Glass Scrap

10 years ago

Glass Scrap
Glass Scrap

Glass beads allow you to be creative because they are as small or as large, as you prefer, and are formed in any shape that you choose. Beads are also celebrated in the glass art community and highly treasured by collectors. Before you begin on this exciting journey, learn about the essential bead making supplies that you need.


Many beadmakers opt to work with sodium lime (soft) glass because it melts quicker, has a larger color palette and does not require the amount of heat that borosilicate (hard) glass does. When purchasing soft glass, make sure that you do not accidentally select hard glass because the two materials are incompatible and will crack if used together.


Although there are many torches on the market, a Hot Head Torch is an excellent choice for the soft glass bead maker. This torch burns hot enough to make your beads, costs less than $50 and does not need oxygen to run like other bench burners do.

Mandrels and Bead Release

When making a bead, the glass is wound around a thin, steel pipe (mandrel) that allows you to form the shape with the necessary hole in the center. Used in conjunction with the mandrel, bead release covers a portion of the pipe where you make your bead so that your design easily comes off of the mandrel when you are finished.

MAPP Gas (Propylene)

Use MAPP (propylene) gas to run your Hot Head Torch. This gas comes in a small bottle that you screw onto your torch. Find MAPP gas at a lampworking supplier, welding shop or hardware store.

Annealer or Vermiculite

After the glass is heated, the bead needs to slowly get back down to room temperature (anneal) so that it does not crack later. An annealer (kiln) is the best way to accomplish this because it holds high temperatures and controls the anneal cycle so that your work comes out intact. Even more, many kiln makers make special “bead making kilns” specifically for this glass process. If you prefer not to make an annealer investment at this time, use vermiculite. This material allows you to bury your work inside of it and then retrieve it after eight hours.

Didymium Glasses

A person who works on a bench burning torch (lampworker) must have a way to protect her eyes from the sodium glare of the heated glass. Use didymium lenses to guard against the glare.

Ventilation System

Take care to remove harmful fumes from your work station with a ventilation system. A good system may be a vented fume hood or a box fan in a window, but it depends on the type of workspace you have. Many ventilation methods exist so get more information by taking a bead making class, participating in a bead forum or contacting a lampworking supplier for help.

Dominica Esperanza writes about lampworking topics-one of her many passions.

For more information about about bead making and bead making supplies, please go to

hich of the following recycling operations (remaking from scrap) results in the biggest energy savings?

1. Aluminum
2. Glass
3. Steel
4. Paper

Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy cost of processing new aluminium. This is because the temperature necessary for melting recycled, nearly pure, aluminium is 600 °C, while to extract mined aluminium from its ore requires 900 °C.

Scrap Glass

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