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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2012-05-04, 3:33pm
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SassyGlass9 SassyGlass9 is offline
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Default Kiln program for boro on Bluebird kiln?

I am just gonna come right out and say it - I am a soft glass girl!

BUT- I want to start playing with boro. Specifically, I want to make some boro marbles. I even have some boro (not a ton, but a few kind folks sent me some for my DH to try out, and we still have most of it). And I bought a couple tuts.

I was all ready to get brave and bust out the boro today and try a marble when I realized - DUH - I don't have a ramp schedule for boro programed into my kiln. Ummm, OK. Put the boro away and slink back to my soft glass for today.

I am hoping someone here has the same kiln as me (or at least the same controller) and can give me idiot-proof instructions on how to program a second (boro specific) program into my kiln. I can't find my book on programing my kiln, and I programed it 5 years ago so, yeah - I have no freaking clue how to do it now!

If anyone can help me out, it will be MUCH appreciated! TIA.
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  #2  
Old 2012-05-04, 11:30pm
Role Role is offline
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Quick and dirty:

Garage between 950 and 1000, no higher.

Anneal at 1050, size of piece determines soak time.
1 to 1.5 hours per 1/2 inch of glass is my rule.

After your soak just shut it down and let it cool with
no ramp down.

If you are worried about strain point, which I am not
with borosilicate, ramp down to 950 and and hold for
10-15 minutes then shut it down and let it cool.

This works for me, good luck.

Last edited by Role; 2012-05-05 at 2:35am.
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  #3  
Old 2012-05-05, 12:13pm
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SassyGlass9 SassyGlass9 is offline
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Thanks for the kiln info, Role!

Based on what you said, i won't even have to make changes to my current program. I currently garage at 960, so it sounds like it is safe to continue to do so while I'm working boro.

Then I will just manually ramp the kiln up to 1050 and let it soak for several hours before ramping down.

I didn't realize that with boro, I don't have to worry about the strain point like I do with soft.

Thanks again! I can't wait to go play with some boro now.
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  #4  
Old 2012-05-05, 12:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SassyGlass9 View Post
I didn't realize that with boro, I don't have to worry about the strain point like I do with soft.

"I" do not worry too much about strain point.

But I am an idiot so following in my footsteps may
lead one to disaster.

The strain point is about 950 if you want to set a
time window for it.

Smaller pieces like beads seem fine with annealing
and then just shutting down, but larger pieces may
require long annealing times and/or a slow ramp
depending on what colors you are using.

Good luck !
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  #5  
Old 2012-05-05, 4:27pm
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It depends on many variables. What you are making and what colors you are using are among the most important in my opinion. Some striking colors won't strike at 1050. Most start at 1080, some at 1200. Cadmium colors don't need to go over 1050. Heavy chrome colors need to strike 1070ish...

I make multi piece vessels. I garage at 1050 to avoid striking colors while I'm garaging. Keeping a higher temp is beneficial if you are reworking something, it reaches working temp faster.

When I'm annealing I also follow the 1hr per 1/4" rule. For vessels I add the wall thickness only. I sit at 1080 for an average of two hours, ramp to 1200 @ 300 per hr, sit for 1 hr, ramp down @ 150 per hr to below the strain point (I chose 925), sit for an hour (relevant to size/anneal time), ramp down to 800 @ 300 per hr (I heard this is the last strain point for boro), and shut off.

I'm sure ten people can give you fifty ways to do it. Like I said, depends on what you're making.
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Old 2012-05-05, 10:10pm
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Holy crap! It just got more complicated!

I haven't even given a lot (if any) thought to the COLORS yet. I was just thinking about the temps I need to safely anneal boro, since I have never worked with it.

I want to learn to make some fairly decent boro marbles, so that in the next year or so I can hopefully take a class with John Kobuki. I can make decent marbles with soft, but I don't want to be "that" person who shows up for a class with a glass master and hasn't got a freakin' clue!

Luckily, I have a good friend who will probably be happy to tell me about some fun colors with boro, but if anyone wants to chime in here with their favorites (especially if you have used them in marbles effectively), I would be real happy to listen to your advice.

