The glass bead workshop!
Gotenstr. 9, 10829 Berlin
+49 030 6040 4774
info@berlinbeads.de
Walk-In Customer Opening Hours
Thurs. and Fri.: 11am-6pm
Sat.: 11am-3pm

FAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long will it take before I receive my goods?
Answer: We will ship your order within one work day (monday to saturday) upon receipt of payment. For shipments within Germany, Hermes usually delivers the packages within 1 to 3 days. For more infomation regarding shipping, please see Shipping & Returns

Question: I am looking for glass from Moretti. Do you have Moretti glass?
Answer: Yes and No. The glass rod making company Moretti has not existed for decades. According to the information that we have, Moretti split into two companies; Effetre and Vetrofond. We carry Effetre and Vetrofond. When people talk about Moretti glass they are more than likely refering to either Effetre or Vetrofond.

Question: How are the glass rods packaged and sent?
Answer: The glass rods are approximately 33cm long. The colour number of each bundle is clearly marked with a sticker on the end of one of the rods in the bundle. The rods in a bundle are held together with either strech foil or a rubber band. If you order, for example, two 1-metre bundles of a certain colour, you may receive one bundle with six rods instead of two bundles with three rods each. We do that to save a bit of time, but if you would like to receive the two seperate bundles, please just let us know.

For shipping, we bundle the glass rods tighly together into bigger bundles and then wrap them in bubble wrap. Then we package them securely into a box with styrofoam. We have a lot of experience with shipping glass. Very rarely does the glass break during tramsport using this packaging method.

Question: What are the differences between a one-gas-burner and a two-gas-burner?
Answer: A two-gas-burner is hooked up to two different gas sources; a flammable gas source (eg. propane) and an oxygen source (eg. oxygen concentrator or oxygen bottle). A one-gas-burner is hooked up to only a flammable gas source. A one-gas-burner acquires the necessary oxygen to enable combustion from the surrounding air. It sucks the air into the mixing chamber through openings in the mixing chamber. (A one-gas-burner operates on the same principle as a bunsen burner.)

The oxygen input into a two-gas-burner results in the flame of a two-gas-burner being hotter, cleaner, and quieter than that of a one-gas-burner. The two-gas-burner system is significantly more expensive because the burner in itself is more expensive and then the oxygen source is generally also quite expensive. Therefore, for someone who wants to make glass beads at home but doesn´t want to invest a large amount of money right away, a one-gas-burner is an excellent solution.

From our experience, most of the people who start with a one-gas-burner, and get addicted to making glass beads, eventually switch to a two-gas-burner system. For us, the biggest disadvantage of a one-gas-burner would be the noise level. We like to make glass beads quietly and therefore we much prefer the two-gas-burner systems. If you are in Berlin, you are welcome to visit us to experience the differences between the two burner systems. Please call ahead to make an appointment. Thanks.

Question: Can I supply the oxygen side of my two-gas-burner with compressed air?
Answer: No, the oxygen supply should be higher than 70% oxygen. Compressed air has only 21% oxygen.

Question: Should I supply my two-gas-burner with oxygen from an oxygen concentrator or oxygen bottle?
Answer: Most of the bead makers in Germany use oxygen concentrators as their oxygen source. A 5L/min oxygen concentrator in good working order will sufficiently supply an entry level two-gas-burner (ie. Nortel Minor, Nortel Megaminor, GTT Cricket, or GTT Bobcat). At BerlinBeads we started out by using bottled oxygen but later realized that oxygen concentrators are more economical in the long run. We no longer use bottled oxygen. We have nine burners in our workshop and each burner has it´s own 5L/min concentrator. The concentrators take up much more space than an oxygen bottle, and they are noisier, but they save us money!

