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

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  #1  
Old 2011-06-22, 5:17pm
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Default Make Your Own Mandrels - How to get what you need?

I'm starting this thread so other don't spend as much time as I just did trying to get all the right information. If you make your own mandrels would you answer these questions for me?

What does a welding supply shop call them?

What kind of steel is the best one? (some letter number combo is all I recall)

Any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2011-06-22, 5:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ View Post
I'm starting this thread so other don't spend as much time as I just did trying to get all the right information. If you make your own mandrels would you answer these questions for me?

What does a welding supply shop call them? TIG rod (pronounced tig, not Tee Eye Gee)

What kind of steel is the best one? (some letter number combo is all I recall) 308L or 316L are both sufficient for our purposes. I use 308L. It's cheaper.

Any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Don't get into explanation with them about what you use it for. Just say "I need __ lbs 3/32" (or whatever size) 308L or 316L Stainless TIG." If you tell them anything else, they'll just get confused and try to act like you don't know what you're talking about
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:08pm
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Ditto what Shawnette said.
The welding shop near me let me mix different sizes and just weigh them all together.
For example, I tell them I need 10 of 3/32 and 5 of 1/16 and they just weight them and charge me per pound. And I don't even have to buy full pound either. I think last time I paid about $13 or so per pound... They were 308L.
TIG rods come in 36 inches in length so you could either make 4 -9inch ones or 3 -12 inch mandrels or whatever size you would want.
Hope this helps...
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:12pm
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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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Old 2011-06-22, 7:18pm
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You might want to ask for the straightest ones they have too...for some reason my local welding shop gives me the wonkiest ones they have!
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:19pm
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I cut the little flattened part off too.
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misspiggy View Post
Ditto what Shawnette said.
The welding shop near me let me mix different sizes and just weigh them all together.
For example, I tell them I need 10 of 3/32 and 5 of 1/16 and they just weight them and charge me per pound. And I don't even have to buy full pound either. I think last time I paid about $13 or so per pound... They were 308L.
TIG rods come in 36 inches in length so you could either make 4 -9inch ones or 3 -12 inch mandrels or whatever size you would want.
Hope this helps...
It does, thank you.
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:39pm
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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?
Brake tubing is what you are looking for. But I don't know where to get it.
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  #9  
Old 2011-06-22, 7:40pm
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lol Shawnette! I like to think men are a little more progressive in that department here in New Hampshire, but I'm not going to take any chances
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Old 2011-06-22, 7:52pm
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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?
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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Old 2011-06-22, 8:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ View Post
Brake tubing is what you are looking for. But I don't know where to get it.
I got mine on Amazon. I have Amazon Prime so I got free shipping.
http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Stee...8798235&sr=8-6

These are stainless steel 1/4" 316L. You have to cut it, but 12" sections come to about $3.56/mandrel. If you cut them to 9" sections they are about $2.67/mandrel.

They have other sizes if you are looking for something else.
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Old 2011-06-22, 9:46pm
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What are you all using to grind your ends? I bought the 308L rods in 36 inch lengths--the DH used a hammer and flat edge punch (can't think of the name of the dang tool!), which split them quick but left a flattened non round end. I have been hand filing them, but dang that is slow work!! Or did you have a different way of cutting into 9-12 inch length? I use the factory flattened ended mandrels for pulling my stringer and murrini--which really works great!
Smiles, Sheri
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Old 2011-06-22, 10:28pm
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"cold chisel"?

I use a (very) large pair of "dykes" (nippers?) or a small pair of bolt cutters to cut them apart and then I finish the ends on a mechanical disk sander (although a belt sander would work as well).
Less time and a lot easier on the fingers! :}

~Rachel
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Old 2011-06-22, 10:31pm
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COLD CHISEL--YES!! Thanks--Now I can sleep!! That is what I wanted to use--it is not what I own...sigh.....sands slowly and fades away....
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Old 2011-06-22, 10:36pm
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LOL!
I just bought a small (12") set of bolt cutters it turns out I did not need (hate when I do that! ;}.
They cost me $24.95 and, if you are interested, I will sell them to you for the same (still in the box).. plus whatever actual shipping costs are.
Feel free to send me an e-mail, if you'd like them (can't find the *%^&$& receipt to take them back yet!) ..might even split shipping with you, I am so broke right now! <smile>
Now the Disk/Belt Sander.. that's a little tougher although you can get a halfway decent one for not too terrible much at Harbor Freight, would be my guess
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Old 2011-06-23, 1:31am
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A Dremel with a cut off wheel works well for cutting TIG rod. And then use the same wheel for rounding the edges. If the rod is small 1/8 inch or so, cut half way through and then carefully bend to break. Then finish the edges. Also a Roto Zip will work fine if one needs a little more power. The 1/8 cut off wheels are available at Widget Supply.

http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/...berglass-wheel

For larger mandrels 1/4 or 3/8 a chop saw with an abrasive blade works well on stainless. Clean up the ends with a bench grinder or the Dremel.

