun you never bend the mandrels out of shape
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  #53  
Old 2011-09-22, 11:09am
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i dont bake mine, what i do is heat the last two or three inches in the flame till its cherry red then then drop it into my dunking water - i do them four or five at a time
I do this, too. Your bead release sticks better and it hardens the mandrel.
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  #54  
Old 2012-03-13, 5:44pm
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OK, questions.
I went to one place yesterday after calling and bought 1 pound of 3/32nds. I had called ahead & asked if they had the 316 or 308L rod, and they said only the 308.
So we drove over there (half hour drive) and I say I want 2 pounds. He weighs it out & writes me up, and while he's finishing I notice there is no L after the number where it is stamped. He doesn't know what the L is, so gets on a welding forum & looks it up, then tells me that he sees that there is a difference, but he doesn't have any, they don't carry it. OK, so I go ahead & get a pound anyway since I'm there, and figure I'll give it a try.
Any thoughts there? I thought I'd cut just 2 or 3 rods as a test, leaving the stamped ends on (stamp is smaller than my last stuff but on both ends).

Today I went to a larger place and talked to them. They only have 10 pound packs, but they looked it up & have ordered it from the "other" store and are having it sent to the one I can get to without an hour drive. So I asked the price difference and it's $4 a pound so I said give me 316L. The inventory says only one pound of that at the other store, so I told her one pound of each... (I'm going to have a sufficient supply for a while I guess).
My thought is to cut some of each, leaving the stamps so I can tell what they are, use them a few times and compare. Has anyone done this already? I'm just worried that the non-L version is going to be useless since everyone says get the L, and wondering if there is another use for it if so. Maybe some type of display stand is my thought... with lots & lots of rows, LOL.

So to recap I bought (or have ordered):
1 pound 308
1 pound 308L
1 pound 316L
and wonder about the L and how important it is for our puroses.

Last edited by Eileen; 2012-03-14 at 6:11am.
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  #55  
Old 2012-03-14, 3:42am
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The "L" isn't the issue.
308 or 316.. these are all different alloys (stainless steel is always some sort of alloy).
I personally (and I am a baby lampworker but a long time TIG welder so there may be others that know better than I.. BUT.. IMNSHO.. I have never understood why anyone would pay more for 316 grade ('aka' "L") stainless for mandrels, because, to the best of my knowledge, 316L is food grade stainless.
True, it will hold up just a bit better.. but, for the price, it is hardly worth using for mandrels unless you are also going to use them as chopsticks!
I kid (but only partially) 308 is more than sufficient for bead mandrels.

Just my (NSH) opinion.

Best of luck in your adventures!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
OK, questions.
I went to one place yesterday after calling and bought 1 pound of 3/32nds. I had called ahead & asked if they had the 316 or 308L rod, and they said only the 308.
So we drove over there (half hour drive) and I say I want 2 pounds. He weighs it out & writes me up, and while he's finishing I notice there is no L after the number where it is stamped. He doesn't know what the L is, so gets on a welding forum & looks it up, then tells me that he sees that there is a difference, but he doesn't have any, they don't carry it. OK, so I go ahead & get a pound anyway since I'm there, and figure I'll give it a try.
Any thoughts there? I thought I'd cut just 2 or 3 rods as a test, leaving the stamped ends on (stamp is smaller than my last stuff but on both ends).

Today I went to a larger place and talked to them. They only have 10 pound packs, but they looked it up & have ordered it from the "other" store and are having it sent to the one I can get to without an hour drive. So I asked the price difference and it's $4 a pound so I said give me 316L. The inventory says only one pound of that at the other store, so I told her one pound of each... (I'm going to have a sufficient supply for a while I guess).
My thought is to cut some of each, leaving the stamps so I can tell what they are, use them a few times and compare. Has anyone done this already? I'm just worried that the non-L version is going to be useless since everyone says get the L, and wondering if there is another use for it if so. Maybe some type of display stand is my thought... with lots & lots of rows, LOL.
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  #56  
Old 2012-03-14, 4:10am
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I use both, I leave the stamped ends on ( just don't dip that end), I cut them with bolt cutters and I don't bother to file the ends at all - am I breaking all the rules?

I buy 2kgs at a time and they last me ages, when they get a bit bent I bin them
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Old 2012-03-14, 6:17am
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Deb I was thinking that if I bend the first end and want to use the other I can always cut the flat part off then, so am leaving them for now but at some point will lop them off I'm sure. But in the meantime if some are to easy to bend, etc hopefully I'll be able to identify which ones.

Rachel, the 308 was cheaper than the 308L, so I hope I do find that it doesn't make a difference.
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  #58  
Old 2012-03-14, 8:01am
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the "L" in the SS designation indicates a lower carbon content which makes it somewhat more suitable to prevent corrosion as a result of welding.

304 and 316 are commonly used in the food and beverage industry, 316 has the best corrosion resistance and is the most expensive.

i don't know how any of the above info affects mandrel stength or durability
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Old 2012-03-14, 8:09am
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Deb I was thinking that if I bend the first end and want to use the other I can always cut the flat part off then, so am leaving them for now but at some point will lop them off I'm sure. But in the meantime if some are to easy to bend, etc hopefully I'll be able to identify which ones.

Rachel, the 308 was cheaper than the 308L, so I hope I do find that it doesn't make a difference.
In that case.. I will check with a former instructor to be sure I am not speaking out of turn.
Might take a couple of days to hear back from him.. but I will be sure to let you know! (note to self ;}

~Rachel
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Old 2012-03-14, 8:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PracticalMagicGlass View Post
the "L" in the SS designation indicates a lower carbon content which makes it somewhat more suitable to prevent corrosion as a result of welding.

304 and 316 are commonly used in the food and beverage industry, 316 has the best corrosion resistance and is the most expensive.

i don't know how any of the above info affects mandrel stength or durability
On *this* subject, I have quite a bit to say.. but it will have to wait as I have a couple of very long and demanding days ahead of me.
Again.. I promise to get back to you all.. even though it will very likely be the weekend before I have the chance.



~Rachel
P.S. RE: strength and durability
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Last edited by ElementalsDesign; 2012-03-14 at 8:12am. Reason: more precise communication.. naturally ;)
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