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Tube beads


#1

Does anyone have any ideas about how to make tube beads from
sterling silver sheet (as opposed to buying tube and modifying it)?
Around half inch in diameter.

I was thinking that I could use a U-channel dapping block to make
two identical “troughs” then solder them together.


#2

I make most of my own tubing, whether sterling, gold or platinum. I
do a lot of custom order work and it would cost me a fortune to stock
every size and metal required.

I start off using a trued metal strip about 3.5 times the finished
outside diameter. I start out using a dapping block forming a half
circle, and then pull through a drawplate to close the two edges. I
solder at this point and then continue to pull down to my exact
requirements. This is over simplification but will give you a
starting point to consider.

Regards, Tom


#3
I was thinking that I could use a U-channel dapping block to make
two identical "troughs" then solder them together. 

tube is made from one piece of sheet metal. The width should be a
bit over 3 times the desired diameter of the tube (pi times the tube
diameter, plus if you like, a little extra). You do indeed use your U
channel block to start with, forming a U, but then, lightly form the
edges over a bit more if you can. Put a rod about the diameter of the
end inside diameter of the tube into the channel to support lightly
hammering the edges down a bit more. If you can’t get this to work,
it’s not critical. What you then need is a drawplate with large
enough holes to draw your channel through. Unlike normal wire
drawing, because this is forming sheet at this point, and not
compressing solid wire, the jumps in size from one hole to the next
can be much larger. You can make a drawplate yourself that will start
the tube. Doesn’t even have to be steel, though that works nicely.
And the holes don’t have to be so carefully tapered. Just chamfered
at the edges. Anyway, snip the ends of the channel walls to form a V
shape in the sheet metal forming your channel at one end, so you can
grip this with draw tongs, and using that, draw your channel through
successively smaller holes, which will form it around to a tube with
a single seam. This can be soldered shut if you like, or left as an
open seam. If, using a more standard wire drawplate, you continue to
draw it down a bit past the point where the edges meet to form a
tube, the seam will compress to a nice tight fit, and this may be
all you need for beads. Or, solder the seam, clean up the solder
joint, and draw it down once or twice more, which then hides all
evidence of the soldered seam, making your tube look seamless. Then
cut into beads as desired.

Peter


#4

Tom,

I make most of my own tubing, whether sterling, gold or platinum.
I do a lot of custom order work and it would cost me a fortune to
stock every size and metal required. 

Do you use a draw bench or do you manage to draw by hand (with
pliers)?

Janet in Jerusalem


#5

I draw by hand, but not with pliers, I use with draw tongs. be nice
to have a draw bench but unfortunately no room. Lots of annealing,
sometimes after every second pull.

Regards, Tom


#6

I just ordered my first drawplate to make tubing based on the
instructions given in this thread. Thanks for all the info, I’m
excited about it!

Cheers,
Becky


#7

You have to cut strips and use a round noise pliers to start a tube
shape at one end then draw it through a round drawplate. Keep
pulling it through smaller holes till the edges touch. Solder the
seam, or not.


#8

I had the same problem with my draw bench. I figured out a way to
build it under one of my other benches so that I can pull it out to
use and then push it out of the way when not in use. Rob

Rob Meixner