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Customer Service Kiosk -- Questions for LE vendors.

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  #1  
Old 2008-03-16, 5:28pm
Alison D Alison D is offline
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Default vermiculite alternative

O.K. I know I saw it on one of our vendors sites. It is a little round beady substace used in place of vermiculite. It is supposed to keep the beads hotter longer. The vendor had it in a bag or in a metal tin ready to use.

BUT WHO???????


Darn it! I knew I should have got some when I saw it.


Thanks for the help,
Alison
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  #2  
Old 2008-03-16, 5:30pm
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Is it pearlite you are talking about?
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  #3  
Old 2008-03-16, 5:33pm
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I wonder if you're thinking of "perlite". It's a volcanic material that looks like tiny white stones and is used to mix with potting soil to provide aeration and in place of gravel in concrete to make light-weight concrete. Try a garden center.
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  #4  
Old 2008-03-16, 5:49pm
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I was gonna say the same thing. Got mine at Home Depot. Big bag that ways almost nothing -- CHEAP.
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  #5  
Old 2008-03-16, 6:18pm
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Nope,I don't think so. This is some cool man made amber colored little round ball thingys.
Can't remember what this was made out of. The perlite is white isn't it?
You would think this was last year not last week. does the perlite break down like the vermiculite or does it stay clean. The vermiculite gets all dusty and nasty and I don't want to replace it with the same.

Thanks a bunch everyone,
Alison
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  #6  
Old 2008-03-16, 6:24pm
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I saw some at Heritage Glass:
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It's called annealing bubble. I did a search for it and it did find it but when you click on the link the page is blank. Maybe you could send them an email and ask them what's up
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  #7  
Old 2008-03-16, 6:32pm
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Quote:
Nope,I don't think so. This is some cool man made amber colored little round ball thingys.
Can't remember what this was made out of. The perlite is white isn't it?
You would think this was last year not last week. does the perlite break down like the vermiculite or does it stay clean. The vermiculite gets all dusty and nasty and I don't want to replace it with the same.

Thanks a bunch everyone,
Alison
Sure sounds like perlite. I've seen it in a range of colours from pure white to tan. The stuff I've seen in garden shops is pure white but the stuff used for concrete mix is lightly coloured (probably a cheaper less refined product). It doesn't dust. It's like little tiny round stones smaller then a pea but so lightweight it floats on water.
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  #8  
Old 2008-03-16, 6:46pm
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Thanks Mary Beth maybe thats where I saw it.

Dennis, thats great I'll get some perlite in the meantime till I can figure out if this is a different product or not. The electric rates here have doubled and I hate to run the kiln for small experiments.

Thanks,
Alison
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  #9  
Old 2008-03-16, 6:54pm
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Yep, perlite is white. I got one bag of it when I started lampworking. Tossed out the first container full when we moved a very long distance. I refilled the container once, LOL, and continued using it for a couple more years. I'm just starting to put stuff straight in the kiln now, we'll see if I manage it as Florida heats up this summer!

The dust in perlite settles to the bottom. I tended to stir it up every now and again, just to make it easier to shove the mandrels in.
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Old 2008-03-16, 7:01pm
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PM'd you.

Malcolm
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  #11  
Old 2008-03-16, 7:04pm
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Visit your local garden center. Perlite or vermiculite.
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  #12  
Old 2008-03-16, 7:05pm
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Try this site.

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  #13  
Old 2008-03-16, 8:16pm
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Erna
That is the product that I carry. It is called Annealing Bubbles. The Japanese use this extensively, to the point that many Japanese artists do not use an electric kiln. Then again, their glass has a much lower annealing temperature, and holds the heat for a lot longer than the US or Italian glass.

I have a small supply of the Annealing Bubbles here, even though it is not on my web site. I try to not advertise anything that I do not have in quantity. I am working with my supplier in Japan to bring this in in bulk, as well as the metal tins.

Right now, for a 1 gal zip-lock bag full, the cost is about $7.00.

