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

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  #1  
Old 2006-08-13, 9:09am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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Question I have a lot of questions for you!

Hiya!

I'm so glad to have found this forum! I'm hoping you can help me to get started with making lampwork beads.

I have some questions which I'd be very grateful if you could answer for me!

1. I really cannot buy a kiln right now so how do i anneal my beads? i'm looking to do it with the torch but need to know how to do this!! i found annealing granules on a site - what are they?

2. what's the best glass to start with? would rauchenbach (sp?) be ok?

3. what are the main things i need to get going? obviously torch, gas, mandrels and glass but what else?

Sorry to ask so many stupid questions but I haven't bought a book yet!

Thanks in advance for answers! Sure i'll have more questions to ask though.

Miss Reliable
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  #2  
Old 2006-08-13, 9:23am
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IF-Designs IF-Designs is offline
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#1 What area of the country are you in? there are some shops that you can take your beads to and they will batch anneal them for you. What you can do until you can get a kiln is cool them in a fiber blanket or cool them in a crock pot of vermiculite. I believe there are some threads on here about both.

#2 The best glass can be any soft glass really but you do not want to mix COE which is the temp of expansion Effetre, moretti and vetrofond are 104, Reichenbach is 96 as well Uroboros, Kuglar and Gaffer, Bullseye is 90. Any of these glasses are a good starting glass. Reichenbach has a great selection and line of color and the prices are pretty decent at www.glasscolor.com and they have a wide variety of frit available as well. But make sure to look under the lampworking section the rods under color are big kilo sized rods

#3 Torch, Gas lines, Mandrels, Bead release, Eye protection!!!!, Basic Tools such as poker, rakes, spatula, paddle, Torch mounted marver is a tool I use ALL the time get the best one you can afford with a good grade of graphite

oh and as far as torches go if your just starting you can get a hothead and use lil 1lb mapp or propane tanks until you can save up for a minor and and propane / oxy or oxy concentrators and the gas lines
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Last edited by IF-Designs; 2006-08-13 at 9:36am.
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  #3  
Old 2006-08-13, 9:27am
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sandra j ziolkowski sandra j ziolkowski is offline
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Yes there are alot of things you can do without for awhile but some thingyou absolutely need to get started. 1 Ask alot of questions 2 buy a book to help you get started if you have no classes in your area.Cindy Jenkins is good and Corina Tettingers Passing The Flame has tons of information on just about everything.These books are available just about every where. I f you can afford it I would take some class to get the fundamentals of saftey concerning the propane and oxygen if you go that route and any beginner teqniques. Proper ventilation is very important and I wouldn't do anything until that is all in place. Check the threads for setting up a studio and do alot of reading here.
Good Luck, I figure if I could do it on my own so can you!
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  #4  
Old 2006-08-13, 10:01am
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You can learn a LOT by reading. In fact, you might want to spend time reading before you start spending your money.

Here are a couple of other resources. Be sure to read up about safety and setting up a studio.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49934

http://www.sgb-midatlantic.org/how-t...Color%20Charts

Welcome!
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  #5  
Old 2006-08-13, 10:10am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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thank you! that's very helpful information.

i'm in the uk but managed to find a few places that sell these things including the rauchebach glass which is why i asked about that one.

i really doubt i can get my beads annealed locally but read about doing it with the torch and might give that a go.

i'm going to order the cindy jenkins book off ebay soon as it looks great and has good reviews, heard lots about it.

thanks for your help.
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  #6  
Old 2006-08-13, 10:20am
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I got my kiln in the UK from here (the SC2 with bead door): http://www.kitiki.co.uk/shop.htm?ValidGateID4042
It arrived very quickly and the shipping was free for me.

And I usually get my supplies from Glas Sulger in Germany: www.glassulger.de

I thought I might give you some links for later, just incase.
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  #7  
Old 2006-08-13, 5:26pm
Merlin Merlin is offline
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You might want to try http://www.glassharmony.co.uk it's a UK forum with lots of links to local suppliers, tutors etc.

Wendy
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  #8  
Old 2006-08-14, 3:42am
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Flame annealing isn't really annealing, but it distributes the heat evenly through the glass before you cool it down in vermiculite or in a fibre blanket.

Basically after making the bead you flash it through the flame a few times to even out the termperature in the bead. Then place it in the fibre blanket or vermiculite until cool. It enhances the chances of survival for your beads.

Alot of glass supply suppliers will offer batch annealing.

You certainly don't need to rush out and buy a kiln first up.

