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

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  #1  
Old 2017-01-02, 1:37pm
Nicbert Nicbert is offline
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Default Newbie help please- dh and terminology

Hello,

I recently did a lampworking 1 day course and fell in love with it- I bought myself the starter kit but have been using a MAPP torch instead of the hothead as the propane tank kept stuttering and I lost my flame a LOT!

I have cooling bubbles and a Prometheus mini kiln so I have been making my bhb and then cooling (bubbles are in a slow cooker for added heat) I was going to batch anneal when I have enough beads that I feel are worth keeping. I just get muddy looking beads at the moment which leads me to my dilemma -

I fell in love with the double helix glass rods but I have been unsuccessfully trying to get the beautiful colours from it that I've seen advertised. I'm sure it's to do with the torch but having read through this board and googling etc I'm non the wiser on how to proceed.
People talk about Garaging, striking and reducing- non of which are terms that I was told about when doing my course. (Creative glass guild)
I plans to expand my current jewellery business to included bhb glass beads containing ashes as I already work with a funeral director to do other bits so I'm hoping someone can help me please so that I can start 2017 off with the right skills!

Many thanks in advance

Nicola
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  #2  
Old 2017-01-02, 2:55pm
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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I am not sure what you mean by MAPP torch.
That said, I will go on to the striking and reducing.
Some glass is striking. You get it hot, then let it cool and when you put it back in the flame, the composition of the glass causes it to develop various ways and change color. Striking red, yellow and orange is almost clear, light amber, but as you work it and it gets hot and cool it will develop the red/orange/yellow for example. The Double Helix striking glass is not easy to use with a torch that does not have oxygen added to the flame.

Reducing is when you make you bead, let it cool some, then put it into a flame that has more propane/less oxygen than a neutral flame. On the Hothead, you can carefully cover the oxygen holes around the torch to get the reducing flame. When you waft the bead in that flame, the surface gets some shine/iridescence.

Garaging is when you keep your kiln on as you put the beads in it, holding a temperature until you are ready to move on to an anneal.
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  #3  
Old 2017-01-02, 2:59pm
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Check out this thread for some links to more info, and video help:
http://lampworketc.com/forums/showth...=strike+reduce
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  #4  
Old 2017-01-02, 3:00pm
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When you said you bought a kit, was it the Fireworks one by chance?
That torch has been problematic for more than one person, and is not a real HotHead, just as an FYI
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  #5  
Old 2017-01-02, 4:17pm
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I agree with everything Eileen said, but to make it clear, DH striking will not work with a hothead or its equivalent. Raku does not get very colorful either. The DH reduction glasses are awesome on an HH. There is no comparison with other torches.

As far as muddy colors, it isn't clear what other colors you are having problems with, but make sure to keep your glass melting a few inches away from the torch head, in the working range recommended for the HH.
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  #6  
Old 2017-01-02, 9:25pm
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I think Allicat used to be able to make a couple of the striking colors behave on her Hothead, but I think she used magic.
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  #7  
Old 2017-01-02, 9:27pm
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I just want to say it's easy to get overwhelmed when starting (and in some ways always will be, at least for me) but there is a wealth of information online, but nothing beats a few classes from someone running a oxygen/propane torch (especially since you're interested in cremain beads using striking/reducing glasses).

I will add to try to work cooler (don't rush melting the glass or overheat it trying to be captain speedy) and farther out in the flame to avoid muckiness on a hot head. I did have good luck with DH Triton on a hot head, there are lot of reduction glass tutorials on YouTube.
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  #8  
Old 2017-01-02, 11:43pm
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Muckiness on a hot head is often due to our human nature to "get up close and personal" with the melting glass.

Because of the way hot torches are designed they don't burn up the fuel in the one or two inches closest to the torch face.
The fuel and the air are not mixed well enough as it moves out from the torch.

But our interest causes us to pull the molten glass closer because all of our other experience with heat tells us the closer we get the hotter the flame is.

Work your glass just outside the blue cone and add alot of patience, patience, patience to your practice, practice, practice.


When you decide to play with reduction on a hot head make a cone out of aluminum foil with enough extra foil so you can kind of crunch / crimp enough to get to stay close to covering most of the holes at the base of the torch head.

Do this while the torch is cold.
Your first burn should not come from grabbing a hot torch through a thin sheet of aluminum foil !

