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  #1  
Old 2011-05-31, 9:23am
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Brandywine Brandywine is offline
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Default Hotfingers preferences ???

I currently use the Arrow Springs (square shaft) 4 tine hotfingers for grabbing my marble-like works, but I need something with better grip for those round/slippery things.

I have trouble with tines shifting as I am working (and they heat up a bit), getting the intial 'grip' on a piece if its shaped in just the right round 'way', and occasional tine marks that I dont catch until after the piece is annealed (because I have to set the grip near the edge where I am working the flame.

My need is for a grabbing tool that allows me to work the piece like a punty, because I need to make minor smoothing and centering adjustments (I make points on the pieces) to the piece to finish it. Punties wont work because I have a finished point on the end where the punty would normally go.

Lastly, my pieces are usually small to medium in size (1/2" -1")

Will the 6 tine models hold any better ?
Is there a 'best' hotfingers model ?
Is there a better option ?

Thanks,
Chris

Last edited by Brandywine; 2011-05-31 at 9:25am.
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  #2  
Old 2011-05-31, 10:29am
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The ones with 6 "fingers" hold a lot better. Plus they lock, so they are easier to use.

These are the ones I use: http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...ducts_id=84750
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  #3  
Old 2011-05-31, 2:35pm
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Thanks Cosmo,

I had a nice floral crack on me last night because of the excessive amout of fiddleing I had to do with my current hotfingers.

Time to trade up

Last edited by Brandywine; 2011-05-31 at 5:13pm.
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  #4  
Old 2011-05-31, 4:12pm
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Here is one we have for $35 it holds marbles real well
I don't have it on the website If your interested PM me.
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  #5  
Old 2011-05-31, 5:15pm
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Thanks,
The loop claws will not work for the shapes I make. They are nice for completely round objects that wont be in the flame.
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Old 2011-05-31, 6:41pm
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I do my final flame polish with the marble sitting in the marble mold even with odd shapes
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Old 2011-06-01, 7:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baywinger View Post
I do my final flame polish with the marble sitting in the marble mold even with odd shapes
The graphite will suck the heat out of the back half of the marble and lead to stress fractures.
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Old 2011-06-01, 7:17am
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I agree, it can.

When I make marbles, I work fast to flame polish the final punty mark while holding the marble in the graphite mold, and turn it often to spread the heat more evenly. Lately I have been using hotfingers if the marble is solid enough not to leave marks.

My odd shapes wont set in a marble mold.
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Old 2011-06-01, 9:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
The graphite will suck the heat out of the back half of the marble and lead to stress fractures.
I did have that problem at first when I was using a longer marble mold but after switching to the infinite rime 5 hole that problem has disappeared.
I do also limit the time the marble sits in the mold.
I tried using my hot fingers but they left marks and got the ends very hot
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Old 2011-06-01, 9:42am
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what about using those large hemostats with the loop ends would that work?
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Old 2011-06-01, 10:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baywinger View Post
I did have that problem at first when I was using a longer marble mold but after switching to the infinite rime 5 hole that problem has disappeared.
I do also limit the time the marble sits in the mold.
I tried using my hot fingers but they left marks and got the ends very hot
Your hotfingers should never leave marks or get hot if you are using them correctly. They should be clamped around the largest part of the marble, well out of the flame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baywinger View Post
what about using those large hemostats with the loop ends would that work?
I guess they would work, but I prefer to be able to rotate the piece while working on it. With the locking hot fingers you can rotate it just like it was on a punty.
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  #12  
Old 2011-06-01, 12:32pm
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I upgraded a while back from the four finger type to the exact one that cosmo linked to, the difference is night and day. The additional two fingers and the lock help to actually hold the piece and help to eliminate any flopping ie.. you can keep it centered.
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Old 2011-06-01, 1:04pm
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Thanks Cosmo
I probably need better hotfingers
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  #14  
Old 2011-06-02, 8:27pm
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I find this thread interesting, marbles are one of the main items I make, and I never use hot fingers when I make then, only punties. with something that has a point on the end that you grab, perhaps you shoupld leave the point until after you have removed the punty, you could then hold the other end in your hot fingers for a much shorter time with much less trouble.
cheers, Bernard
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Old 2011-06-03, 6:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castaway View Post
I find this thread interesting, marbles are one of the main items I make, and I never use hot fingers when I make then, only punties. with something that has a point on the end that you grab, perhaps you shoupld leave the point until after you have removed the punty, you could then hold the other end in your hot fingers for a much shorter time with much less trouble.
cheers, Bernard
How do you flame polish your final punty mark?
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Old 2011-06-04, 3:26pm
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By the time you finish your marble you will have noticed that your marble mould is quite hot, plenty hot enough to tap the marble off the final punty into the mould, you will also notice that your torch can pivot to point down if you require it to, with a small center fire flame you simply fire polish the final punty mark off, I have made marbles for nearly 30 years and this is how I have always finished them. After fire polishing the punty mark I tip the marble out into a tray of talc which sits in the kiln, this ensures that the marble does not roll and so does not touch the other marbles, already in the tray
cheers, Bernard
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Old 2011-06-05, 11:56am
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Right on, Bernie, like you I never use hot fingers for making marbles, i finish them in the marble mold as well.
The mold is still nice and hot from shaping the marble in it, knock it off the punty into the mold, bit of heat to polish whatever tiny scar there is (I use a 3mm punty usually) roll it in the mold a bit, presto it's done and in the kiln ... if your mold is cold and shocks your marble you're working too slow. Never had any issues with stress fractures from marble molds.
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  #18  
Old 2011-06-06, 10:09am
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I agree with Castaway and Wickedglass. I've had problems using the holding fingers on marbles but never a problem with using a marble mold with a handle on it. For really weird shaped stuff I use a pair of barbeque tongs with fiber blanket wired onto the ends for cushioning (and I only use the tongs to get rid of the final punty mark on a weird shaped thing).
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Old 2011-09-16, 11:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
Your hotfingers should never leave marks or get hot if you are using them correctly. They should be clamped around the largest part of the marble, well out of the flame.



