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

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  #391  
Old 2013-04-22, 10:50am
missp_32 missp_32 is offline
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Like most, I torch in a garage. Mine is detached from the house. We live in the country. In the late summer and fall we have flies ... lots and lots of flies because our neighbors have livestock. It gives me great pleasure when one of these pests accidentally zooms through my flame. Typically, however, I find myself actually trying to "stab" them with the end of a hot rod ... It never works.

In the late winter and spring, we have mice running around the garage. I don't know why. They are not in the house because I have 2 cats. So the other day I was in my shop all alone and I could hear a mouse scurrying around. I went into the house and grabbed my 2 large male cats and closed them in my little shop with me.

An hour or so went by and I was very involved in the bead I was making and had forgotten about the mouse when I heard a small noise. I looked up and there he was. Standing on his hind legs with his two front feet on the edge of the bowl of water looking directly at me. I swear he wasn't 10" from me. He was thirsty and just about to take a drink from that bowl when both cats came flying at him!

They managed to stay out of the flame, but water, rods of glass, frit and tools went flying everywhere!

They didn't get the mouse, but I haven't heard him rummaging around my shop since then.

Next time, I will buy a mouse trap I think LOL!
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  #392  
Old 2013-04-22, 11:37am
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I also work in a detached garage. I used to get bombarded with flying insects at night. I was finally forced to take action when a GIANT carpenter bee flew past the flame singing it's wing, then proceeded to buzz frantically around the worktable. I was in the middle of a bead, of course, and had to water anneal the bead so I could put the poor thing out of it's misery all the while terrified that it might sting. I now have a screen on my garage door



(I still don't know if this kind of bee can sting)
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  #393  
Old 2013-04-24, 1:05pm
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On the topic of flying insects: I maintain that if a wasp flies down the back of your t-shirt while you're torching, the only reasonable and sensible thing to do is to stand up and rip your t-shirt off. If you can make it out of the classroom before your shirt comes completely off, so much the better. If not, well, your fellow students get a little free entertainment.

Note: doing this while wearing a beige bra under the t-shirt may cause your fellow students -- and any husbands who happen to be sitting in on the class -- to think that they're getting more free entertainment than they actually are.

Not that this has actually happened to anyone I know, of course.
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  #394  
Old 2013-04-25, 3:23am
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made a bunch of flower beads today, the kind where you melt in white dots, then add transparent color on top. They mostly came out gross because I grabbed an ivory stringer instead of white. The aqua especially...
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  #395  
Old 2013-12-22, 10:46am
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Bump, bump, bump.

I've been reading older threads on LE this weekend and this one made me laugh out loud on several occasions! I'm still only halfway through. I'm sure we all have a few to add.
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  #396  
Old 2013-12-22, 12:18pm
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Keep an eye on the bead in the flame while reaching over to the right or left. I made this mistake once and my left ring finger and baby finger went into the flame. I had somewhere between a 2nd and 3rd degree burns and should have probably went to the hospital, but didn't. I ran some cold water over my fingers and quickky got some ice in a baggie and wrapped in a towel. I've since learned that my method was the incorrect way to take care of a burn. However ice was the only way I could find relief from the pain. I also took a vicodin and since it was late at night I took a sleeping pill too. I dont know how I didnt get any permanent scaring from this. I kept a generous amount of Burts Bees on it and a bandage and was unable to torch for a couple weeks and was sensitive to the heat for another month afterwards. The numbness went away on my fingers and the burnt leathery skin eventually cracked and peeled to reveal new skin underneath.
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Last edited by killerbeedz1; 2013-12-22 at 12:49pm.
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  #397  
Old 2013-12-22, 10:37pm
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Killerbeedz, I'm on week three of healing. Same thing. I breached under the flame towards the right with my left hand. Top two knuckles.

I treated with lots of prescription silver cream. Silvadine? And kept it lubricated with neosporin. The skin would crack when it dried out. Seems to be healing no scars.

