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

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  #1  
Old 2012-12-05, 12:36am
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Default Let's Talk: 2013 Clear - A NEW Discusson!

OK, so I've been making beads for almost 6 years now...and I've seen a lot of clear come and go, and countless discussions of pros and cons as well. We had many threads in the past discussing clear, but I'm hoping to start a new thread to discuss the currently available glass, as there are many "new" clears on the market...

As some of you know, I work exclusively on a Hot Head, and make a TON of murrini; this means I need a clear that can stand up to a lot of heat and for extended periods of time - and STAY CLEAR without scumming, fuming, or doing pretty much anything weird!

From early 2008 to mid-2009, I tried every 104 clear then on the market - Moretti (Regular) Clear, Moretti Stringers, Lauscha Clear, Lauscha "reformulated" clear, Lauscha 104 Soft Clear...well, you get the picture! I finally found the clear of my dreams - Lauscha 104 Soft Clear...the one that had the very pale blue cast when you looked through the end of the rod. Soft like butter in the Hot Head flame, clear as crystal when melted and held up beautifully without scumming, fogging, burning, etc. over extended flaming sessions. I bought pounds and pounds and pounds of it and happily torch away - until now.

My favorite supplier has told me that the "Lauscha 104 Soft Clear" of old is no longer available; the new stuff looks clear like water when viewed from the end of the rod and still holds up fantastically in the flame but....I find it quite a bit stiffer than my previous stuff - so it takes longer to melt. What's more, after Lauscha has changed and changed their 104 clear formulas so many times in recent years, I'm just not confident that I can count on it staying just as it is, well, basically for all time!

Sooooooooo, I know there are some new and newer clears on the market: DH Aether, DH Zepher, Vertrofond Clear, Moretti "Super" Clear, Uroboros 104 Clear, Vetrofond Clear, to name the ones I HAVEN'T tried., and I'll bet I've missed a few.

Does anyone who uses a Hot Head have some input on these? Before I start buying and testing all kinds of new Clears - or invest in several pounds of the current Lauscha 104 Soft Clear - I would love to hear any and all feedback!

The floor is yours! Please let me hear your thoughts!

Thanks all!
De
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  #2  
Old 2012-12-05, 12:40am
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Have you tried the reichenbach 104 clear ( there's a soft version available as well) yet? That's the only clear for me since I've had way too many problems with Lauscha clear ( and the price is better too, at least , here it is).
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  #3  
Old 2012-12-05, 12:52am
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De, Zephyr is a dream clear, soft and truly clear withouten scum, but it is expensive. Aether is lovely too, but for your Murrini work I would recommand Zephyr!
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  #4  
Old 2012-12-05, 1:27am
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I like Uroboros because it's the most optically pure 104 clear I've tried. Still haven't tried the DH clears, Reichenbach, or anything over $30/lb, but don't think I've missed any others.

Last edited by dusty; 2012-12-05 at 1:32am.
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  #5  
Old 2012-12-05, 9:46am
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Thanks Suzanne, Anouk and Dusty! That gives me hope!!

I don't recall that any of you working on a Hot Head though The Hot Head is the big "bug-a-boo" here...since it has a pretty set flame chemistry, it's sort of changes the game a bit from the conventional results of oxy/fuel... Of course I appreciate any and all feedback here! This thread is for the benefit of any and everyone who wants to help dial in the right clear for them, and hopefully I'll hear from some Hot Head users too

