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Topic: Flamework Beginner's Kit *EDIT* Pics Added (VERY img obese)  (Read 5697 times)
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jshires
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« on: March 30, 2007 01:58:16 PM »

I just got my beginner's flameworking kit from www.cathedralstaine dglass.com It took right at about a week to get here...I can't wait to start using everything! I will post pics of all the goodies when I get home tonight! If anyone has any words of wisdom for a novice I would definatly appreciate it!
*And now for some pics!
Here's the box (with a silly kitty!)

The opened box (group shot, sort of...)

Free stuff (catalogs)

How-To video (and I have no VCR...)

Torch head and bottle clamp

Mandrels and Marvers

and the pretty glass rods!

I also got an annealing blanket and bead release!

Sorry for so many pics, but I'm just so excited! Next will be some finished projects, I promise!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007 08:06:42 PM by jshires » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007 02:05:32 PM »

YEAH!!! Congrats! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

And just so you know.....It's OK to post your beginning projects too.... 
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2007 12:53:39 PM »

Don't heat up your bead release too much, because if it cracks, you will never get your bead off your madrill!  Also for decorating you can use common items (that can withstand high heat) such as pliers, dentist tools(not so common..lol) etc.  If you have anymore questions, I can try to help!  Have you do bead making before or will you be brand brand new?
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2007 02:13:43 PM »

Oh! Thanks for the advice about the bead release! The "instructions" didn't mention that...I am brand spankin new to lampwork. I have dabbled in poly clay and I've been beading for ages (thats why I thought I should try to make my own beads...I hate not being able to find the perfect beads at the store!) So any more advice you have...thanks! (I haven't yet set everything up. I'm still trying to track down a VCR to watch the video first, so I don't have any specific questions yet, but you may be hearing from me once I do...) Grin
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007 02:37:06 PM »

Not a prob!  Did your kit come with the rosey colored glasses?  I am not sure of the name, but they are tinted to basically eliminate the flame from your sight, so you can focus on the project at hand.  If not, I recommend getting some, or maybe try varies shades of sunglasses.  It also helps you to see when the glass is red hot so you can work with it.  Also, Make Sure to bob the glass in and out of the flame to heat it slowly, if you heat it too quick it shatters and chips off in all directions.  To make round beads you have to continuously rotate (between your first finger and thumb) the mandrill until the bead is cool and no longer glowing.  And a very important thing, when your bead is done, Don't touch it for a while.. don't put it in the annealing blanket until quits glowing (an min or 2 after out of flame) It can start it on fire!  Very very hot... wanna test it.  (Note you will need water or something) take you bead out of flame (I recommend a messed up one so you don't hamper your pretty ones) glowing or not and hold it on a piece of paper... it will start on fire!!!  You can hold not glowing bead away from you hand a few inches and still feel the heat.  Ok, enough of the hot lecture... just know it will be a few hours before you can touch your finished product!
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007 07:37:55 PM »

Wow, thanks. Yeah, I knew it would be hot, but I didn't really think it would be that hot.  Undecided And I will def. look into some sort of colored glasses. Rosy is best, huh? I will be setting up tomorrow, so I'll let you know how my trial run goes. Thanks so much for all your advice. I've been reading up on it, but you've pointed out stuff none of the tutes really mentioned! Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007 08:43:16 PM »

I was just looking online because it was bugging me on what kind of glasses they were, and I found these...  http://www.delphiglass.com/index.cfm?page=itemView&itemsysid=144852&ViewCAT=&startRow=1&returnTo=itemList
They are green, but they are for the same purpose!  I would say you could try any type of UV blocking glasses to see if they work for you!  I am still trying to remember the name of the company I ordered mine from for you!

