I'm going to list things that I chose to use. You will read many different opinions about everything from mandrel size to bead release to torches, I'm just listing what I chose and how it's working for me. Please remember, do not take my opinion or choices as your own. I'm a newbie, I'm still learning......we all are.
Bead Release: Bucket O' Mud. So far so good. Easy to remove beads, I actually thin it just a little bit by adding water.
***** Side NOTE: Bucket O Mud is not longer produced! sniff sniff*
There have been many other brands touted as just as good if not better. Here are few that were mentioned on LE:
Fusion (I think I'm going to try this once my BOM is allll gone)
Dip N Go
Carlisle Mini CC: I knew I wanted a torch that would allow me to tinker with Boro later on. I say Tinker because if you decided you really want to dedicate your torching time to Boro you would want to probably step up to a WildCat or HellCat.
Arrow Springs has a torch comparison page.
Oxycon: Oxygen Concentrator- ex-15 from ABR Imagery. I bought a scratch and dent and it runs perfectly. I only found two small places on this oxycon I purchased. The blemishes don't have any effect on it's performance.
Kiln: I purchased a Jen-Ken for the following reasons. I liked the shape. I liked the fact that you can purchase one that the height can be expanded because I intend to do some fusing as well. Those are just my reasons. You may not want to fuse so a tool box shaped kiln would work just as well for you. I ended up purchasing one from the Garage Sale area of LE because someone was selling my second choice for a reasonable price. I ended up with a Jen-Ken-
Mandrels: I mostly use the 3/32- 12". I seem to be able to hold it and control it better than the 1/16th. I know I prefer the 12 inch in length due to placing them in the kiln. The shorter ones are harder for me to place inside my bead door without getting my fingers WARM!!!! I have several different sizes and even shapes thanks to my friend Julie.
Didymium Glasses: Mine: