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

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Old 2018-05-14, 8:25am
jsknow4445 jsknow4445 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 28, 2015
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Default Rod Heaters

I have encountered some colors both 90 and 104 that just seem to shatter no matter how careful and slowly I enter the flame. Pre-heating rods are a way to solve this problem? The heaters are not cheap - are they considered necessary equipment by most beadmakers?

Just curious how hot do the rods need to be to make a difference - would laying them on warming tray or something similar be helpful at all?

Thanks June
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Old 2018-05-14, 8:49am
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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Location: Florida
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Not all have them by any means, but some do have one thing or another to warm the ends. Put it this way, it won't make it more shocky, and may help, so if you have anything (coffee warmer, beauty tool warming oven, whatever) give it a try and see if you like it. I have heard that some people stick the rods either on the top of their kiln, or put the end in the kiln.
Just remember that whatever is at that end may be hot when you are picking it up!

If you don't have anything like that, do warm the end of the rod further out in the flame at first, then bring it closer (especially if it is a color you know is apt to shock and spit glass at you.)
My current "hot" fantasy involves a senior discount on glass & tools!
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Old 2018-05-14, 9:03am
5betsy 5betsy is offline
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Location: Olympia!
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I've been considering an electric griddle for this purpose. In the kiln door is really awkward for me and kiln top is not hot enough.
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Old 2018-05-14, 11:04am
jsknow4445 jsknow4445 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 28, 2015
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I was also thinking about a crock pot full of vermiculite on high - stick the rods in and they should be at least half covered. Would probably need to wipe them off before using them. I have an extra crock pot so won't cost much to try it.
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Old 2018-05-15, 3:37pm
RenaInTN RenaInTN is offline
Join Date: Sep 07, 2015
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 11

I have one of the rod warmers (gifted from a friend) and it does make easy work of shocky glass IMHO. I have used vermiculite in a crock pot to keep beads warm before I had a kiln (or when I only have time for a few beads)... It could probably work as a pre-warmer, but would probably have some 'dust' residue on the glass.
One other comment... in pre-warming the glass, it seems to take less time to get it to melt.
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Old 2018-05-15, 9:42pm
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Location: Winnebago, MN
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I see a lot of the Italian Masters with big racks at the end of their torch flame warming the tips of the rods they want to use.
It's that very last inch or three of the flame.
So, What Do We Do Now? We continue to try to make a difference when and where we can. Because that's what we do.
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Old 2018-05-17, 12:53pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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Location: NC
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I run into rods that have an air bubble all the way down, and there is nothing that I can do to get rid of it. Sometimes, I collapse the rod by reannealing it at about 20 degrees above the temp suggested for that brand. Yes, it flattens it out a bit, but it does help!

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