Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How to Make Your Own Bracelet Mandrel from a Baseball Bat

By on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 8 Comments

I still don't have a proper bracelet mandrel. I did get some car exhaust piping from my local hardware store to help me shape and pound wire into bangles.  But a tapered one sure would be handy to do the same plus help make a small bangle larger. I never thought about baseball bats until friend and reader Aims sent me this cool tutorial.


The instructor John Ahr shows how to saw up a baseball bat to create a bracelet mandrel complete with a tang so it can be held in a vise.



It does require some work to get this done plus proper saws.  My wood working uncle made me a wooden stepped ring mandrel.  Maybe I could ask him if he could make one for me?

But it seems from this forum posting that some jewelry makers just use the bat as is.  One uses a youth aluminum baseball bat.  Another has been using a hickory pick ax handle for years.  If the wallet is a bit thin, consider looking out for unwanted baseball bats at yard sales.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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8 comments:

  1. I'm glad you pointed out that you can just use the bat as is. That was the first thing that came to my mind. I use all kinds of household things as mandrels. That said, I'm sure it is nicer to have a special mandrel.

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    Replies
    1. I think I would buy an oval bracelet mandrel but am quite happy to use a substitute for round ones to save money!!

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  2. What a strange coincidence Pearl. I was thinking of this tutorial this morning before I sat down here to read your blog.

    I think it's a brilliant idea. I also think that wood - as compared to metal - would give quite a different response when you get to whacking on whatever you're making.

    I've got my eye out for a bat at the local yard sales...I think things are always at least worth a try.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is worth trying if you can pick up a used bat for a song!

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  3. I have all wood mandrels which I collect myself from our forest. I favor rock hard dry standing lodge pole pines, and I have from a size 5 ring mandrel, up to large bracelet size mandrels which I have permanently marked. I looked hard at all the mandrel tools, and the ones I fell in love with were wood too. I so love each mandrel, like old friends! I used a ring sizer to measure and mark my wood, and I plan on wood burning them in the future. A baseball bat is a great all in one kind of larger mandrel, perfect for lots of folks, good idea! Thanks for sharing Pearl!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for inspiring us to consider poles! I agree wood has a different feel to metal mandrels. A warmer feel although I would be hesitant to whack too hard on a wooden one.

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  4. The ingenuity of people is endless :)

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