Enamel Beads - Making your own Bead Holder for enamelling beads

Using basic mandrels is fine but I like the type that has the sharp tips to place the metal beads or copper tube on.
I find that the sharp tip makes it easier to put the metal bead or tube on  to work with

Thompson has great Bead Holders with tips but I am in a rush and want to have for my classes

I  made some home made ones last night using 5/32 copper tube (12" long) and some 5/32 bead reamer ends

Was extremely easy and when finished worked great

5/32 coper tubing - 12" long (I like long handles)

the 5/32 bead reamer end fits nicely into the hollow 5/32 tube - 

 I put in about 1/4" of the end of the reamer 

then I used my larger cutters and crimped it down to the end -  be careful to slightly crimp just below end so that when you push on it wont push the reamer down further

nice long handle 

all made up for my classes 
took all of about 10 minutes to make all 8 
Typically you would use old reamers but in this case I needed some fast so I am using my new ones -

I figure approx cost is 3.50 and I could take another .50 off if I only had 6" handles 


  1. Will these get hot? I know the copper would but not sure of the metal in the bead reamers. Where did you order your beads from?

  2. I've been torching tonight and so far no hot handle
    I cool the tip after each use but so far the heat has not migrated up the handle - I was thinking same thing - that copper does transfer heat - the thompson ones are aluminium and can transfer as well but they do not get hot either - but you only use it into the flame for a small amount of time - I was also using another one I made - I used some copper tubing from Home depot and its only 6" long and still no heat - so far very successful