I guess they would work, but I prefer to be able to rotate the piece while working on it. With the locking hot fingers you can rotate it just like it was on a punty.
My pieces are a bit smaller than the usual marble. Often around or under 1/2" dia. So you can see how the finger tips are close enough to the working flame to cause dents on these small pieces.

Punties dont work for the final steps for finishing my pieces as the places where the punties would go, are finished points and I need to be able to roll and put some pressure on the piece to make the points. Hotfingers seem to be the thing to get this done for now. I can grip the piece, and roll it with sideways pressure with these.
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Old 2011-09-16, 9:24pm
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Sometimes I'll give the mold a quick flash in the flame just to take the chill off of it.

Could you make some variation of Kobuki's kiln boat to suit your holding/transport needs? Just have it warming in the kiln until you get to that final punty
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Old 2011-09-17, 9:19am
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Its not so much a transportation issue as a gripping and manipulating thing.

I need a firm hold on the small roundish piece with something that wont let the piece slip when I work the final shape. I loose the part where a punty would go when I finish that part and then need to finish the opposite side in a similar way.

Seems that the way I am working it now, is the best solution for now.
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Old 2011-09-17, 7:21pm
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What's up with this thread? Every time I have visited the forum the last couple of days it says I haven't looked at this and I have.
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Old 2011-09-20, 5:18am
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Old 2011-09-20, 8:02am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandywine View Post
Its not so much a transportation issue as a gripping and manipulating thing.

I need a firm hold on the small roundish piece with something that wont let the piece slip when I work the final shape. I loose the part where a punty would go when I finish that part and then need to finish the opposite side in a similar way.

Seems that the way I am working it now, is the best solution for now.
I make small marbles holders 2-3 inches long in the shape of a hand. I make them off the end of a 15mm rod and when 99% done I grab the hand with a six tine grabber and flame cut the rod. I add color to touch up the wrist end that was cut and then finish it. It takes maybe 5 minutes in the grabbers and I have not had a problem cracking a piece or leaving marks yet. Before I grab the hand I flash the tines in the flame slightly to warm them a bit and then just go at it. Got these grabbers from a friend so I am not sure who makes them. I can send a pic if you'd like. They have collars with set screws and wooden inlaid handles. Seems to work very well for this.
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Old 2011-09-20, 9:04am
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A pic would be nice.
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Old 2011-09-20, 12:33pm
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Brandywine - I think I get what you are asking for - I made 25 pendats a few weeks back to gift away at BM. They were shaped like small burning men. There's a pic posted in August show and tell of 2 of those pieces.

They were too small to hold with the hot fingers ( some of my floral scuptural pieces also hate hot fingers) and I couldnt hold them well with the 18 inch tweezers - kept slipping. What I finally found that worked to hold my pieces best of anything was this:
http://www.frantzartglass.com/index....oducts_id=4564 BUT i dont think these will work for you as your pieces are probably too round

The groove in the end allows me to hang onto components that are rod-like and the curved pad potion of the tool is grooved like a freeway road base. If I didnt want to grab the piece with the groove, the pads themselves seem to grip the items far better than tweezers or hot fingers. For round items, I just use the hot fingers.

I have also used my mashers as holders at times. what I would really like is something like this - without the round plate at the bottom (although I think the round plate is part of the mechanism that makes it open wider or get smaller) - the price tag is ugly too

http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...oducts_id=4141

another option might be:
http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...roducts_id=673


My other option was a fire proof glove that you cant feel heat through that allows me to grip the piece directly while torching LOL

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2011-09-20 at 1:02pm.
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