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

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  #1  
Old 2015-04-06, 3:56pm
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lunesse lunesse is offline
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Default crazy involved designs and presses

How do you amazing people do stripes and dots and circles and layers and melt it all on and then somehow do all that and manage to get the glass the right amount in the press? Get it wrong, and it seems impossible to recover from, can't just add more glass anywhere?

I make more simple beads, and I can look at my blob on the mandrel and get it pretty close, but I can always add more as a result of my background simplicity. Is that all it is, just being aware of how big the blob is?

=)
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  #2  
Old 2015-04-06, 4:58pm
volkanokaren volkanokaren is offline
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I wonder the same thing.

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  #3  
Old 2015-04-07, 5:32am
2xMI 2xMI is offline
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Having graduated presses helps me, as well as paying attention to the number of wraps I need to have the right amount of glass for the press. But I rarely get the right amount the first time!
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  #4  
Old 2015-04-07, 7:08am
Sallytzu Sallytzu is offline
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When I first started using presses, I measured the length off a rod needed and marked it until I had a better idea how much each required. (But I still get it wrong part of the time��)
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  #5  
Old 2015-04-07, 9:46am
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Practice. After a while, you can judge at what point you base bead is at the right size before you add your decorations and do the final press. If your designs are raised, it doesn't matter.
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  #6  
Old 2015-04-07, 10:50am
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Yes, raised ones don't matter, it's the completely flattened ones with all sorts of design additions, but still end up filling the press near perfectly that astound me, since it seems you have one shot with a bead that has designs factored in and added before pressing.

Practice, practice, practice. That's always a factor isn't it. =)
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  #7  
Old 2015-04-07, 5:53pm
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I suppose it is a lot like learning how much a pinch and a dash is in cooking.


You could practice with various lengths of glass and use a bare mandrel. That way you can recover all of the glass as frit after water annealing so the glass won't go to waste and you can add glass to the center of a lentil or a disk without decoration to get a feel for how much to use when you do want to start decorating.

Another trick is to decorate the corners so you can add to the center to 'fatten it up' before finishing the decoration.

Doing the corners last would be a little more tricky but I guess that could be a learned technique as well.

I think spending a lot of time playing with lengths of glass globs on the end of a bare mandrel so you can get the size right and them pull it back into a rod can help learning the size/amount of glass to start with.

I know that I get in a hurry to 'make something' and I forget to give my self 'play time' to learn how much is enough and how to go about sneaking up on the perfect amount to start with and what kind of 'fixes and repairs' can be accomplished without leaving a trace.

I know a lot of wood working is learning how to slow down and sneak up on the finished size and the other two thirds is knowing how to 'fix it or hide it' after it is too late to sneak up on it.
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Old 2015-04-07, 8:22pm
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I used to make a modeling clay "template" on a mandrel so I could see how much glass I would need to have to press correctly.
After you do a few or a million, you do get a feel for the size
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  #9  
Old 2015-04-08, 2:35am
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A friend told me the trick is to use a graduated press.

You make the base bead in a small size and then move up a notch as you add decoration.

As you are adding approx the same amount of glass for the same decorations you come out with the same sized beads.

It also helps to reduce the distortion you get when you decorate a round bead first and then press it later.
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Old 2015-04-08, 2:44am
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I think you do start to get an "eye" for how much glass you will need. I am still new to presses myself but for the rollers I use most often, I can usually eyeball the glass on the mandrel before I melt it all in and shape it.

Having said that, I suppose there are a few tricks you would learn. You could always add a little more "decoration", especially corners or ends like Phil said, to fill everything out
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  #11  
Old 2015-04-09, 10:56am
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There is a video lined in this thread about getting the glass right in presses.

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...78#post4734878

I think you may find it worth watching.
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