HTH

Malcolm
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  #14  
Old 2008-03-16, 9:24pm
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Malcolm:

You have such cool stuff from Japan on your site! I really love the idea of the Mille warmer - it's pictured in that wonderful book (wink!) "Tonbo Dama" (a really fascinating read, everyone!) I saw in there that they were putting their finished beads into buckets of what appeared to be sand, quite like I do with my vermiculite in a Crock Pot; I'm figuring the "Annealing Bubbles" is actually the product being used. I'm curious about the product, and maybe you can answer my questions:

1. Do you know the heat threshold of "Annealing Bubbles"? Is it a product that can be used as a support, let's say, in place of vermiculite when firing PMC, too? (1650 degrees for a hold of about 2 hours, is the standard) That would be VERY COOL!

2. Do you have an estimated date on when this product might be available for purchase through you from your supplier?

Thanks!
DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-17, 3:47pm
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Thanks for the link DeAnne
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I'd love to know what the annealing bubble stuff actually "is". I've requested samples of aerogels from a manufacturer just to play with but according to the MSDS and tech literature, it doesn't have a high enough temperature range. It tops out around 750F. I'm still going to plunge a hot bead into it (in a safe environment) and if it ignites, we'll put it out, it not, I want to see how the bead comes out aesthetically.

I know there are companies that sell perlite specifically for high temp insulation useage. I'm not sure if the garden variety is the same, pardon the pun.
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I do know that the more the material is comprised of air, the better it insulates. What I don't know yet, is the temp/time requirements for proper annealing. Not yet....

I also came across a company that makes the insulating bricks for kilns. They have a "grog" that I think is the same material as the insulating bricks, just in loose form. The problem with that material is the mention on the MSDS that is contains 450ppm or uranium and some other nasty material that luckily, was in low enough concentrations that it doesn't require registration with the NRC.
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Safe to say, that one is off my list of materials to experiment with.

After spending a few minutes talking to one of our more knowledgeable engineers, I had considered a mixture of one of the materials in a column pre heated by a $15 heat gun to reduce the quenching of the bead when put into the insulating material. This is where you may want to picture in your mind, a Rube Goldberg bead annealer.
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It'd be kinda neat to do just to do it.....or.......pay the $7 for the gallon that would probably last a few years.
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  #16  
Old 2008-03-17, 4:24pm
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TY Malcolm
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Old 2008-03-17, 4:44pm
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Thanks for the link DeAnne
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I'd love to know what the annealing bubble stuff actually "is". I've requested samples of aerogels from a manufacturer just to play with but according to the MSDS and tech literature, it doesn't have a high enough temperature range. It tops out around 750F. I'm still going to plunge a hot bead into it (in a safe environment) and if it ignites, we'll put it out, it not, I want to see how the bead comes out aesthetically.

I know there are companies that sell perlite specifically for high temp insulation useage. I'm not sure if the garden variety is the same, pardon the pun.
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I do know that the more the material is comprised of air, the better it insulates. What I don't know yet, is the temp/time requirements for proper annealing. Not yet....

I also came across a company that makes the insulating bricks for kilns. They have a "grog" that I think is the same material as the insulating bricks, just in loose form. The problem with that material is the mention on the MSDS that is contains 450ppm or uranium and some other nasty material that luckily, was in low enough concentrations that it doesn't require registration with the NRC.
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Safe to say, that one is off my list of materials to experiment with.

After spending a few minutes talking to one of our more knowledgeable engineers, I had considered a mixture of one of the materials in a column pre heated by a $15 heat gun to reduce the quenching of the bead when put into the insulating material. This is where you may want to picture in your mind, a Rube Goldberg bead annealer.
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It'd be kinda neat to do just to do it.....or.......pay the $7 for the gallon that would probably last a few years.
Well, after using the garden variety of perlite for several years, I can say it doesn't melt, LOL. And it does slow cooling enough to insulate beads to survive
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I didn't have a kiln for several years and the vast majority of my beads lived (not counting say, the first six months worth) lived to get annealed in my kiln.

