Thread: Rod Heaters
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Old 2018-07-16, 7:37am
kansassky kansassky is offline
Dix Harrison
 
Join Date: Mar 31, 2009
Location: KCKS - But my heart is in Scotland
Posts: 510
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Just checking.

I still see many lampworkers preparing to use a room temp cane by dipping the end in and out of the flame or waving it back and forth in the flame tip.

DON’T DO THIS!

By waving and dipping, you are actually shocking the cane with heat.
You are not “warming” it gently.
Rapid-fire high-temp shocks, are still shocks.

Try this.

Introduce the end of the cane WAY out in the tip of the flame where you cannot even see it.
Hold. Wait a few seconds and roll the cane in place with your fingertips, to get all sides warm.
Move the cane tip, one-inch closer to the torch.
Hold. Wait a few seconds and roll in place.
Repeat and move closer until the cane tips starts to glow.

Essentially, you will be “stairstepping” or sliding down the flame towards yourself, to gradually introduce higher and higher heat.
If your cane shatters, move out further...you are moving too fast.

This method really only takes a few seconds longer and I can’t tell you how much glass it saves.
It is rare that I have a cane break from heat shock, and even rarer that one is shattered to smitherines.
If one DOES break, I understand that I am trying to work too quickly...don’t rush the warming process.

This warming process has been a key “aha” for me.
It forced a more zen (and less frenetic) approach to making beads, and has caused me to slow down and become much more attentive.
I now see subtle changes and behaviors of glass that I missed earlier.

Try it. See if this doesn’t work for you!!!!

(PS, I will also say that sometimes YOU DO start with a crap cane of glass. You will know after three shatters that you need a new cane.)
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