Essential supplies:
eye protection
Bead release
Mandrels
Marveer
Tweezers
Pliers
Poker
Knife.
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  #9  
Old 2006-08-14, 3:53am
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You cannot annea a bead without a kiln... period. Some may say "flame annealing", but it really doesn't exist. it's kind of like big foot. Plenty of people claim to have seen it... but it's not real. You will need a kiln before you can call your beads annealed. Until then, you can play play play. Use vermiculite or a fiber blanket as mentioned, to keep some of the beads from cracking right away. Maybe they'll live long enough for you to kiln anneal them later. Best of luck and welcome to the madness.
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  #10  
Old 2006-08-14, 4:41am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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ok - so i can have my beads looking perfect by the time i get a kiln!

i was looking at the site mentioned, kitiki - would anyone say that the kitiki mini kiln would be ok for annealing?

i'd love to buy one of these super duper specially designed ones but i really can't, i've been looking around and the ones i can afford (kind of anyway!) don't have the contol thingys - ramp, hold etc. can anyone suggest a cheapish kiln that will do the job for now? maybe if i get really into it and love it enough i'll look to move onto a better kiln but for now something to make my beads necklace safe would be good enough for me!

can anyone kind enough take a look at this one and tell me if i could somehow make do with it ... it's here it's on ebay for half the price there. can you control what temp it gets up to? i realise you can't control how fast it does and that seems to be a big problem

are there any others out there (preferably in uk) that are around 300 (or less!) that would be ok for starting off with until i can buy a nice one like the sc2 ?

thanks everyone for your help it's really really appreciated!!

once i work out what to do about this whole annealing thing i'll get that book and start to think about starting!
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  #11  
Old 2006-08-14, 5:30am
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The only issue I can see with that kiln is you will have to pretty much batch anneal because your mandrels will not be able to fit inside of the kiln. That isnt necessarily a bad thing but you will also have to watch it very closely since its not an auto firing kiln you will have to watch it and keep it at the proper temperture ands cool it to the proper temperatures to. That is time consuming as well. It can be done lots of people here do it as well just giving you a heads up!

One thing you can do to keep your beads alive long enough till you can get them batch annealed in a kiln or until you can afford to get a good kiln is use a crock pot! You might want to talk to Jacinthe here on the forums she has a rather inventive set up with her crock pot. And it works really really well for her. And until you can get a kiln it will probally help keep your beads from cracking as much It involved a crock pot turned on, vermiculite, and 2 heat lamps I believe.
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  #12  
Old 2006-08-14, 6:20am
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Get a Chili Pepper, it's got a controller and it's pretty light. Shipping to you wouldn't be a problem. PM me for a special LE member price.
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  #13  
Old 2006-08-14, 7:32am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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Does anyone have anything to say about Chili Pepper kilns?
Pro's and con's etc ... would this do what I want?

oh, and if anyone out there has one I'd like to ask some stupid questions if you'd be happy to answer them!
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  #14  
Old 2006-08-14, 7:37am
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tuffnellglass.com

The best in the uk and the lovliest chap!!
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  #15  
Old 2006-08-14, 7:37am
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I've only heard good things about Chili Pepper kilns.
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Old 2006-08-14, 7:51am
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You can make beads for your own use and enjoyment without a kiln. You just can't sell them unless they've been annealed, because they can and will crack unexpectedly unless they've been kiln annealed.

Unless you're a prodigy (and it's true that some people are), it will be a while until your beads are worth preserving for the ages anyway, so why not get your torch and get started making beads while you save your pennies for your kiln?

The Chili Pepper is a fine kiln for annealing beads.

People have mentioned the Cindy Jenkins book. She has several books out now. The one you want for starting out is Making Glass Beads. Beads of Glass is also a lovely book, but doesn't have the beginner information in it. You can add it to your library after you've become addicted.

Jim Kervin's More Than You Wanted to Know About Glass Beadmaking is more comprehensive than Cindy's book. It goes into some of the safety information in more depth. It's a good resource, and lives up to its title. The US glass suppliers carry it, although general booksellers generally don't.

Most people who work in soft (soda-lime) glass start out with Effetre glass (which used to be called Moretti, and the old name has stuck to a large extent). I'm sure it's available in the UK, although I know everything's harder to get there. It has the greatest range of colors available, and people have the most familiarity with it. If you find people talking about a color without naming a manufacturer, odds are it's an Effetre/Moretti color. Effetre/Moretti is COE (coefficient of expansion) 104, which means it's not compatible with Reichenbach, which I believe is around COE 96. If you start out working with Effetre, you'll have more people available who can answer questions, and who can tell you when a problem is likely to be the fault of something funky that the glass does, rather than something that you're doing.
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  #17  
Old 2006-08-14, 8:00am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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that's such great advice!

i'm almost certain that i'll be going for a chili pepper kiln eventually but for now i'm just going to order a book and then get a torch, gas, tools, glass etc and have a go. if i get hooked, which i'm sure i will, i'll get the kiln but i don't want to invest in something that i might change my mind about.

