mary lockwood lampwork beads

mary lockwood lampwork beads
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Removing riveted tubing bead cores

So I'm getting into the cored beads pretty heavy.  I'm a late bloomer. Anyway, I'm not exactly a master at it yet so I end up with a few good beads that have sucky cores that I'd like to give another go. Unfortunately, removing those cores is HARD and you can hurt yourself and the bead. (I stabbed myself with the wire cutters I was trying to gouge it out with.)

This morning I figured out a way to get the core out much more easily. Still a fiddly process, but easier.

So you have a bead that you ripped the core or it flared crooked or whatever. Here's my most recent victim:

I use a jeweler's saw to cut my tubing because the little wrap around tubing cutters taper down the cut and I don't like it. The saw gives a nice flush cut that is easier to polish and makes both sides the same. I also use this saw for cutting jump rings. I take silver wire and coil it into a spring around a dowel. Slip the coil onto the saw blade and cut the whole coil at once.

Light bulb moment.

If you thread the slop cored bead onto the saw blade...

...and tighten it up... can saw through the core in 2 or 3 places (I sawed through 3 spots--if it were a clock face it would have been noon, four and eight).

This weakens the core so that you can easily pry it up and pull it out.

Rosemarie Hanus, a fellow lampworker you probably know, brought up a great point.  Try very hard not to cut into your glass bead.  You don't want to score the bead and weaken it or it could break in half.

You can try to hold the bead still and saw through it, but it was much easier for me to hold the saw still and move the bead up and down the blade.

Hope this helps someone else.