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Beading Q And A: Lampworking (7/20/2011)

2011 July 20

Sandy asks…

How do I set up a Hot Head Torch?

I recently bought a Hot Head Torch (for lampworking) I know how to attach it to my desk but I’m not sure how to properly attach the torch to the 1lb MAPP gas container I have, didn’t find any instructions with the Hot Head and in the lessons I had they were already hooked up

BeadGal answers:

This video may help you set it up correctly:

More information here:
http://www.cauldroncreations.com/lampworkinfopg2.html

This page lists more links for you to look at:
http://www.cauldroncreations.com/lampworkinfopg4.html

Good luck!

Lisa asks…

Are borosilicate glass and effetre/moretti glass related?

If eyeglasses are not good for borosilicate glass can it be used for lampworking that uses effetre/moretti glass?

BeadGal answers:

No. Borosilicate glass is harder and has a higher melting temp than moretti, which is a softer glass. They have two different COEs (coefficients of expansion) so the two types of glass do not work together; if you try to use them together your pieces will shatter.

Sandra asks…

Does anyone know where I can learn lampworking in central North Carolina?

Lampworking, coldworking, glass blowing,

BeadGal answers:

Check our bead store listings for North Carolina to find a bead store near you. Many of them will have classes and may have lampworking classes. If they don’t, they will probably know a nearby lampworker who teaches lampworking or may be willing to teach:

Betty asks…

Lampworking, COE, glass compatibility discern ? my glass rods [canes] got mixed up, how can I tell them apart?

Please Help Me! Glass Lampworking Bead Artists!

How can I tell my rods apart? and if I can’t, what then?……

I just came across an old container with ‘mixed’ glass rods [canes] purchased in 2000. I have no idea of their compatibilities, their specific COE’s,or which company the came from (Bullseye, Effetre, Spectrum, ect..)
However, I do know the importance of differentiating them, and the results if you don’t!

Is it possible, that there was only one company producing glass for lampworking back then, making the compatibility a guarantee? I am unable to contact the the store (out of business) that they were purchased from and ask which company[s] were their suppliers.

If they are different COE’s, how can I tell BEFORE I work with it? Is it possible to ‘tell’ the COE by holding 2 rods in the flame at the same time and see if they melt about the same rate, or the same way?

What if I make a bead with two (or more) of the unknown rods, and then anneal the bead by kiln cooling it? Will that strengthen the bead/glass together?

So far, the only suggestion I’ve found on-line to tell them apart is by fusing pieces together in a kiln and then examine it under polarized film. That’s just crazy to think about, especially given the amount of rods I have, I mean THIS must happen a lot to people, what the heck does everyone else do? What can I do, short of using them all for single color simple beads? I really want to be able to mix and match the rods that I have, and not have to worry that it might explode on impact with someones skin after I give them a handmade necklace as a ‘gift’ !

So, please help me if you can!

BeadGal answers:

I know that there were several companies making incompatible rod in 2000, so that possibility is out.

Although fusing the glass to a clear background will show strain lines, as you say, you have a lot of possible combinations.

Another test is to melt the end of two rods that you wish to use together into a small bead but with the two colors side by side, then use another rod or probe to pull a long thin thread of both together. If the two rods are compatible, then the thread will bend little or not at all. If incompatible, then the thread will curve or even curl and the glass with the higher COE will be on the inside of the curl (because it shrinks more than the other.)
Using this method, you only have to test the ones you hope to use, but if you label them as you test, you will reduce further testing.

You could also buy recently made compatible rod or stick such as Bullseye or System 7 and test against those and know whether yours group into > < or =

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