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Ben Solwitz
02-11-2012, 11:53 PM
Any idea what the diameter of Gaffer 96 coe cane is? What other sizes are available from other manufacturers?

David Patchen
02-12-2012, 03:14 AM
I got some samples and they were 3-4mm. Too thin for blowing comfortably. You can make it work but it's tricky and not worth it imho.

Josh Bernbaum
02-12-2012, 07:53 AM
System 96 makes lamp working cane around 6mm dia. (it can vary 1-2mm from rod to rod, but most will be quite consistent) And they make of few of their more popular colors in 10mm if you have unlimited budget.

Ben Solwitz
02-12-2012, 10:50 AM
3-4mm might be pretty good for my purposes David, I think I might try bundlling some together to fuse into murrini.

Ben Solwitz
02-12-2012, 08:10 PM
Gonna try out some of these:

http://www.maplecityglass.com/Hotglass/stringers.html

That was the cheapest place I found them online.

Andrew Boatman
02-13-2012, 09:11 AM
Those are about the size of the thick pencil lead. They are hard to pick up but would make for good outer color spots and piecing together murrini they would be good I think.
The cane from Olympic can be wildly different depending on the stock on hand. Some thin, some as thick as a pencil. Bundle with a variety in a quarter pound.
The cane from Hot Glass Color is more consistent through a bundle and they have thin stuff (about like three of the stringers together) and thicker stuff too, more like traditional lampworking cane.

Ben Solwitz
03-07-2012, 02:00 PM
The system 96 stringers are about 1mm diameter and quite consistent, but seem to only come in a relatively limited palette. I ordered 4 colors of gaffer canes, enamel white is back ordered, the ones I got range from about 3-7mm in diameter. Does anyone sell stringers in a wide palette other than Bullseye? Any other lampworking canes of a more consistent diameter?

Tom Clifton
03-07-2012, 03:40 PM
The system 96 stringers are about 1mm diameter and quite consistent, but seem to only come in a relatively limited palette.

Buy system96 sheet glass, cut it into 1/4" wide strips and pull your own stringers. Lots of lampworkers (non 104 adherants) do this with their burners. If you don't have a propane/oxygen lampworking torch, a $40 hothead on propane or mapp will work as well. I believe you should also be able to do this with a GH - at least folks with a Murphy Firebucket do it so it should be the same

Ben Solwitz
03-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Yeah there are lots of ways I could make my own stringers but I might need a ton of them and would prefer not to pull them myself if I don't have to. I recall reading or hearing somewhere that Toots Zynsky built something to pull tons of stringers but I don't have any details.

Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig
03-08-2012, 08:35 PM
Ben- since you need a ton of them, and the kilo price on those stringers you want to buy work out at 98 dollars a kilo and it seems the average price of color rods in the states is about 40 bucks then it would appear that you could save 58000 dollars/ton, or 58 dollars a kilo if you like, by making them yourself.
One way to do that would be to make a simple fiber box around a flowerpot, (with a hole in the bottom) with a small gas burner or wrap a Kanthal wire around it , with an opening in the bottom and build a platform 3 or 4 meters up for your little “furnace” and put the rods in and let it heat up and a stringer would flow out the bottom and be cold before it hit the ground. Im sure you could make very consistent diameter cane any size you want, in this way by just controlling the temperature in the little furnace and/or varying the size hole in your flowerpot. Since a flowerpot is so cheap you would just change pot when changing color

David Patchen
03-09-2012, 01:09 AM
Pick up 2" of color rod, heat the hell out of it, marver, repeat, marver, light heat, then stick the wrong side of the punty in the crack off bucket and grab the tip of the color with your diamond shears and walk down the hall. You'll get 20' of stringer and it will take you 10 min.

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 04:32 AM
I continue to be amazed at the stuff people will buy in the continuing devolution of fundamental skills associated with understanding and working with glass.

Tom Fuhrman
03-09-2012, 09:11 AM
and youth continues to say "I want it all and I want it now".

David Patchen
03-09-2012, 11:00 AM
"Those crazy kids--they even want to buy blowpipes! Back in my day we chiseled the iron ore out of the earth, smelted it into ingots, hand-forged rods and hollowed out the center with the teeth of Grizzly bears and made our own blow pipes!" ;)

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 11:30 AM
"Those crazy kids--they even want to buy blowpipes! Back in my day we chiseled the iron ore out of the earth, smelted it into ingots, hand-forged rods and hollowed out the center with the teeth of Grizzly bears and made our own blow pipes!" ;)
********
I did make my own blow pipes actually. Way back around 1970 the only company that sold pipes commercially was Putsch. Putsch was imported by DryKiln, an Al Lewis enterprise that got going around 1972. They were all very lightweight pipes with no taper at all. The same was true of handtools. Essemce did exist but you had to get them direct from the factory in Sweden. Kugler was also not yet imported into this country. I don't think Steinert got going until around 1975 at the earliest.

