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

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  #1  
Old 2008-08-16, 10:46am
Moth Moth is offline
Mary Lockwood
 
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Default How much heat will my Stump Sucker hose assembly stand?

I bought a Stump Sucker from the garage sale forum. It came with the black rubber hose assembly with the filter.

I've searched online and here but can't figure out how much heat the rubber hose can withstand before melting or degrading.

I went over to Lewis Wilson's site because I remember seeing a long time ago a paperweight video clip.

In the clip, he has what looks like a stump sucker inside a kiln with the hose and all feeding off it.

I can't tell though if it is the same hose, or what.

I was going to leave the graphite part of the stump sucker sitting on my hot plate, with the paperweight assembly inside it while I stripped and preheated the clear encasement glass. When I was close to getting the encasement clear ready, I was going to heat the assembly with the small torch I have. Then I was going to do the encasement and proceed working at the torch then garage the finished piece in the kiln.

I'm hoping that Lewis Wilson really does have in that kiln what I think he has in there, which would mean that the rubber hose on the stump sucker will easily tolerate the lesser temp of my hotplate.

Alternatively, maybe I don't have to heat the stump sucker at all and can just do the torch heating right before I encase it. I just don't want the assembly to crack and thought I could keep it hot on the hotplate and save myself some stress.

Any input on the hose situation is greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I'm going to have to cut off a small portion of the hose and set it on the hot plate to see if it melts of smokes or whatever.

Thanks in advance.
~~Mary
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  #2  
Old 2008-08-16, 11:06am
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MaryBeth MaryBeth is offline
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I remember when I took Loren Stump's class that he did mention you could place the cup for the stump stucker inside of the kiln. However, you would need to drill a hole through the kiln floor and thread the hose through that - you just couldn't hang it out through the kiln door. And, then of course you would need to open the top of your kiln to use it.

So it does sound like the hose can tolerate some heat - those firebricks would be pretty warm on the inside.

I can't remember if the hose came out of the side or the bottom of the cup. If it comes out of the side maybe you could prop it up with some scrap graphite on your cup warmer so that it is not in direct contact with the surface.

I've been tempted to get one of these but it seems like you need three hands to use one by yourself! The kiln solution would work best for a person working alone as you wouldn't need to warm your elements with a little torch while juggle your clear in the other hand!
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  #3  
Old 2008-08-16, 11:52am
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Mary Lockwood
 
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Hi Mary Beth.

Yeah, the hose comes out the side. I figured I could run it out through the crack in the bead door and access it through the top of the kiln. Maybe I can put a bit of fiber blanket along the hose path.

I used an old piece of graphite to slump a cab on one time and it did a number on the graphite, but I won't be going nearly as hot with this...just annealing temp.

I only have the little stump sucker that's why I was hoping I could put it on the hotplate and then just flash inside it a couple times to heat the assembly more. It's gonna have to be super tiny anyway.

But this so far is the only thing I've felt limited by my kiln with. I have an Aim 84BD with a digital controller. I have the bead collar, or you can take it off to fuse. I have a top lid too, but I sure wish it had a hinge on it. It is really heavy and awkward to hold up with all that heat blasting out the top while you are trying to see AND manipulate the encasement down into the 1.5" stump sucker opening. LOL

I just don't know which would be the best way to go about this. I think either way I'm gonna have problems. I might have to hire my husband to stand there holding the lid of the kiln up or away.

I could take the lid completely off and set it to the side, but meanwhile I've got a gather of soft glass that doesn't stay soupy very long. No, I'm definitely going to need help with that kiln lid if I go that route.

Good stuff to think about, Mary Beth. Thank you.
~~Mary
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  #4  
Old 2008-08-16, 11:54am
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I was under the impression that graphite would break down quickly at kiln temperatures. No?
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  #5  
Old 2008-08-16, 11:55am
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Mary Lockwood
 
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If I take one of the rings of the kiln off it would be easier to see down in there, then I could use the peep hole to run the hose out.

Hmmm.

I just might have to cut some little bits of hose off here to see if it will take it.

If there were some kind of printing on the hose, maybe I could look up some specs, but as it is unmarked, I know nothing about it.

~~Mary
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  #6  
Old 2008-08-16, 11:57am
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Yes, I do think that graphite will degrade pretty quick, but I think that it is more at slumping or fusing temps. I'm gonna be well below that, but still...I'm no expert and I have NO idea what Lewis had his kiln set at with his graphite sucker thing in it.