As for the kiln, based on what you've both said I think I can use my soft glass program to garage, and then bump it up to 1050-1200 depending on colors (geez, how am I gonna remember all this?) and then use my soft glass ramp down - first to 960 then to 840, then on down from there.
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  #7  
Old 2012-05-06, 9:27am
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That sounds good. Let us know how it works out for you.
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Old 2012-05-06, 3:11pm
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Not to start an altercation but my understanding was that chrome colors and sparkle colors should not be garaged, and should have minimal annealing cycles. If you must garagge chrome and sparkle colors it is safest to do so at 950 rather than higher temperatures as the COE can shift at higher temperatures.

I believe what he MEANT to say was heavy SILVER colors will strike at 1070 or so, if you haven't flame-struck them to the desired color.

I may be wrong <grin> but I thought most all chrome colors were greens or sparkles ... or green sparkles.
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  #9  
Old 2012-05-06, 3:53pm
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OK, I am quickly realizing that I have a WHOLE LOT to learn about boro colors!!

So, if you were to make a list of the easiest colors to work - say a top 10 or 15 list - what would they be?? I think I am asking more about the "special" colors as opposed to the WYSIWYG type of colors.

Keeping in mind that I am planning to do mostly marbles which can take quite a bit of heating and shaping, adding more glass and repeat, are there colors that do cool things easily when worked in the flame? Or colors that are hardy and won't burn out the color or reaction when worked for a while before putting them into the kiln?

As far as colors go, I love anything in the purples and pinks best, but also love me some sparkle! (What can I say? I am a girly girl )

TIA for all the great tips, guys! I really appreciate it. I feel like I am learning a whole new language here.
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  #10  
Old 2012-05-06, 4:54pm
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This is from Northstar's annealing schedule, available in their website:

The schedule is based on clear and may need to be adjusted for the different colors being used. Specifically, metallic based colors may need a slightly higher A/T (maybe 25 degrees).

I assumed that meant the luster and sparkle colors.

I have heard the same info as Chris from many different places. That all changed when I watched a man making multi piece vessels with Unobtainium, Steel Wool, Moss, and many other similar colors. When I asked him about it he told me he has never had a problem garaging ANY color at 1050. After seeing his pieces live with all of their sparkling glory I decided to give it a go at home. I haven't had any problems.

This is the carriage Ogie was working on when I asked him. Plenty of sparkle to it, it's just not the best picture.






To assure an even striking of colors I get them white hot before placing them in the kiln. This resets the striking process and allows the striking program to give an even color to the piece. I suck at getting even results flame striking, thus this method.


I don't believe there is any one program that works for everything. Naturally a two inch marble will need a different program than a spacer bead. I don't think it would hurt the spacer bead to go through the longer cycle, but it wouldn't work so hot the other way around. The amount of stress created in the manufacturing process is another factor to consider. Sharp angles vs smooth, are there a lot of welds, will the piece be reworked, does it need to be struck.......

I have used this program on pieces with dichro, disco sparkle, Neptune Sparkle (which I'm going to miss), and everything else. If anything it's overkill, but I'm confident that my pieces are annealed.

I would never get offended by someone doing something differently than me Chris. The marble I got from you looks great. I don't think for a minute it's not annealed. Ten people, fifty methods...

On an unrelated note, he drew that retti on the outside of a tube blank, puntied to the termination point on the inside of the tube ---}, then delicately heated it while nudging it over the way you would flip a sock inside out. Hard to explain, even harder to do. It was amazing to watch. I hope I can do it one day.
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  #11  
Old 2012-05-06, 4:57pm
Role Role is offline
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Here is some stuff you might find useful:

Northstar User Manual

Northstar tips and tricks

Nortstar annealing chart

Hope that helps.
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  #12  
Old 2012-05-06, 7:32pm
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SassyGlass9 SassyGlass9 is offline
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You guys are awesome - thanks! Looks like I have plenty of reading to do.

It also looks like my poor little credit card is going to get a workout as well. All those amazing boro colors to try (and hopefully not ruin!).
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  #13  
Old 2012-05-06, 7:53pm
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If you use your soft glass program, you will be cooling from 1050 down to 960 rather quickly depending on the heat retention of your kiln. I suggest putting a boro program in an open slot of your controller if the space is available. Most manufacturers instructions are available on line. If it is Fuji, I could talk you through it.

