Zippz! is super-fine and designed to shrink-fit hard and thin onto your mandrels. As a result, mandrel prep is a bit more important than with typical, coarser releases. We recommend sanding new or used mandrels with 400-grit waterproof sandpaper prior to using Zippz! for the first time, and have enclosed a small strip for your convenience. Sand them until they feel smooth between your fingers, then repeat as often as needed to keep them smooth. Scrub mandrels in sudsy water between uses and make sure they’re completely dry before dipping.
Zippz! releases a water layer on top with standing, so SHAKE WELL BEFORE USING and then tap the bottle on your bench top to settle Zippz! away from the lid before opening. Rinse the lid and wipe the bottle threads with a wet towel occasionally to avoid a build-up of dried release that could fall back into the bottle.
Dip mandrels only once. This will create a thinner release layer than you’re probably used to, but it’s plenty as long as your mandrels are free of burrs. Air dry mandrels vertically for best results.
Zippz! requires occasional thinning with distilled water. Don’t be surprised if thinning is needed frequently at first, and occasionally thereafter. You’ll know it’s time to thin when “starring” or cracking of the release occurs upon drying. This tendency will appear first with larger mandrels, which need a slightly thinner consistency than thinner mandrels. When cracking or starring occurs, rinse out the bottle lid and add a full capful of distilled water (do not use tap water, it makes a difference!) Shake well, then dip and flame-dry a test mandrel. If cracking or starring still occurs, repeat until it doesn’t.
When Zippz! is thinned to the proper consistency you’ll get smooth, run-free, crack-free mandrels by either flame- or air-drying, both of which work fine for standard uses. Air drying is recommended for transparents and heavier-duty work. One to two hours of air drying time should be plenty, but if you’re in a hurry a fan will have you ready to torch in about 15-20 minutes. Always flame-dry a test mandrel before dipping a large batch to air dry!
Flash the mandrel hard at the glass starting point for peak strength, and to protect against bubble formation under higher heat. Do NOT flash the entire release surface, it’s not necessary and may give undesirable results. For transparents, you’ll get the best clarity by keeping the first wrap or two of glass outside the flame and on the cooler side, and by keeping the core of the bead from becoming too molten right next to the mandrel. This will create a much less porous (and far clearer) bead hole. (For Sparkling-Clear transparent bead holes, use our Zappz! Bead Hole Polish… the results are truly amazing.) Opaque glasses can be worked any way you choose. Zippz! will take the heat and clean out just fine afterwards.
Bead Removal TippZ
You’ll never remove beads from a mandrel easier than with Zippz! Just dip them into room-temperature sudsy water for 30 seconds or so, depending on bead size, to let the liquid wick up under the bead. They’ll twist right off by hand.
Harsh pre-soaking solutions aren’t necessary with Zippz! A brief soak in standard dish detergent solution followed by a few swipes with a mandrel will remove the release, and a sudsy pipe cleaner and quick rinse will sweep away any last traces of residue. Simply put, Zippz! will be the fastest- and easiest-cleaning bead release you’ve ever used. We made it that way on purpose because, like you, we HATE cleaning beads and would rather spend our time making beads than cleaning them!
Release cracks upon drying – thin it until it doesn’t. Stop before it gets runny.
Stuck beads – typically means the mandrel’s got a burr or ridge. Sand smooth.
Broken Release – try flashing the contact point a bit harder. If you do break one loose, it may be possible to slide it onto adjacent release and tack it with a dot of glass along one end. I’ve done this trick and worked beads to completion just fine.
Tinkerers – Please don’t vent your chemist tendencies on our release, or mix it with other releases. It’s not the same and you won’t like the result. Zippz! dries fast and won’t mold or rot, so NO alcohol, bleach, acetone, drain cleaner, pesticides, etc…
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