Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Brass-Handled 1/16 Mandrels

Ok - I had to look these up to figure out what the heck they are supposed to do. Mostly, I just plunge right in, figuring that good design makes for obvious usage. However - I couldn't figure these out. Obviously they were mandrels, but uh, do I dip the brass side or the steel side?

And the reason that wasn't obvious to me is - geez - there's not much room to make beads on that short bit there.

The answer is, you dip the steel side, and the brass part is the handle. The brass tubing fit over the end and crimped into place makes the mandrel fatter and more comfortable to use.

Apparently, I never noticed that it is harder to hold a 1/16 mandrel. This would be because I hardly use them. Something about not making an elephant on a toothpick, I should think.


  1. Yes, - they are nice and comfy in the hand. That's good.
  2. One of them bent in the flame. Ok, that's not actually that uncommon when I use 1/16 mandrels - usually doesn't happen with new ones, however. But I'm using a Mid-Range, so - lot's of heat.
  3. Two of them came out of the package bent. When I went to use them, slight wobble. Totally unacceptable.
  4. Two of them were slightly loose in the brass tubing - the rattle was really distracting - it sounds and feels like the glass cracking on the mandrel when the mandrel moves inside it's handle. Not liking at all.
  5. Lawdy - do NOT hit the brass handle with the flame - it heats up faster than a minivan in a mall parking lot.
  6. Just not enough room - lookitthat - Enough room for five beads. Maybe six if you are skilled. If I'm going to make these miserable tiny beads - I want to crank out ten at a time.
Has my prejudice against small beads with small holes revealed itself yet?

This is solving a problem that I didn't know I had, and now that I've thought about it - I still don't have it.

If you have found that your hand hurts when you make beads and you do enjoy tiny beads and prefer tiny holes - then, by all means try them. I think I would insist on buying them in person and taking them all out of the package for close inspection first.

I'll let you know how they survive having the beads pulled and re-using them.

For major production users, who would probably benefit most from the ergonomics involved - I suspect that the working area is too small. Maybe there is a 12 inch version? (These are 9 inches in total, 6 of which are handle.)

1 comment:

  1. And then there's those of us who always get their beads stuck and use a rivet tool to get them off. You would get that over the handle exactly how?
    But I don't like 9" mandrels anyway (too short).