~~Mary
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  #7  
Old 2008-08-16, 12:00pm
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I guess if I do some tests on the hose and it holds up, all that is left is to try it with the stump sucker in the kiln...worst things that could happen:

I lose $50 I paid for the stump sucker and hose.
I singe my eyebrows off.
My husband finally realizes what I'm doing in the basement and confiscates my stuff.

I'm game.

~~Mary
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  #8  
Old 2008-08-16, 12:06pm
SteveWright SteveWright is offline
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I don't heat my Stump Sucker.

I use a #5 tip on my little torch to preheat the inclusion inside my Stump Sucker. I start about 6 inches above the inclusion and keep the flame moving as I lower the Little Torch until I get flashes of glow from the inclusion. I spend about 30-40 seconds heating the inclusion before the molten clear goes in.

You will wreck a few things at first, but getting the hang of it will come with practice.

I have a video tutorial of peeling clear glass on my first site in my sig. This is what I do with each piece of glass before I use the Stump Sucker.

Steve
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  #9  
Old 2008-08-16, 12:14pm
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Mary Lockwood
 
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Hi Steve,

I spent a good amount of time on your site this morning! I'm glad you posted and thanks for your input. I totally agree with you on the peeling glass thing. I do it for all my aquarium beads and can't believe the difference a little extra effort makes. Pristine clear for $8/pound and a few minutes work...you gotta love that. I have some 18mm solid rod I cut into chunks and was going to preheat in my kiln and pick up like Lewis did in his video with what I think were schott pucks. You show that in your video.

I just cut a 1/4" ring off the end of this hose and set it on my hotplate. The specs on the hotplate say it hits 750 degrees in 8 minutes. At 3 minutes the rubber hose started to smoke and melt so I doubt it would hold up to even annealing temp in the kiln.

Just gonna try heating the assembly inside the stump sucker at the last minute like you said, Steve. Was hoping to save myself needing 3 arms, but I don't see how I can get around it at this point. I thought if I could keep the whole stump sucker in the kiln or on the hot plate, I wouldn't have to preheat the assembly with the torch as much.

Thanks again and I'll post how I do...good or bad maybe somebody will learn from my mistakes. LOL

~~Mary
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  #10  
Old 2008-08-16, 1:11pm
SteveWright SteveWright is offline
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It does involve some juggling.

If my wife is around I have her do the heating of the inclusion.

If not, I set the inclusion in the stump sucker and peel my clear. I keep it hot while I heat the inclusion with my left hand.
(All of my really good burns have happened at this point)
I then pour the heat into the clear and shove it in. I keep the hose in my mouth once I start to heat the inclusion.




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Last edited by SteveWright; 2008-08-16 at 1:15pm. Reason: typos
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  #11  
Old 2008-08-16, 8:44pm
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MaryBeth MaryBeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWright View Post
It does involve some juggling.

If my wife is around I have her do the heating of the inclusion.

If not, I set the inclusion in the stump sucker and peel my clear. I keep it hot while I heat the inclusion with my left hand.
(All of my really good burns have happened at this point)
I then pour the heat into the clear and shove it in. I keep the hose in my mouth once I start to heat the inclusion.




Steve
That is gorgeous, Steve! Good luck, Mary! I'm thinking that threading the hose through the peep hole should work. Loren did say you could use the stump sucker in the kiln by drilling a hole. I'm thinking you might need to reposition your kiln so you can get to the hose if you try this.

If you go the route of heating your inclusion with a torch are you going to use something like a little torch for that? That's what we used in class. We had one person heating the inclusion, one person melting the clear and another sucking. It's quite a production!
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  #12  
Old 2008-08-16, 9:17pm
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The new stump sucker that loren had (and apparently will have on his website shortly) at the Corning class last in july had a little hotplate that it sat on. We still preheated our assemblies with a little torch, and the graphite wasn't that hot (less than 200 degrees, maybe) but apparently it helps reduce shockiness.
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  #13  
Old 2008-08-17, 7:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryBeth View Post
That is gorgeous, Steve! Good luck, Mary! I'm thinking that threading the hose through the peep hole should work. Loren did say you could use the stump sucker in the kiln by drilling a hole. I'm thinking you might need to reposition your kiln so you can get to the hose if you try this.

If you go the route of heating your inclusion with a torch are you going to use something like a little torch for that? That's what we used in class. We had one person heating the inclusion, one person melting the clear and another sucking. It's quite a production!
Yes, I have a tiny little torch. I hope it works. I didn't have a Y or manifold to split my propane tank for two torches, and don't want to invest in that until I see if I like doing this type of work. I bought a $30 butane hand torch that I hope will get the set up hot enough to prep it. The flame gets up to 2 inches long on it, but I haven't tried it on any glass yet.

