Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All About Coring #1

There is a lot of confusion as to what size mandrels and what size sterling silver tubing to get to core beads that will fit Pandora/Biagi bracelets, a very popular European jewelry that's taking American by storm! Many lampworkers, myself included, are making sterling silver cored (and sometimes capped!) beads that fit these wonderful bracelets and necklaces. Visit our Etsy store for some of our creation!

The thickest part of a Pandora chain is 4.2mm and Biagi chain is 4.1mm. (I believe Troll is 4mm but I don't have a Troll bracelet so can't say for certain.) Most sterling silver tubings available from Rio Grande, Monsterslayer, etc. that have ID/inside diameter that fit the Pandora chain require a 1/4" mandrel. The problem is that lampworked bead made one 1/4" mandrels get large quickly rendering them useless for bracelets usage. In addition, the larger the mandrels, the more difficult it is to get the glass centered.

Debbi Hackeson/ginkodesigns worked with Indian Jewelry Supply to custom make a tubing that has a thinner wall (27 gauge) and require a 3/16" mandrel, yet still fit Pandora chain with a ID of 4.37mm (OD is 5.08mm). This has become the most used tubing size within the lampworking community of late.

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