Here is a little list to compare the positives and negatives of the two choices:

Oxygen Concentrator:
+ One time investment. No refilling required. A concentrator that is well looked after and operated under proper operating conditions, should last for 30,000 hours.
+ Relatively harmless. The oxygen that is produced by an oxygen concentrator is low pressure oxygen and is therefore not dangerous.
- A little noisy. Oxygen concentrators have a compressor built into them and can be as loud as an old poorly operating fridge. Our solution for this is to park the concentrator in a seperate room.
- Can be an expensive investment. Depending upon the make, condition, and age, the price of a concentrator can vary greatly. We suggest spending a little extra and buying something that will work for a long time.
- Can break down. An oxygen concentrator is a machine with many moving parts and like all machines there is the possiblity of a break down.
- The oxygen is not 100% pure. The oxygen concentration can vary drastically depending upon the condition of the concentrator. We consider 90% oxygen to be excellent. We consider anything less than 70% oxygen to be undesirable and will start causing problems with discolouration in your glass work.

Oxygen Bottle:
+ Pure oxygen! Pretty good stuff!
+ Whisper quiet!
+ One bottle can supply a burner with as much oxygen as desired. Oxygen concentrators are limited to their maximum output. (Example: A 5L/min. concentrator can supply a maximum of 5L/min. of oxygen to the burner.)
+ One bottle can supply many burners at the same time.
+ The initial investment usually costs less than buying a concentrator. (But beware! Bead making torches us a lot of oxygen and in a short time the costs of refilling the bottle can add up.
- Oxygen bottles must be refilled. The refill can be expensive and the bottle itself, depending upon the size, can be difficult to move because of it´s weight.
- Bottled oxygen is under very high pressure! A bottle of oxygen can be very dangerous if it is not handled correctly! Please do not overlook this. If you choose to use bottled oxygen, please educate yourself on how to handle oxygen bottles correctly.

Question: What safety issues should I be aware of?
Answer: Propane is a flammable gas and oxygen facilitates combustion. The two gasses, when handled improperly, can cause dangerous situations. Please educate yourself on how to handle your equipment properly. Please have your equipment installed by someone who knows what they are doing. If you have questions, you are welcome to contact us.

When using your burner, always allow for adequate ventilation. Combustion produces gasses that, in high concentrations, are unhealthy for us to breath in.

Question: I cannot find the instructions for the bead release "BeadBooze"...
Answer: No Poblem! You just found it...
1. Shake well before each use.
2. The mandrel must be clean of all oil and dirt and should be dry before dipping.
3. To achieve an even layer, dip the mandrel into the bead release, wiggle it a little, and pull the mandrel steadily and fairly rapidly straight out. You can control the thickness of the layer left on the mandrel by adjusting the speed at which you pull it out. Strangely enough, the faster you pull it out, the thicker the layer will be. The slower you pull it out, the thinner the layer.
4. The bead release can be left to air dry or can be dried in the flame. We recommend that you let it air dry because it has the chance to dry more uniformly. When drying in the flame, try to dry it as slowly as possible to achieve uniform drying.
5. Immediately before you start to make your bead, heat the bead release on the mandrel in the flame until it slightly glows. Once you have heated the bead release, it should not be allowed to cool off too much because the bead release is designed to break up when it gets cold to allow for easy release of the bead from the mandrel. Therefore the beadrelease needs to stay hot. When you are making long beads, pay particular attention that the bead release at one end does not cool off while you are working on the other end.
6. The bead release in the bottle should maintain a creamy consistency. With time, the water will evaporate and the bead release will thicken. To rehydrate the thickened bead release, simply add a little bit of tap water and shake well.
7. Have Fun!

Question: I need a correct invoice from you showing the 19% VAT. Will I get that?
Answer: With every shipment you will receive a legal invoice showing the 19% VAT (Value Added Tax) seperately. If we are shipping your goods outside of the EU, you will not pay the 19% VAT and therefore it will not be shown on your invoice.

Question: If I have a business license will I get a further discount?
Answer: No, unfortunately not. We keep our prices as low as possible. Our margins are so tight, we cannot offer any further discounts.

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