I kept it bandaged for the first two weeks.
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  #398  
Old 2013-12-23, 12:48am
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Yes I kept mine bandaged that long too. That was the worse burn I ever got.
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  #399  
Old 2013-12-23, 7:22am
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I wear a flame-resistant glove on my hand. The glove has a few scorch marks--but my fingers are burn free. The glove does not hinder my work. I can even pick up stringers. I can also get closer to the flame than I can without the glove.
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  #400  
Old 2014-04-26, 11:58pm
MelissaWalsh MelissaWalsh is offline
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As a brand new lampworker these don't's are great! Hope people will keep posting !
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  #401  
Old 2014-04-29, 12:41am
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The one I still find myself doing from time to time is, light the torch and set there planing what you are going to make while your money is burning up.
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  #402  
Old 2014-04-30, 9:46am
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No matter how much you try to reduce that &&@{%€\?}*],,£*{<|<|'>\#%€#^* transparent cobalt. It will not turn into DH Triton.
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  #403  
Old 2014-05-09, 9:23am
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Pull pant legs down over the top of boots...or that hot piece of glass will slide right down your pants and into the boot. Almost knocked over my work table jumping up to try and get to my boot and struggling to get it off while I can smell a spot on my ankle being turned into nice crispy chicharone.
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  #404  
Old 2014-05-09, 8:33pm
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It's already been said in this thread, but over the past six months or so I have learned:
  • Do *not* attempt to catch hot falling glass.
  • You mustn't burnish foil onto hot glass with a fingertip.
  • The twisties are pretty, but are still hot. So are those bits of frit that just shocked all over your worktable, don't touch them.
  • Disconnected the torch from the fuel? It's still hot too.
Oh, and,
  • Is that orange flame? You forgot to put on your glasses.
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  #405  
Old 2014-11-28, 6:37pm
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If your oxycon has been working fine, but then you turn it on one day & output is reduced, and you think it's broken, first check to be sure you have the oxygen open at the torch. It had been warming up for 10 minutes before I noticed it wasn't coming up even half way to normal, so I'm just glad I didn't break anything. I had already moaned to DH that there was something wrong when it dawned on me that I hadn't verified that it was flowing through the torch, & luckily I turned the knob to open & the ball shot up right away. Whew!
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  #406  
Old 2014-11-30, 3:17am
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I joined a short end to a new rod to save wastage and then pinched them because the join wasn“t smooth. With my fingers! I did end up with beautiful scorched fingerprints on the rod but I have none on my index finger and thumb.
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  #407  
Old 2014-12-06, 6:39pm
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Ouch!!!
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  #408  
Old 2015-01-20, 2:01pm
Karen McGinn Karen McGinn is offline
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Default Thanks everyone!

I am a real newbie, and LOVED this thread, couple things I saw nowhere are
-Don't put a cup coffee on bench while working, good chance it will contain glass shards at the bottom,
-Don't burn popcorn in your studio, you'll smell the "burning" for weeks and be distracted
-if it is below zero outside-EVERYTHING is shocky
-& those little fine glass threads are nasty!
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  #409  
Old 2015-01-20, 6:55pm
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One time a friend of mine and I went to a bead retreat and you had "free beading time" in the evenings. We were working away trying all the neat tricks we learned that day. I started coughing and she started coughing. This went on for awhile. We started asking each other between coughs what the deal was. Then it dawns on one of us its because we are working with silver glass and we forgot to turn on the ventilation. Did we stop immediately? No we finished the bead and then went outside and coughed for the next hour. I often think if that is going to catch up with us some day. Turn on the ventilation! Put the bead down! Yes... even if its pretty!
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  #410  
Old 2015-01-20, 7:16pm
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Or at least stick it in the kiln for a few minutes so you can turn it on & clear out the room of yucky air.
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  #411  
Old 2015-01-21, 3:31am
ekoocma ekoocma is offline
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Got a small marver with my starter kit. The kind without handle. Because I was trying to roll a barely warm bead on the marver (needed to turn up the torch) I kept moving closer to the flame. Guess what the marver is REALLY good for! Channeling the flame to the fingers on the bottom of the marver! Immediately ordered one with a handle! The blisters have all healed and I NEVER pick up that other one at all!
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  #412  
Old 2015-01-26, 6:01am
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I've just read this whole thread over two days and haven't laughed out loud so much for ages and cringed and nodded. I'm naturally cautious so haven't had any horrendous burns...yet. But have had my share of ouches. My tip for newbies is to point the glass rod away from you as you introduce it to the end of the flame, rotating it to heat evenly and gradually bring it into the hotter, working zone. It only takes a few seconds more and saves a lot of flying glass...

