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

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  #1  
Old 2015-10-29, 2:42am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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Default Problem with cracks

I have started working on a series of bird skulls. I make the head from boro tubing, and then use boro rod to make a beak. On several of the pieces that came from the kiln this morning and yesterday, I found cracks.
The cracks are all at the same place: where the beak is attached, close to the hole for the eye. Did not notice it while working.

Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong? I am wondering if the hollow head cools down too much, and when I then apply the hot glass for the beak, it cracks. There should not be any COE compatilibity issues between rod and tube, right?

I am working on a small torch (cricket GTT) and that makes it quite hard to keep a whole piece heated enough. I am pretty new to boro, so there's lots to improve on.
Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated.

I'll try to salvage them by heating them up in the kiln and then trying to fix the crack.
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  #2  
Old 2015-10-29, 5:33am
SteveR SteveR is offline
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Try pulling the beak from tubing instead of attaching using rod. That is make from the same one piece of tubing. This piece is probably got heat shocked before entering the kiln instead of highly stressed.
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  #3  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:10am
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Boro on a cricket? I would think that is the issue. A cricket is not enough torch for boro.
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  #4  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:15am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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Steve, I think pulling it from the tubing would make it hard for me to get the shape I want. But I guess I could just melt down the tubing to make a solid shape. And then make the beak first, before I make the head. Giving me ideas......thanks.

Mary, boro can be done on a cricket. I am not the first to do it. I have made marbles, beads, pendants and some hollow sculptures on it before without problems.
Am considering an upgrade next year, though. Would be easier to work with a wider flame at least.
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  #5  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:21am
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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Take your time on the weld where you attach the beak and make it smoother when you think it is melted together enough give it one more go around. If you work on a small section at a time making the spot super smooth then move on to the next spot and working that smooth you will have better control. Also if you attach the beak before you pop the eyes you can give a little puff right after each heating to help even out the thickness of the weld. Good luck and keep moving forward it will get better.
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  #6  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:27am
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Default Rod and Tubing

You need to blend the two together gradually from thin to thick.
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  #7  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:28am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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Yeah, that makes sense. Make the beak first, then pop the eyes. Would solve some other issues I am having too. (like the eyes melting out further with all the heat I need to add to get the beak right). I quite like the look of the beak onset being not fully melted in, but I guess that's where I run into problems. Will give it another go this weekend. I have very little experience with shaping boro so that will be a learning curve.
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  #8  
Old 2015-10-29, 9:30am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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HyperT, I don't think I understand your picture or description. Could you please elaborate?
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  #9  
Old 2015-10-29, 12:36pm
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Ok whenever you join a piece of tubing to a piece of rod you need a tapered hollow area between the two. You can do this by getting both peices equally hot, then blowing into the tube to hollow out the rod some. If you just stick the two together you will have a thin part connected to a thick part and they will cool differently in the oven and most likely crack apart.

Look at the drawing again and you will see the blown out part in the rod where it says "open"

Guess I'm talking wall thickness here too.
Most Scientific glass blowers have made these type of seals over the years.
In other words don't just blob the glass onto the tube and expect it to work.
You can also try to heat both pieces equaly hot then attach them and pull slighty to
form the hollow area, if you can't blow into the tube.

Last edited by hyperT; 2015-10-29 at 12:47pm.
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  #10  
Old 2015-10-29, 12:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
Boro on a cricket? I would think that is the issue. A cricket is not enough torch for boro.
I've made blown beads and inside out beads on a Cricket at a demo once. You'd be surprised. And especially with Floorkasp only working clear, I'd say it wouldn't be any problem.
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  #11  
Old 2015-10-29, 1:18pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floorkasp View Post
Steve, I think pulling it from the tubing would make it hard for me to get the shape I want. But I guess I could just melt down the tubing to make a solid shape. And then make the beak first, before I make the head. Giving me ideas......thanks.

Mary, boro can be done on a cricket. I am not the first to do it. I have made marbles, beads, pendants and some hollow sculptures on it before without problems.
Am considering an upgrade next year, though. Would be easier to work with a wider flame at least.
Yes. Plenty of torch for the job if your skilled with it. When I make the joint your having issues with I heat the areas to be joined to almost white, stick them together and push to compress a bit, then finally pull apart slightly to create a smooth transition. Any abrupt changes in thickness or sharp angles create stress. I love doing sculptural work but there is a lot to learn. Please let us know how this turns out.
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  #12  
Old 2015-10-29, 1:29pm
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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With all this great advice I should be able to get it to work. Trial and error and lots more practice.
It's kinda how I learn. Just try something, and if it does not work, try again. Great to have a place like this to keep me from repeating my mistakes.

And fortunately, not all of them cracked.

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  #13  
Old 2015-10-29, 2:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
Boro on a cricket? I would think that is the issue. A cricket is not enough torch for boro.
Yes, it is. In fact, they were specifically designed for boro for us small time lampworkers.

