Frit-Happens !

Lampwork => Lampworking Tip n Tricks => Topic started by: funkibeads on March 06, 2010, 04:56:07 AM



Title: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: funkibeads on March 06, 2010, 04:56:07 AM
Hi there,

Just wondering if anyone has any brilliant suggestions as to how to be extra economical in these recessionista times when making glass beads or in any other spheres related to beadmaking. Possible suggestions are frits, powders, rods, kilns, mandrels, bead release, packaging, postage, containers etc etc etc techniques. Essentially anything that will save you/us a little money here and there at no expense of quality.

There is a similar thread on LE in the states - but I thought it would be good for us Brits to have a go too. It could even go as far to set up a car share to FlameOff... who knows where this could lead. All good things Greg (funkibeads)

May the flame be with you...


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Yellow friend on March 06, 2010, 05:47:31 AM
Well - thought I'd start this off - I use jars for storage and top up my bead release with distilled water and only dip to just over the width of the beads that I'm making at the time.   Make stringers from my short bits of glass, melt down old bottles.  Some people make their own mandrels. I use cheap long nose pliers and an old potters knife.  I keep nearly all my odd bits of twisties etc and bung them all together - sometimes it works, sometimes not.  If I do a bead that I'm not happy with, I will either smother it in an opaque and decorate on the top of that, or just melt it all down & make an 'organic'.  Also I use any scummy clear glass as a base, especially when ultimately using more expensive glass.

I'm sure there's loads of other things I do without thinking  :D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Nikki on March 06, 2010, 06:37:04 AM
I was at the dentist on Wednesday and asked if they had any old tools, the answer was yes and I now have all sorts of pokey tools to try out. ;D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Zia on March 06, 2010, 07:41:19 AM
I am certainly not the thriftiest person in the world and tend to waste sometimes but as this is still a hobby for me, I saved a bit of cash by doing the following:

I use old spoons and knives to shape my beads on occasion (especially before I could afford presses)
I keep most glass pickle jars for keeping my stringers, bits of rods and anything else glassy in (Ithink most ppl do this!)
I use old plant pots for storing my tools (and longer rods not in use)
I made my own glass rack by using left overs from a building site (metal casing for pp walls) and covered them in felt in order not to scratch the glass -
I keep all packaging sent to me and reuse them to send other things
I use an old fondue pot for my vermculite
I use those packaging things for surprise eggs to sort my beads in
I use an old cd rack, added some wire and use it as a bead stand (I dont sell my beads so its purely for me to look at)
I collect old cigar casings (the metal ones) and use them for my bead release, so I dont waste much and the big tub doesnt dry out either! Once you get the hang of it easy to use really

When I have a clearup I sort out all my left over stringers, put them in a jar and crunch them up to use for frit! and then store them in old spice jars or small bottles from deos, shampoos etc.
I was too lazy to turn my shorts into frits this time and gave them away to newbies to use for whatever.

oh and I bought some welding rods to make my own mandrals, just havent gotten down to making or using them yet.

Finally, I got some tools used for model making really cheap which I use as poking and prodding tools (alot cheaper than the ones you buy for beading)

Most of these things I am still really happily using.

xxx thanks for starting this thread, would love to hear what other ppl do to save!






Title: Thrifty Bead Release
Post by: funkibeads on March 06, 2010, 09:11:26 AM
Thanks for your threads so far - here is an idea... Loved the one about cigar tubes

When your commercial bead release is getting down to the last inch or two in a tall pot - like some companies use, and it is starting to dry out and get crusty... Just add a little water and a few old redundant marbles or stones. Then shake it vigorously for a few minutes like a good vodka martini cocktail - and you'll have a load that is perfectly respectable for a few more sessions and the volume of the stones will raise the remains high enough to dip your mandrel fully.

That's what I call: " Release on The Rocks: shaken, not stirred, Miss MoneyPenny..." Lol Greg

PS Anyone got a recipe for a tried and tested home made bead release - I just know they are out there, it involves diatomaceous earth, kiln wash and graphite... but what are the percentages ?
PPS " The Thrift Book" by India Knight (pub Penguin/Fig Tree) is ace for living well and spending less...


