[Contact] Bead making equipment

Hi all,

could someone direct me towards suppliers/ manufacturers of bead
making equipment etc? and possibly some good literature on the
processes involved.

Best regards,

David, I like these 2 suppliers. Purely my own experiance as
there are probably lots more out there.





Frantz Bead Co.

there is another called Arrow Springs I think they have a web
site Try a search on your favorite engine

Both are priced reasonably. As for basic technique, you need
some sort of bench attachment for your torch or an actual bench
burner just for working glass, Mandrels made of stainless steel,
some glass rod or cane, and a form of release to keep the glass
from sticking to the mandrels (kiln wash with a little
waterglass works good or there are comercial releases). Heat
the glass until it starts to drip like cold honey. Get a gather
and apply it to the mandrel by rotating the rod around. If you
rotate evenly enough you can get a sphere. Use a marver to
flatten or shape your bead. Anneal and you have a bead!

Jeff Cleveland aka JevFro
301 N. Lincoln
Ellensburg, Washington 98926

Hello, 550 Silver and supply seem to have a very large supply of
beading equipment. They are at: http://www.metalworks.com Their
catalog is on-line only. Go to the “Beadsource Site” and the
“Bead Source Pages” in the little blue boxes on the top. I often
order raw materials (silver) and other supplies from them. They
often ship same day, are well priced, with suburb communication.
If you call them, you can talk to real people, who actually run
the place, and know what they’ve got! (505) 598-5322

It works for me!

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry

David, Buy a copy of the magazine Bead and Button, there are
numerous advertisers who sell supplies. If you can not find a
copy their web site is http://www.beadandbutton.com The magazine
offers good instruction about all types of bead work. Check out
the sites http://www.thebeadsite.com , sponsored by the Center
for Bead Research and Arrow Springs
http://www.innercite.com/~flameon for supplies and good links.
Joan Tatum

Hi David,

If you are talking about stone beads - Covington (909)793-6636
still makes a bead mill. Basically it is a grooved plate that you
put preforms in, apply grit and lower a spring loaded top plate.
The grooved plate revolves, the preform tumbles around and is
worn down. Tumble to polish. These machines are pricey and single
use $600 Cnd last one I saw plus you still have to get a hole in
the bead (a whole (pardon the pun) 'nuther story). You might be
able to rig up your own if you are handy - reply offline and I
will email you a diagram of how it works.

If you only want a limited number of beads you can use a couple
of methods. The first is to use a conical shaped hole in the end
of a piece of hardwood or metal - the preform should fit into it
about 1/2 way or a bit deeper. Press against a silicon carbide
wheel (they bounce it around better - usually a disadvantage) and
the stone will eventually wind up round. Tumble to polish or by
hand if you don’t want fingernails.

The second method works well for hard materials, you get a piece
of copper pipe - flare it using an automotive flaring tool (pays
to have a Dad with a well equiped shop). Dop the preform so half
is exposed. Charge the copper with diamond grit and put it in a
electric drill. Turn the drill on and apply the stone, turning it
all around. When you have one half done re-dop the other way
round and do the other side.

If you want more info let me know and I will track down the
names of the books with these techniques in them. For hand made
stone beads (or glass) check out Lapidary Journal, they had a
couple articles as well in the past year or so - check out the
online search at their web site (http://www.lapidaryjournal.com).

Cameron Speedie
Island Gem and Rock