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Turning beads *NEED HELP!* (Read 500 times)
 
JoshuaBBennett
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Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Jun 9th, 2017 at 12:47am
 
I am trying to turn small beads with several diameters for both inside and outside.

The trouble I am having is drilling holes on center. I have done some research and saw mandrels could help but that would only help with one size of an inside circumference.

Here is my setup and what the beads end up turning out like. Some of them are on center (by luck) and some of them are really off (wasted wood)

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Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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*edit*
After some more research I think that mandrels would work really well for making sets of beads, but I can't find any that would allow for several sizes of beads.

I would need a kit that has sizes that go from tiny holes to really big holes. Like 1/10 inch hole all the way up to a full inch. Does any one know where to find something like that? or have a method that would work without using mandrels if  there is no such kit out there?
thanks a bunch.
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« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2017 at 1:15am by JoshuaBBennett »  
 
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Tom Hamilton
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #1 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 10:20am
 
Hi Joshua - Welcome to Woodturner's Resource forums, good to have you here.

I must admit I really don't understand exactly what you are trying to make, but I may be able to help.

I've had a similar problem to this. I found that the only way to keep things concentric is to drill the square blank first, then use that drilled hole to mount the blank, like you're talking about, on a mandrel.

The root issue is that the grain of the wood blank will make the drill go off course, ending up with a hole not centered in the blank.

As far as many different sized holes, driving the need for many sizes of mandrels, you could make your mandrels out of hardwood to the size needed and hold those in your four jaw chuck.

What are these for?

Happy Turning - Tom
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JoshuaBBennett
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #2 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 12:06pm
 
Hey Tom, thanks for the reply!

The beads are for dreadlocks, I am trying to make them for an etsy page and also for a dreadlock shop that I visit in Michigan.

I don't think I could make my own hardwood mandrels with the tools I have. I will try to find some online. I have found bead mandrels but i havent found any kits with various sizes
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« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2017 at 12:13pm by JoshuaBBennett »  
 
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Tom Hamilton
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #3 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 1:18pm
 
I make Duck Calls and use mandrels for those, my mandrels are 1/2", 5/8" and 7/8". If any of those sizes work for you, they can be found by searching for "duck call mandrels for wood lathes".

Happy Turning - Tom
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Jeff Vanden Boogart
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #4 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 1:31pm
 
Joshua, if you can make the beads, you can make the mandrels!  Easy.  Go for it!
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Don Stephan
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #5 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 7:42pm
 
My understanding of a mandrel is that the stock is held in place with a friction fit on a slightly tapered mandrel.  So you could only turn one bead at a time.

Using scrap wood,mount between centers and turn round to a desired outer diameter.  Turn some captive rings to the desired inner diameter.  when the whole length has been converted to captive rings, turn the tailstock end down to the common stock diameter, turn off the lathe and remove the rings.  Turn the stock to the largest possible next desired outer diameter and continue.
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #6 - Jun 10th, 2017 at 6:42am
 
When I look at your photos I see two things that I believe are contributing to your problem:

1) a long work piece and
2) a long(ish) drill bit

I would try starting your hole with a center bit such as these Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

The short drill takes a lot of the chance for wobble away when starting the hole.

For beads with larger holes, a tailstock center such as this one may be useful: Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

As others have said, you may need to develop a series of mandrels with the sizes of holes that you want and make one bead at a time.  It sounds tedious, but as you develop your system, it will go quite quickly.

Good luck!!
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Don Bunce
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #7 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 9:54am
 
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John Cepko
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #8 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 6:25pm
 
For pens, to get a dead center hole I do like this:
Find the center on each end of the blank.
Then with the drill chuck on an MT2 taper, I mount it in the head stock.
The tail stock has a live center with a center pin.
Line up one end center of the blank with the drill bit, and the other center with the point of the live center.
Usually, I hold the blank with a set of pliers, and gently, and slowly feed the blank into the bit using the tailstock ram.
If your bit tip, and tailstock center pin line up when touching, you can't help but have a perfectly centered hole in the blank.
Keep your speed slow on the lathe until you get a feel for it, and don't push with the ram the last 1/2 inch or so to keep from drilling your live center.DAMHIKT.
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JoshuaBBennett
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #9 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 4:16pm
 
Thanks for all the input. It helps a lot.

I did some more poking around and came to the conclusion that I might have to build my own custom lathes(hard for me because I have never worked with machines like this).

I am trying to replicate the best I can this youtube video.
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He is using a pen lathe (one size only) and he is also using brass inserts which I do not plan on using. I like that he can put 5 beads on at once, centered by lathing and not trying to drill through an already made bead.

