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

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  #1  
Old 2013-12-05, 11:10am
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Default Concrete Bell Flower Press?

I am thinking of making my own Bell Flower Press out of Portland Cement using a paraffin wax mold to shape it.

I thought I would ask the LE collective mind if any problems can be seen with the idea.
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Old 2013-12-05, 11:19am
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The only problem I see is you have to add some sort of matrix like sand and stone to give the cement strength. I would use a low fire clay you can get at any local pottery store. Once it is dry fire it to about 1400 degrees, you would have to use a kiln wash or bead release.
Bob
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  #3  
Old 2013-12-05, 11:22am
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Any possibility of using bees wax instead of bead release or kiln wash?
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Old 2013-12-05, 12:23pm
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Sorry Phil, I have never used bees wax so I don't know. I do know I have made alot of reusable moulds out of clay. Hopefully someone will come along with the answer to your question, I would be interested in the answer.
Bob
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Old 2013-12-05, 1:07pm
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What are glass casting molds made out of? Do you have to break them to get the casting out?

What about a tapered mandrel? I think I've seen some vessel mandrels that are tapered. Poke hot ball of glass with it. Use tweezers to tweeze out the petals?
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Old 2013-12-05, 1:12pm
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Regular cement is not a good idea.
It tends to hold moisture and pop when heated.
Sometimes with a lot of energy.

Ceramics like they use for slumping or kiln forming may be a better option.
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  #7  
Old 2013-12-05, 2:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losthelm View Post
Regular cement is not a good idea.
It tends to hold moisture and pop when heated.
Sometimes with a lot of energy.

Ceramics like they use for slumping or kiln forming may be a better option.
See? I knew someone would be able to tell why it hasn't been done before.

Good point. I'll see what I can find in the ceramic potters studio. Maybe refractory cement, the kind used to make brick kilns or smelters pots or crucibles. Hmmm. Have to give it more thought. Most likely I will wind up making a home brass forge and pouring my own brass.

Ah, who knows where this will wind up.

I will share it if I find something that works or doesn't work that has dangerous results. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 2013-12-05, 4:17pm
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That is one thing about this glass adventure, It leads in so many directions.
Bob
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  #9  
Old 2013-12-05, 4:21pm
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Yeah ! I love that part of it. I think I have as much fun building tools and the studio as I do melting glass. I have a technical bent and I love creating things, especially when I am finding another purpose for something.
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  #10  
Old 2013-12-05, 6:22pm
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Phil, would it be easier to carve some graphite blocks?
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  #11  
Old 2013-12-05, 6:33pm
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Yeah, I was thinking that earlier myself, Kristin.

I think Arrow Springs has some for not a whole lot. Boy, I was looking on the web for graphite and that stuff can get spendy.
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Old 2013-12-05, 6:49pm
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Also my carving skills end at the scars on my knuckles.
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  #13  
Old 2013-12-05, 6:59pm
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Check out a material called Refractory Castable. Cement is likely to explode from retained moisture. It's is used with lost wax casting and and metal so it can take the heat.

Robert
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  #14  
Old 2013-12-05, 7:07pm
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Thanks Robert.


Does anyone know of another source for the brass bell flower press besides Italy?

I find it hard to think that they are the only makers on the planet.

I do realize that the Dona family are the best, though. I recognize quality. I just can't always afford it.
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  #15  
Old 2013-12-06, 6:08am
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Phill, have you thought about metal clay? I have a couple of imprints I've made from bronzeclay that work great. Helgas and goldiebronze are fairly cheap and easy to work with ....
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  #16  
Old 2013-12-06, 1:05pm
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Oh cool. No, I had not thought of metal clay. That is exactly why I love the collective hive mind of LE. That may be answer I was looking for!! Thanks again.
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  #17  
Old 2013-12-08, 12:01pm
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If you come up with something, I'd love to hear how you did it! What a great project!
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  #18  
Old 2013-12-08, 12:40pm
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My "thinking 'bout it" phase can sometimes last for years but I promise to post what I come up with as and when I do.
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