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Topic: Flamework Beginner's Kit *EDIT* Pics Added (VERY img obese)  (Read 5977 times)
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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
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« 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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