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

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  #1  
Old 2014-10-25, 3:27pm
onesweetjedi onesweetjedi is offline
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Default Would these be considered safety issues?

I have recently had an encounter where someone felt my little basic lampwork bead class was being held in an unsafe manner.

I was hoping I could get some input from the community if these would be considered "BAD THINGS"

1. No small cup of water in a non plastic container in order to dunk a bead gone bad.

My response
I tend to pull a failed bead off with pliers, its usually really easy and I just drop it to cool on the metal sheathing on the bench where my torch is clamped.

2. Allowing participants to be seated in line with glass that could have sent shards flying at them.

My response
I get what they are saying, but the safety person wanted them 8-10' away, to the point that is almost impossible for students to see. From my experience a rod fragment rarely travels more than a foot or two, 3-4' should be fine. The vast majority in my experience seem to just crack and fall off on the bench in front of the torch. Is 8'+ really reasonable?

3. using tools in the flame.

My response
I had never heard of this as a safety issue, is poking at a lopsided bead with a probe while still in the flame a bad thing? if you touch a bead with a tool it gets unholy hot in a hurry anyway.

4. Warming up a rod of glass by going into the flame with the glass pointing to the left or right rather than pointing straight out in front of the artist.

my response
I had never seen this stabbing the cane into the flame from behind, it seems like a perfectly valid way, but I dont like it as it makes it hard to see how much the tip is heating and sometimes I can see a little crack or two developing near the tip thus back off the heat a bit to try and let it heat up and melt without further cracking/losing the tip of the cane. I have seen countless videos using the same technique swirling the rod through the flame from the side.

More than happy to accept constructive criticism I want to continue my class, just curious if I a missing some common safety concept being mostly self taught several of these things are exactly how I was taught by a teacher from the same organization. The numbered items are copied directly from the email I received.

What I am kinda hoping for here is for each item is this more a matter of work style/preference/opinion or am I breaking some hard fast safety rule. I have taught dozens of people without incident and now someone has a bee in their bonnet that I need to be stopped before I kill someone.

I submit myself to the lampworking community for judgement prepared to take my lumps if I am wrong.

Thank you very much

Last edited by onesweetjedi; 2014-10-26 at 7:54pm.
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  #2  
Old 2014-10-25, 3:44pm
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1. not UNsafe but it would be a good idea.
2. no - flying glass shards are part of lampworking
3. not really
4. nope
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  #3  
Old 2014-10-25, 3:51pm
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#1 - I very rarely dunk beads in my water, but I do use it to stick my finger in if I burn myself to quickly cool the burn, and have used it once when something was smoldering on my bench. Do you have fire extinguishers handy? Or buckets of water, sand, etc. in case something does catch fire?

#2 - 8 feet to the side, in front, what? In any case I think 8 feet is more than is needed.

I do have a plexiglass screen that I used to keep hot glass from shooting into the shelving past my torch table, because there was a lot of flammable materials in that area and I didn't want hot glass landing in it.

#3 - I've heard you can ruin tools by putting them in the flame, and some metals can give off gases, so I don't do it except for my tungsten.

#4 - I have heard that you should point the rod away from anyone if possible until it is warm, and try to do it, but don't always remember. I'm trying to make it a habit.
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  #4  
Old 2014-10-25, 4:08pm
onesweetjedi onesweetjedi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
#1 - I very rarely dunk beads in my water, but I do use it to stick my finger in if I burn myself to quickly cool the burn, and have used it once when something was smoldering on my bench. Do you have fire extinguishers handy? Or buckets of water, sand, etc. in case something does catch fire?
It was forwarded that the lack of a cup of water was a safety violation separate from any firefighting concerns. I had 3x1 gallon water jugs nearby for that. (The inspector tagged me for that too claiming I lacked a fire extinguisher, even though if I started a fire I could not put out with several 1 gallon water jugs, a little ABC dry chem ain't gonna cut it either.

Quote:
#2 - 8 feet to the side, in front, what? In any case I think 8 feet is more than is needed.
anywhere, like only me anywhere within a 180 degree arc around the front of the torch. 3-4' behind was ok.

