Featured Tools and Supplies

(A showcase of noteworthy tools and supplies)

The items offered on this page are here because they, in our opinion, have one or more of the following attributes:

Ease of use

Good durability

Good value

Enhances safety

Hard to find

Simplifies difficult tasks

Little known

Frequently misunderstood

"Don't get no respect"!

 Clearance Priced

 

 Just plain fun

Items will be added just a few at a time as we find just 
"the right stuff"
!
(The above quote is admittedly used a bit out of context.)

NEW! Getting Started

Basic instructional books
Beginner tool packages

NEW! Lampwork bead making 
starter kit.

All the basic tools for making glass beads.
Sal-Ammoniac Block Glass Cutter- The Thomas Grip Cutter
Square Brass Cap, 1 3/4" Bevel Clearance
Fish Bead Refills Excelite Flush Cutters- (Metal Nipper)
Cast Glass "Lustered" Stars Hakko 456 Soldering Iron
Soldering Aids- Tip Anti Seize  

 

Excelite Flush Cutters

Easy to use Good value
Little known Hard to find
When working with light brass channel, you need to cut the leaf on the sides in order to make corner bends. For the last 15 or so years, we've been using the same two pairs of worn out scissor type mini shears, unable to locate a suitable replacement.
We just discovered these little beauties and we're really excited! Not only do they fill the bill, but they do a better job than our old shears ever did. Unlike a scissors, the blades meet flush rather than crossing one another. The result is cleaner cuts on both leafs of the channel.

If you've ever cut channel with a regular scissors type shear, you probably know what I'm trying to say. If not, you'll have to take my word for it. Besides, these seem to be the ONLY real choice available anyway!

The soft rubber grips are comfortable to hold and with the ability to cut metals flush you'll probably find a ton of uses for them, from trimming bits of came to removing little solder points when you don't have a hot iron handy.

As an added bonus, they're affordable! We paid about $16.00 for the old scissors type and would have gladly done it again, if we could find them.

     

Just $7.95 

 

 

 


Sal-Ammoniac Block

Hard to find Little known
The following is reprinted from the glassworking tips archive:
Sal ammoniac is a naturally occurring ammonia salt that is used for "tinning", which means coating with solder. Some metals like copper can be tinned quite easily using just flux, while other metals like the steel jackets on soldering tips take a bit more coercing. That's where the sal ammoniac comes in. The sal ammoniac tinning block has the ability to clean the tip better than flux can so that solder will easily adhere to it.
You need to use a fully heated iron tip, which will cause sal ammoniac to "sublime", which means to go straight from the solid white block and turn into a gas, in this case a choking white ammonia smoke. (So it is best to tin your iron with active ventilation.) Just add solder while rubbing all surfaces of the tip firmly on the block. When all surfaces are nice and shiny quickly turn the iron temperature down before you burn off the nice new tinning job!

Now here's something I learned from a real old timer I worked for twenty years ago. You can break off a chunk from a sal ammoniac block and dissolve it to make sal ammoniac water. (About two tablespoons full to a cup of water.)
As you work if you see the bright shine of your clean tip begin to dull a quick dip (actually more of a jab) into the sal ammoniac water cup will quickly restore the shine without causing the corrosive fumes that using flux would.
It is important to learn the correct technique for this. The iron tip must enter and exit the water as quickly as possible without getting the iron barrel into the water. If done properly you will hear a sharp "KISSing" noise as a thermal shock breaks all of the oxides off of your tip and they fall to the bottom of the cup. If you do it too slowly the junk will not break off and your iron will be over-cooled so you will have to wait to resume your work.
When the cup fills up with junk in a few months, throw it away and start over. Sometimes the salt tries to escape. If it starts to crawl out of the cup, just scrape it back in.

1/4 pound block, just $4.95. Lasts a long time!

 

 

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