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Diane on March 06, 2010, 09:26:35 AM
Quote
PS Anyone got a recipe for a tried and tested home made bead release - I just know they are out there, it involves diatomaceous earth, kiln wash and graphite... but what are the percentages ?

I'd love to know the recipe too - remember hearing about it some time ago but can't remember where ???





Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Magpie on March 06, 2010, 10:33:04 AM
Keep your black, white, clear, ivory and silvered ivory stringers seperate from everything else. Save them when they get down to burnt finger length. After collecting a few you can melt them together to make new stringers. Make sure they're clean though. I don't have the energy to do this with coloured stringers thoug, just tend to stick them back to the end of the rod when I've finished, so long as I know what colour they are. Wtill have huge pot fulls of them though.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Hules on March 06, 2010, 11:40:58 AM
I love threads like this!

I do all sorts of stuff, most already mentioned on here, but I do have my own 'special' invention  8)

This is my way of letting the beadies slow down really slowly in the fibre blanket and it really works.  It was really easy to make.  I just cut two slits in the front of the base of the tin with strong old scissors and then bent it in on itself which made a kind of bead door  ;D  I popped the fibre blanket in (cut to size so about 4 layers) and put the lid back on.  

(http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af231/Hulesx/GlassBeads023.jpg)

What else..........?  I bought a pack of mini screwdrivers from tescos in their DIY 1 range and they've been brilliant for poking holes.  Plus my ventilation is a cooker hood I got off freecycle in a gorgeous brown colour  ::). I duct fumes out the window and it works fine.

Julia x


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: jobead on March 06, 2010, 04:07:48 PM
I have a biscuit tin but up to now I have only kept my beads that are waiitng to be annealed but now I will try this out.

I always reuse padded envelopes and packaging when posting out jewellery or beads, I can't bare to throw all the packaging I receive away. I have a bubble wrap stash  ;)


 :)
Jo


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Veebee on March 06, 2010, 04:17:52 PM
I love threads like this!

I do all sorts of stuff, most already mentioned on here, but I do have my own 'special' invention  8)

This is my way of letting the beadies slow down really slowly in the fibre blanket and it really works.  It was really easy to make.  I just cut two slits in the front of the base of the tin with strong old scissors and then bent it in on itself which made a kind of bead door  ;D  I popped the fibre blanket in (cut to size so about 4 layers) and put the lid back on.  

(http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af231/Hulesx/GlassBeads023.jpg)

What else..........?  I bought a pack of mini screwdrivers from tescos in their DIY 1 range and they've been brilliant for poking holes.  Plus my ventilation is a cooker hood I got off freecycle in a gorgeous brown colour. I duct fumes out the window and it works fine.

Julia x


Very similar to mine, I have a pizza stone covered in foil as a base, 2 layers of fibre blanket, 2 more layers of fibre blanket topped with foill and a poiundland deep roasting tin. Works a treat!  ;D

Make frit from your shorts. Have an empty, clean tin can full of cold water, stuff a coffee filter or cheap jay cloth in to form an open bag. Heat up your shorts and plunge them in the water. They'll shatter into frit and you can lift the "bag" out of the water and leave it aside to dry.

Oh, and I bought a fish knife from a charity shop for 10p, fab shaping tool!


