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ekoocma

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have to clean the glass rods before using - glass cleaner, alcohol, or soapy water and rinse. Not doing cleaning the rods contributed to my inability to keep beads together during cooling,

Not all glass will cooperate - sometimes a rod just won't do anything but turn to frit and then it even resists working. Two rods of the same color can be as different as night and day.

You cannot just take the bead off the mandrel. Sometimes you have to really soak it, tug it, lightly tap it, soak it again, and just keep wiggling at it to get it off. Especially if it is larger! I've even had to work at it for two days, off and on.

You cannot just take the bead off the mandrel, knock off the old bead release and re-dip. You have to prep the mandrel and the better your prep the better the results! I've found that if I don't have a good preparation process the release begins to flake off before I lay the glass and if that happens it's likely the glass will not hang on to the end! I've found the best results by knocking off all the old stuff, taking a piece of 120 grit sandpaper or emery cloth to the cooking end. Clean it well! THEN wipe it off with a cotton ball with alcohol on it. Wipe dry with a paper towel after a rinse and then dip in the bead release. When I don't follow my process I usually end up sorry!

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
A Failure To Plan Is A Plan To Fail!

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Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
Fine Folly

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Reply with quote  #2 
It's wonderful that you are so though.  You are right to set things you always do to ensure success.  Like you I wash all new glass, and before use wipe it with alcohol and tissue.  I also cut off the very end since that raw end may have bad scum in it.

Here are some other things I always do, and they are covered in the free beginning tutorials with pictures  [smile] under Part 2:


1.  New mandrels should be heated in the flame to burn off oil before their first dip in bead release.  Mix bead release well, and dip straight in and out slowly for an even coating.


2.  Bead release should not be watery.  You need a good coating on your mandrel.  Mix your bead release well, and then dip straight up and down.  Pull the mandrel out slowly for an even coating.  If my bead release is getting thick, after I dip, as I remove the mandrel from the bead release, I roll the very end-tip of my mandrels on the sidewall of my bead release container to remove excess and prevent dripping from the top.  Set each mandrel to dry in a rack or container of rice or such thing.


3.  Take time and thoroughly preheat your mandrel before you start your bead.  Heat it from end to end on a Hothead or equivalent torch.  Heat it and watch it change color and go white and then start to glow.  You can see gas escape sometimes.  If you do not fully preheat your mandrel and bead release it may break or put bubbles in your glass - from trapped gasses that weren't heated out. 

Air in glass rods also puts bubbles in your beads, but you want to make sure your bead release is fully preheated so it doesn't, and also to help reduce the chance of it breaking as you make your bead.

If your bead release isn't preheated and therefore fully dry to the core, when you start to make a bead, it may crack.  If it does, put it in a water pot and choose another mandrel.  Some bead release can be preheated in the flame before complete drying, be sure to read about it on the label.



4.  To remove the bead from the mandrel, use a pair of needle nose pliers up against one side of the bead, and your fingers on the bead to roll it back and forth and break the bead release.  As you move the bead down the mandrel, keep moving your pliers up to the bead.  That way you have less chance of warping your mandrel.


5.  Wash your mandrels after you remove the beads.  I use liquid dish soap and water.  Dry them and stand them in a container until you can dip them again.  I roll each mandrel end in my fingers before I dip in bead release, to see if they have warped and to see if there is any powder residue left on the mandrel.  If so, I wipe it off and then dip in bead release.


We are all on a journey in this wonderful craft!  Thank you for your tips.  I hope this added info helps.


Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 8.01.01 AM.png  Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 8.02.12 AM.png 




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Kristina

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