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

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  #1  
Old 2012-06-28, 4:52pm
prbluv01 prbluv01 is offline
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Default Help Smoky glass

I have a hot head torch and a fireworks torch. Right now I am using the hot head but my whites, light pinks and clears keep getting smokey. I read other threads, and did everything and still I am getting smokey colors. Can someone please help me?
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  #2  
Old 2012-06-28, 6:29pm
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Howdy!

I'm no expert, but maybe I can help.

I started on a Fireworks torch too, and I could never get clean white and light color beads from it; they always scorched. But I generally do not have a problem with the Hotheads.

You've probably been through this, but just to review:

How big is the candle (the blue part of the flame at the bottom) on your flame? I generally keep mine between 1-2 inches, depending on what type of glass I'm melting. You can see what I mean here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfNz4OOVcr0 please excuse my new yawk accent!

How far do you melt the glass from the top of the candle? I usually keep the glass i am melting between 1-2 inches above the candle; closer for stiffer glasses, further for soft glass like white.

Has anything fallen into the head of the torch, like a shard of glass or something? Off chance, but it could play a role.

Hope this helps as a start!
Alli
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  #3  
Old 2012-06-29, 8:26am
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I think you still need to work slower and further out from the torch head. white pink and clear are notorious for doing this on a HH. Heck, I can still do this on a minor to these colors. They are too easy to soot up.

remember the torch needs to be loud and turned up at least 1/2 way. It is a combustion torch. It draws in air to make the flame what it is. The lower the flame the less air it is sucking in. The flame is cleaner with more air, so turn it up, and work farther out.
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  #4  
Old 2012-07-17, 5:11am
Cherri Cherri is offline
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Default Having the same issue

Understand about the flame..That may indeed be my problem.
Git R Done sometimes don't.. lol

I am also working on a hothead.

My question is: ARE there some clears that have a tendency to smoke up more than others.

Reason I ask is I bought a batch of glass a while ago and it seems to smoke up very very easily.

I just did a batch of things yesterday and 1/2 of the stuff came out great, the other half smoked to high heaven, useless.

The other thing is when using transparent glass (teal), it sometimes gets a reddish color through it. Is this from working it to hot?.

Thank you all so much.
I will get this figured out.
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  #5  
Old 2012-07-17, 5:42am
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It's your flame chemistry on the hot head for both issues. The red in your teal is reduction. That is caused by more fuel than oxygen in your mix. Work higher up. Do the same with your clears. I'm not aware that any of them are better or worse but that is because I have never tested it on a hot head.

While I'm not a huge fan of the hot head for long term. It certainly teaches important lessons for beginners. Patience, working slowly and holding the bead up in the correct part of the flame (for most work that is).
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  #6  
Old 2012-07-17, 5:53am
Cherri Cherri is offline
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Thank you


Patience.. Patience.. Must make my self be more patient..
Unfortunately not the first time I have been told this.

Thank you, will try working further out.
I think I need a different torch set up. I have a hard time staying in the right spot. May need a new stool/chair, my arms and back get tired and I may be getting lower in the flame without realizing as I get tired.

Cher

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ View Post
It's your flame chemistry on the hot head for both issues. The red in your teal is reduction. That is caused by more fuel than oxygen in your mix. Work higher up. Do the same with your clears. I'm not aware that any of them are better or worse but that is because I have never tested it on a hot head.

While I'm not a huge fan of the hot head for long term. It certainly teaches important lessons for beginners. Patience, working slowly and holding the bead up in the correct part of the flame (for most work that is).
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  #7  
Old 2012-07-17, 6:02am
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That still happens alot to me when my tank of propane gets too low.

Caroline
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  #8  
Old 2012-07-17, 6:20am
Cherri Cherri is offline
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Hmmmm, did not think of that.
My tank is pretty low..

So much to take in.. Sometimes over whelming.

Will keep at it though.

It is so great that everyone helps each other.
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Last edited by Cherri; 2012-07-17 at 8:21am.
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  #9  
Old 2012-07-17, 6:26am
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Cherri, I'm also wondering if you are working closer because that clear is a bit more stiff or something; so not melting as fast and so you pull it closer to the flame? Or not, but something to think about.
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  #10  
Old 2012-07-17, 12:58pm
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I'm on a hot head, too, and find Effetre Super Clear less smoky than regular. Back when I used MAPP gas, I had fewer smoke issues, sounds like you're using propane? I kind of just avoid the glasses that smoke; so I don't use much pink...opalinos...pale blue...
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  #11  
Old 2012-07-17, 10:56pm
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I am on a HH too, with the smaller 1lb tanks, I had a harder time at first burning things, the main two causes for me were working too close to the head and working with a tank that is too low. I am still on a HH and I can work almost any color. I still have a hard time with copper green and turquoise reducing on me so I only use them when I know my tank is full. I also vote for effetre super clear, it melts well on a HH and I dont burn it and it's cheap.
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  #12  
Old 2012-07-21, 6:27am
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I did the HH thing for 10+ years

There are a few simple things that lead me to great success.