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: jobead on March 06, 2010, 04:32:40 PM
Definitely going to try out that frit idea, thanks.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: hollergrafik on March 06, 2010, 06:17:36 PM
I am all for swaps, I like swapping glass and frits with other people, that way we get to try other things.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Pat from Canvey on March 07, 2010, 08:18:24 AM
If you use an anti-perspirant with a roller ball applicator, like the Sanex ones, take them apart when they are empty. Just use an old pair of scissos to get out the ball. This can be used for those who cover them in seed beads or as a playball for cats. Once the casing is clean, punch a small hole in the top and use as a sprinkler for enamels. You can also use the bits for storing small findings etc or to provide a very strong protective case with cotton wool for that special bead. You can label the plastic permanently with CD marker pens.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Pat from Canvey on March 07, 2010, 08:24:47 AM
Forgot to mention, you can use an old Geroge Forman grill to preheat rods. The grooves are just the right size to keep the rods seperate. Again bought for 2.50 in a boot sale.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Yellow friend on March 07, 2010, 07:28:21 PM
I also use 1/2 coconut shells (my husband eats a lot of them as he can't eat sugar/normal desserts) and camembert/soft cheese boxes - the ones with lids for sorting/storing beads.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Jeanniegems on March 08, 2010, 05:10:21 AM
love the george forman grill idea, have been lookig for a cheap platewarmer but these grills are indeed everywhere, Ta muchly

Jeannie


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: funkibeads on March 08, 2010, 05:37:06 AM
Did you hear about the lady who tried to use spaghetti as mandrels ? That is just taking the thrifty thing a little too far... ::)

Anyway I was at our local recycling tip yesterday. It's a place when you can dump your household goods you don't want anymore & pick up stuff for a bargain that others have dumped them. There I found a wrought iron wine bottle holder - will take up to 18 bottles & I thought hey presto - brilliant glass rod storage device. It only cost 2. What a bargain. And dammit I missed out on one of the grill things - what a great idea for a rod warmer. They'd be perfect for shocky glass rods that are frit on a stick types.

Which also got me thinking - nobody has mentioned freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org yet. It's a perfect place for picking up odds and ends for free. Just google it and you should find one in your local area, set up an account, give some stuff away and you are all set for a wonderful recycling experience. Have fun - Greg


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: funkibeads on March 08, 2010, 06:49:55 AM
And to add more fun to the post - apparently (according to a thread on WetCanvas in the USA) someone out there uses pancake batter and powdered graphite as bead release. Can you imagine... spaghetti mandrels and pancake batter release. Next they'll be talking about using chocolate bars as marvers... lol Greg


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Pandanimal on March 08, 2010, 07:28:32 AM
Mmmmmm......Chocolate!


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: princess pink on March 08, 2010, 08:05:53 AM
i love the idea of asking the dentist for old tools, i've got an appointment this afternoon so will ask him then! x


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Mand on March 12, 2010, 05:13:24 AM
What about saving any glass chips that chip off from any glassware - pyrex dishes/wine glasses/tumblers etc, then you could make your own clear frit :D  It may take a while to save enough for a whole jar of frit, but wow wouldn't it save a fortune?...  Although the coe difference would be tricky .... I'm going now :-X :P   sorry


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Cecilia on March 12, 2010, 06:38:05 AM
Being a nurse I of course keep my bead release in a urine / specimen bottle, it is ideally tall without letting too much dry out at once, just keep topping it up from the big pot. I think I did that  after shaking bead release all over the kitchen ( lid was not on properly!) it took weeks to clear up. Fugley beads in the bottom help it mix up easier.

Also have old metal toast rack as rod rest (oxfam)

Love the george forman idea, I will have to look out for one of them.

X


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: mad bunny on March 12, 2010, 07:35:49 AM
I used to use nescafe coffee jars to store my glass but I was running out of space on my bench.  ::) 
So when we had to buy a new fridge/freezer not long ago and I used the two old salad crisper drawers with 40mm pipe standing in them to store my glass rods. 


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: turnedlight on March 12, 2010, 07:57:17 AM
Greg, I got my wine bottle rack from a charity shop - great minds think alike! :D
I joined my local freecycle years ago, but it only gets about one post a month - no one really uses it.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Mand on March 12, 2010, 10:21:21 AM
Being a nurse I of course keep my bead release in a urine / specimen bottle,

X

Hope no one decides to pee in it then... ;)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: cwest on March 12, 2010, 01:15:43 PM
Being a nurse I of course keep my bead release in a urine / specimen bottle, it is ideally tall without letting too much dry out at once, just keep topping it up from the big pot. I think I did that  after shaking bead release all over the kitchen ( lid was not on properly!) it took weeks to clear up. Fugley beads in the bottom help it mix up easier.

