Lampwork Etc.
Send a PM to CorriDawn!

LE Live Chat

Enter Live Chat

No users in chat

Frantz Art Glass & Supply

Beads of Courage


Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Library > Tips, Techniques, and Questions

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

Thread Tools
Old 2023-01-12, 3:35am
eFiFlame eFiFlame is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 5
Default How do you drill (clean) long beads?

How do you clean long beads (3-4-5 cm) from the bead release?
Where do you buy good quality LONG Diamond Drill Bits? (would be better in the UK)

Thank you so much and all the best !!
Reply With Quote
Old 2023-01-13, 10:54am
kansassky kansassky is offline
Dix Harrison
Join Date: Mar 31, 2009
Location: KCKS - But my heart is in Scotland
Posts: 525

I use a mandrel and carbide grit to clean bead release from all beads.
I do not use a diamond drill bit.
I find that a diamond drill bit can chip the glass around the bead hole.
My long beads are focals that can take a couple hours to make.
I do not want to risk chipping anything.

Using silicon carbide grit (100-200 grit) is an especially effective cleaning method on long beads.

Do this over a pan or bowl of water. Not over the sink!

-Use the same size mandrel that the bead was originally made with.
-Immerse the bead in the bowl of water and lift it out. It needs to be wet.
-Dip the mandrel tip in water and then into the silicone carbide grit. This will gather some grit on the mandrel.
-Plunge the gritty mandrel in and out of the bead hole several times.

The grit and friction of the mandrel easily scrub away the bead release.
You will see the bead release turn to a grey slurry that can be rinsed away.

-Dip (rinse) the bead in the bowl of water and check the bead hole.

Repeat the grit cleaning process two or three times if needed.

-When finished, wait 10 minutes and allow the grit to settle in the bottom of the bowl of water.
-Carefully pour the clear water from the top surface and then pour/dispose the grit into a paper cup filled with paper towels or some other place. DO NOT POUR THE GRIT DOWN THE SINK DRAIN!!!!!

Lapidary shops carry the silicon carbide grit.
Here is a source I have used in the US where I can order and have it shipped.
There are lapidary shops all over the world.
“Cometh the hour. Cometh the women.”
Facebook: Kansas Sky Studio Dix Harrison
Reply With Quote
Old 2023-01-14, 11:06am
Holly's Avatar
Holly Holly is offline
Fire Monkey
Join Date: Jul 01, 2005
Location: at the edge of reason
Posts: 3,264

Dix has very good advice. I always hand-ream my long beads. The tapered long diamond bits will widen the holes at each end and the untapered ones will build up pressure from within and can break the bead. I've broken a few long beads using a straight diamond reamer in my Dremel. The chips the diamond reamer creates at the bead hole are very unsightly and hard to smooth down.

Edited to say: It gets much easier and faster with practice. I can now clean my long beads faster by hand than I could with the Dremel

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Holly; 2023-01-14 at 11:09am.
Reply With Quote
Old 2023-01-15, 3:19pm
dsglass's Avatar
dsglass dsglass is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 24, 2009
Posts: 343

I can never get them clean enough by hand... I use a Beadreamer for most of my beads; it's not long enough for the *really* long ones, so I still have to finish them by hand, but they work really well; and as long as the bit isn't bent[0] and it's centered I've never had issues with breaking beads.

[0] when the bit does bend/break, I'll cut it down and then use the still-straight smaller end on smaller beads
Reply With Quote
Old 2023-01-17, 1:01pm
Lorraine Chandler's Avatar
Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
Salt Box Beads
Join Date: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Heading to Paradise
Posts: 4,159
Thumbs up

Beadreamer here too.
Reply With Quote
Old 2023-01-19, 4:29pm
queenofsheba52 queenofsheba52 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 22, 2012
Posts: 443

I use a BeaDreamer also, but i will try Dix's method.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 2:30pm.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Your IP: