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Thread: Clean Bead Holes with a Tumbler

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Cave Creek, AZ
    Posts
    313

    Default Clean Bead Holes with a Tumbler

    Hi Everyone.

    I haven't posted much here but I am REALLY excited to show you this! I found a way to clean beads in a tumbler. You know what that means...no more raw fingers and hands, you'll save a lot of time and you won't have to buy bead reamers or Dremel stuff.

    Check it out:

    http://lorigreenberg.com/blog/?p=1723

    Please feel free to let me know of modifications that you might make...maybe you'll come up with something even better or easier?

    Lori G.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bellevue/Greater Seattle - Washington State/USA
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    4,293

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    WOW! Lori, this is great! I really appreciate being able to go to the link, read your instructions (pictures to perfection, of course ) and then seeing people's comments.

    I agree with Tonya, the tumbler can get some "gunk", but as she noted, there are several ways to clean it. No problem with that.

    This could even save eons of time when teaching as students prepare to work on additional projects, while their beads are being "tumbled clean" - excellent.

    Thanks so much,
    Kendra

  3. #3

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    Thanks so much for sharing, Lori! Can hardly wait to try it myself.
    Margie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Cave Creek, AZ
    Posts
    313

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    Has anyone tried it yet? I am in HEAVEN! I actually look forward to getting out there and taking them off the mandrels. Now what am I going to say is my least favorite chore? I have to come up with a new one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    103

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    Well that is just too cool! Thanks!
    Julie

  6. #6

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    I was interested in reading about the method of using a tumbler to clean beads. I was wondering if this works also for large hole beads and different shaped beads where the rough texture of the mandrel is visible? I don't know how to get a smooth finish to the inside of those beads. Any suggestions? Thanks. Lois

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3

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    Thanks for the tip Lori. I tried it right away because, like everyone else, cleaning beads isn't my favorite thing.

    The positive: It worked like a charm! I didn't use pipe cleaner, rather, I just twisted up some wire with an electric screw driver. I tossed the beads in and walked away. Came back after and hour and they were done.

    The negative: It took me a LONG time to clean my stainless steel tumbler shot, not to mention lots of water as I had to rinse, wash, rinse, wash, rinse, wash .... over and over again. If I had a dedicated batch of shot to use just for bead cleaning I would just do a few rinses but because I use it for silver too, I had to get it perfectly clean again. That takes way too much time and effort. It could be that different bead releases will behave differently (I use Sludge).

    My final verdict on this one: do it if you have dedicated cleaning shot. For now I'll have to stick to the Dremel.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Leverkusen, Germany
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    Hollow beads in tumbler...

    A friend of mine gave some of her hollow beads to be tumbled instead of etching them. The outer surface got an interesting off-shiny finish, but... The shot contained sections of wire thin and short enough to go inside the beads. I tried hard to get them out. They are still in the beads if they are not etched out. But to find an etching regent for stainless steel is not easy...


    Dietmar

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