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

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  #1  
Old 2016-08-12, 12:05pm
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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Default Help please with stringer swirl

I have searched the data base but can't figure out the right words to use so I need some secrets on how people get those beautiful swirls (that look like a wave) in their stringer work. The photo attached has what I'm looking for. I have been using 3mm clear stringers to make the circle then break the off but as you can see, the results are less than thrilling. Is there a tool that can be used? IPlease, please ... tell me your secrets!!

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  #2  
Old 2016-08-12, 12:10pm
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I'm interested in what others have to say. I use a stringer, and depending on the stringer size, where I put it and how much I twist I get different looks.
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  #3  
Old 2016-08-12, 12:18pm
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More heat on the spot you are twisting
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  #4  
Old 2016-08-12, 1:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echeveria View Post
More heat on the spot you are twisting
Then it seems to go mushy on me.
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  #5  
Old 2016-08-12, 1:30pm
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Are you heating just the spot you want to twirl?
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  #6  
Old 2016-08-12, 1:40pm
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Do you want an "arching wave" (essentially only a portion of a circle) or a tight swirl with a full (or more) circle? I thought you "wave" looked good.
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  #7  
Old 2016-08-12, 1:43pm
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusbunny2009 View Post
Do you want an "arching wave" (essentially only a portion of a circle) or a tight swirl with a full (or more) circle? I thought you "wave" looked good.
EITHER ... mine looks messy and some people (Candice comes to mind that does the ocean theme beads) they are clean and crisp.)
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  #8  
Old 2016-08-12, 1:47pm
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I use an old dental tool or a tungsten pick instead of a stringer. That way you can push/pull or twist.

Twist


Push/Pull


dj
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  #9  
Old 2016-08-12, 4:12pm
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If you want more of a wave than a swirl, twist further to the top of the stringer. And concentrate heat into just the part of the glass that you want to move.
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  #10  
Old 2016-08-12, 4:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echeveria View Post
If you want more of a wave than a swirl, twist further to the top of the stringer. And concentrate heat into just the part of the glass that you want to move.
Great tip Kathy. What do you use to do it? A glass stringer or a tool?
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  #11  
Old 2016-08-12, 4:53pm
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Make a thin stringer to twist with. Heat the spot you want to twist & wait about 2 seconds. Then, twist the stringer about 3 times around, blow on it & break it off. If you want it to look like the ocean, use ivory with silver foil on half the bead & a ocean colored transparent on the other half. Then twist the colors.

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Last edited by VivianLampwork; 2016-08-12 at 5:06pm.
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  #12  
Old 2016-08-12, 5:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie09 View Post
Great tip Kathy. What do you use to do it? A glass stringer or a tool?
Stringer
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  #13  
Old 2016-08-12, 8:36pm
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Stringer here also.


I tend to use clear.

This is a classic lesson in heat control.

It is 'only' heating just the area you want to move and waiting long enough for it to cool enough to not go soupy when you plunge then waiting long enough for it solidify and snap off the stringer.


Of course heart surgery is also 'only' cutting someone open and possibly sewing together arteries a little larger that the pencil lead in a mechanical pencil and sewing the patient back together again.

Oh and the whole graduate from medical school thing too.

Good luck.


Mine suck too.
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  #14  
Old 2016-08-13, 6:17am
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What size stringer do you all use???
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  #15  
Old 2016-08-13, 6:17am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
Stringer here also.


I tend to use clear.

This is a classic lesson in heat control.

It is 'only' heating just the area you want to move and waiting long enough for it to cool enough to not go soupy when you plunge then waiting long enough for it solidify and snap off the stringer.


Of course heart surgery is also 'only' cutting someone open and possibly sewing together arteries a little larger that the pencil lead in a mechanical pencil and sewing the patient back together again.

Oh and the whole graduate from medical school thing too.

Good luck.