As for building the set up itself...I was intending to turn my minor down as sharp as I can get it and see what happens. I'm just trying to get my feet wet and see how I feel about it.

Steve, that is beautiful work. You are an inspiration for sure! You've been a huge help to me ever since I started. I made my very first twisty working along with your tutorial..wow that sure feels like a long time ago.

Scoutycat, thanks for the update. It appears I have several options to try out here and see what works best for me.

I am hoping to give this a whirl tomorrow morning...but anything could happen.

~~Mary
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  #14  
Old 2008-08-17, 9:42am
SteveWright SteveWright is offline
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Mary,

That butane torch will probably work just fine.

I keep my inclusions in place with a thin clear stringer. I remove the bottom of the stump sucker and pull clear stringers that are small enough to fit into the holes on the bottom piece. I weld a small stringer piece to the back of the inclusion and place it on the bottom in the position I want. I do the same with a piece of sig cane at the very edge of the stump sucker bottom, so it only shows by looking at a steep angle.

All of my inclusions are constructed from cane that I pull. All of it is coated in transparent glass. I use an 'optical mold' that I made with a small piece of wood with 6 finish nails set at an angle. It is a good start for striped cane.

I wrecked a boatload of glass before it started coming together for me. I think I have made between 400 and 500 of these with different themes. I'm not entirely sure but I think the one pictured above I sent to Tink in a bead exchange.

I did a small frog series with frogs sitting on driftwood. Those were all hoovered up the first time I showed them. Driftwood is fun to make, I use Dark Ivory with small pieces of goldstone blended in. If not over-blended the results can be very effective.

I want to see some pictures.

Steve
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  #15  
Old 2008-08-20, 7:23am
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Ya know...a 1.5" gather of glass is bigger than it sounds. LOL

I had a heck of a time with this. I tried my first last night.

I didn't make an elaborate little set up for inside because I didn't want to waste time on something I was going to trash. (Yeah I set out with a good mindset LOL).

Anyway, I just put a little bit of frit in the bottom of the stump sucker. Then I pulled some little tiny flower petals...7 of them and attached them to a small gather of lapis blue. Nestled that down onto the frit.

I was in the middle of making offhand pendants when the mood struck me to do this so I didn't have my pieces of large clear ready so I set to work stripping a rod of 12mm clear that I had sitting on the hotplate.

Got it all stripped and started gathering it up. Well, I might as well have not stripped it because after 15 minutes of gathering it still looked pathetically small when held up next to the opening of the stump sucker. I decided to turn my torch up a bit and with a minor on a concentrator that just means turning up the propane. So, I got a generous layer of soot in the gather but I kept on going.

At this point it was just an exercise in what do I have to do next to preheat the 'set up' and get the gather sucked onto it. I didn't have my butane torch ready or anything. I grabbed a propane only hand torch on a little 1 pound canister of propane, clicked it on and waved it gently over the set up about 4 inches above it. That worked pretty good actually. Just the very tip of the flower petals got a glow to them and the color change in the yellow glass I used told me it was hot.

All that time I was keeping my sooty encasement gather hot in the flame. This really was quite a juggling act. I wish I had some help if only just to turn off the hand torch for me. I lost a little heat in my encasement gather fooling around trying to turn off the hand torch.

Anyway, I get the soupy filthy gather of clear down into the top of the stump sucker and I push it down gently just until it is touching the set up then started sucking. It did a swell job!

Pulled the whole thing up out of the stump sucker and basically just melted the bottom smooth. Puntied up to the bottom, melted off the encasement rod and rounded it up only slightly so I could see what was inside.

It did what it was supposed to do, but it isn't pretty. I didn't even crack the punty off the back I just shoved the whole thing into the kiln. LOL

It is nasty, but it worked.

If I get some taken, I'll show horrible pictures later. I definitely know what to do next time to make it all go more smoothly.

Thanks for all the help.
~~Mary
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Last edited by Moth; 2008-08-20 at 7:26am.
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  #16  
Old 2008-08-20, 10:07am
SteveWright SteveWright is offline
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Mary,

Congratulations, that if fun. I just love my stump sucker, I use the 1 inch one, which is plenty big enough for most stuff I do. I have the smaller one too, for buttons.

I make provisions for setting my little torch down while still burning, so I don't interrupt the flow. I made a holder for it using N46 rare earth magnets. It won't go anywhere once the magnet finds the washer.

