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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2011-08-06, 7:08am
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Default boro on skeleton keys?

Apparently not...
Has anyone successfully attempted boro on a skeleton key? I tried two different keys yesterday, with two different colors, and both of them crumbled off the key while in the kiln. I'm guessing that the coe of the glass and the metal are just WAY too different, but if anyone has any ideas, I'm curious!
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  #2  
Old 2011-08-06, 7:27am
judejudejude judejudejude is offline
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Default boro and skeleton keys

i will try one this weekend and get back to you. don't know why it shouldn't work. i have about 20 skeleton keys and some look to be different metals and will try a few types. good luck if you try again.
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  #3  
Old 2011-08-06, 7:52am
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Are you sure the keys were high end steel? I've tried a few and they've worked pretty well. Try using a REALLY thick coating of bead separator.
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  #4  
Old 2011-08-06, 9:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahRachel View Post
Are you sure the keys were high end steel? I've tried a few and they've worked pretty well. Try using a REALLY thick coating of bead separator.
Not sure what you mean by high end steel? I was making the bead directly on the key with no release-is that my issue? I've done it before with soft glass without the crumbling bead issue. I think I will have a chance to play again today, so I'll try again, with and without bead release.
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  #5  
Old 2011-08-06, 10:29am
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Yep! That be the cause. The differences in COE between steel and the glass when laid directly on the key is so different that expansion/contraction is breaking the beads. Boro just makes the differences greater. I'm really supprised the soft glass didn't break as well.
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  #6  
Old 2011-08-06, 10:53am
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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What do you use to put the bead release on the key????
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  #7  
Old 2011-08-06, 11:53am
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Just hold be key and dip it as you would a mandrel. then you can dip part way in water and wipe off the excess so that only the middle has release on it.
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  #8  
Old 2011-08-06, 1:15pm
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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DUHHHH!!! Guess I should have been able to figure that out by myself ... but thanks Lynda!!!
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  #9  
Old 2011-08-06, 1:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venessa View Post
Not sure what you mean by high end steel?
I purchased a few "vintage" keys that I think were aluminum or some s**t grade stuff. The keys basically melted the minute they got within 20 yards of the flame. That said, its the glass you have breaking, not the key, so my bet is the bead separator will help.
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  #10  
Old 2011-08-06, 2:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahRachel View Post
I purchased a few "vintage" keys that I think were aluminum or some s**t grade stuff. The keys basically melted the minute they got within 20 yards of the flame. That said, its the glass you have breaking, not the key, so my bet is the bead separator will help.
The ones I used yesterday were some that I got at a garage sale-12 of them for $1, couldn't pass em up-and they were a bit rusted when I got them, so no aluminum. Quick run in the tumbler fixed that problem! I will try the bead release next time and see how I fare. Thanks!!
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  #11  
Old 2011-08-06, 7:26pm
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I've done it on keys without release and haven't had any problems. Maybe I've just been lucky so far....


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  #12  
Old 2011-08-06, 7:48pm
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I've done it both ways... dipped and undipped. So far, so good.
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  #13  
Old 2011-08-06, 10:17pm
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Hmmm...could just be me lol. All I know is that when I opened up the kiln, there was a couple of keys surrounded by bead crumbs. I'm not gonna give up yet though!! Didn't get a chance to torch today, hopefully tomorrow though.
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  #14  
Old 2011-08-07, 8:36am
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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I just want to throw this out there as I don't know for sure if it applies to what you are doing.
Within the coe's there is different viscosities meaning even though they are considered to be compatible they seem to take more heat to melt and stiffen out of the flame faster than others. An example in soft glass would be ivory vrs black or clear. (anyone who has made the classic tiger bead has experienced some cracking issues especially if the base was the ivory and not black). Within the boro family you have the same thing, and if you throw in the metal from the key you have another expansion and contraction issue.
So if one color combo doesn't work try another also do some 'flame annealing' (I know you can't anneal in the flame) but what I mean by that is even out the temperature of the piece by going in and out of the flame keeping an eye on the color temperature. In the flame until it just starts to glow take it out of the flame until it disappears then back into the flame. For a small bead like what you would be making on the keys is approximately 5 seconds in the flame 5 seconds out doing this several times. What this does is evens out the inside temperature with the outside temperature before it is put into the kiln. Hope it works out for you cause those keys are cute.
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  #15  
Old 2011-08-07, 3:36pm
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I use boro to make beads on keys all the time, both encased with clear and not. Usually I use bead release, but not always; not using it hasn't resulted in crumbling beads IME. I even make hearts on the keys, which means much more glass, more time in the flame shaping, etc. There is one color that has given me trouble but only with the hearts -- Northstar Loki's Lipstick (which is a real shame, because with its color it would make FABULOUS hearts).
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  #16  
Old 2011-08-17, 8:55pm
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Could the problem be in not keeping the key hot enough while making the bead?
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  #17  
Old 2011-08-20, 10:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassFirenze View Post
Could the problem be in not keeping the key hot enough while making the bead?
As others have already explained earlier in the thread this is a hit or miss proposition depending on the glass and keys used and how it is done. You may get away with it and then again you may not. There may be ways to optimize the fit but the end result is that you have a stressy bead that may break later if it survives annealing. I would suggest that you always use bead release.
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  #18  
Old 2011-08-24, 1:13pm
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I made one with bead release, and it survived!! Weird thing was, when I got it out of the kiln to clean it, the bead came completely loose from the bead release-none stuck to the bead at all-it was all stuck to the key (not that I'm complaining, it was pretty easy to clean off the key).
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  #19  
Old 2011-08-24, 1:27pm
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i have a couple skeleton keys and i use boro

