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

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  #1  
Old 2021-12-19, 6:49pm
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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Default First week lampworking. Cheap glass question

Hi, i purchased a starter pack of glass to practice with because it was inexpensive. The opaque colored beads I have made so far have streaks of what looks like clear in them. Is this the glass or my lack of technique? Am i putting it in too hot of a flame? Or working with it too long per bead and it soaks too long and separates like the oil does in a sauce.

I really appreciate the help. I live in an area that doesn't have glass classes.
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Old 2021-12-19, 8:06pm
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BeaDangerous BeaDangerous is offline
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Welcome! I'm jealous of the nice shape you got after only a week! What brand of glass and what kind of torch/fuel are you using?
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Old 2021-12-19, 9:15pm
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vetropod vetropod is offline
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Those lines are where the colorants and opacifiers of the glass have become more dense, some of them are possibly from soot getting into the glass as you work. Don't worry about lack of technique in your first week, just enjoy it!
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Old 2021-12-19, 9:21pm
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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Oh wow. Thank you. Ive been wanting to do this for years. And in that time, watched lots of videos over and over before I was able to put my studio together. And I did take a five hour class when I was visiting KC four years ago, so I've got that in my back pocket.

I am using. GTT Lynx and a 10 lpm oxycon.

The glass was bought off amazon, I think. No name brand. It was a while ago that I bought the glass.

I've made a boat load of mistakes this week, but I am excited that I can see progress.

First day vs today pictured.
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  #5  
Old 2021-12-19, 9:23pm
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetropod View Post
Those lines are where the colorants and opacifiers of the glass have become more dense, some of them are possibly from soot getting into the glass as you work. Don't worry about lack of technique in your first week, just enjoy it!

My rods do become black while I'm warming them. Is there a way to avoid that?
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  #6  
Old 2021-12-19, 9:26pm
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Oh my gosh, even your first ones look so much better than my first ones.
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  #7  
Old 2021-12-19, 9:34pm
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Welcome!
How are you warming them? and no, glass changes colors with heat, depends on the color. If they stay darker, like the turquoise or some other reduction/striking color, it's ok as it should work out when melted. From the looks of that ivory and some sooting, you are working a little too close and long near the torch head, try to work further out and be comfortable letting the bead cool a little when adding decorations. Melting the decorations or additional layers on doesn't mean remelting the whole bead, only the outer layers as much as possible, and you will find keeping those pretty colors and shapes much easier. P.S. Don't twirl too fast. I still do that sometimes when I'm in a hurry, slow down and it really helps.
Looks really good otherwise. Just keep practicing.
I was like you when starting, I read everything I could find (youtube wasn't a big thing for lampwork videos back then like now) for years. I've never had a class. The archives here are AMAZING.
Don't be afraid to post in the gallery and chat, we are always happy to help
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Last edited by KJohn; 2021-12-19 at 9:37pm.
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  #8  
Old 2021-12-19, 10:20pm
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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Esc,

Thank you. I want to keep those first beads as a reminder.

KJohn,

I saw your beads in the gallery. They are amazing! So many people are so crazy good.

I was definitely twirling way too fast. Are you a teacher? After the first couple days, I went and re-read the Tettinger chapter on making a bead and she warned of that, so these last couple days I've tried to be more mindful of that.

Yes, I've been soaking the beads in hot hot heat too much so they get goopy. Gauging depth in the flame is proving difficult for me. I will work on keeping the mandrel a bit lower, under the flame, when i am decorating.

I warm the rods first by flashing them in the top part of the flame until i see some black forming on the rod and then stick it in until i see some molten glass at the tip and then i bring it down into the hotter parts of the flame.

Today was the only day I have tried to be mindful of what area of the flame I've been working in and tried to keep it at zone 2 for the donut formation and zone 3 for dots. I keep melting in the dots because they mostly look horrible, and i want them to disappear. Lol

I am enjoying the process, though! Kristina Logan is someone I really admire, and I want to get into that meditative zone she talks about. One with the dots.

Last edited by Kathy_Sheridan; 2021-12-19 at 10:25pm.
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  #9  
Old 2021-12-20, 5:51am
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Three Muses Glass Three Muses Glass is offline
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Some opaque colors do get those streaks, especially greens. But if your glass is getting sooty while warming it, I think your propane might be set too high and/or your oxycon not dialed in enough. Or you don't have the torch knobs dialed in. You'll find your sweet spot in no time! Really good job for your first week!!!
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  #10  
Old 2021-12-20, 7:21am
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BeaDangerous BeaDangerous is offline
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I think you're doing great! You'll get the hang of all the flame issues and find what colors do what in no time. Keep reading all the tips and check out the free tutorials! My favorite is Moth's mandrel-wound implosion, They're so much fun!!
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  #11  
Old 2021-12-20, 12:47pm
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thanks, no not a teacher but I still do that twirling too fast thing too. That warming sounds fine, or in a kiln. The color change won't affect anything although you want to clean off the reduction in the flame before you use it, you have to stay in the sweet spot further up.
It just takes practice, really! Your beads look great already, just relax and enjoy the journey. It must seem like magic
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  #12  
Old 2021-12-20, 1:13pm
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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Most people agree that 10lpm at standard oxycon pressures is not enough for a Lynx. That torch can handle 10lpm at 15PSI and most oxycons make around 5PSI. So, you may be operating around 33% of that torch's capacity. That might be the reason colors are reducing; your oxygen is just not enough for the propane/torch combo as is.