Iron ore was much more common than you claim and Bear's teeth were relatively easy to get however. How did you learn about using them? It's illegal now with all these damn environmentalists.

Zach Jorgenson
03-09-2012, 11:50 AM
Ben is trying to avoid the weeks of pulling threads necessary to make a complex murrina. What David said times thousands gets pretty boring, leaving you plenty of time to question your sanity and wonder what you'll do to pay the bills that month. He doesn't need 20 feet of stringer or threads, he needs a couple miles.

Lawrence Ruskin
03-09-2012, 11:51 AM
Grizzly teeth?

You're lucky, in my day we had to use our own teeth.

And we had to blow glass standing up to our belly buttons in a icy cold lake for safety reasons...

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 11:54 AM
When I had to pull cane for Dale, which I admittedly hated, he would hand me three sticks of Tabac and want it all pulled to the size of a human hair. It was all for the blanket cylinder series. The only thing that was nice about it was how good the pieces looked with that angel hair in it. It was an all day slog.

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Grizzly teeth?

You're lucky, in my day we had to use our own teeth.

And we had to blow glass standing up to our belly buttons in a icy cold lake for safety reasons...
**********
Well we all still make our own hot air...just for annealing mind you.

Lawrence Ruskin
03-09-2012, 12:02 PM
And we had to light the glory hole with a hunk of iron and a bit of flint.

Randy Kaltenbach
03-09-2012, 12:09 PM
Glory hole??? In my day, we just stood in front of a volcano!

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 02:49 PM
We did not have a gloryhole, We heated out of the furnace which was hard brick. It melted an electric clock on the wall eight feet away.

The differences in my stories is that they're true.

Ben Solwitz
03-09-2012, 03:02 PM
Do you think I could get a mile of cobalt silver opal? What's the price like on that? :P

Zach is right, I could forsee needing multiple kilos of stringers in each of 20-30 colors. I'm starting small but planning for the future if my initial experiments go well.

Drew Jaeger
03-09-2012, 03:24 PM
If you look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Y1jfirlFA

At about 50 seconds in you will see a brief glimpse at stringer being pulled for Toots Zynsky. I bet she goes through more than miles of the stuff.

Ben Solwitz
03-09-2012, 04:09 PM
Yeah I was thinking about this the other day and I figured you could hook up some kind of wheel that clamped around the stringer to continuously pull it and just break it occasionally when it gets long. Might not be so hard to build.

Ben Solwitz
03-09-2012, 04:21 PM
You could probably build a tube shaped kiln to bring a color bar up to 950 or 1000 and then a small torch at one end to heat it up hot enough to pull the stringer. I bet you could even get more than one stringer going at once if there was some small barrier to pull two of them around. I'm thinking a little comb and fork system with a flat wide roller would let you pull like 10 at once. It still sounds a lot easier to just buy them from bullseye.

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 04:53 PM
you can actually wrap it on a wheel.

Tom Fuhrman
03-09-2012, 05:32 PM
We did not have a gloryhole, We heated out of the furnace which was hard brick. It melted an electric clock on the wall eight feet away.

The differences in my stories is that they're true.

definitely true, took me several years before I had a glory hole. Good thing gas was cheap then. It was a real pain when youlost a oiece in the furnace or it snapped off because you didn't get back in the furnace for reheating before it cooled off. Then you had to dip whatever you could out of the pot.

Tom Fuhrman
03-09-2012, 05:46 PM
I was in one of the Corning factories where they had a continous tubing line running, that made several 100 feet of 1" dia. tubing per minute for use on the back of TV tubes. The furnace was on the 3rd floor and the glass was pulled down to the 1st floor where it was then cut into 3' length, then into smaller lengths and then into about 6" lengths and as I recall the ends were heated and flared, all automatically. Use the same principle and have a weekend "event" that is recorded for play on u-tube and have all your friends participate. furnace has to be at a significant height and can then be pulled from the bottom and you can get some long threads/rods and vary the diameters by putting different "rings" in the bottom of the furnace and keep pulling as one color is all pulled you have loaded another color on top of it and keep pulling.
I had a friend who worked at Bullseye and spent about 8-10 weekends pulling quite a few miles of cane for a project Lino was working on there about 10-12 years ago. This cane had a white center and a transparent red outside which made it a bit more difficult than just doing a single color. about 6 mm.