There is no magic number of mandrel length. If too short one can use a pin vice to hold. Longer provides the opportunity of making 2 to 4 beads on the same mandrel. But uses up more release. If too short then your hand just gets too close to the flame.
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Old 2011-06-23, 4:12am
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I use the ends with the flat section for my cz's. I'm looking forward to having pretty new ones.

Thank you all for this great info. I'm sure it will help many more than me.
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Old 2011-06-23, 4:32am
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I use bolt cutters for the larger ones and these: http://www.harborfreight.com/11-inch...ter-37837.html for 1/16 and smaller. I grind the ends with a bench grinder or dremel.

By the way, 316L is not stronger than 308L; it's more resistant to corrosion and for our application, the difference isn't enough for me to justify the price difference which can be pretty high sometimes. If the price is pretty close, I go with the 316.
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Old 2011-06-23, 4:45am
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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.
I bought mine at a hydraulics supply shop (like SuzyQ said, they are brake line and my store offered a couple sizes)
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Old 2011-06-23, 6:07am
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lol Shawnette! I like to think men are a little more progressive in that department here in New Hampshire, but I'm not going to take any chances
Every welding shop I've been in and told them what I need them for, I get the "deer in the headlight" look!
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Old 2011-06-23, 6:16am
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I called earlier and after I found out what they had, he asked me what I wanted it for. I was hesitant and he started to go on about all the other uses. I took a deep breath and told him "I make glass beads." He got all excited and went on about some guy in VT that used to order pallets. Did I want to get a pallet? lol I said I was going to start small
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Old 2011-06-23, 10:14am
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You guys crack me up!
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Old 2011-06-23, 5:06pm
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Yes, a Dremel cut off wheel............but make sure you get the diamond impregnated ones!

It will not only sand the burrs off, it will actually cut the rods into the lengths you need. Harbor Freight has them and they are not expensive!

Just be sure you wear your safety glasses because the sparks fly.
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Old 2011-06-23, 6:06pm
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Those ol' country boys at the welding shop in my lil' town are used to me after nine years, I would think... I walk in the door and the owner says out loud, "216L 1/16 inch and 2 pounds??" I smile and he goes to the back to get them. LOL
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Old 2011-06-23, 6:39pm
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My son is quite excited. I ended up getting 10 pound boxes for the price. I told him if he cut and ground all the rods for me I would sell the extras and any money left over was his. He said "You mean I get to play with the grinder for a few hours and make money too?" I love boys.
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Old 2011-06-23, 7:02pm
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I buy 10 lbs at a time too - way cheaper that way.
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Old 2011-06-23, 7:37pm
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I never buy more than 2lbs at a time, and only have to do it twice a year or so. It makes about 164 mandrels around 8" long, I think that's right. Most of the ones that survive a lot of use and don't bend, I recycle by clipping off the worn ends about 1/4" and regrind the tips. Even though I make hundreds of beads a week, I don't have to replace the mandrels that often.

I'm curious...how often are you throwing away your mandrels and replacing with new? How many are you going through?
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Old 2011-06-23, 11:00pm
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A trick I discovered to make cutting with a bolt cutter easier is to mount the bottom handle in a bench vise. That way you don't have to squeeze the bolt cutter, instead you push the top handle down. If you have small hands it's much easier on your hand, plus you get better leverage. Once I started doing it this way, the process was sooooo much faster and less painful.
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Old 2011-06-23, 11:14pm
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Old 2011-06-24, 1:09am
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I never buy more than 2lbs at a time, and only have to do it twice a year or so. It makes about 164 mandrels around 8" long, I think that's right. Most of the ones that survive a lot of use and don't bend, I recycle by clipping off the worn ends about 1/4" and regrind the tips. Even though I make hundreds of beads a week, I don't have to replace the mandrels that often.

I'm curious...how often are you throwing away your mandrels and replacing with new? How many are you going through?
I haven't bought mandrels in 1/16th in well over a year. I do like to have a lot going on at once since I can make 100 production beads in a sitting for a few days in a row. That means I can have at least 200 in use. (100 dry and ready to be dipped and 100 with beads on them waiting to be cleaned)

I throw one or two away a week, maybe?
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