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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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Old 2012-05-05, 4:11am
BeadedChic BeadedChic is offline
Join Date: May 05, 2012
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Default Keeping brass press cool enough for silver glass?

Been lampworking for over three years and love to use a brass press for shaping sets. I also like how it helps develop the colors in silver glass but after a couple of presses, it seems to get too hot and the reactions just don't happen after the second bead. Any suggestions on how to keep the press cool enough during a session?
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Old 2012-05-05, 4:49am
papimom papimom is offline
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One way is to lay the press on a freezer pack to chill it down.
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Old 2012-05-05, 5:34am
BeadedChic BeadedChic is offline
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Do you leave it in the freezer pack or just place it on occasionally? I appreciate the help.

Beaded Chic
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Old 2012-05-05, 10:29am
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Pat Pat is offline
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Dunk it in your water bowl after each use. That will usually chill it down.
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Old 2012-05-09, 7:22pm
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KFraley51 KFraley51 is offline
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Freezer pack works great. Keep brass press on it when not pressing so it's cold each time.
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Old 2012-05-10, 2:39pm
5betsy 5betsy is offline
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Nice idea! Will this work for a graphite tool?
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Old 2012-05-11, 8:25pm
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jaci jaci is offline
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ditto on the freezer packs.

Graphite absorbs water, so I do not think so, it does not stay as hot as long either.
Graphite does not really do a good job of pulling heat out of a bead to begin eith, I dont think cooling it much would really help it. Maybe try a piece of marble or tile that has been in the freezer. (if it does not condensate) Marble is great and readily available for cheep in small pieces. Even a marble tile from lowes or home depot is only a few bucks each. They are good and cool. Placing your graphite on that will help it cool faster, and the marble itself can be used as a marver. Just keep in mind it may have a coating that may burn off and possibly stain lighter colors. I usually use the back side if it is an issue. It is usually just fine though.
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Old 2012-05-11, 11:45pm
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glassmaker glassmaker is offline
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If it is decent graphite, water won't hurt it at all. If it isn't decent graphite, it will be useless for tools anyway. Cooling graphite tools in water is standard practice in scientific glassblowing. NOT cooling graphite when one should is what eats it up.

As far as cooling the brass tool, water is what I use. If the tool is a size or shape that can't easily be dipped, then use a wet cloth to cool it. Any excess water will evaporate very quickly. The freezer pack idea sounds interesting, although I'm not quite sure how it would be used.

Oddly, my experience with silver glass has been that steel works better than brass, and brass works better than graphite when it comes to chilling the glass to get good color. It doesn't seem that it should make much difference, but it appears to.


Last edited by glassmaker; 2012-05-11 at 11:54pm.
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Old 2012-05-13, 12:28pm
BeadedChic BeadedChic is offline
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Thank you everyone...these are some great ideas.

Beaded Chic
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Old 2012-05-14, 11:21am
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saraconklin saraconklin is offline
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i have had problem with silver glass and pressing. i make the bead, encase it and then when i go to press in a brass press some weird poop develops that i can't deal with since it is under the encasement layer. BTY, thought i read something about brass presses being too cold and if you kept them warm maybe the poop wouldn't put them on the top of the chili pepper kiln and the things got so hot i couldn't touch them! opposite of the ice treatment. what do you all think about encased silver glass and the post press poop development?
Sara Conklin, newbie since June 2010
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LOVE silver glass
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Old 2012-05-14, 2:58pm
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simvet02 simvet02 is offline
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Sara, when you talk about encased silver glass getting poop are you talking about reduced silver glass or striking glass? I haven't had that problem for either one....just curious.

My poop always happens in the kiln...still trying to figure that out.

I'm going to try the freezer pack to cool the brass down between presses, that sounds easy enough to try.

Jan Thompson
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