De
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  #6  
Old 2012-12-05, 9:48am
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De: I have nothing to add about the clear, but I just wanted to stop by to tell you that I find it amazing (in a good way) that you do all those murrine on a hothead. You go!
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  #7  
Old 2012-12-05, 12:16pm
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Geez, glad I read this. I have had "Clear" Soft Clear for quite some time as well as the "Blue" Soft Clear. The blue clear came in after the clear clear that I already had in stock. I thought the differences were just the way the batches came out once the rod cooled. I did melt both and didn't see much difference but I don't melt glass full time like some of you do. Now I will have to ask Rene. I know of only one change in the formulation of their clear and that is after the silver colors started coming out and Lauscha was not playing well with them. I do think that glass companies across the board have trouble getting the exact same chemicals (rare earths) over an extended period of time due to the Chinese controlling most of them and keeping 90% of them home.
Too bad Carol Anne is not at the factory any more.
Paula
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  #8  
Old 2012-12-05, 6:42pm
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I'd vote for Uroboros 104 as the best value for a pristine clear, but it might be stiff on a hothead. Definitely worth a try though. Aether is soft but reacts with silver glass. If you aren't using silver glass it might be your best bet and the seconds are awesome. Clarity by TAG would still be my go-to clear if price were no object.
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  #9  
Old 2012-12-05, 6:48pm
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I was using the Effetre super clear and was happy with it. I bought the Uroboros when I was reading all the hype to give it a try. So far, I've not noticed it any clearer but have noticed more bubbles in it. I can see the defects in the rods that are causing them. I may have just gotten a bad bit of it, though, because everyone else seems to find it bubble free. My current preference is still the Effetre but I'm going to give the Uro another try for sure based on everyone's feedback.

ETA - I'm not on a hothead either, though, De!
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  #10  
Old 2012-12-05, 7:09pm
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I don't like the Reich soft clear, it scummed up horribly on both my Cricket and my Piranha. I do love the Reichenbach Crystal clear - it's what I use for all my dichro stringers. Let me know if you want to try some and I'll send you a couple of rods. I think you would like it for working with murrini, since it holds up well under heat for me making the gathers I pull stringer from.
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  #11  
Old 2012-12-05, 7:30pm
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I normally use Lauscha ( the new reformulated version) I also bought some Lauscha soft but I haven't used it yet because I was told not to mix the clears & I'm such a messy person I'm sure I would mix them up on my desk... Even though my rods are labeled,I do pull a lot of thick clear stringer to make encased flrorals & such...

My question is....the murrini that I buy have clear in them, DeAnne's have the soft Lausha. So far I have not had a problem using these with the Reformulated Lausha, is it just because there is just a very small amount of clear in the murrini or should I not be worried about mixing the soft with the formulated?

Kerry
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  #12  
Old 2012-12-05, 7:41pm
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I love Zephyr too but my everyday clear is Effetre Super Clear. I'm not on a hothead either....maybe Amber (Naos) will chime in.
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  #13  
Old 2012-12-05, 8:04pm
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I have no input on clear either. I use Effetre. De, I always wanted to ask you why you have never changed to a torch? Just curious. Does the hot head do something that a torch would not? I have never used one.
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  #14  
Old 2012-12-05, 8:55pm
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I am on a hothead and I switched to the Lauscha soft clear. I love it.. I did have to change my annealing schedule, but it melts beautiful and is nice and clear. At the time I tried to the the specific one De mentioned, but couldn't this clear is awesome.

I have the Super Clear also from Frantz. I have been using it quite a bit, but not for murrini. I will being trying some this coming weekend. So far it is holding up well and not scumming or nasty, just a nice clear, clear.

I will have to let you know after I try doing a murrini or two.

Oh, I did make some off mandrel small pendants with the Super Clear and they came out really well. Again, not the same amount of constant heating though.

Not much help, I know.. But at least this time I could actually comment.
Cher
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  #15  
Old 2012-12-05, 9:05pm
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I've found my Effetre Super Clear to be inconsistent. Sometimes it is awesome ... sometimes it scums on me. I fear it varies widely from batch to batch.

I'm really liking the new Uroboros 104 clear. It takes the heat very well with no scumming. I do find it to be just a bit stiffer though, so not sure how you would like it on a hot head.

I am currently hoarding 2 pounds of DH Zephyr that I have yet to try. No idea why ... I guess I am afraid of falling in love with it since it is so pricey so I am *saving* it for that figurative special bead that requires expensive clear
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  #16  
Old 2012-12-05, 9:29pm
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De, I don't normally work on a HH, so can't give you insight in that way, but could send you a couple of rods of Super Clear 006 to try if you would like. Let me know.
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  #17  
Old 2012-12-05, 10:01pm
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Thank you everyone so, so much for the posts so far! And even those who aren't working on a Hot Head, please keep posting your experiences! I figure I'm not the only one to be wondering how the new Clears are behaving - maybe with some as-yet unknown reactions, colors or treatments they like or don't like, good or bad encasers, etc. This really could and should be beneficial for everyone - not just us Hot Heads!