Purely anecdotal evidence, but...considering the crack rate of test beads I let air cool...good enough for me, and worth the $5 on the bag of perlite.

You sound like my uncle with your posts...he's a physicist, LOL. Something tells me you have a high science/engineering background? I've actually heard (read) of aerogels, mostly through sci-fi novels.
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Old 2008-03-17, 8:10pm
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That is the product that I carry. It is called Annealing Bubbles. The Japanese use this extensively, to the point that many Japanese artists do not use an electric kiln. Then again, their glass has a much lower annealing temperature, and holds the heat for a lot longer than the US or Italian glass.


HTH

Malcolm
Sounds like it's just being cooled and not annealed. I'm not going to get into this at length but it's not annealing unless a kiln is used.

Sure the Japanese can get away with it because most of the Japanese glasses have a higher level of lead in the glass - and it will hold the temps longer.

When I owned the Czech glass biz - we did extensive research on this.

But hey! It's your beads! It's your customers... hope you have a return policy!

I'd suggest saving up your money and buying a kiln if you want to build a business and have repeat customers. Cooling beads and not annealing gives good beadmakers a bad name.

(ever clean out Japanese beads and .... *plink* breaks in half?)
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  #19  
Old 2008-03-18, 11:18pm
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Frankly, I'm just looking for an alternative to the vermiculite that sits in my Crock Pot...I have a hard time finding it, and I'd actually rather use it in other applications (PMC firing, etc.) than to slowly cool my beads. I always batch anneal my stuff once cooled, but I have such a higher survival rate by slow-cooling the beads in the crock pot than in the fiber blanket - especially the larger beads and the hollows. If the Annealing Bubble product cools even slower than the vermiculite, then I might even be able to step up to vessels and such without having them blow or crack!

Thanks again Malcolm!

DeAnne in CA
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Old 2008-03-19, 10:30am
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Quote:
Frankly, I'm just looking for an alternative to the vermiculite that sits in my Crock Pot...I have a hard time finding it, and I'd actually rather use it in other applications (PMC firing, etc.) than to slowly cool my beads. I always batch anneal my stuff once cooled, but I have such a higher survival rate by slow-cooling the beads in the crock pot than in the fiber blanket - especially the larger beads and the hollows. If the Annealing Bubble product cools even slower than the vermiculite, then I might even be able to step up to vessels and such without having them blow or crack!

Thanks again Malcolm!

DeAnne in CA
The degree to which either vermiculte or perlite slows cooling will depend mostly on the amount of material between the glass and the room temperature air. The greater the insulation, the slower the cooling.
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  #21  
Old 2008-03-19, 11:28am
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I bought some of the Annealing Bubbles from Heritage glass, to use instead of vermiculite. I use it for test beads. It works great. It's not as dusty as vermiculite and the beads go into it easier. It doesn't take the place of a kiln. but it's great for color checks on beads.
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  #22  
Old 2008-03-19, 11:37am
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Default annealing bubble

Ditto to beadgal.

I took the class with Akihiro at Heritage, and he used it for some quite large beads. It is much less dusty, and seems to work great for those test beads. Cheap, too.
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Old 2008-03-19, 4:18pm
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Heidi,
Malcolm was not claiming the product annealed the beads and he was making sure we were aware that the difference between japanese glass and 104 coe might make a difference to how happy we would be cooling our beads in this product. I think everyone who has posted on this thread uses vermiculite and fiber blankets for what the are good for, cooling the beads to prevent breakage and no one claimed to anneal them this way. With the electricity through the roof where I am it makes no damn sense to turn on a kiln to make a lot of experimental beads that will never see the light of day or to run the kiln everyday when you can batch anneal once a week.

For what it is worth,
Alison


p.s. Beadgal and yellowdog girl, this is exactly what I was hoping for, thanks for the info.