Steve
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  #17  
Old 2008-08-20, 10:33am
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It sounds like you are on your way! I've been thinking about getting the smallest of the stump suckers but I've been hesitant because of the preheating problem.

We used a Little Torch in class and it used oxy and fuel for it just like the big torches and I just didn't want to deal with that. I guess I never considered using a small butane torch. It's really helpful to know that it will work.

And, Steve, I love your suggestion for using the rare earth magnets so you can safely put the burning torch down for a moment!
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Old 2008-08-20, 11:47am
SteveWright SteveWright is offline
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I'd go for it Beth. They are a lot of fun to use, and can produce some stunning results. I glued a washer on the torch so as to not add much weight. A similar sized magnet, an N46, will easily secure the torch.

Actually having a supply on hand will come in handy for a lot of tasks. They will pinch if you get flesh in the way of two magnets coming together. I have two I still cant get apart, even sliding them.

Steve
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Old 2008-08-20, 11:59am
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The rubber hose is not to be used in a kiln. I had Craig (of Arrow Springs) make a threaded stainless tube to attach my Stump Sucker. I drilled a hole on the kiln door so the stainless tube can stick out from it. The rubber hose is attached to the stainless tube.

Graphite do degrade in heat but it's not that fast. It won't crumble after only several uses. But the thread that stainless tube fit tend to get loose, so I wrap a small amount of glass fiber around the tubing to fit it tightly.
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Old 2008-08-21, 6:40am
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Thanks Emiko! I appreciate your help, that is a very smart solution to the problem.

Steve, yes it really WAS fun. I needed a challenge and this certainly fit the bill. When I got this stump sucker, 1.5" sounded a lot smaller. LOL I might just have to get a smaller one to start with and then work my way up after I have a bit more oxygen power.

Mary Beth, absolutely the butane little torch definitely works. I tried it last night. I didn't make a paperweight, I just worked on building the little set up pieces, practice really. I used the minor dialed down as narrow as I could get it to build the flowers, then put them down into the stump sucker and tried to see if I could preheat them with the butane torch. Worked swell.

Also, I just used a hole cutting drill bit drill a hole in a chunk of 2x4, bolted the 2x4 onto my bench, and now I can just set that butane torch down into the hole. Worked just fine. Although, I do have say, the magnet idea probably looks a whole lot better and doesn't take up as much room. I would have done that instead if I had read it first.

~~Mary
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Old 2008-08-21, 2:58pm
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Thanks Emiko! I appreciate your help, that is a very smart solution to the problem.

Steve, yes it really WAS fun. I needed a challenge and this certainly fit the bill. When I got this stump sucker, 1.5" sounded a lot smaller. LOL I might just have to get a smaller one to start with and then work my way up after I have a bit more oxygen power.

Mary Beth, absolutely the butane little torch definitely works. I tried it last night. I didn't make a paperweight, I just worked on building the little set up pieces, practice really. I used the minor dialed down as narrow as I could get it to build the flowers, then put them down into the stump sucker and tried to see if I could preheat them with the butane torch. Worked swell.

Also, I just used a hole cutting drill bit drill a hole in a chunk of 2x4, bolted the 2x4 onto my bench, and now I can just set that butane torch down into the hole. Worked just fine. Although, I do have say, the magnet idea probably looks a whole lot better and doesn't take up as much room. I would have done that instead if I had read it first.

~~Mary
I'd love to see your results after you get past the sooty glass stage
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  #22  
Old 2008-08-21, 3:56pm
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IF-Designs IF-Designs is offline
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what about setting your stump sucker on the hot plate too with your lil puckof preheating clear? it would warm the graphite and im thinking the heat would transfer to the glass inside a bit ... and you should be able to prop the hose so it doesnt touch the hotplate part...maybe this would work?
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  #23  
Old 2008-08-22, 1:03pm
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Emiko Emiko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IF-Designs View Post
what about setting your stump sucker on the hot plate too with your lil puckof preheating clear? it would warm the graphite and im thinking the heat would transfer to the glass inside a bit ... and you should be able to prop the hose so it doesnt touch the hotplate part...maybe this would work?
It may work if the inclusion is very small and flat, but I don't think it would work for most cases. Any part that doesn't touch the plate wouldn't be heated enough because glass so poorly transmits heat, and the cooler part would cause incomplete encasing, hazing, or cracking on the inclusion. The inclusion has to be heated all around, from the top, the sides, and the bottom.
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  #24  
Old 2008-08-23, 6:31am
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IF-Designs IF-Designs is offline
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ahh that makes sense Emiko! I was hoping it might work but I can see now how it would not be heated enough.
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