I recently had the bright idea of making a bead stand from a thick clear stringer pushed into a (too firm) champagne cork . It took days to wheedle the ensuing splinter out of my fingertip

Oh, and regarding burns - it's best to use cool or lukewarm water for 10 to 20 minutes. Ice sends the burn deeper into the tissue See here for good practice http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/burns-a...roduction.aspx
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  #413  
Old 2015-01-29, 8:25pm
Danielle Mc Danielle Mc is offline
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unless you're just experimenting with glass, don't buy samplers. You get the crapiest, muddy ugly colors. 3 times now!
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  #414  
Old 2015-02-03, 1:52pm
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I have just laughed myself silly at this thread. Regards burns I got a nasty one from a SS ladle, I was using it to reflect the heat back on the gather. Read it somewhere. I stood the ladle in my frit making tube and reached for a stringer touching my hand on it. But here“s the thing - it was a really bad burn but I ran in and put flour on it. Read that too - I do read some amazing things. The burn did hurt but the blister stayed intact and I kept it covered and after a couple of weeks was hardly noticeable. Now was I just very lucky or is this a known treatment?
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  #415  
Old 2015-02-09, 6:13pm
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I think you were lucky
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  #416  
Old 2015-02-09, 6:27pm
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Yes. Snopes agrees with Eileen.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/flourburns.asp
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  #417  
Old 2015-02-11, 11:34am
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Take a lot of breaks! And Ventilate!!!!!
I can remember the first time I finally got an oxy propane set up instead of using MAPP gas and a hothead. I was so enamoured with the heat, the quiet and my ability to make several "identical" beads that I forgot to

A: turn on the ventilation and B: take a break after an hour or so.

I started to do stupid things like......"oh, I dropped the extra glass rod in my lap. I'll just lean over and get it...... while keeping my bead in the flame..." Yeah, when you do that, turn OFF the torch!
My arm went in front of the flame and I didn't even realize it until real damage was done. I still have quite a scar on my wrist after 8 yrs. to remind me to take a break and ventilate.....no matter how fun it is! The glass and wonderful torch will be there when you get back!
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  #418  
Old 2015-02-12, 12:02pm
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Oh my gosh, thank you all so much! I just spent the last couple of days reading through this.
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  #419  
Old 2015-02-12, 12:07pm
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istandalone24/7 istandalone24/7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielle Mc View Post
unless you're just experimenting with glass, don't buy samplers. You get the crapiest, muddy ugly colors. 3 times now!
i'd have to disagree with that. samplers are a great way to try every color a mfg makes.
my pet peeve is the "short stick" samplers like GA offers. 5" of color is enough to do nothing with, save for a bead or two or maybe some dots on a marble backing, pendant backing etc.

TAG's full stick sampler, NS's, GA's all great, the only time they'll short you on a color is if they're out of stock.
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  #420  
Old 2015-02-21, 9:42pm
LunadelaOssa LunadelaOssa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellen Haskell View Post
When I first started torching and before I had a kiln, I used vermiculite in a crock pot to cool my beads. I didn't want to put the crock pot on the table, as I wanted every square inch for spreading out glass. I decided to put the crock pot on the floor nearby.

I turned on my crockpot to heat the vermiculite up the first time I sat down to use my torch and the strangest odor permiated the room, which smelled something like cat urine. Not knowing what warm vermiculite smelled like, I didn't think much of it at the time.

To my surprise the next day, I found our female cat contorting herself over the crockpot, trying extra hard to avoid the steel rods sticking out, doing her business. Now it all makes sense.

Moral of the story: Always put the lid on the crockpot when you walk away for the day. And get the kiln sooner rather than later.
OMFG! Had to read this to DH, had us both in stitches!
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