I really am enjoying hearing everyone's perspective!
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  #18  
Old 2012-12-05, 10:06pm
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And just to show you what I'm talking about when I say "slight blue tint" (from my Post #1 above) when I talk about my very favorite "Lauscha 104 Soft Clear", here's a couple snaps that show this effect pretty well. Keep in mind this glass is clear as clear can be - when placed atop a sheet of white paper, it shows no color whatsoever! This "tint" (like the color of super faded, favorite old Levi's) can only be seen when you view the rods from the ends:

Viewed from the side:



And the "tint" you see from the ends only:



See?
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  #19  
Old 2012-12-06, 5:00pm
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I found out today that the differences in the colors on the ends of the rods are due to the sand batches and not any change in the formula.
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  #20  
Old 2012-12-06, 6:27pm
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I'm mostly a 96 girl these days except for silver glass. When I do reach for the 104 it's either the excellent batch of Moretti SC I bought from Art Glass House over a year ago when they got a really nice batch in OR Uroboros 104.

On the Uroboros, I'm a huge fan but I can tell you from experience with their 96 clear that while 90% of the time it's gorgeous you do occcasionally find a batch here and there that runs to some bubbles/scum, usually when the glass is at a point where it's hard to find. My 104 batch currently is gorgeous but I don't doubt that someone could hit a bad lot, it's happened to me with their 96.

De, on a hothead with the Uroboros 104 try the noodles instead of full rods maybe? The noodles are more like thick stringer and might be an easier go with a hot head. I use the noodles when I want super thin encasement.

Clear. I love it. I use it daily. When it's good it's very very good and when it's bad DH knows to stay the Hell out of the studio.
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  #21  
Old 2012-12-06, 8:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliente View Post
I was using the Effetre super clear and was happy with it. I bought the Uroboros when I was reading all the hype to give it a try. So far, I've not noticed it any clearer but have noticed more bubbles in it. I can see the defects in the rods that are causing them. I may have just gotten a bad bit of it, though, because everyone else seems to find it bubble free. My current preference is still the Effetre but I'm going to give the Uro another try for sure based on everyone's feedback.

ETA - I'm not on a hothead either, though, De!
Agree with this.
After reading the praises about 104 Uro (and because I love Uroboros COE 96), I bought a pound.
I am not absolutely happy. The rods are kind of scratchy, with visible blemishes.
And I don't find it clearer than Effetre Super Clear, which is my "go to" clear. On the contrary, I prefer Super Clear also from a clarity point of view.
Love Zephyr, but can't always justify the price.

My top list of "clear" clears is:
1. Zephyr (also Aether, but does react with silver glass)
2. Effetre Super Clear
.
.
3. Uroboros 104
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  #22  
Old 2012-12-06, 8:32pm
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I use the Lauscha clear.
I have not had problems with it, except for a frit blend or two, and in that case, I blame the frit blend! I tend to encase heavy and deep, so I love the no bubbles or scum.
I also encase over some DH's and SIS, and I haven't had a problem. I generally put them in the kiln hot. (not droopy, but still glowy)
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  #23  
Old 2012-12-07, 5:17pm
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I don't use a hothead, but I'm planning on getting one when we move to my parents in 6 months or so.