I do that too! They are just the right size,could have been made for the job.

Carolyn


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: GlassOcean on March 12, 2010, 04:05:00 PM
I am always rummaging through builders skips!  There are quite a few round here for properties being done up before the season starts, you can pick up amazing things for nowt!  My desks came from a skip! 

I use a spice rack, it is circular and filled with test tubes fr holding stringer, mandrels and the odd glass rod!

I keep my odd rods (there are A LOT of these!) in some ceramic jugs I got from the tip!  My chair came from there, my vermiculite is in an old terracotta chicken cooker!

I made my own mandrel stand by drilling different sized holes in a  length of wood.

And I got some bricks from the inside of night storage heaters from outside a house being done up the other week!

I am such a pikey!  I love a bit of free stuff!


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ARBeads on March 12, 2010, 04:22:20 PM
If you use spaghetti as mandrels you don't need bead release, just soak in warm water till aldente................


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: sarah t on March 12, 2010, 07:15:17 PM
i save nearly all my jars for rods, beads and bits and use a large flower pot with rice in it (fill the holes in the botton first ;)) for standing my mandrels in

tic tac boxes are great for frit cus you can open them with one hand  (as im not a great at planing a head ! )

i have a couple of shoe tidys on the wall in my shed.... great for storage and such fun filling all the pockets with all those little bits







Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: squirsygirl on March 13, 2010, 04:07:03 AM

Quote
tic tac boxes are great for frit cus you can open them with one hand  (as im not a great at planing a head ! )

brilliant!

Kirsty


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Sulis (Hazel) on March 13, 2010, 04:11:40 AM

tic tac boxes are great for frit cus you can open them with one hand  (as im not a great at planing a head ! )


I've been looking for a perfect frit solution for aaages this is FABULOUS Sarah!!!! Thanks!!

Pat, you're a genius with the George Foreman grill, I'm SO going to look out for one at the car boot sales this spring.

I use a round marble cheeseboard thingy for a marver - charity shop, came with a plastic dome top which I couldn't find a use for so flung out, and now wish I hadn't as it would have been good to cover up the various bits I invariably keep on my marver to stop them getting lost at the end of my torchering session.
Also 1970s style stainless steel trays are really cheap to pick up second hand and are a great place to lay hot rods/tools etc. I stand a rod holder in one end of a tray and it means that if anything rolls off because I pile everything on top, then nothing hot lands on the floor.

For fused glass work (well, slumping anyway) I picked up a stainless steel cocktail shaker, removed the lid and strainer fitting, coated the outside with kilnwash, turned it upside down on the kiln shelf and slumped glass over it. So long as you find a good stainless one, that's a lot cheaper than the nearly identical mould they sell.

LOVE this thread - Thanks!

Hazel xxx



Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Jeanniegems on March 13, 2010, 06:05:06 AM
this is such a good thread, keep the ideas coming!

Jeannie


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: sarah t on March 13, 2010, 07:38:15 AM
 after i  (and all my friends and family) have eaten enough tic tacs for all the frit i have i will nead to learn how to make glass teath  ;)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: jobead on March 13, 2010, 07:52:38 AM
Surely there's a market for glass teeth, if there is there should be  :)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Hels4444 on March 13, 2010, 07:55:42 AM
My daugther has  a dentist appoint next week, I gonna ask too  - what a fab idea xxxxxx


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ARBeads on March 13, 2010, 08:17:02 AM
Morrisons do a range of cooks measuring spoons in Stainless steel they're great for doing lentil beads of all sizes.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: squirsygirl on March 13, 2010, 08:50:07 AM
Morrisons do a range of cooks measuring spoons in Stainless steel they're great for doing lentil beads of all sizes.



ooooh - I'm off to Morrisons.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Moreton on March 13, 2010, 09:54:30 AM
Some great ideas there folks, thanks.
 
Don't forget empty film canisters (35 mm) for small screws, frit & all those little orphan items that have no real home.

