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

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  #1  
Old 2013-08-14, 8:05pm
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Talking Arrowspring's new tungsten mandrels

I just came in from a day of torching without bead release!

Here are my tips on how to get to know these knew mandrels in no specific order.

*Your first several beads should be clear so you can see exactly how you work the glow to get them off the mandrel.

*You have to get tungsten hot for the glass to stick.

*In order to unstick it, you are going to heat the mandrel right at the sides of your bead and pop it off. You can do this with a punty or a marble grabber. I preferred my marble grabber. If you punty, you can still heat of any punty spots with the bead loose on the mandrel. If you do some clear beads you will see that you have to get that orange glow to travel up the mandrel from both sides before your bead will come loose.

*If I can do this anyone can do this.
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  #2  
Old 2013-08-14, 8:32pm
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This is a disaster waiting to happen. Tungsten fumes are super toxic. Your ventilation better be damned good. No bead release is not worth your lungs.
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  #3  
Old 2013-08-14, 11:13pm
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Hmmm. Instead of going straight from flame to kiln, you have to pop it off the mandrel? That's introducing thermal cracks IMO.

But the tungsten msds suggests it is toxicology inert.

Tungsten welding rods on the other hand contain thorium oxide, a radioactive additive that is airborne detectable.

I'd ask for an msds on these mandrels.

http://www.mri.psu.edu/facilities/sa...t/Tungsten.pdf
http://www.hss.doe.gov/sesa/corporat...rccc200704.pdf

Last edited by SGA; 2013-08-14 at 11:19pm.
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  #4  
Old 2013-08-15, 3:07am
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tiggybubba, if you're getting the tungsten hot enough to fume (which is white hot) then you're doing it wrong.
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  #5  
Old 2013-08-15, 7:21am
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These look really interesting. If they come out with a version with the tungsten in the middle of the mandrel instead of on the end I'll be ordering.
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  #6  
Old 2013-08-15, 7:45am
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Pure tungsten doesn't pose a danger. It's tungsten with other crap mixed in that's a problem and shouldn't be used.
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  #7  
Old 2013-08-15, 11:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGA View Post
Hmmm. Instead of going straight from flame to kiln, you have to pop it off the mandrel? That's introducing thermal cracks IMO.
You aren't cooling it down. Just getting the glow off. I don't put molten beads in my kiln. When I make off mandrel things I follow almost the same procedure.
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  #8  
Old 2013-08-15, 11:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyK View Post
These look really interesting. If they come out with a version with the tungsten in the middle of the mandrel instead of on the end I'll be ordering.
If the tungsten was in the middle, you wouldn't be able to get the bead off the mandrel as there is a slight bulge where the two metals are joined

Darrell
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  #9  
Old 2013-08-15, 12:06pm
RyanTheNumberImp RyanTheNumberImp is offline
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The idea seems neat but I wouldn't want to punty onto the bead to pull it off. Seems like getting the punty off then smoothing over the join would be a huge waste of time.

Using hot fingers or even tweezers with loops on the end would be very convenient though, and I'd imagine the holes left by this method would be perfectly smooth which would be nice.
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  #10  
Old 2013-08-15, 12:21pm
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Very true Darrell .. I hadn't noticed that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwgrant View Post
If the tungsten was in the middle, you wouldn't be able to get the bead off the mandrel as there is a slight bulge where the two metals are joined

Darrell
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  #11  
Old 2013-08-15, 1:59pm
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With SS mandrels there is a tenancy for a wear spot to develop over time resulting in a dip (smaller OD) where the beads are made. If this should occur with tungsten it would then be an issue of bead removal.

A long term test would clarify this point.....
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  #12  
Old 2013-08-19, 1:56am
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I've seen tungsten mandrel used years ago and tried myself and there wasn't any need to touch the bead, just tilting the mandrel was enough for the bead to slide off.
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  #13  
Old 2013-08-19, 8:27am
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Local welding shops should have the green tungsten rods about 7" long.
A pin vice or something may provide enough grip to work with.

The green tungsten is comercialy pure and used almost exclusively for tig welding aluminum.

It tends to be brittle and may break if it rolls of the bench.
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Old 2013-08-22, 10:51am
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Hi! Well the prospect of not having to clean beads was so tempting that I immediately ordered one of each! They arrived and I spent a ton of time trying to get the beads too come off, but I was only successful one time. I have no clue how I did it LOL!

Is there a video somewhere I can watch that will show me how to do this?

Thanks!
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  #15  
Old 2013-08-22, 11:18am
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Lol, it dawned on me as I was reading that the level of knowledge and constructive debate in this thread alone (nevermind the rest of the forum) is mind-boggling, and even kind of intimidating! I have so much to learn about this stuff!
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Old 2013-08-22, 1:13pm
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Beau Anderson developed this technique and he has taught it at the Gathering and in part of the Master Class he did at B&B. the trick to getting it off is to heat each side of the bead - about 3 seconds on each side until the bead loosens. I've always puntied it, but I would imagine marble holders would work. Once the bead is off the mandrel, you can poke the holes with the mandrel to help with the puckers. It's a neat technique, especially making disks. I'd start with that. Even Beau says he hasn't been able to do long beads on it yet. He does do hollows, which I tried, but didn't have success with.
As to safety, pure tungsten should be fine, but even Beau says don't heat the tungsten for more than 3 seconds at a time. And good ventilation is always important!
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  #17  
Old 2013-08-24, 5:40am
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Beau figured out this technique a few years ago but it existed before that. I'd seen it used in the UK at least 5 years prior to that. I guess good ideas can develop in different places at the same time !

First time I heard about it was I think in 2004 (2005 ?) in Stourbridge, UK. I was taking a class with Shane Ferro and one of the guys in our class showed us that technique. Diana East was there too, she might remember.
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Last edited by Anne Londez; 2013-08-24 at 5:46am.
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  #18  
Old 2013-08-24, 6:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy593 View Post
Beau Anderson developed this technique and he has taught it at the Gathering and in part of the Master Class he did at B&B. the trick to getting it off is to heat each side of the bead - about 3 seconds on each side until the bead loosens. I've always puntied it, but I would imagine marble holders would work. Once the bead is off the mandrel, you can poke the holes with the mandrel to help with the puckers. It's a neat technique, especially making disks. I'd start with that. Even Beau says he hasn't been able to do long beads on it yet. He does do hollows, which I tried, but didn't have success with.
As to safety, pure tungsten should be fine, but even Beau says don't heat the tungsten for more than 3 seconds at a time. And good ventilation is always important!
The fact that I have compromised lungs with COPD would keep me from ever trying it or even being in the room with someone who was doing it.

I feel like my time is already probably limited and I will have to stop torching someday, why rush it? Even if it is a slim chance.
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Old 2013-08-24, 7:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierces*designs View Post
The fact that I have compromised lungs with COPD would keep me from ever trying it or even being in the room with someone who was doing it.

I feel like my time is already probably limited and I will have to stop torching someday, why rush it? Even if it is a slim chance.
Debbie, pure tungsten won't fume and can be heated for longer than 3 seconds. It's the best way to poke a clean hole for pendant bales.

I totally understand you being cautious, though. If you want to make sure you get the safe stuff, buy the pure ones locally at a welding shop. (That's what I do.)
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