I make up to almost 3" marbles on my cricket and 2 oxy-cons.

Sue
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  #14  
Old 2015-10-29, 3:32pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Nice. They look like they are coming along fine.
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  #15  
Old 2015-10-29, 5:07pm
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Originally Posted by Sue in Maine View Post
Yes, it is. In fact, they were specifically designed for boro for us small time lampworkers.

I make up to almost 3" marbles on my cricket and 2 oxy-cons.

Sue
Wow, I didn't know that! The inner fire on my scorpion is a cricket, and I have two regalia's and I am quite sure I could not make a 3 inch marble with only that, as the largest marble I can make with both rings of flame blasting is about 1 & 1/2 inch diameter. I must not know what I am doing. I would love to see a picture of a 3 inch marble made on a cricket, and wonder how long it took?
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  #16  
Old 2015-10-29, 10:29pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue in Maine View Post
Yes, it is. In fact, they were specifically designed for boro for us small time lampworkers.

I make up to almost 3" marbles on my cricket and 2 oxy-cons.

Sue
Wow, I have a Phantom and while I know it will bust out a 3 inch marble no trouble the same on a cricket would be long winded.

My goodness you have patience!
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  #17  
Old 2015-10-30, 12:58am
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The way I make bird skulls varies. I sometimes make a solid beak and sometimes use tubing. Sometimes I make them close to a replica skull other times I make them more stylized. I will attach two stylized ones. More often I use tubing for the beak but I will attach a sample of each. When I make a bird skull I use clear tubing that I encase with color. I make the actual skull first by blowing out a sphere, making the eye sockets, reshaping the dome if I need, then flatten the bottom. I pull the front of the skull and shape to affix the beak. I open this transition area if I am ising tubing for the beak. If it is tubing I flare out and shape the tubing to fit the transition area, make a good seal, pull out, taper and sculpt the beak.

I follow the same procedure as above for a solid rod beak but I do not pull out the transition area as much but I do pull it a bit, tapering the skull. I flatten the end of the transition, apply a gather of color, melt in real well making a good, fully integrated seam. I preshape my gather, heat toward the end of the gather so the skull will still move a bit but the beak is MUCH softer. As I pull the beak to a taper, the transition pulls out a little more forward. I hope that helps.

I got cracks in the first couple I did. Keep in mind a few things, try to have as even of a skull thickness as you can get, remember tubing is thinner and cools down faster than rod, this may lead to uneven heat or the transition area already cooled and you crack it as you apply the beak, the transition to the beak is a large change in thickness, be mindful of that, pull the transition out a little with the beak, it ensures a nice, smooth seal.

This beak is tubing



This beak is solid



Otter
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  #18  
Old 2015-10-30, 2:20am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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Those are beautiful.
I'm sure my next attempt will be lots better with all this advice!
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  #19  
Old 2015-10-30, 7:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopdog6502 View Post
Wow, I have a Phantom and while I know it will bust out a 3 inch marble no trouble the same on a cricket would be long winded.

My goodness you have patience!
Patience or a good imagination, I'd still love to see a picture of that large marble made on a cricket.
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Old 2015-10-30, 8:55am
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Patience or a good imagination, I'd still love to see a picture of that large marble made on a cricket.
Me too. 3" takes 2-3 hours at least on my CC running it wide open. And even then it better be mostly clear glass.
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  #21  
Old 2015-10-30, 2:31pm
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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No cracks!
Did another run this morning, trying the different methods you described.
None of them cracked, and I was able to fix the cracks on the earlier ones.
Still lots of problemsolving to do, but pretty happy. Now I can make one without cracks, I'll move on to practicing symmetry, popping the holes and general design. Right now, what they look like is more due to coincidence than intent.

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Old 2015-10-30, 4:19pm
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Good job!
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  #23  
Old 2015-10-30, 5:30pm
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Quote:
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Boro on a cricket? I would think that is the issue. A cricket is not enough torch for boro.
I bought mine to use with my single 5 lpm machine, though I really prefer it tanked. I'm not patient

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopdog6502 View Post
Wow, I have a Phantom and while I know it will bust out a 3 inch marble no trouble the same on a cricket would be long winded.

My goodness you have patience!
I'm a little skeptical about hitting 3" on a Cricket too, but it would be theoretically possible if you were really good about maintaining a wicked deep heat base. It would take a very long time though.
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  #24  
Old 2015-10-30, 5:43pm
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Floor, I love the ideas for projects that you come up with. Those look terrific!!
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  #25  
Old 2015-11-04, 9:00am
deb tarry deb tarry is offline
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Whoop!! looking good….keep going.
a point that is worth mentioning again is getting the two pieces that you are joining together nice and hot, you know they are hot enough when you put them together they almost flow into a nice join when they touch and will need little work.
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