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

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  #1  
Old 2007-04-04, 11:29am
blacksmith blacksmith is offline
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Default Turning Glass black

Alright I bought some glass and some bead release. I had some old stainless steel rods laying around I used for mandrels.

All is good so far

I have a MAPP gas torch I was using (it is for soldering pipes not glass) I figured I would try it then invest in some more efficient equipment.

I see it is going to take some time to the the coordination between hands and judging the temperature of the glass and mandrel.

Now the problem, my green glass turned black. after I got a small bead on the mandrel I stopped and looked at the bead and it was black. So I stopped and set the mandrel down to shut off the torch and the mandrel rolled off the desk and dropped to the floor. the bead broke in half
and the glass inside was green.

what was I doing wrong?
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  #2  
Old 2007-04-04, 11:34am
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Wonker Wonker is offline
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Hiya blacksmith,

Welcome to the addiction. You've taken your first and possible fatal step into the wonderful world of melting glass. It's difficult to say precisely what's going on with what you've done. Are you using a hothead torch? I couldn't tell what kind of torch you were using with the mapp torch, but it's possible it's throwing out alot of soot, instead of burning clean. Wouldn't make much difference soldering a pipe, but wouldn't be so good on a bead. That would be my guess. Get a hothead torch. They aren't too expensive and are a great way to start.

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 2007-04-04, 12:12pm
blacksmith blacksmith is offline
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I looked at the hothead torch. Do they make a version that is auto ignite or is there a similar torch that is instant ignite. the torch I'm using is a burns-a-matic. Got it at HomeDepot for fixing pipes in my old house.
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  #4  
Old 2007-04-04, 12:18pm
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I would agree it is probably your soldering torch your using that isn't producing clean enough gas to melt the glass. It could also be your working too close to the head of the torch. Even with a Hot head Torch you need to work high up in the flame or your bead will turn black. So try working further out in the flame first. If your green glass still turns black, there are some Hot Head torches for sale in the Garage here brand new for about 30.00 you can hook your Mapp gas right up to them and melt your glass clean with the HH.
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  #5  
Old 2007-04-04, 12:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksmith View Post
I looked at the hothead torch. Do they make a version that is auto ignite or is there a similar torch that is instant ignite. the torch I'm using is a burns-a-matic. Got it at HomeDepot for fixing pipes in my old house.
No the Hothead doesn't come with an instant ignite You should use a striker to light one. It is easy once you get the hang of lighting it. I used one for about a year before upgrading up an Oxy/propane mix torch as many of us did when we started. Many bead makers Love their Hothead torches so much they wont upgrade and have used this torch for years!

The only torch that has the ignite button on it is the fireworks torch and I personally don't know anyone who would recommend that torch even for someone starting out. It isn't expensive but it is a waste of money even for 35.00.
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  #6  
Old 2007-04-04, 12:34pm
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I agree about working too close to the toch head and the torch burning dirty. I used a hothead with mapp once and tried to make a bead clode to the head of the toch and the yellow turned out blue with bubbles beause it cooked. If you are not wanting to invest in a proper hothead then I would suggest you at least buy a brand new torch head but in that case your better off with the proper hothead for the same price.
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  #7  
Old 2007-04-04, 5:21pm
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Thanks for your replies. I'll get a HH torch.
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  #8  
Old 2007-04-04, 5:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T View Post
No the Hothead doesn't come with an instant ignite You should use a striker to light one. It is easy once you get the hang of lighting it. I used one for about a year before upgrading up an Oxy/propane mix torch as many of us did when we started. Many bead makers Love their Hothead torches so much they wont upgrade and have used this torch for years!

The only torch that has the ignite button on it is the fireworks torch and I personally don't know anyone who would recommend that torch even for someone starting out. It isn't expensive but it is a waste of money even for 35.00.
Yes the fireworks does have a button and I used one for quite a while, you can use it fine but I do suggest you actually buy a HH, the only advantage the fireworks had was a more angeled head. Where the HH's have a more upright torch set up.

and when you start up your torch let it burn for a few secs before putting glass to flame it helps get the flow cleaner, also I think you might know this but just incase, make sure to stay out of the blue flame, it burns the glass.

A great glass color to start with I think is ivory. It is a very forgiving glass and the more you torch it the cooler it always looks. I don't think I have ever heard of someone burning it. I would steer clear of the opaque colors for a little bit they burn very easliy. If you have another questions please ask I know these guys here and on WC helped me so much when I started I would like to help someone else.
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  #9  
Old 2007-04-04, 6:50pm
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It all depends. Ivory's very soft, so people who naturally work hot might have trouble with it because it will be very drippy for them. They might find it easier to start with clear or another one of the transparents -- something stiffer that doesn't go soupy quite so quickly. The transparents do bubble, though. One way or another, you have to teach yourself to work a little farther away from the head of the torch!

I agree that the blackening probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's a plumber's torch. Try a Hot Head. People do still get some discoloration with a Hot Head, and that's when we tell them to move away from the head of the torch. It's natural to bring the work close to yourself when you're concentrating, but your glass will bubble, discolor, or maybe both.
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  #10  
Old 2007-04-06, 6:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily View Post
It all depends. Ivory's very soft, so people who naturally work hot might have trouble with it because it will be very drippy for them. They might find it easier to start with clear or another one of the transparents -- something stiffer that doesn't go soupy quite so quickly. The transparents do bubble, though. One way or another, you have to teach yourself to work a little farther away from the head of the torch!

I agree that the blackening probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's a plumber's torch. Try a Hot Head. People do still get some discoloration with a Hot Head, and that's when we tell them to move away from the head of the torch. It's natural to bring the work close to yourself when you're concentrating, but your glass will bubble, discolor, or maybe both.
Thanks I didn't think about the melting OOPS! I was thinking hard to burn! But yea this is right.
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