A mandrel, sometimes misspelled mandril, is used to create a hole or channel in a fused glass piece. This might be for attaching other pieces such as a necklace or chop sticks in a sushi plate.
In the art of glass fusing, these tubular rods are made out of materials that will either burn up inside the kiln or can withstand the high temperature inside a kiln. Whatever material is used it still needs to be coated with a bead release material to keep the glass from sticking to the rod.
Steel welding rods are used when doing bead work and they can also be used inside the kiln. The metal will withstand the high temperature without warping or distorting the glass.
Other materials that can be used are generally made out of wood. This would include items such as a wooden skewer, a chopstick or even a tiny wood toothpick. Once heated inside the kiln, the wood burns out and all that is left is a hollow shell of the bead release.
The process for using these rods is quite simplistic. Determine where you want to leave a hole inside your glass piece. Make sure that the item used will leave a large enough gap to fit your needs. Coat the area that is going to be buried inside the glass with several layers of a bead release.Allow the release to dry completely to avoid any problems. Arrange the glass with the rod placed in the desired area. Fused the glass to the needed look. Once cooled, clean the glass to
remove the bead release.
Return from this page to one of the following pages:
Removing Bead Release
Holes in Pendants
Fused Glass Bracelets
Tools and Supplies
Mandrel to Glass Fusing Made Easy