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blindnoob

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all brand new and trying to figure this all out. Been on line quite a bit doing alot of videos and trolling forums to try and get all the information I can. I just have a few questions.
1. I understand what thermal shock is and why you introduce the glass to the flame very slowly. The problem I get is I think i have it warming up then bang I have the glass explode. What is a good way to keep this from happening? I know get your rod warmer but im on a bit of a budget. (buying tools and such as needed)

2. I do not have a kiln yet but have been using the crock pot and vermiculite to cool the projects down (not annealing) I still end up with cracked beads and projects. Is this something I have to deal with until I can get a kiln?

3. This is where I need alot of help and hope experience from you all help out. I currently use a hothead torch and want to upgrade in the near future. I want to do soft and hard glass anything from beads to pipes and sculptures. I will run a oxygen tank for a while then will upgrade to a generator. Any info will help I dont want to buy a 500 torch when there is a 300 that does the same thing if that makes sence. I hear surface and pre mix and just get confused.

Also I looked for classes around my area and the closest is like 90 minutes away, so thats why im going the route im headed in with all the questions.

Thanks
Dennis


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Sonja
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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Dennis!

As far as pre warming I know that Daniel and Natasha sell their rod warmers for around $35 I believe.  They are worth every penny too, they seem to work the best for pre warming.  You can also check out your local thrift store and see if they have any george forman type grills, I know that many lampworkers also use these to pre warm glass quite effectively.

As far as the beads cracking, how big are the beads?  Are they round beads or sculptural?  Can you post pictures so we can see how they are cracking?  Are they cracking straight up and down the mandrel or are they cracking in a webbed or crooked pattern?  The answers to these questions will help us figure out what's causing the problems.

As far as torches go, I upgraded to a cricket from a hot head but if you want to do pipes and larger sculptural work you will want to get something a bit larger than that, but I don't know enough about the larger torches to give you a recommendation.

Oxygen concentrators are actually much cheaper than the tanks, you can find them on craigs list for anywhere from $50 to $500.  And they are much safer than the oxygen tanks, and you will never run out lol.  You can burn through one of the K tanks in less than 24 hours, especially if you are melting boro.


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Emy
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Reply with quote  #3 

Hey Dennis, I've only been lampworking since April and I have a Nortel torch and an oxygen concentrator.  I play with the gas/oxy mix depending on what I'm doing.  I actually was very lucky and the owner of my local glass shop had a small 5" kiln that he sold me and I preheat my rods in that until I can buy my rod warmer from Devardi.  Are your beads cracking after you put them in the crockpot or before?  Maybe it's not quite hot enough?  I'm not very experianced yet but I'll throw my 2 cents in as well.  lol 


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bethanysbeads

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Reply with quote  #4 
Welcome to the addition Dennis!

I am on a Little Dragon with two concentrators.  I can handle boro as well as soft glass on it.  I would recommend going to the torch manufacturer's websites and reading up on their specs.  I took me about a month to decide on which torch that I wanted.

You can preheat glass using a pan (stainless steel) and a hot plate before you get a kiln or a rod warmer.

Best of luck!

Dale M.

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Reply with quote  #5 
A hot crock is a unreal expectation to protect beads from thermal cracking during cooling....  A plain COFFEE CAN is just as effective ...... The  medium in the can is important..... Either the Japanese "cooling beads" or vermiculite  is acceptable.....

As soon as you are through creating, any  bead, heat soak it a bit to even out heat, and then put in shadow area, under bench(?) and as soon as red glow diminished put bead in to "medium" in can for slow cooling....

Dale





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blindnoob

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Reply with quote  #6 
wow thanks for the quick replies! 
I believe I figured my exploding glass lol i was using very thin stringers before the glass i just got is 5 x's as thick and i was rushing it I beleive. Not one break tonight lol. 
I will see if any beads crack tonight but i got a good feeling they wont because i said something lol. 

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blindnoob

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you for that Dale! That will definitely make it less hot in there not to mention free up some room. I will give your method a try tonight. I had wondered why bead kits and other places on the net I seen them using the blankets to cool  so why did it have to be on then again it made sence?

One big question I now have is what kind/type of glasses? I have welding goggles I use now but it is so hard to see anything. There are ones to do this and ones that cut out that. What is it I am looking for in a pair?


I appreciate the help from you all. I signed into like 4 forums and they are all to good to help someone trying to start out. Here I got lucky after i purchased my first lot of glass I was informed of these boards and well I hope you all want to teach and help a guy trying to find something to do since retiring from coaching baseball lol.

Dennis

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Dale M.

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Reply with quote  #8 
Kits sell fiver blankets because they feel it is easier to market and users to deal with.... Not always the case, and as as fiber blanket starts to break down it becomes  health hazard as you breath in the fibers as the blanket starts to break down...

Vermiculite is realty good heat insulator as are the cooling beads/bubbles....

http://www.artcoinc.com/annealing_bubbles.php

As for glasses, get a set of  ACE 202 (formerly known as Didymiums)  they are not really vary dark (like welding goggles) and they block the orange "sodium" flair that surround s  the hot glass when it is int he flame....

http://www.artcoinc.com/phillips_safety.php

If you are working BOROSILICATE you may need the welding shade #3 or #5  in addition to the ACE 202 glasses to reduce the IR and UV radiation from boro glass,   glass like soda-lime do not produce the intense IR or UV rays like the lighter temperature boro glass does....

Dale



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Fine Folly

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Reply with quote  #9 
I wanted to say that there is a brief write up on each type of cooling option in the Beginners Tutorial and you can see what they all look like if you are curious.

Also, Devardi offers great prices on the Phillips Didymium 202 glasses.  They also have some for Boro work:
http://www.devardiglass.com/supplies.htm

The little annealing kiln below is from the Glass Hive.  They have a great layaway program:
http://theglasshive.com/BEADANNEALERS.html

And Devardi has the mini-Bead Annealers for a song, but you manually ramp them down using the Thermostat Dial, they are not automatic.
http://www.devardiglass.com/MiniBeadAnnealer.htm





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blindnoob

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Reply with quote  #10 
Havent been on in a bit life is going crazy at the moment lol. Well I attempted to use vermiculite only without the crock pot heat and cracked the beads, so back in the hot crock and no more issues. 
Just placed another order last night for a new torch and some glass as mine is almost dead and i want a torch more geared to glass not solder. 
So next week when the glass arrives I can start doing college beads for when we go to the football games here possibly a few pro ones also if I can get the right colors.
The best part of the deal is I should have the money saved to set up a propane/oxygen rig in the comming months which im so pumped up about!!!!

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Dennis
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Reply with quote  #11 
That's neat.  And the next best thing to a Kiln is the Japanese Annealing Bubbles, though they don't anneal.  They do a better job of slowly cooling.  Keep us posted!



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