Add more oxycons or turn down your propane pressure. I've heard 3:1 oxy to propane is good but that's tough when the oxycon only makes 5PSI; that means propane should be just under 2PSI. At lower pressures, the flame chemistry may improve but at the cost of power.
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Old 2021-12-20, 1:55pm
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I occasionally use a Lynx on an M10. Propane at around 4, Oxycon at about 8. It in no way maximizes the performance of the torch, but it operates just fine. Just make sure you set your flame as neutral as possible with the knobs. I find it is not enough oxygen to merit the use of the blue knob, although it does not hurt to have it open.

You may want to look into getting a Cricket, Alpha or a Bobcat instead. Just depends on what you want to make long term. If it is beads, those torches work great and don't require as much oxygen.
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Old 2021-12-21, 10:53pm
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I still have a problem with depth perception so I copied the side mirror set up that Bear Foot Arts used in his videos about the Electric Mandrel Spinner.

Helped me a ton.

Here's one that shows how he uses the mirror;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z42yK-CMyeY
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  #15  
Old 2021-12-23, 7:56am
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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Wow. Thank you so much everyone for the insights and encouragement.

ThreeMuses, I bet you're right. I've got to find the sweet spot.

BeaDangerous, I haven't looked yet. I'm excited to see. I need as many resources as I can find. Thanks!

KJohn, yes! Yes, it is magical. I get butterflies when I think about it.

rcktscientist and echeveria, thank you thank you thank you! will the oxycon always work at its max psi? I read that mine has max 8 psi, so that's why I searched for the Invacare Platinum 10. It's used so maybe it's not working as well. Also, yes, my propane is set way too high from what y'all said. It's at 8.

I do want to try boro later on which is why I bought the lynx. Also I want the tiny flame that the lynx can manage for tiny dots.

I will lower the propane psi first to see if that helps.

Speedslug thank you. I will watch the video you posted, and try to set that up as well. I have always had poor depth perception. Ive had amblyopia since birth. Mostly corrected with surgery and glasses, but not 100%.

Y'all are awesome. I am so glad you've kept the bulletin board instead of giving into social media. It's so much more useful.
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  #16  
Old 2021-12-23, 8:26am
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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8PSI means you have about 50% of what that torch can do. Still plenty for soft glass and boro.
I use a Bobcat on 10lpm at 6PSI and I have made a couple of 2" boro marbles.
Keep your propane around 4-5. Too low and the regulators don't like it, they'll oscillate.
Keep your oxycon at 8lpm(yes, they always work at the set PSI which is usually max). That keeps your O2 purity up. Oxycons run purest at 20-80% capacity.
That combo should be quite effective and not reduce colors assuming you use enough blue knob with green knob.
Good luck!

Last edited by rcktscientist; 2021-12-23 at 8:36am.
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  #17  
Old 2021-12-27, 11:11am
5betsy 5betsy is offline
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Something you might want to try just as a reference for yourself.

I have a tendency to hurry, as if the bead us going to explode if it gets cool. It's not.

I finally just made a bead (with glass I didn't care about) and then pulled it out of the flame and waited to see how long it took to crack. And I waited what felt like a very long time! Helped me calm down.
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  #18  
Old 2021-12-27, 4:41pm
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Very nice start to lampworking. It just takes lots and lots of practice and lots and lots of glass.
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  #19  
Old 2022-01-16, 8:45pm
Kathy_Sheridan Kathy_Sheridan is offline
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rcktscientist, I did as you suggested and it seems to have helped. Propane set at 5 psi and oxycon at 8 lpm.

I was sick so out of comission for a bit, and got a couple good days in. I'm not waiting for some didydiums that can accommodate glasses. I am excited to jump back in.

5betsy and lorraine, thank you! I am looking forward to lots of glass melting. ��
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Old 2022-01-17, 8:12am
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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Awesome!!!
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  #21  
Old 2022-01-18, 11:05am
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BeaDangerous BeaDangerous is offline
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I got clip on didymiums to go on my reading glasses and they're great.
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Old 2022-01-18, 11:54am
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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Like Bea said, clip-ons are a good alternative if you want to use readers or progressives. I bought the Phillips BoroTruview 3.0 clip/flip and they work well for light fuming and light color work. My eyes feel a bit strained when I fume heavy or I make color tubing so maybe the 5.0 shade would have been better but those seemed really dark to me.
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  #23  
Old 2022-01-18, 2:04pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
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I got clip on didymiums to go on my reading glasses and they're great.
Those will not protect your eyes sufficiently when you start working with Borosilicate.
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