Ben Solwitz
03-09-2012, 07:00 PM
Interesting, maybe I will try that Tom. I do admire Mark Peiser's 'cold stream' pieces.

How thin does it have to be to wrap on what diameter wheel Pete?

Ben Solwitz
03-09-2012, 07:03 PM
I take it you put some kind of ring in that goes from the top to the bottom of the kiln so you can charge both colors independently and they don't mix until the bottom?

Pete VanderLaan
03-09-2012, 07:07 PM
I think the wheel needs to be about six feet in diameter.

Greg Vriethoff
03-10-2012, 01:28 AM
I continue to be amazed at the stuff people will buy in the continuing devolution of fundamental skills associated with understanding and working with glass.
This accurately describes what I am constantly surrounded by on a daily basis.

I could say more on the current subject,...but I won't.

Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig
03-10-2012, 05:26 AM
Ive tried taking the tire off the back wheel of a bicycle and putting it upside down and cranking the wheel with the pedal. I cut a little notch in the rim and pulled out a little cane with pliers and fastened it in the notch. Since I wanted real thin stringers we cranked that wheel about as fast as we could. The stringer would break as it cooled on the rim because of shrinking and wed have to stop not because the color rod getting cold but there being so many loose ends thrashing out by centrifical force. I couldnt get far away enough for the stringer to cool completely before winding on to the wheel, but I suppose with setting up some kind of cooling fan or compressed air blowing on it and doing it slower it could be worked out. Even if the stringer was like 50C winding on it would break as it cooled to room temp. Still think a little pot high up is the way to do it, you can make multiple holes in the pot if you want to make many stringers/cane faster and easy to control diameter. Youre going to have to have a very large wheel if youre making 5mm cane... ferris wheel?

Pete VanderLaan
03-10-2012, 06:48 AM
5mm would be way big.

John Riepma
03-10-2012, 07:02 AM
When we were at the Portland conference and toured Northstar Glass I saw their method of pulling lampworking colors. Being a gadget geek I tried to get close enough to see the machine but was cleared out quickly by the staff. It appeared that they melted colors in various crucibles, many of which were sitting around half full and cold. The glass appeared to be drawn off the top of the crucible when hot (no idea how) and then turned horizontally and chopped up in lengths as it came out. It seemed to be a pretty consistent and rapid process, about a foot-long cane every few seconds or so. You may want to see if you can get an explanation of that process from someone, or ask if they can provide what you need.

Tom Clifton
03-10-2012, 11:38 AM
Being a gadget geek I tried to get close enough to see the machine but was cleared out quickly by the staff.

Were they in a hurry to get the group through, or were you showing too great an interest in something proprietary?

Also would Uboros (http://www.uroboros.com/pdf/96noodstring.pdf) system96 stringer be the right size, have a broad enough color palette,and be $$ sensible?

Ben Solwitz
03-10-2012, 01:31 PM
Yeah I'm mostly interested in like 1mm stringers right now. I bought some system 96 stringers and they seem pretty good, but the palette is pretty limited:

http://www.system96.com/Pages/Stroodle.html

Only 31 colors total listed there, I think bullseye has 40+ opals and similar number of transparents, looks like their website is down:

http://www.bullseyeglass.com/

Gaffer has ~52 transparents and ~67 opals but they don't sell stringers afaik.

John Riepma
03-10-2012, 02:37 PM
"Were they in a hurry to get the group through, or were you showing too great an interest in something proprietary?"

I'm sure that I was looking too interested in the process. I'm sure it's proprietary and I'm just as sure that they put a lot of time and money into developing it and don't want to get ripped off, which I completely understand. People who make things like that seem to have an innate sense of who is just staring at something that they will never understand and who is too interested and may be a problem. I've always been the guy that gets run off. Not that I wanted to make one, I'm just fascinated by how stuff works.

Greg Vriethoff
03-10-2012, 04:19 PM
Yeah I'm mostly interested in like 1mm stringers right now. I bought some system 96 stringers and they seem pretty good, but the palette is pretty limited:

http://www.system96.com/Pages/Stroodle.html

Only 31 colors total listed there, I think bullseye has 40+ opals and similar number of transparents, looks like their website is down:

The System 96 site is poorly managed. Look here instead:

http://www.uroboros.com/products.php?section=4&category=265

Pete VanderLaan
03-10-2012, 04:52 PM
I think you will find that most of them wash out. They are not made at the same density levels as color rods.

Ben Solwitz
03-10-2012, 07:17 PM
Those are the 31 colors I was talking about Greg, am I missing something?

Ben Solwitz
03-10-2012, 07:18 PM
So I'm stuck pulling my own stringers?