I got 3 plastic record racks (vinyl albums & 45s) to hold glass pieces. Verticaly between the "loops" & easy to cut some of the loops out for thicker glass. Ebay 5

Emulsion paint, non vinyl, is a good shelf release if it is watered down a bit. Not sure if it would be any good for mandrels but could be worth a try.

The turntable from an old Microwave is just right for trailing lines/spirals on glass disks for plate fusing. I printed concentric circles on stout paper and glued that to the surface as guide lines.

Artist's brush stands are brill for pencils, cutters, odd bits of wire and assorted poking things!!! 99p from The Works (a remaindered book shop) who also have a good selection of cheap artists brushes and stuff.

My stringers (comercial bought ones) are in a panel of twin wall polycarbonate roofing cut to be a few inches shorter that the sticks & taped over on the lower end.

I lift my kiln shelf for a small testing kiln with a home made "fork lift" made fron shelf brackets and a window stay.
 
Better stop now. I will try to photo all that so that it becomes a bit more understandable.
Regards Pete




Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on March 13, 2010, 10:26:38 AM
love the george forman grill idea, have been lookig for a cheap platewarmer but these grills are indeed everywhere, Ta muchly

Jeannie

Jeannie I used to use a donut machine to keep elements like murrini and shards warm, it works really well because it has six donut rings so everything can be kept separate.

Keep an eye on the animal charity shop in front of the rec in Hayle they have lots of stuff like that for a couple of pounds ;)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on March 13, 2010, 10:32:23 AM
I got a grinder from b and q for 15 last week, I can make my own mandrels now.

I have three wine racks that hold my glass, dont use plastic pipe or card tubes because you can't fill the whole of the hole, if you see what I mean, make a loose tube out of thick card with a big overlap and as your glass expands in the hole so does the tube.

Mr frit is stored in everything from sample jars to those little tiny jam jars you get sample jams in, they are all stored on lazy susans or turntable spice racks picked up at car boots for about 50p

My metal work surface is from the local junkyard, I smiled sweetly and they even cut it to the right size. My chair is from the skip and my actual workbench I bartered some gardening time for. It was brand new in someones shed!!

Check out the cutlery boxes in charity shops and car boots, nearly everything that is metal is good for shaping


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: jobead on March 13, 2010, 02:40:00 PM
I'm not sure which is more worrying, the amount of time spent by everyone rummaging through skips and tips or the fact that I am insanely jealous that I don't have time to rummage through skips and tips  :-\

 :)
Jo

One day I will turn all the wine bottles on my window sill into beautiful beads.......................


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: jammie on March 13, 2010, 03:07:22 PM
In B&Q buying the usual white plastic pipes for glass storage  I found a blind with thick black fabric with no box or hooks and asked how much, new was 13 he said 4.99, I said, but its only a bit of material, he said 3.50s low as I can go, Done says I. It's perfect for blocking the sun out so I can see the flame as the sun comes right into my workroom. ;D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: lemon kitten on March 13, 2010, 07:27:24 PM
I melt my stringers back into the rods when I've finished using them.........how b***dy tight is that!!!  If I dont they just get stuck in a jar and I never look at them again!

Janey x....yeah....yeah.....I need to get out more  ::)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Barbara on March 14, 2010, 06:11:23 AM
Janey, that's exactly what I do!!! :D
I can't stand it any longer - those million of stringers.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Kaz on March 14, 2010, 06:32:10 AM
Nooooooooooooooooooooo!  :o :o :o Not melting stringers back into rods - I can't bear it! If life is too short to stuff a mushroom it must definitely be too short to melt stringers back into the rods!!! The only time I'd ever do that is all the bitty ends of silvered ivory stringer but even then I sometimes just chuck them if they are too short to stick on a bead!
Kazx


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Jeanniegems on March 14, 2010, 02:51:25 PM
Just come unstuck here a bit, I bid on a salton hot tray some time ago in the mistaken belief that someone would bid more. I won the bid and got the hot tray for 1.04, woopee, now I see it has postage of 12.00 not such a bargain, Moral of this story.....don't be too hasty!
still my rods will be warmer!