So what I came up to best replicate this is using a Collet Chuck ( Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register )

It holds 1/8" through 1/2" which are good sizes for the beads. (the kit is pricey, I will most likely find individual collet sizes and avoid spending 130$)

I would then need solid rods in each size of the collets so, 1/8" through 1/2" and long enough to spin 6-9 beads on each rod, and then spacers to space the beads for turning like in the video.

Then the issue I have is having a receiving piece on the other side of the lathe to hold the steel rods and also be able to sandwich the beads/spacers hard enough for the beads to not spin on the rod once they're on there. I found this piece and I'm hoping it can sandwich the beads by letting it slide toward the beads on the rod before tightening it up.

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Does this sound like a good plan to you guys? or might you have any tips to help make it a bit easier than that?
I get the feeling I may be over complicating it a bit.

I also have yet to find a good source for steel rods and spacers. I think I would have to call a company to custom make the sizes and spacers.


Besides that plan, from Don Bunce's link, these mandrel rods look promising but I don't understand how I could use them, or what parts they are compatible with to use in the first place.

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And again thanks for the input. It is my first year using a lathe and I've been having this issue with drilling beads/making beads since I've started and I have wasted a lot of wood..
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« Last Edit: Jun 13th, 2017 at 4:20pm by JoshuaBBennett »  
 
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Don Bunce
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #10 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 5:33pm
 
Here is a link to a set of 2MT collets that will do the same thing, but less expensive.

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You can get various sized rods, (steel or brass) at most hardware or hobby stores. music wire would be good.

On the tailstock end, drill a hole to match your mandrel size in a small block of wood that extends about 1/2" past the mandrel. Apply pressure against the beads with the tailstock point, making sure it doesn't hit the mandrel.

The spacers can be easily made of wood.
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Tom Hamilton
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #11 - Jun 19th, 2017 at 1:35pm
 
Hi Joshua - I watched the video you gave the link to. If I were you I would repeat what was done in the video until you have that process down.

Then after that you can expand what you make, based on what you learned. Here is a link to a set-up that will get you started like in the video. It has both the drive and tailstock ends, mandrel and a couple spacers, all you need to get started.

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And if you wanted to use the brass tubes like in the video they are available from the same folks, and are inexpensive.

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A key element in the video turners presentation was using a pen mandrel for the work, which makes it very easy.

Happy Turning - Tom
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #12 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 7:02am
 
I used a similar technique for a recorder body.   I pre-drilled the through hole, chucked the drive end and selected an appropriately-sized tip from my live center set for the tailstock end.   The replaceable tips on the live center set give me a lot of flexibility on mounting choices for pieces with holes, dimples or indentations in/on the end.
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #13 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 8:44am
 
My experience is turning reel seats for fly rods and wooden ferrules for in front of the handle.  What I have found is that I have to drill first, mount on a mandrel for the seat, and turn.  Drilling puts a lot of outward pressure on the piece and if I turn firs and then try to drill I crack the work piece.  Sometimes I just turn the little ferrules by rounding a piece between centers and then working out on the end with the drill and then turn.  I think I could turn beads that way also because they would be thicker than the tapered pieces I turn for the fly rods.  I hold the rod in a 3-jaw lmetal athe chuck that grips over a long surface so it does not wobble.
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Re: Turning beads *NEED HELP!*
Reply #14 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 9:15am
 
JoshuaBBennett wrote on Jun 13th, 2017 at 4:16pm:
I am trying to replicate the best I can this youtube video.
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He is using a pen lathe (one size only) and he is also using brass inserts which I do not plan on using. I like that he can put 5 beads on at once, centered by lathing and not trying to drill through an already made bead.

The video seems straight forward to me, you can do the same thing with or without a brass insert. You can also use a standard pen mandrel or a collet chuck and mandrel, it doesn't make a difference. The bead is turned on a shaft, it makes no difference how it's driven.
If you want/need to offer different diameter beads (holes) it may be better to go with a collet chuck and use different diameter rods for each size.

Drill blank
Glue in brass tube or not, that's up to you
Leave whole or cut into sections (bead length) like the video
Fit over standard pen mandrel use bushings if necessary.
If blank was left whole,
Turn bead body to final diameter, turn intersection between beads to near final diameter.
Remove, cut apart and sand.
If blank was cut into individual bead size,
Turn and sand just as in the video.

This is certainly not the only way to do this operation and there are many different types of dedicated bead making machines available. (for a price)

Making a few individual beads is easy but can be time consuming for what you get. Turning a large quantity would/should IMO require some type of duplicating method or machine.
It all depends on what your time is worth and what your final product will return.
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