WOYWW: Unstuck Beads and Soldering Savvy!

I had quite a fruitful day of creative play…well…I played anyway! 😀  I decided that I desperately needed to improve my (aka acquire)  soldering skills for some jewelry I wanted to make so I decided some full immersion soldering boot camp was in order.

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I wanted to make some sea-glass pendents, earrings and bracelets and I have a very elegant vision in mind of pastel shades of translucent sea glass rimmed with silver with dainty jump rings attached…however what I created was less than elegant due to my sloppy solder job.

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I used to be a cracker-jack soldered back in the day when I worked at Radio Shack but apparently that is a skill you lose if you don’t practice. Oh, and if my awesome job at Radio shack doesn’t make me quite nerdy enough check out the Doctor Who and Sherlock microscope slide pendants I am working on…

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I’m nerdy and I know it!

And in Other News….

I got glass beads off of my mandrels!!! Not the beads I made last Saturday, I had to take a hammer to those suckers but I know what I did wrong so here are my lampworking bead tips (OK, I’ve made 17 beads, 10 of which I had to smash, you might not want tips from the likes of me, don’t say I didn’t warn you)

  1. Wash new mandrels well with soap and water to remove any oil residue from the factory. Don’t skip this step, it’s apparently important. Dry.
  2. Dip in bead release and let dry overnight.
  3. When making a bead make sure the glass is gooey hot like thick honey, not pully like taffy, so that it flows on the mandrel rather than sticking and pulling at it. Honestly, this makes no sense until you make a bead. My glass was too cool and pulled off some bead release that wasn’t stuck on too well to begin with since I did not wash the mandrels properly…
  4. After the bead is cool (after 90 minutes in fiber blanket) soak the beads/mandrels in water for 15 minutes to several hours.
  5. Grab the bead with a towel and pull and twist while holding the mandrel with pliers. I found that wrapping the mandrel with a rubber sheet first was the only way to get a good grip on it. See photo

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All that you have left to do now is make some snazzy jewelry!

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So, do you want to see other crafters desk’s of awesomeness? Well, head over to the Stamping Ground for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and you will get an eyeful! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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