We all learned quite a bit from someone else so keep asking questions.
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  #9  
Old 2017-01-02, 11:49pm
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Eileen, that is true! I think it was Terra? or maybe one other. She did do some cool stuff but I'm not sure that is a typical result. When I was on the HH it was really frustrating to try that, so I just wanted to say as a general rule, most folks cannot get anything to work except the reduction glasses. And those are amazing on an HH and well worth it. A much beter place to start, IMO. But YMMV.
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  #10  
Old 2017-01-03, 8:42am
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I totally agree Kristin! I'm pretty sure she used magic, because I don't know of anyone else who got it to strike.
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  #11  
Old 2017-01-03, 3:11pm
Nicbert Nicbert is offline
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Thank you everyone- lovely support network here!
My torch is going to be the issue at the moment I think as I'd swapped the hothead for a brazing torch that my dad gave me- it's really hot but I'm guessing that it doesn't put oxygen into the flame or something hence my muddy dark beads! I've used silver brown reich and the double helix colour okeanos. Heading over to pick up the hothead and have emailed tuffnells to ask them to hold the other helix glasses id chosen as looking at the descriptions they were striking ones!
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  #12  
Old 2017-01-04, 12:06am
Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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I don't think you'll get much out of silver brown either, that needs to get screaming hot to get colors, same as the striking dh. You can reduce it though and it'll go metallic, same with raku.
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  #13  
Old 2017-02-24, 10:19am
Chickadee Chickadee is offline
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Just wanted to emphasize making sure you have enough distance between the blue cone and the glass. I'm pretty new at this as well, and between reading through threads here and trial & error, working farther out is the way to go. I'm using a HH and bulk propane and have found that keeping the glass 2-3" from the tip of the blue cone can make a HUGE difference in the result. Especially for whites and blues...so much less gunk and cloudiness, and the blues don't turn brown.

Christine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
Muckiness on a hot head is often due to our human nature to "get up close and personal" with the melting glass.

Because of the way hot torches are designed they don't burn up the fuel in the one or two inches closest to the torch face.
The fuel and the air are not mixed well enough as it moves out from the torch.

But our interest causes us to pull the molten glass closer because all of our other experience with heat tells us the closer we get the hotter the flame is.

Work your glass just outside the blue cone and add alot of patience, patience, patience to your practice, practice, practice.
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  #14  
Old 2017-02-24, 12:59pm
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RanRhoads84 RanRhoads84 is offline
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Single fuel torches are simply a pain to use, you're going to have to learn to move the glass forward and back within the flame mostly whereas with a fuel/oxygen torch you would adjust the knobs. Once you get some experience it will get easier, there's a wealth of info around here.
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  #15  
Old 2017-02-25, 11:14am
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As a "forever newbie", I'm going to chime in. I wanted to conquer all glass when I first started out and learned the expensive lesson that I should slow down and learn the basics before spending money on the yummy-ness of silver glass and invest in PPP first.

Some people are lucky and have a natural flare for glass, I'm not that lucky and still struggle. Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 2017-03-14, 5:26am
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Terra 2 can strike on a HH I've gotten some lovely colors!
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  #17  
Old 2017-03-30, 1:58am
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You Tube was my best friend when starting out as all the videos it can teach you so much. The wealth of info is amazing on there and it's free. GL
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  #18  
Old 2017-03-30, 9:14am
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I've been torching for 10 years next month and I still can't get great colors out of silver glass! It's all a happy accident when it works out.
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  #19  
Old 2017-04-06, 2:16pm
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Nicola - are you in the UK? Are you going to Flame Off? I'll be happy to show you how to work DH glass on the open benches they have there


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  #20  
Old 2017-04-13, 1:32pm
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Here's a lovely thread showing all the amazing things you can do on a hothead. Silver glass isn't the only way to make great beads.
Forget the brazing torch though, get the feel of how a hothead works. Yes, it is noisy!

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...=frit+painting
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  #21  
Old 2017-04-21, 12:43pm
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why do the striking colors not work on the hot head? does it just not get hot enough?

I have been having some troubles with some vetrofond colors and am wondering if this is the issue. the glass certainly gets hot enough to get runny and nearly fall off the rod when making gathers.

the colors i am having issues with are not labeled as striking or reducing.
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  #22  
Old 2017-04-24, 12:39pm
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From what I gather, some types of striking colors like to get REALLY hot, then cooled, then heated up again, etc. The hothead might be able to get that hot, but you probably have to really crank that bead's temp up to get it there, while on a minor it's a matter of less than a minute's work if you're good at it (which I'm not, so grain of salt with my take).
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