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Forming beads

Sharron-- You might be able to reproduce the shape you want using a
product called “Jett Sett”. I bought some from Rio, though I haven’t
used it yet. It’s a thermoset plastic. You put the little pellets in
hot water to form them, and when they’re cool, you can hammer on the
form. You could make a two-part form to sink your bead halves into.
You can also reheat and reuse it. Hope this helps. -Noel

Hi Noel; Excellent suggestion on using the thermoset plastic for die
making. I’d forgotten about it, although I use the stuff for holding
things while setting. I’m getting ready to participate in a workshop
on hydraulic die forming. I believe I may just look into how it
holds up for that, rather than using the “liquid steel” that’s so
popular with the system for making conforming dies.

David L. Huffman

David - in re your question about whether thermoplastic can be used
for hydraulic die forming - I asked Lee Marshall (Mr. Hydraulic Press
himself) that same question a bit ago (sounded like an easy way to
make a die), and he felt that it was not suitable - not strong enough
to withstand the pressures.

I have used it successfully though for dies used w/ an Ivy-powered


David - Jett-Sett works great with the hydraulic press. I saw Lee
Marshall demo with it at the SNAG conference last year in Boston. It
stood up under amazing pressure. You can also reshape hammer heads
with it. I use it to hold work while engraving. I tried it for
graver handles, but didn’t like it for that. It’s a great product! Gini in FL

David, I have used an epoxy/steel product from Anchor Seal of Danvers,
MA to make molds for Hydraulic Dye Forming using Lee Marshall’s press.
I think that it would work fine for forming beads. Joel Schwalb

Thanks for that opinion on thermoplastic as applied to hydraulic
dies. I’m going to give it a try anyway. I find the stuff to be
pretty tough. If it were contained within a steel sleeve, my bet is
that it would work if the metal guage weren’t too heavy. My interest
in it is that it would set a lot faster than an epoxy type catalytic
resin. Thanks for the info, I’ll get back to you with results later.

David L. Huffman

Hi All - Noting that Jini’s thoughts on thermoplastic were opposite to
what I recalled, I posted the question to the Hydraulic Dye Forming
Forum at, and
here’s what Phil Poirier thinks…

Hi Ivy, I use aquaplast quite often in my press to act as an opposing
die into a negative or positive die. It works well with the main
limitation being pressure. If the detail in the die is minimal and the
metal is not to thick it’ll work just fine. I have found that a
similar plastic that Rio sells called “JetSet” is better for holding
stone-settings and not as good in the press. I usually get my
aquaplast at Frei and Borel but I’m always looking for a better source
if you have one! Phil


I go to Protoplast WFN/Aquaplast Corp. the
manufacturer.1-800-526-5247 30 Lawlins Park Wyckoff , N.J.481-1443 they
will be glad to give you prices and other I also use
aquaplast to cast. It burns out clean with the same schedule a wax. Frank Goss