Another schedule to compare is the one we use for our basic boro program. Brent Graber, aka Mr. Smiley, has been kind enough to share it with us and if you have seen his colors, it too is a great schedule.

1050 garage temp
1075 for 60min
down to 960 over the next two hours and hold for 30 min.
Off


He works hollow and solid in the same loads and this schedule has works well for all of his creations. His color palate also includes the sparkles and high silver content offenders.

I think the most important thing is not to fall into the belief that because it isn't cracked that it has been annealed fully. It still may not have been normalized and ramped down properly to be as strong as it could be. Holding at the "annealing temp" is normalizing. The slow transition down through and past the strain point is annealing.
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  #14  
Old 2012-05-06, 8:36pm
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Gary - I know reduction is near-guaranteed death for those colors but I've had issues with long garage/annealing cycles as well. Best (for me) to be cautious but I'm glad you've not had issues. Edit: I tend to work solid - which may affect my experience there. As for my marble, based on NS's annealing chart it may not be correctly annealed. It was garaged at 1050 for several hours, and, struck at 1075 for 1 h, at annealing temperature for 1h and ramped to strain point and held for 30 mins then ramped fairly quickly (couple hours) to 300 and shut off. I have a fiber kiln so I need to ramp rather than shut off to avoid losses to thermal shock from too-rapid cooling. for a 1.5" piece, NS recommends 6 hours at annealing temp plus 6 more at just below strain point. If I was making adult toys, I'd use that schedule - but not for a marble.

Short color List for a beginner:

* NS Amber Purple & Double Amber Purple
* NS Loki's Lipstick
* NS Blue/Red/Green Exotic
* NS Multi
* NS Turquesa
* NS Butterscotch & Caramel (Caramel is a stronger version of Butterscotch) *
* NS Blue Moon
NS Pomegranate or TAG Elvis (self-striking red with long working tolerance) - layer it over white (or even clear) for a lighter red
NS Onyx (very tolerant black)
TAG Blue Stardust for some sparkle - layer it over lighter colors - like butterscotch or star white.
* NS Mystery Adventurine for some more sparkle with silver color change fun - layer it like blue stardust or just use it as is for a darker effect
NS Star White (a bit more advanced - use less heat as it can boil until it is fully melted in, and even then you should baby it)
NS Lava or Goldenrod or Poppy or Cherry (more advanced - prone to boiling if not handled very carefully - but beautiful and worth the effort)

* Try CLEAR frit/dots/stringer/skip-tracing on these colors for interesting results. For more dramatic results reduce after melting in the clear. The colors without a * are more "WYSIWYG", though you can try clear on them too if you'd like.

You will quickly learn that a great many colors are members of the Amber Purple family, with similar working constraints and some modifications. Loki's lipstick is a good example of this.
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Last edited by Bunyip; 2012-05-06 at 8:54pm.
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  #15  
Old 2012-05-06, 8:46pm
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Thanks, Mike! Incidentally, one of your kilns is next on my list!

I eventually (hopefully soon) want to buy a second kiln, and just run one kiln for boro and one for soft. My DH is just starting to play with glass and of course, typical man - he likes boro.

I figure it will be easier to have two kilns - that way if we are both working at the same time, we don't need to worry about only working boro or only working soft in that session.

I also want to get Brent's video for my DH. I love the insane colors he gets and his hearts are beautiful.

Dang it - I guess I am now officially bi-glassual.

ETA: Chris, just saw your post - thanks for all that great info on colors!!!
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  #16  
Old 2012-05-06, 9:30pm
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Boro annealing charts are based on clear. The more studios I go to the more variations I see. We all sell to many if the same shops and I never hear complaints about any of the local work. Who knows.

Chris, if you send me another marble annealed differently I'll let you know which one last longer.
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Old 2012-05-07, 6:54am
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hahah I will take that for the compliment it is Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 2012-05-09, 12:15pm
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Thanks everyone for all the info here. I used to get great color from Green Amber Purple (over white), but lately everything is coming out mud-colored. After reading this I'm thinking it's a result of changing my annealing schedule. I'm garaging hotter. Going to see if I kept good firing records....
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