Tidbit Thursday! ~ Foster Fire Bead Release

Today marks the first installment of Tidbit Thursday! *insert theme music* My intention for this segment of the blog is to offer my experiences in glass, tools or business and what works for me. First on the agenda… Foster Fire Smooth & Tuff.

Before the completion of my glass studio at home, I torched at a local studio here in St. Louis and always used the release the studio provided. I can not tell you how many times I mourned the loss of a bead because it was stuck on the mandrel. Also, because I use the skinny 1/6th mandrel for a majority of by beads, I would bend the mandrel trying to take them off.

Enter Missouri Bead Retreat 2007. A good friend of mine, Venessa, was using Foster Fire Smooth & Tuff for her own work and let some of us beaders try. I was instantly converted! What I love about this bead release is that it only took a simple twist to remove a bead. So far it’s worked great for the various size mandrels I use… anywhere from the skinny 1/16th mandrel to the big 3/4th big-hole mandrel. I’ve only had problems with it once; it cracked like crazy when I flame-dried it using a big hole mandrel. Even the studio bead release did the same so I chalked it up to weather conditions.

What Rocks:

• Goes on easily once thinned down, easy to use.
• Beads come off easily from the mandrel (used pliers to grip the mandrel).
• You can flame-dry the release the flame.

Things to consider:
• Very thick release, I’ve always poured some in another bottle then added water to thin down.
• A little bit harder to remove the extra release off a mandrel after being in the kiln. It ‘sticks’ more, even under running water. A slightly abrasive sponge would work to remove the extra release.

Take care everyone… Happy Thursday. 🙂

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One thought on “Tidbit Thursday! ~ Foster Fire Bead Release

  1. Thanks for the tidbits!I was also a convert to Smooth and Tuff but started having cracking problems on larger mandrels. I had sold off my Bucket O Mud so I went back to regular Foster Fire for mandrels larger than 1/16″.Now I’m wondering if I should try thinning it way down again. I think I forgot about that part.

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