Mine suck too.
Love your answer!!
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  #16  
Old 2016-08-13, 6:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie09 View Post
What size stringer do you all use???
Depends on the size of the bead and the size swirl I want.
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  #17  
Old 2016-08-13, 7:02am
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LOL... So, basically what everyone is saying is the only answer is "Practice, Practice Practice."
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  #18  
Old 2016-08-13, 7:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocake View Post
LOL... So, basically what everyone is saying is the only answer is "Practice, Practice Practice."
Mostly, yes. I do think consensus has been to use stringer. I used to try to use my tungsten poker, but it just didn't work for me.
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  #19  
Old 2016-08-13, 8:43am
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Has anyone used a tungsten rod to make the swirls? I found these at ABR ... one photo is terrible but that's what they have on the website.



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  #20  
Old 2016-08-13, 8:53am
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IMO the tungsten doesn't work for a swirl. It works for pulling & dragging. The stringer attaches to the glass so you can get a few turns.
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  #21  
Old 2016-08-13, 9:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivianLampwork View Post
IMO the tungsten doesn't work for a swirl. It works for pulling & dragging. The stringer attaches to the glass so you can get a few turns.
Agree. For me, the tungsten did not grab the glass.
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  #22  
Old 2016-08-14, 8:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croft Eeusk View Post
I use an old dental tool or a tungsten pick instead of a stringer. That way you can push/pull or twist.

Twist


Push/Pull


dj
Ya, I always use my thinnest tungsten pick. I prefer that so I don't get a dot from the stringer.
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  #23  
Old 2016-08-14, 8:46pm
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwhim View Post
Ya, I always use my thinnest tungsten pick. I prefer that so I don't get a dot from the stringer.
Kathy ... where did you get the thin tungsten pick .... I need one bad!!
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  #24  
Old 2016-08-14, 11:43pm
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I ground my tungsten with a cutting disk in my Dremel tool.

It was a good practice with pressure and particle spray control and I had really good ventilation going.

If I remember right you don't want to use the surface of your best normal grinding wheel because the tungsten will pack the pores so much that you will need to resurface the wheel.

Also there are types of tungsten that have a variety of other metals in them to improve their use in welding, some of which are radio active like thorium.
Not harmful in them themselves but you don't want even a speck of that stuff in your lungs as it will help you to glow in the dark just a little bit brighter.

Make sure that your tungsten has the tip painted green because that is the kind without the extra additives.
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  #25  
Old 2016-08-15, 1:32am
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I always use my tungsten, I can go really tight or not depending on how much I twist. Fwiw I can't do it with a stringer really, so if it's a problem try a pick.
I buy the 'fireworks' brand, the stuff at hobby lobby haha, comes with mandrels. Really it's decent, I've used the same one for almost 10 years now and it's been through hell and back and used nightly.
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Last edited by elasia; 2016-08-15 at 1:38am.
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  #26  
Old 2016-08-15, 3:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elasia View Post
I always use my tungsten, I can go really tight or not depending on how much I twist. Fwiw I can't do it with a stringer really, so if it's a problem try a pick.
I buy the 'fireworks' brand, the stuff at hobby lobby haha, comes with mandrels. Really it's decent, I've used the same one for almost 10 years now and it's been through hell and back and used nightly.
Thank you Elasia ... I plan on going there this afternoon. What section do they have mandrels in? I looked on the website but didn't see anything.
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  #27  
Old 2016-08-15, 11:06pm
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They sell sheet glass and mosiacs, it's in that section, I believe with the clay?
These, I don't think they cost this much though
https://www.amazon.com/Fireworks-32-.../dp/B00114RLQU

I literally bang the tip on my cement block when glass sticks to it, it's really a good little tool.
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  #28  
Old 2016-08-16, 12:55am
Angie09 Angie09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elasia View Post
They sell sheet glass and mosiacs, it's in that section, I believe with the clay?
These, I don't think they cost this much though
https://www.amazon.com/Fireworks-32-.../dp/B00114RLQU

I literally bang the tip on my cement block when glass sticks to it, it's really a good little tool.
But it says they are made from stainless steel. I'm confused.
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  #29  
Old 2016-08-16, 4:45am
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Aye. Those are not tungsten.


I got mine at a welding shop.
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  #30  
Old 2016-08-16, 6:33am
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I got mine at a welding place too, Airgas has a place in Tampa and I got them there. I don't use them to twist though, but maybe I will try it.
I sharpened some of the ones I bought, do you sharpen them to twist, or use them as they come?
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