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1  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Lampwork: Glass is discolored on: September 17, 2007 05:36:08 AM
Try using some sandpaper on your bare mandrels before you dip them. Rough them up so that the surface is not too smooth, this gives the bead release something to stick to.  Also, if you`re using a hothead torch or other single fuel torch with a screw on MAPP gas bottle, your gas bottle may be freezing up, which is common with them.  When that happens, you`ll notice that the glass doesn`t melt as easily, and you`re turning up the flame more and more without being able to melt properly.  Switch to a fresh tank and give the first one some time to warm back up. I always try to keep extras on hand.
2  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Flamework Beginner's Kit *EDIT* Pics Added (VERY img obese) on: September 17, 2007 05:26:56 AM
Oh yeah, one more thing, lol....

When you finally take your bead out of the fiber blanket (and no peeking while its in there, you`ll let out heat, the idea is to cool it slowly so as not to crack it)  put the bead, while still on the mandrel, in a glass of water (NOW it`s ok to use water!!) and let it soak for an hour or so. This helps loosen the bead release. I find it`s much easier to grasp the mandrel with a pair of pliers in one hand while pulling the bead off with the other. Then place the bead back in the water so the release inside the bead gets softened and you can clean it out easier, either with a  bead reamer or pipe cleaner. Hope this helps. Smiley
3  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Flamework Beginner's Kit *EDIT* Pics Added (VERY img obese) on: September 17, 2007 05:21:53 AM
ALso, I saw in an earlier reply someone mentioned needing water to test the heat in a bead? Not sure what she was trying to say, but you should NEVER EVER put a hot bead into water to test it, it will crack instantly!

Try this out:   http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/index.php

There`s TONS of useful information there for the beginning lampworker, and a section for tips, safety, galleries, etc. Lots of helpful people there too.
4  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Flamework Beginner's Kit *EDIT* Pics Added (VERY img obese) on: September 17, 2007 05:13:25 AM
Hi! I am new to this board, and have been lampworking for almost a year. I`m certainly no expert, but here`s some advice I can give you...

Bead release:  I would suggest that since you are new to the torch, it would be easier to dip your mandrels at least a day before, and let them dry by themselves. Yes, you can over heat them and make the release crack, but if you flame dry them and don`t get them perfectly dry, the hot glass will not stick to the release and you won`t be able to make a bead at all.

Also, didymium glasses aren`t as necessary for soft glass work on a single fuel torch, such as the one you will be using. But safety glasses are a DEFINITE must, in case the glass pops and goes flying, which will happen from time to time  When you upgrade to a hotter torch that uses fuel and oxygen, that`s when you really see a difference in the flame. I currently work on a Hot Head (single fuel) and with my diddys on I can`t see the flame at all. Regular sunglasses won`t work, by the way...

When you pull the bead out of the flame, you do want to make sure it isn`t glowing anymore, but don`t wait too long or you will end up with a cracked bead for sure. A minute or 2 is definitely too long, as the single fuel torch doesn`t get the glass as hot as it would if you were working with Borosilicate glass, for instance, which requires an oxygwen/fuel set up. If you put the bead in the fiber blanket too hot, you won`t catch it on fire, but you will get fuzzies stuck to your bead that won`t come off.

When you have been doing this for awhile, you may want to get a kiln to properly anneal the glass, because beads that aren`t annealed (hardened) will be much more prone to breakage. Kilns are very expensive, though, usually around $500.00 and up.

Good luck, and happy torching!!
5  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Question for TickleTickle or any other fused glass or lampworking gurus! on: September 17, 2007 04:46:47 AM
You DEFINITELY need ventilation for lampworking, even if you are in your garage. This includes not only an adequately sized hood to carry out fumes, but also a fresh air supply coming into the room. I don`t know specifics about size, measurements, etc. but there is alot of good info to be found here:   http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/

Go specifically to the safety section, loads of info there. Some fusing info there also...

Just wanted to let you know, I was looking at your list from the woman with the used equipment, and right off the top of my head, I can tell you that the Passing The Flame book retails for $75.00, and is about the best book out there for lampworkers. Also, the 8 presses would cost you anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00 EACH plus shipping, if you bought them new, depending on what brand they are.  So that equals approx. $400.00-$600.00 in presses....Of course, presses are not mandatory start up equipment, but alot of lampworkers use them.

If the kiln only has a bead door, then it would be difficult to do sculptures in it, and for fusing you need a kiln that goes to a higher temp than for lampworking.  With the 2 of you doing different things, however, you might want to consider seperate kilns down the road, or you will have to constantly re-program it after each one of you uses it.

And make sure you get a kiln with a digital controller!!!! Much easier than having to babysit your kiln to manually ramp down the temps...

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