I use Aether & Zephyr exclusively. I, too, have tried numerous clears, and the best of the best, IMHO, are these two clears from DH. I use a Carlisle Mini CC and I only buy the "Seconds" of Aether & Zephyr from DH. Crystal clear, nice melt, smaller rod diameter than your Lauscha, so perhaps it'll work nicely.
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  #24  
Old 2012-12-09, 3:29am
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I don't use a HH either but for what it's worth I have fallen in love with Reichenbach Crystal (Soft). I have had heaps of trouble with scumming in a number of other of the cheaper clears, despite pickling them, so I tried the Reichenbach & I really like it. I also tried Tag Clarity & that is good too, but the Crystal melts like butter & is lovely & clear, so I'm happy with it.
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  #25  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:41pm
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I love Aether and Zephyr the most. Effetre Super Clear I got from Ron at Art Glass House was really great. The batch I got from Frantz was not quite as good but was still pretty awesome. I got a bunch of Uroboros and loved it until the cracking started. I love Reichenbach stiff clear but, like it says, it's pretty darn stiff. I also find it's not good for pulling stringers since the tip of the stringer is prone to bubbling up but for using full rod, it rocks. CIM is the worst clear I've ever encountered. Just horrible. Worse than Effetre regular clear. I have a dwindling stash of old Lauscha that I save for special purposes, like stripe beads and encasing goldstone. I will miss it when it's gone.

As always, your mileage may vary. These were only my experiences and may be due to my working style so you may have very different outcomes.
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  #26  
Old 2012-12-10, 8:56pm
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Thank you everyone for all of your input so far! It's really fascinating to see how some clears that are loved also misbehave for others. I realize that there are many things that can make this happen: torch being used; colors of glass being used above, beneath or adjacent to the various clear, etc., but I'm seeing some surprises!

Remember when everyone was trying to get original Terra to behave for them? There were running jokes referring to the location of Saturn and other various planets at the time of striking...whether or not is was a full moon...and if a crow flew past your window (missing a single tail feather, of course), your luck with Terra was sure to improve! (Or maybe fail entirely! , as was MY luck )

I realize that we're not getting quite THAT crazy with this clear discussion, but it's really surprising to see how many different experiences and love/hate results everyone is posting!

I hope everyone will continue to post and share as the experiments and experiences continue...

De
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  #27  
Old 2012-12-10, 10:02pm
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After about a 4-5 year hiatus from buying clear, I just got the following:

Effetre super clear - this batch has been really great! Nice and melty, no scumming issues at all.

Uroboros 104 -very clear, but much stiffer than I would like. I tended to smear what I was trying to encase due to the stiffness.

CIM -very clear, but I like to work hot and fast and CIM doesn't! Much scummy icky ness unless I dialed back my flame which is not for me!

I'm for the moment going to stick with the Effetre for now. At some point, I'll get my hands on some DH, but Effetre has my vote at this point for how I work!
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  #28  
Old 2012-12-12, 7:35pm
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essiemessy essiemessy is offline
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Hmmmm.

I still would love to see a little 'room' for clear threads. Just sayin'

Anyhoo I digress..

De, while using my HH, my favourite glass was Zephyr. Costs an arm and a leg, but it was wonderful. Every single time.

I have a lot of Laushcha soft and 006 Effetre, and I have to say that neither are consistent on either setup! A real bugbear of mine, I'm afraid. I don't want to buy any more of either, because I really don't know what I'm going to get each time. For both, when it's good, it's bloody fantastic, but only fair to crap when it's not.

I am in the same boat as you, but am looking forward to a bulk buy to Australia for the Uroboros 104 clear to come to fruition so I can try that, too.
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  #29  
Old 2012-12-31, 5:54am
Nolly Nolly is offline
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I'm so glad to see this thread on clear for hot head torches. I used a hot head for two years when I was starting because I was afraid of oxygen tanks. I finally got a clue and bought a concentrator but I made great beads on my hot head; it's a nice little torch, as long as you can stand the noise. It's easy to grab and go, too.

I teach a summer class on hot heads. This past summer I got Super Clear for my students and was very disappointed with how scummy it was. No matter how much we dialed down the torches, the clear was awful. Embarrassing to have made a bad choice for my class.

I'll be trying the Lauscha and the U104 and reporting back. Thanks for the suggestions.

Nolly
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Old 2012-12-31, 7:12am
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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I'm curious as to what are the chances that "super clear" is occasionally mixed up with 004. So far I've been lucky with the 006, so just got to wondering. How would we tell?
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