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Beads and glass supplies from Tuffnells
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Author Topic: Thrifty Frugal Tips and Tricks for FlameWorkers  (Read 31388 times)
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funkibeads
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« 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...
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Yellow friend
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« Reply #1 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  Cheesy
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Nikki
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« Reply #2 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. Grin
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Zia
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My kid making his own "Alien Poops!"


« Reply #3 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!




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Melting glass again! "happy dance"
funkibeads
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« Reply #4 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...
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Diane
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« Reply #5 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 Huh



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Magpie
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« Reply #6 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.
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Hules
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« Reply #7 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  Cool

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  Grin  I popped the fibre blanket in (cut to size so about 4 layers) and put the lid back on.  



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  Roll Eyes. I duct fumes out the window and it works fine.

Julia x
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 04:13:01 PM by Hules » Logged

jobead
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« Reply #8 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  Wink


 Smiley
Jo
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Veebee
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« Reply #9 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  Cool

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  Grin  I popped the fibre blanket in (cut to size so about 4 layers) and put the lid back on.  



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!  Grin

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!
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jobead
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 04:32:40 PM »

Definitely going to try out that frit idea, thanks.
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hollergrafik
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« Reply #11 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.
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Pat from Canvey
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Keep on blowing


« Reply #12 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.
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Pat from Canvey
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Keep on blowing


« Reply #13 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.
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Yellow friend
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« Reply #14 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.
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