how do you guys hold the keys to apply the boro? tweezers dont seem like they would work very wellim just curious how you hold the key without burning the fingers

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Old 2011-08-24, 1:33pm
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I use a ring hemostat... long one's so there is enough straight metal to hold on to.
Shorter ones and you have to hold on where the handle v's off.
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  #21  
Old 2011-08-24, 1:35pm
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do those have the little locking clamp on them?
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Old 2011-08-24, 1:40pm
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I use a special mandrel for the keys, Keys4Life

Also, I've used 96 coe and 104 without a crack ever. (knocking on wood)

Someone else mentioned that maybe you didn't keep the key hot and that would be my first guess. Those keys take a while (compared to a mandrel) to get hot enough to even accept the glass so it would lose heat (suck it out of the bead) quickly as well.

That's my 2 cents...never used bead release either. I have noticed that brass keys seem to sort of release the bead by themselves. Not sure what that's all about!

Good luck, seems like you've got it figured out!
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  #23  
Old 2011-08-24, 1:48pm
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Quote:
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do those have the little locking clamp on them?
Yes... Mine have loops at the end as well. I think there is a better grip with them than just straight tips.
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  #24  
Old 2011-08-24, 3:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venessa View Post
I made one with bead release, and it survived!! Weird thing was, when I got it out of the kiln to clean it, the bead came completely loose from the bead release-none stuck to the bead at all-it was all stuck to the key (not that I'm complaining, it was pretty easy to clean off the key).
That is why I suggested it. The release creates a small amount of space between the steel key and the glass. This should allow for the differences in expansion and contraction that exist between the two dissimilar materials.
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Old 2011-08-24, 3:53pm
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Quote:
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That's my 2 cents...never used bead release either. I have noticed that brass keys seem to sort of release the bead by themselves. Not sure what that's all about!
The key material and the glass expand and contract with changes in temperature at different rates and that is what often cracks the beads. In the case of this key it is obviously working in your favor.
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Old 2011-08-24, 4:43pm
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Larry, you're right!
And it's lucky for me that it works b/c that's what I put all my Key-Key's on!

I have noticed that some keys tend to bubble the glass to the point that I can't add any glass. Too many huge bubbles. (is the glass trapping little holes in the metal to create the
bubbles)

However, I did have one that had just a few bubbles like a bead that one might have added baking soda to! It's a cute one though =D
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  #27  
Old 2011-08-24, 8:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roo Blaty View Post
Larry, you're right!
And it's lucky for me that it works b/c that's what I put all my Key-Key's on!

I have noticed that some keys tend to bubble the glass to the point that I can't add any glass. Too many huge bubbles. (is the glass trapping little holes in the metal to create the
bubbles)

However, I did have one that had just a few bubbles like a bead that one might have added baking soda to! It's a cute one though =D
Are they aluminum? I would stay away from them because Aluminum melts around 1000F. Are you cleaning the key surface first with a solvent? May help with the bubbles.
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  #28  
Old 2011-08-25, 6:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keys4life View Post
i have a couple skeleton keys and i use boro

how do you guys hold the keys to apply the boro? tweezers dont seem like they would work very wellim just curious how you hold the key without burning the fingers

I use a hollow mandrel-just put the rounded end of the key into the end of a hollow mandrel, sometimes gotta tap it into the mandrel a bit to keep it from wiggling, but it works really well.
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  #29  
Old 2011-09-22, 12:59pm
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I've done boro on keys with and without release with no problem.

I hold my keys using a turnbuckle rod and some nuts and bolts. Works great.
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Old 2011-09-23, 10:50am
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Old keys can be brass, nickel, steel and anything in between. Alloys. I know some people who won't use one that won't stick to a magnet, but I really like brass keys myself. Have not yet tried with boro, but hey! Maybe this weekend. I want to try out that new Whiteout Paul made... he's always trying to get the white juuuuuuust right.
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