Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Product Review: Planet Glass Universal Bead Release

When I started lampworking, a bottle of Fusion Products bead release came with the kit and that was what I used for a while.  It worked well, and suited my needs because I hadn't tried anything else.  Once in a while, I would marver a little too vigorously and the bead would come loose and I'd have to be finished whatever I was doing.  That was when I remembered someone talking about this blue "dip and go" stuff that was so much better.  Nothing I looked at was blue, but there was a product from Milliron Tools called Dip-n-Go Sludge that seemed to fit the bill.  It worked very well and suddenly, flakes of bead release on the beads and having to quit real quick weren't a problem anymore.  It comes in a wide-mouth jar and is a bit of a pain to mix but is smooth, consistant and reliable.  Then a jar of Planet Glass' bead release came with some glass I bought and I had to give it a try.
 I'd like to note the shape of the bottle.  Long and narrow is a good thing.  When it comes to using it, though, there are one or 2 little issues.  Dipping the mandrels results in uneven coverage so often I've taken to dipping them twice.  Also, flame drying this much bead release results in a bit of flaking, which I'm not at all comfortable with.  Assuming that I have the foresight to dip ahead of time and am careful, I have mandrels dipped in release.  It works well.  I didn't have any separation or flaking off when using and the beads are cleaned in a fraction of the time it takes with my standard Dip-n-Go.
Short and squat results in a lot of product that is just sitting on the far and not the mandrels, and I have to combine almost done jars to get enough to use.  It flame dries beautifully and doesn't come loose.  For cleaning either.  I often have to keep scrubbing.

Would I buy Universal Bead Release?  Probably not.  I like my standby, even though I wish they'd come out with a different package.  That uneven coverage thing and having to dip mandrels more than once is a drag.

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