Oh and I remembered another tip they dont tell you, Its good to have some madrills already made up (like if you want to make 4-5 bead at a time).  Dip them in the bead release then dry them off with the flame.. and stand them up right (I have a board with holes drillied in it.. but a piece of styrofoam would work too).  Then just reheat the mandrill when your ready to use it!  Ok, I am done for tonight, I need to go to bed...lol
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Kreestahl
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007 10:26:28 AM »

The glasses are a "must have" to keep your eyesight.  You can also get them at a welding supply company.  Have you had ANY instruction?  The first thing I tell students is that everything in glass is either hot, sharp or poisonous.  Glass is so addicting...I love it!
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007 11:34:32 AM »

I have a video that I watched (very helpful) and the advice I've gotten on this board has helped as well. I have made a few successful beads (though they aren't much to look at yet) The first few didn't come out because I didn't mix the bead release properly and it cracked and thus the bead would not come off the rod! But I learned from that (and luckily I bought extra mandrels) and someday I will get around to posting my first attempts (and fire is addicting!!)
Thanks again for all the words of wisdom!
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007 03:16:19 AM »

The pink glasses are called didymium and they are a necessity for eliminating the sodium flare when working with hot glass. The green ones will protect your eyes from flying chips, but you won't be able to see a damn thing in the flame and they don't protect against flare..

I got the hot heads kit from Delphi and I was disappointed when I found it came with the green ones. I had to go and get the proper ones, which weren't cheap!

If the glass sticks to the mandrel, take a hammer to it to get it off and crush it a bit and use it as frit..(decoration) Lay some of the chips out on a graphite pad and roll a hot bead over it..Then melt the frit into the bead as much as you like.

Also, you've probably figured it out, but keep a spare tank of gas handy because there's nothing more frustrating than when it runs out or gets cold halfway through a session! You can counter this by standing the tank in warm water, but I find that a spare tank is better .

This chick rocks, by the way: http://www.andrighetti.com/index.htm

But unfortunately only posts to Canada. Sad
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jshires
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007 10:00:35 AM »

Thanks! My flameworking skills are developing VERY slowly. I've had a few disappointments, but mostly I've been too busy with school and its been too hot here in Texas to bust out the torch. But once it starts cooling off, I'm hoping to get back into it! And everyone's suggestions will definitely help!
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glowest
« Reply #11 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!!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007 05:14:56 AM by glowest » THIS ROCKS   Logged
glowest
« Reply #12 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.
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glowest
« Reply #13 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
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007 10:31:03 AM »

Excellent!! Thank you sooo much glowest! That is a lot of great information. I haven' had any crack on me, but I have had a couple that I couldn't get off the mandrel. I'm guessing I cracked the bead release when I dried it with the torch. I will be prepping my mandrels the night before, now!
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009 12:36:43 PM »

So, how's it coming along?  I've been making beads with the same torch head for about a year and a half and just about 3 weeks ago I had an "ah ha" moment and stopped burning all the colors away to gray bubbly messes.  *L*
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012 01:10:12 PM »

The glasses are a "must have" to keep your eyesight.  You can also get them at a welding supply company.  Have you had ANY instruction?  The first thing I tell students is that everything in glass is either hot, sharp or poisonous.  Glass is so addicting...I love it!

exactly! well said! I am so addicted.... lol
Glasses are a MUST. Also watch out for that torch.. I have hear horror stories about the fireworks brand. Check into getting a HotHead torch. There is one at the hardware store almost identical to the HH too now.
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steiconi
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012 12:22:10 PM »

You may have noticed that there are some disagreements in the replies you got here.  Head to the library and pick up a basic lampworking book; Cindy Jenkins wrote at least a couple.  That should give you solid, reliable advice on what you need. 

If your bead sticks to the mandrel, try soaking it overnight in water.  Still stuck, put it in the freezer overnight, then try removing it while still icy.  Still stuck?  choose between the bead and the mandrel.  If you love the bead, display it in a vase or plant pot.  If you'd rather have the mandrel, lightly heat the bead in your torch, then plunge in water.  The bead will crack and you can clean and reuse the mandrel.  The cracked-off glass may have bead release on it, so I wouldn't use it in future beads. 

Keep a big fireproof can or bucket for broken glass, don't just toss the sharp little shards in the trash. 
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