Jeannie


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Yellow friend on March 15, 2010, 12:36:32 PM
I stick my mandrels in a couple of pots of sand.  I also use an aluminium ice cube tray which lost its 'cube bit' to rest my hot rods on/lob shorts in when hot.  My work surface is a large black marble off cut from a kitchen my husband fitted -  he couldn't bear to throw it out so sat in the garage for a few years. Funny I still manage to find the bits of table that it doesn't cover, I quite like the smell of smouldering oak.  :D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Kalorlo on March 20, 2010, 11:15:12 AM
I picked up a set of two chamois leather sponges from the pound shop today, then got some velcro strips so I can attach them to the G clamps at the front of my bench for elbow rests  ;D

I also got a stainless steel icecream scoop plus shallow spoons that look like they could be interesting for shaping.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: noora on March 20, 2010, 04:13:14 PM
I use a couple of old ugly promotional mousemats as elbow rests :)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Emma @ Tuffnell Glass on March 23, 2010, 10:04:13 AM
ROLF Lovin this thread  ;D
I am about to throw away one of those huge george grills with the griddle plate on. Maybe it would be of some use...glass rod warmer and goldstone/milli warmer??? Hmm maybe a little big. If anyone wants it. PM Me...not sure how I would get it to you mind...if only we were having some kind of get - together next month ;)
Em xx


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: hollergrafik on March 23, 2010, 11:13:40 AM
I picked up a set of two chamois leather sponges from the pound shop today, then got some velcro strips so I can attach them to the G clamps at the front of my bench for elbow rests  ;D

I also got a stainless steel icecream scoop plus shallow spoons that look like they could be interesting for shaping.

what a great idea, I will be getting myself a couple of these now.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: princess pink on March 24, 2010, 05:29:58 AM
not sure if i have posted already but i got 3 huge floor tiles from wicks for 50p each (instead of 10 each) because each one had a cracked broken off corner! Don't ask don't get! Also i have 4 small glasses from sainsburys basics range which were 1 for 4 which i use to hold all my shorts and stringers.

i also buy small rectangular labels from smiths and label all my silver glass/special glass rods so i never get them mixed up. an expensive mistake to make!!


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Yellow friend on March 24, 2010, 06:51:31 AM
I melt one end of my silvered glass rods - so it shows its a silvered glass, then work from the other end.  I too have used Triton thinking it was cobalt  :o


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Veebee on March 26, 2010, 04:38:14 PM
Need charcoal to produce a reduction atmosphere in your kiln? Then look no further than your local pet shop! The activated charcoal sold for fish tanks is about 2.50 for 100g and that will last for ages and ages and ages and ages..........
 ;D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Ilona on March 26, 2010, 05:43:00 PM
Here is my frugal homemade base for my catwalk press.

Note the nail, is bent slightly out at the top so I can use the top of the press easily.

(http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x233/lopo_09/DSCF0884.jpg)


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: funkibeads on March 28, 2010, 02:41:28 PM
Have been saving up Morrisons "food fusions" seasonings tins for xyz for a while now - and suddenly realised what wonderful storage containers they make for frits, shorties, etc etc etc. They are 8x8x4 cm with a clear plexiglass window in the lid. Soak them in warm water + fairy liquid for 3 hours - perfect to get those dratted labels off.

And the seasonings are really rather good - poultry, fish, steak etc - it's like a fritty spice blend - ready made. So fun in the flame and the kitchen - what could be better ? I think Sainsburys do similar tins too...

Also make your own frit too - heat up a shortie in a pair of pliers, drop it in a can of cold water. Phhht zzz phah. Then sieve through a Melitta coffee filter or similar. Then dry in the airing cupboard. Use up your shorties that way. (Not my original idea - but it goes with the above  ;)).

