This technical problem is a bit removed from creating jewelry, but I thought someone experienced with jewelry making could help me nonetheless.
I have some 3mm - 5mm colored glass beads that I want to use to create a multicolored glass mosaic upon a sheet of glass. I'd like to temporarily adhere the beads to another piece of glass to enable me to grind them down to about 1/3 their original thickness using a wet piece of emery paper secured to a flat piece of wood held in my hand. The beads would not only be ground down to a thinner size, but the hole would also be eliminated. The result would be a tiny mosaic tile. I want to be able to grind many beads at a time, so that's the reason I need some sort of adhesive or wax I can temporarily adhere them with to the piece of glass. Is there some kind of jeweler's wax or other temporary adhesive that I can use to do this? Also, what would be the best solvent to completely clean the beads with after they're ground down?
I'd be very grateful if anyone can help me with this technical problem.
Dop wax might work. Its purpose is to hold a rock on a piece of dowel while you grind, sand and polish the rock, and to release the rock easily when you are done. Dop wax becomes sticky when it melts. It sets up at room temperature so you can work the stone (or bead). To release the stone, you put the project in the freezer for 15 minutes and just gently rub or lift the project off the wax. If a little bit of wax remains on the rock, soak the rock in some ordinary rubbing alcohol, then give it a good rub with paper towels or a rag. I know dop wax sticks to rocks and sticks. I don't know how well it would adhere to a sheet of glass. So, I would say it would be a good idea to practice first on a sample. Good luck!
Thank you very much for your reply and the useful advice. I'll certainly do some testing to see if the dop wax does the job before starting to work on the mosaic.
I hadn't thought of this form a lapidary angle but you could do like some of the lapidary folk do and use super glue. After you get the beads to the correct thickness soak the glass and beads in acetone to remove the super glue. Just be aware to do this in a well ventilated area, outside is the best, and wear chemical resistant gloves, acetone is not good for the bone marrow no matter if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
I'll try this method also. I never would have thought to use super glue whereas I thought it permanent. I use acetone regularly, and I was unaware that it had an effect upon bone marrow. Any chemical or toxin that enters the human body has to be detoxified by the liver and spleen, and that puts a stress on these organs. Solvents like acetone enter the brain, too. In recent years I've used a respirator to protect myself.
I think that there are respirators for fumes like acetone but you need to do some research on that. I think OSHA has information on the hazards.