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!

25 thoughts on “WOYWW: Unstuck Beads and Soldering Savvy!

  1. Awesome! Sorry that the first beads didn’t quite go the way you hoped, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, Right? I love the beach glass, and micro slide work. Something I’ve been wanting to get to…. You are inspiring me. Need to get into my crafting space. Thanks for sharing, (both good and bad- it reminds me that I’m not the only one that things don’t quite go the right way for.) Lisajake128@yahoo.com


  2. I digress before I start… I warned you… I am an engineer. I had to learn to weld when I was in college. Your mandrels brought back vague memories of my welding the steel unintentionally to the bottom of the welding box thing. I really am an engineer incase the previous sentence doesn’t reinforce that fact at all! Anyway, your glass beads turned out great and I have no doubt that you will get that thru put number up! I wish you had gotten a metal clay kit this year for Christmas like I did because you could go first and tell me what not to do! BTW I never left a comment (there was difficulty with the system the day I was trying) but I love the new hair color — the red, just in case you are like me and it could be different again. You had said in the video with the new hair that it washed you out, but I thought just the opposite. Okay, look forward to whatever you have to come at us next!


  3. Those sea-glass pendants are what’s called “rustic”! Use that for a marketing angle 🙂

    And nerdy is good, especially if you like Dr Who. I’d also rather take advice from someone who still remembers what it’s like as a beginner & can share the experiences and failures – much more reasssuring & less imtimidating than someone who know it all, does a perfect job each & every time.

    I probably don’t say it enough but I really appreciate reading your blog, your experiments, successes & failures, and your good humour are all not just an interesting read but help push me to simply do things & not wait for or expect perfection first up.


  4. Looks like you know everything necessary as your beads are lovely and the metal work info will certainly help others!
    Two more days before leaving for CHA…Woo HOO!
    Paper Hugs,


  5. Hi Lindsay…I think you’re beads turned out great..I watched your video of how to make them…and I was wondering if they came off the mandrels ok !! and your pendants trimmed with silver are beautiful..I like the slight uneveness of the trim..I also watched the lady on youtube you suggested, doesn’t she make it look easy?..I don’t have any bead making equipment at all, but would love to try it…do you think it’s too early to make a Christmas List yet? lol xx


  6. those are beautiful Lindsay. I don’t think I could eve begin to work with that. I can’t get done what I need to now.


  7. I love what you’ve been doing with your new bead kit, Lindsay, and well done for sussing out how to get them off the mandrels. This is not something that attracts me to start doing but I very much admire what you’ve done, and I do adore glass beads! I am sure that you will make up beautiful jewellery with them, and I hope you do very well with them at craft fairs etc. As for your soldering work, that’s amazing! I love the sea glass pendants. This is something I’d definitely like to try. How about doing a tutorial on it for us?

    I think it’s very important to show what you consider to be not your best work – I always try to show my mistakes and to admit that I am learning on the job because it really helps others to see the pitfalls to avoid, the best techniques to use, and to see how progress can be made. Keep up the good work! Your posts are always soooo worth reading – entertaining and varied, and showing how we can make beautiful things out of stuff many people would throw away!

    Happy WOYWW,
    Shoshi #77


  8. Surely a frugal lady like you will find a use for the smashed beads. 🙂

    And DH used to work at Radio Shack too! All good geeks of a certain age did at some point, I’m sure.

    Hope you have a great WOYWW (and I am interested to see what you think of the t-shirt transfer idea on my blog if you manage to get there this week. it seems just your sort of thing :))

    MA (4)


  9. Thanks for your comment, Lindsay – glad you like the spoke guards! As for working on the floor, I hate it – I’m really suffering today with aching muscles and fatigue, but while my ARTHaven is as it is, I haven’t got a large enough work surface for big projects. When we move, I shall make sure I’ve got a good big table for things like this. The room is a total tip at the moment and I can hardly move in there!!!



  10. OH OH OH!!! I have been wanting to break out hubbies solder gun and play. He thinks I am nutso. Will have to remember to come back and read this before I do. LOL

    I am new to WOYWW and friends with Sandee. Hope you have a chance to check out my blog and desk.
    Lori #81


  11. Lovely beads, and I admire your patience – not sure i would keep going if I had to smash them!
    Happy woyww
    Debs #132


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