Keep the ideas coming - superb stuff  ::) Greg


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: lemon kitten on March 28, 2010, 07:10:46 PM
I buy the pill dispensers from Wilco.  There are 7 small rectangular pots joined together in a strip, with the day of the week on the lid which is hinged with plasic, and put my frits in them.  I just label the lid so I know what frit is what.  They cost 75p for a strip of 7.  How's that!  :D

Janey


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ARBeads on March 29, 2010, 12:16:23 PM
We've drilled the lids of 3 jam jars with lots of holes to make small, medium and large frit sieves.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Pat from Canvey on April 08, 2010, 07:47:27 AM
I had a wander round my local camping and caravanning store while waiting for the garage to fit a new fuse box for my car. Saw plastic top lids for photo film canisters which can be used for enamels. Their advertised use is as make do salt and pepper shakers.


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Winny on April 12, 2010, 08:18:24 PM
My lamp is screwed to the top of an old PC table which being metal is ideal, has a handy shelf for tools that are not often used but sometimes needed, mandrels are stood up in cut off water bottles with clean cat litter, I use little pickle bowls for frit 8 for 1 at pound land, have also hear of some one using cheap metal disposable ash trays for this to,I store bit and bobs in tic tac boxes, my rods are in many glass jars. If you glass engrave talk to the dentist as I often get bits from mine. Best yet my workshop is a recycled caravan, needs to much wielding to go on the road but is great for the use it has now, ventilation is lots of windows plus PC fans,work off solar panel/van voltage to,the area I use to work in is like its own barley box being the loo area minus the door and part of the wall but still not wholly part of the Van.Light box is home made and I could go one but I get creative as money is short,freecycle is ace, we just got a garden path by re homing concrete blocks


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Passionatelamper on September 29, 2010, 03:30:21 PM
I was pondering what to do with my fly offs tonight having already said that I use a Mortar and pestle. It's quite hard that way though. Well tonight I was clearing my work bench as I have spent a lovely day beading today doggies lying in their bed and the rain lashing down and me torching..I mean what more could you ask for? where was I? ummm oh yes...
So I thought, what can I do really with all these bits that have flown off so I brushed them all up and took them out into the kitchen and do what I normally do and that is rinse them in a sieve...when I spied a  washed jam jar...I thought Hmmm! so I tipped them in the jar still wet put on the lid....and played Tom cruise for 10 minutes.. he did play the part of the cocktail shaker didn't he? My word!! By jove and Jelly babies!!!...I looked at the contents and wow oh wow perfect but perfect Frit.  :o So there you are ladies....try that for your frit and what's more it's sooooo simple.
Can't wait to get cracking tomorrow on the torch and to use the new and freshly made frit. KEWL or what?
Hope every one ok.... byeee Vonnie xx


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on September 29, 2010, 03:33:16 PM
 ;D ;D


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: KatheL on February 08, 2011, 08:16:41 PM
Love this thread!

I make a lot of my tools myself, out of various bits and bobs, more about that another time.
Stainless steel for mandrels I buy in full length directly from the steel yard (I get the local smithy to order it for me), stanless steel in 2, 3 and 4 mm diameter, comes in 3 meter lengths. Cost but a fraction of the shop sold mandrels.
Easy to cut to length, and just grind the ends so they are not sharp. You don't even need a grinder, a file will do.
If you need really thin mandrels, ask your local smithy for some stainless steel welding rods! they are about 1 mm thick, and stiff enough to keep their shape also under the weight of the bead.

Would like to make my own bead release, can get all the ingredients for a song in a ceramic/glazing company - but I need to know a bit more about how to alter the mix, for instance what to add more of, if a harder separator is required?

Kathe, Denmark


Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Jane C ♫ on September 13, 2013, 07:17:45 PM
What fabulous tips!

I made my own mandrel rack out of a piece of scrap wood and drilled holes in it.
A good "short rod" holder is a water-soaked wooden clothes peg!
I got my vermiculite from the garden centre.



Title: Re: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers
Post by: Niki Gough on September 14, 2013, 06:56:13 AM
Ooh love this, I use a cup with sand in to hold my mandrels and an old hanging flower pot to hold my mandrels waiting to be dipped. I also have an old magnetic knife rack that all of my metals tools go on to keep them organised and old butter tubs are great for storing rod ends and silver foil and the like. Also I have a pill pot from the pound store that I keep my murrini in :)