chili pepper seems good but is only for beads, not sure if i would prefer to spend a bit more and get one i can do fusing and ceramics with too, guess i could always upgrade later on.

the whole glass thing makes much more sense now! i wasn't sure what the differences were but it seems much much clearer now!

i'm so excited! i just want to make some beads! (try to anyway)

hopefully i can get everything i need within the next few weeks.

thanks again so much,
miss reliable

Last edited by missreliable; 2006-08-14 at 11:02am.
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  #18  
Old 2006-08-14, 3:52pm
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I've only recently got hold of a kiln after a year, and all mine have thus far been cooled down in vermiculite (and I've only recently started batch annealing them). Looking at my piles of beads everywhere I have lost very few to cracking. To be fair my beads are usually fairly small though.
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  #19  
Old 2006-08-15, 1:27am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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ooh, ok so maybe i can wait a bit before worrying about a kiln then .... only thing is i know i'll make a bead and be desperate to use it in a piece of jewellery !
looking at getting the chili pepper still but i still feel a bit nervous about buying one! it will be the biggest thing i've ever bought!!!! most people my age are out there buying their first car, but me, no, my first kiln!
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Old 2006-08-15, 2:01am
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That's what I thought when I was getting mine, everyone out there was buying the usual teen things (cars, motorbikes or whatever) but then I said to myself who cares? And I got my kiln anyway, and now I'm happy ever after!!lol
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  #21  
Old 2006-08-15, 4:23am
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I know I sound like a nag but... If you are going to be torching indoors don't forget about ventitation. It is one of the more important aspects of this process. Without it you are putting your good health at risk. It can be one of the more expensive elements also but once you have it in place you can relax and enjoy making those beautiful baubbles.
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Old 2006-08-16, 8:36am
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I agree with Tanok, Tuffnell glass is a great resourse. He is usually at local bead fairs (Check out his webside) and is only too happy to talk technicals with you. I know, I'm a novice too and am pestering him like mad at the moment. Can't wait to get my gear and get started.
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Old 2006-08-16, 8:39am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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I'm very very excited because I found out yesterday they're at a bead & jewellery fair near me!!!! It's in the same city as I'm getting my torch from so it's going to be one very expensive day!!!!!!
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Old 2006-08-16, 8:53am
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Is It in Stourbridge? That's a big glass festival and UK bead makers will be there and I think Tuffnell Glass.
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Old 2006-08-16, 8:55am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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ooh - no but that sounds good too! too far for me to go though i think .... maybe ... might see if i could go by train ... depends - when is it?

it's only small the one i'm going to with bead makers, jewellery makers and glass and jewellery supplies there. still excited though!
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  #26  
Old 2006-08-16, 8:57am
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Oh bum, Iv'e got carried away and now my husbands dinner has started to burn! Shape of things ot come?
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  #27  
Old 2006-08-16, 10:29am
fireflykat51 fireflykat51 is offline
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Hey, Another thought for tools a two sided file from the home improvement store. A long phillips head screw driver a flat head and a good fan. The file is just fun roll the glass when it's hot mushy. I put a little enamel on it and spread it with a brush The phillps head is great because everyone has an old one that is stripped and it makes great marks and the shaft is good for shaping complex curves. Like under the lip of a vase shape. I Love my flat heads I use them as mini marvers, groove makers, pushers. What ever. You'll figure them out pluss we all have worn down tools in the house.
The fan is for ventilation. Yes super low voume hobbyist, but we all start like that I had one facing out my screen door, and a small one in a window next to my bench.
Have loads of fun, Don't woory my first bead looked like an orange that fell of a tree hanging over the side of a cliff
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Old 2006-08-16, 10:35am
missreliable missreliable is offline
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they all sound very fun!
i'll have to have a hunt around for fun surfaces and things! Got files and things like that and maybe i could use tin cans that are corregated type thing? Maybe?
Right now I'd just be happy to make a bead, any colour, size or shape, just a bead! I can't wait to get everything, can't believe it's over a month till I do though! Gives me plenty of time to read my new book I guess!
Thanks for those ideas, will be sure to try them asap.
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  #29  
Old 2007-02-06, 4:36am
glass-diary glass-diary is offline
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You can use all kind of soft glass with COE 104: KUGLER, moretti, vetrofond, effetre, satake, ornela,...
But for beginners it is useful to start with KUGLER because the glass is forgivable concerning to much heat,...
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  #30  
Old 2007-02-06, 9:12am
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Satake is a very nice glass but is not COE 104....their COE is:
Soda lime color: 113
Lead color: 120

Miss Reliable-
If you'd like to try some moretti or vetrfond, PM me your addy and I can send you a bit of this and that
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