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  #24  
Old 2008-03-20, 12:15pm
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Quote:
I'd love to know what the annealing bubble stuff actually "is". I've requested samples of aerogels from a manufacturer just to play with but according to the MSDS and tech literature, it doesn't have a high enough temperature range. It tops out around 750F. I'm still going to plunge a hot bead into it (in a safe environment) and if it ignites, we'll put it out, it not, I want to see how the bead comes out aesthetically.
I asked my people in Japan if I could get a MSDS for the Annealing Bubbles. I was told that while they could request one from the manufacturer, it would be in Japanese. Alas, I don't read Japanese.

I was told, though, that the material is 100% silica. Thus, it should be able to tolerate high temperatures easily.

Clearly, one would not want to breath it, but fortunately, it in not very dusty.

HTH

Malcolm
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Old 2008-07-25, 7:00pm
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I was just about to order this from Heritage Glass. Has anyone tried it?
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Old 2008-07-25, 9:49pm
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I have really wanted to try these , can you post a link to where you found them ? Hope you will post when you use them , Im getting sick of vermiculite, so messy !
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Old 2008-07-25, 11:47pm
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I was just about to order this from Heritage Glass. Has anyone tried it?
I have!!!! It's fabulous!!! I wonder if Malcolm has made any progress on securing a bit of quantity...I can tell you that putting it into a crock pot (1 qt. size) and allowing it to get nice and toasty, then placing your flame cooled bead into it was what made the difference for me from having a bunch of cracked beads with a few lucky survivors to having 100% success!!! I even made some 1 1/4" hollows (on my good old Hot Head even!) and these survived no problem as long as they're allowed to cool slowly to room temp. overnight; then, of course, I used my kiln to do a full and proper batch anneal.

I sold mine a while back when I got my new bead kiln (silly me!) but would be happy to buy some again when it becomes more readily available for my shorter sessions.

Oh Malcolm, darling? Hows your Domo Arigato going?

~De
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Old 2008-07-26, 12:08pm
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I have!!!! It's fabulous!!! I wonder if Malcolm has made any progress on securing a bit of quantity...I can tell you that putting it into a crock pot (1 qt. size) and allowing it to get nice and toasty, then placing your flame cooled bead into it was what made the difference for me from having a bunch of cracked beads with a few lucky survivors to having 100% success!!! I even made some 1 1/4" hollows (on my good old Hot Head even!) and these survived no problem as long as they're allowed to cool slowly to room temp. overnight; then, of course, I used my kiln to do a full and proper batch anneal.

I sold mine a while back when I got my new bead kiln (silly me!) but would be happy to buy some again when it becomes more readily available for my shorter sessions.

Oh Malcolm, darling? Hows your Domo Arigato going?

~De
Hey, De
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Been busy getting ready for the Norikazu Kogure workshop, as well as the Gathering.

Yes, I am now able to get this in larger quantities. I've brought in over 30 gallons of the stuff, and have already sold most of it
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Got another 60 gallons on the way
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So, I should have plenty on hand. A large zip-loc bag with 1.75 liters is $7.00.

I've also have some 9" x 9" x 7" stainless steel tins with lids, full of the annealing bubbles (much more than in the zip-loc bag), for $20.

Malcolm
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  #29  
Old 2008-07-26, 7:24pm
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theglasszone theglasszone is offline
I speak Murrini!
 
Join Date: Oct 12, 2006
Location: In a Glass House, CA
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Oh, yippee skippy!!! Everything sounds so exciting - the workshop, the Gathering, and the Bubbles! I'm going to have to skip on the Gathering this year I'm afraid, but I'm thinking I need some of them-there Bubbles - yes, again! I'll bet others here would like them too...

~De
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I've got a murrini for that,'ya know!
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Old 2008-07-27, 4:03pm
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chrissij chrissij is offline
Rose colored glasses…√
 
Join Date: Jul 22, 2005
Location: Monticello, FL
Posts: 8,258
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Malcolm, they aren't on your site that I can find. I was wanting the stainless steel tin.
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OMG I listed some stuff!!! Little devils ARE ice skating!!!
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