1) bulk gas. Whether it's propane, MAPP, proplyene, or other brazen fule, you need bulk. The major difference between these flames: finding your sweet spot! It's gonna be different for each one. Which leads me to...

2) find your sweet spot! Know your flame!

3) Try encasing with clear stringers. It requires less heat, which should allow you to work cooler, and further out in the more oxy rich flame.

4) Move that glass where you want it to go! Do not wait for gravity. Get a strong bead release. And think about this when you build your designs as well. It will make your final product much less work for you, which reduces the amount of time a bead is in the flame, which educes the potential for soot to accumulate.

5) You really can do anything with a HH. You just have to think about it in terms if your torches capabilities, and tweak the instructions to fit your needs. For example: if a gravity swirl is called for, simply rake and ir stretch it lightly in any direction(s) you want until you have achieved the desired effect. Then flame polish it back into shape, possibly with a little marver help, and if looking for webbing due to heat cool the bead slight, then spot heat the surface until you get the desired effect. More work? Well it sounds like it, but with certian colors and sizes you could take a while to do this one step, all the while accumulating reduction to your bead. While the raking and reshapung should take you less time, and be more gentle on your glass.

Realize that when people write about glass on a duel fuel torch they can get soupy glass in seconds, there glass holds the heat much better and longer than on a HH (in comparison, because the HH will make beads hold heat, just a lower heat). This may have no scientific truth, but this is how I compare it so it makes working sense to me, and other have said that this statement has helped them understand as well:

The difference in heat in your bead from a HH to a duel file torch is like this:
The HH bead gets hot to only a certian point and looses heat from this lower point, it feels like it is always struggling to heat to a certian point, then quickly looses heat. It never fully accepts more than it just barely needs, and you always are working to add heat add heat add heat.

When comparing this to a duel fuel torch the bead here will take as much heat as it can, sucking it in and holding it for a longer about of time, thus you acquire more hear than you need, and work off of it, letting it cool as part of the process. This giving you a very different core heat, and working ability. Just keep this in mind while working, and adjust accordingly with your heating process.

Remember:
A) glass and sugar have a very very similar chemical structure. They act very much the same, just at different temperatures. So think candy!

B) glass always wants to pull towards center, you may not believe me, but find your sweet spot, and you will see.

I hope this has been helpful I know I am long winded!
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Last edited by jaci; 2012-07-21 at 6:31am.
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  #13  
Old 2012-07-21, 7:41am
Cherri Cherri is offline
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Jaci

This was not long winded at all. It is very helpful and information that will help many.

I have the smoking problem, as I stated.

I have not had a chance yet to go back out to play. (glass only one day a week). However, I will definitely keep (or try to) keep all of this in mind. The more I read, I feel that as I tire, I am drawing closer to the torch and therefore over reducing and adding the soot/smoke.

I need another chair/stool.. and I recently got a used creation station to try and help with the fatigue and the arms dropping. I plan on setting that up this weekend. I, in my own mind, think this will help me together with these great tips from everyone.

Sometimes those that have been doing glass for a long time forget the little things that they do and not even think about it any more. THESE are a treasure for us new folks.

The tip about not waiting for gravity, was another great one. I have been trying to do pendants and the words "use gravity" will now try use the marble mold to get the dome and then remove any chill marks.

Thank you all very much .. AGAIN..
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  #14  
Old 2013-08-28, 9:29pm
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ok this is a stupid question but I keep hearing everyone talk about reduction, what is that? What does it mean?
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  #15  
Old 2013-08-28, 9:55pm
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If you have a flame that is toward the propane rich side, it is a reduction flame. Some glass is affected by that and will get a metallic haze if it is heated in a reduction flame, or otherwise be affected. Some of the "silver" glass, & copper green are examples.
A torch like the HotHead that pulls oxygen from the air to feed the flame is naturally a bit reducing. Torches that have a separate oxygen supply can be adjusted so the flame is reducing, neutral, or oxygenating. You can use the properties of the glass in the different flame chemistry to create certain effects in your work.
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Old 2013-08-28, 9:58pm
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Check out post #4 in this thread. Kimberly give a good explanation.

http://lampworketc.com/forums/showth...lame+chemistry
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  #17  
Old 2013-08-29, 5:48am
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I have made 25mm huge round focal beads using the HH. They were perfect, as in evenly dimpled in holes that were the same depth on both sides, and not even the slightest wobble when turning the mandrel. Ten years later, I still can't do that with the Bobcat. Too soupy. The slower heat of the HH allowed me to make better large beads. Propylene was great, and I got clean transparent colors.
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  #18  
Old 2013-08-29, 6:01am
losthelm losthelm is offline
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Is there a labled image somewhere of a labled flame on the common torches?
I know its common in welding books to show rich, lean, and neutral flames.
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  #19  
Old 2013-08-29, 6:40am
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Yes. I know the Double Helix site has them but DH site is down right now (back up middle of next week I think). They are also on someone's blog, hopefully someone has a link.
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