Quote:
I do have a plexiglass screen that I used to keep hot glass from shooting into the shelving past my torch table, because there was a lot of flammable materials in that area and I didn't want hot glass landing in it.
I can understand that

Quote:
#3 - I've heard you can ruin tools by putting them in the flame, and some metals can give off gases, so I don't do it except for my tungsten.
but for a 1 time 3 hour class held outdoors, I would any outgassings would be pretty much irrelevant. My tools are some assorted harbor freight cheapo pliers and probe/pick tools, all of them put together would cost about $10 to replace.

Quote:
#4 - I have heard that you should point the rod away from anyone if possible until it is warm, and try to do it, but don't always remember. I'm trying to make it a habit.
I am not totally against adapting to this if this is a meaningful safety issue although for the reasons I cited I don't like it.

Last edited by onesweetjedi; 2014-10-25 at 4:14pm.
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  #5  
Old 2014-10-25, 4:44pm
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Hmmm, I think maybe a lot of us are in violation of some of those then. Did they say why the cup of water was safer than not having one?
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  #6  
Old 2014-10-25, 4:51pm
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Seriously? I've never had a cup of water on my workbench. I put bad beads right down on it. For a class, I'd say it would be a good idea so another student doesn't go grabbing it to see why it was bad and burn themselves. The rest is just idiotic.
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Old 2014-10-25, 5:11pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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1. Cup of water is fairly standard though often for cooling tools.

4.Poking beads with tools in the flame depends entirely on the metal.
Brass has a fairly low melting point and will off gas. You only make the mistake once with a brass poke or knife working boro.

3. fire extinguisher should be standard water is useless against anything but solid fuels like paper or wood. Its standard equipment from a safety officer perspective.

2. As for distance they will likly be happy with a sheet of plexyglass, polycarb, or glass shield to avoid flying bits. Ask and if its acceptable go that route.

I suspect they are using some sort of checklist Or are coming from a different field offering their opinion.

Your looking at another $40 for equipment to fix these concerns.
$20 for a fire extinguisher and 20 for some plastic and wood to build the shield.
I have used a shield in the past in an L shape and just clamp to the bench.
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  #8  
Old 2014-10-25, 6:03pm
onesweetjedi onesweetjedi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losthelm View Post
1. Cup of water is fairly standard though often for cooling tools.
Noted, but would it be fair to say demanding one be present would be kinda petty? Granted I am going to get one just to remove the possibility of further nitpicking.

Quote:
4.Poking beads with tools in the flame depends entirely on the metal.
Brass has a fairly low melting point and will off gas. You only make the mistake once with a brass poke or knife working boro.
Having done metal casting as well I am well aware of the low melting point of brass, thank you for the reminder however. I could easily see a brass tool merrily melting in the flame.

Quote:
3. fire extinguisher should be standard water is useless against anything but solid fuels like paper or wood. Its standard equipment from a safety officer perspective.
My thought was a fire extinguisher would do nothing to cool a lump of molten glass caught in someones clothes and or burning them, if you cant find it quick, soakem. Of course the things that an escaped piece of hot glass, if its going to start a fire would be in wood, paper, grass, all easily managed with water. That and blasting a burning person with potassium bicarbonate is less than ideal.

Quote:
2. As for distance they will likly be happy with a sheet of plexyglass, polycarb, or glass shield to avoid flying bits. Ask and if its acceptable go that route.
I was thinking a couple folding frames of window screen would do nicely and be less prone to getting scratched up or thermally damaged by the heat.

Quote:
I suspect they are using some sort of checklist Or are coming from a different field offering their opinion.
Supposedly this is coming from a long time lampworker

Quote:
Your looking at another $40 for equipment to fix these concerns.
$20 for a fire extinguisher and 20 for some plastic and wood to build the shield.
I have used a shield in the past in an L shape and just clamp to the bench.
I am going to comply with most of this, I probably will not be offered much of a choice, alot of it just felt petty and bitter, like the inspector wanted to run me off.

If the consensus is many of these things are trivial or obnoxious I was pondering going to the event manager and letting him know that many of these things are not "standard" rules or major safety issues in the lampworking world and having a bunch of experienced folk to back me up. If only to let him know I am not being reckless. The event manager has admitted to not being experienced in lampworking, and is assuming the safety inspector is giving him violations of obvious safety protocols.

