Item #: NSBB
The North Star Bead Brace is used in conjunction with the blank Z-slot die to extrude nearly any hollow bead form, which is then simply cut to length. Blank Z-slot dies, made of HDPE, have only a center hole and a z-slot for the bead brace. HDPE can be easily worked with woodworking tools; it can be drilled, sawed or filed, just like a piece of wood.
In order to use the bead brace, the Z-slot die must first be drilled to match the outside diameter of the bead you want to make, if that measurement is greater than 0.25". The drilled hole must be centered on the hole that is already in the die. Then a flexible cord or string that matches the diameter of the center hole is hung through the hole in the bead brace. When the bead brace is mated to the die, both ends of the cord or string are trailed down through the hole drilled in the die and allowed to extend an inch or more below the bottom of the die. The bead brace and die are then mounted to the extruder and used exactly like any other hollow die.
Notes from North Star on using the Bead Brace
To center the hole in the clay, the string must loop through the hole and both ends must hang straight down.
1. If a 1/4" hole would work, use the standard Z-brace. The bare threaded stud will form the inside.
2. It is often useful to use wax or paraffin to keep the ends of the string together.
3. Many different kinds and thickness of cord and string can used.
4. Allow for clay shrinkage. Both the outside and inside diameters will be affected.
5. The outside of the bead can be textured or deformed in many ways while it is being extruded. For instance, the drilled hole can be further shaped with a knife or file. Other materials such as thread or fiber can be glued or taped to the top of the Z-slot die and allowed to drape down through the hole to texture the outside of the extrusion as it is being made. One or more beads of glue or silicone sealant can be used in much the same way and are more permanent.
Shipping Weight: 2 lbs.