David Patchen
03-10-2012, 08:07 PM
I think you will find that most of them wash out. They are not made at the same density levels as color rods.

So true. I use this stuff and most are dense enough for blowing but def not murrine.

Ben Solwitz
03-10-2012, 09:27 PM
I was worried about that because I assumed it was similar to the bullseye we used in the roll up class I took with Mark and Harry. I'll give it a shot anyway since it's the best source of consistent premade furnace compatible stringers I've found so far. Sounds like I may end up having to pull them myself from color bar though.

Pete VanderLaan
03-11-2012, 08:03 AM
If you want decent quality, start pulling your own now and don't waste your time. It's not the time pulling the cane that will kill you, it's the assembly time for the murrini. You are going to be very disappointed in the dilution. You also well may find that stuff to be quite seedy.

When Dick Ritter did the big murrini of his family back in 1977, the pulled murrini took him four months to construct. It was his Mom, Dad, and sister. It was only pulled to the diameter of a silver dollar. I met him back at Champaign/Urbana when I was staying With Kim Newcomb at that time. He didn't demo the cane which was very precious to him but he did have some in his pockets. They were amazing. Dick is one of our quiet national treasures.

You need serious density for the project. If it is to be put with commercial cullets or SP87 you need to really test every color before you commit to it. One color can cause a check in your entire project. Expansion will not be your only issue. Annealing and viscosity are going to come in to play.

Tom Fuhrman
03-11-2012, 11:04 AM
Ritter is supposed to be in Toledo (GAS) in June doing a demo on making cane.

Ben Solwitz
03-11-2012, 02:36 PM
Sweet, already have my plane tickets.

Pulling cane at $60/hr for a small hole here in Brooklyn is going to kill my bank account.

At least I have a lot of raw materials already...

Pete VanderLaan
03-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Well the cost of rental is going to kill you but I would see if they will negotiate a lower rate since you'll never have the hole open at all. If you can take some time which is going as dead head, they might be so inclined. You don't even want it that hot.

I'm not trying to be hard on you about pulling the cane. I just have some experience with what will and won't work for you. While the gaffer cane might work for you I doubt that the bullseye or Uroboros will. At all costs, don't over stretch it.

Have you ever seen how Richard Marquis sets up his murrini? On things like the Irish setter, he cuts a setter on a scroll saw out of wood and then casts the wood in refractory castable. Then he burns it out, and takes a piece of nice dense color and slumps it in the mold. That then is put in a color box and picked up for the core. It's very slick.

Ben Solwitz
03-11-2012, 03:20 PM
Yeah Ed shows a similar process in Advanced Glassblowing Techniques. One of the methods he suggests for making the mold is laminating some layers of styrofoam and cutting it with a hot wire. Lots of ways to make molds though.

I've had good experiences with gaffer colors in general, I wish their lampworking cane was more consistent in diameter so I could use it for this.

Greg Vriethoff
03-11-2012, 03:31 PM
Those are the 31 colors I was talking about Greg, am I missing something?
You are correct. The only ones not on the S96 page are the reactives.

The Uroboros site is a little more helpful in that they post pictures of the actual glass which can give you a better idea of what you're getting into.

Pete VanderLaan
03-11-2012, 04:19 PM
It's really an art to make it evenly. I just have to pull boatloads to get enough of what I need. Doing it right from the furnace is a lot nicer. People always want to pull cane at my classes. It's hard to shoehorn it in but I can see why they want to do it.

Ben Solwitz
03-11-2012, 05:22 PM
I suppose I might be able to sell the stuff that doesn't fit my size requirements to fusers or lampworkers, if I ended up with a lot of it?

Pete VanderLaan
03-11-2012, 06:13 PM
I think that a real curiosity of glassworkers is that in general, they're really cheap. They will go to enormous lengths to try to find the lowest price on anything and everything. I certainly do it. The only time they have no objections to things being pricey is when they have made them.

Selling cane might just work. Connecting with the market is the hard part.

I am amazed when I see how much glassblowers spend on color rods per year. I regularly see people people with 20K color bills. I have long held the position that making your own color in your own shop saves money. You increase your productivity by 30% by not having to heat stuff up, you just gather. You don't need an assistant for it and the cost per lb plummets. Even though raw material costs have shot up, it's nothing compared to the prices of rod.

Ben Solwitz
03-11-2012, 06:41 PM
If I had my own shop there would be color pots everywhere, I just need to win the lottery or something.

Pete VanderLaan
03-11-2012, 06:49 PM
well, that gets funny. I have consistently found that if you do have color, you never actually use more than two pots at a time. I do think that winning the lottery is sound financial planning.