Last edited by onesweetjedi; 2014-10-25 at 6:22pm.
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  #9  
Old 2014-10-25, 6:54pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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Its mostly small opinion stuff, some of these concerns may come from working other materials.
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Old 2014-10-25, 7:04pm
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I have an old glass mr. coffee pitcher of water on my bench... used mostly for quickly cooling tools that I constantly put in the flame.
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Old 2014-10-25, 7:08pm
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I would say the only thing that would be of a concern to me would be not having a fire extinguisher... the rest of it all comes down to personal preference.
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Old 2014-10-25, 8:29pm
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FWIW: (and keep in mind I work boro with a RedMax torch that throws a 3-4' flame)

1) I'd keep a crack off jar. Ceramic coffee mugs are cheap at the dollar store. While they're nice for having somewhere to stick a burnt finger, I wouldn't; that's a good way to jab a stringer into a burn wound. I *have* used my ice coffee to cool a burn once though. S*** happens. Not having one isn't really a safety violation, per se, but it's a good thing to have. If the metal on your bench is aluminum you run the risk of some unsafe fumes at the worst, warping at the least. Costs you a buck to fix the "problem".

2) My bench is 4' deep only so I don't burn the back wall, not because I'm worried about glass flying. When I've worked soft glass in class I did accidentally throw some chips when I was bad about pre-warming, but they actually went sideways. I'd say having the table 5' across would be good, that gives 2.5 feet per person.

3) Tools (aside from graphite and tungsten) don't go in the flame, it ruins them.

4) That's bad on your wrists to angle so steeply at yourself, and you run the risk of deflecting the flame up towards your fingers.
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Old 2014-10-26, 5:56am
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Well jeez, picky picky picky!

I've tried to follow all the instructions here but this is what usually happens.

By the time I get my steel toe boots on along with my fireproof space suit
and my to dark to actually see thru protective glasses, changed the filters in my breathing apparatus
Then put on my full face sheild

changed the filters in my exhaust hood and turned it on
Put on my kevlar gloves and attempted to get the just right fuel ratio on my torch.
Then finally closed the door to my environmentally safe bubble that I was instructed to work in

It was time to quit so I've never been able to actually make a bead!
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Old 2014-10-26, 7:39am
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Hahahahaha....
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Old 2014-10-26, 10:23am
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I always have a can of water on my bench to put junk glass in- like glass from cleaning the ends of rods. Cooling tools too. As for the rest...huh?
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Old 2014-10-26, 12:10pm
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A fire extinguisher is all you need, if that dont make it safe enough then they should take up ballet dancing.

A cup of water is ok to have handy. The rest of that is ridiculous.

Even a screw driver is a dangerous tool in the hands of a fool but that's tough to make it fool poof. If you stab you eye out then be more careful.

My goodness...
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Old 2014-10-26, 12:43pm
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There's some serious OCD going on in that initial list.

I do keep water (in a square glass flower vase I got cheap at Michael's) but I've never 'killed' a bead with it. I use it for cooling tools and dumping pulled-off rod ends, tiny bits of stringer and other glass trash.

Virtually every class I've attended would be in violation of this seating idea. Spitting glass happens! I've also noted, over the years, that it will go wherever the hell it wants, regardless of where it's actually pointed. I generally aim the tip in the flame more or less forward of my body with a slight right tilt. I've had bits miraculously jump into my water, shoot off to the left or right, and once caught a pile of dirty laundry on "smolder" when a piece shot over my shoulder and behind me, back when I worked in my basement. Glass has a mind of its own.

I try to keep my tools out of direct flame, but it doesn't always work. Hell, when I pull stringer I use a metal chopstick, and put it IN the flame on purpose, so it heats up enough to bond with the glass for the pull.
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  #18  
Old 2014-10-26, 6:31pm
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I am very glad the consensus seems to reflect the opinion that these are not hard fast rules but more a matter of preference or work style. I still welcome further input I will be referring the person in charge of this matter to reference this page in support of my point of view.
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