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View Full Version : Tool for Cane Geeks


David Patchen
05-21-2012, 04:25 PM
Like any other glassblower who uses cane I like cane used in a piece to be a similar diameter. Normally I do this by eye and feel and some variation is fine, but for reta-jello I like to sort cane carefully by diameter using a drill bit gauge. This ensures the cane twists up nicely and your bubbles are of uniform size. But sorting cane w/a drill gauge is really boring and tedious so I felt compelled to figure out another way to do this.

Attached is a photo of my solution. Suitable as a gift to your favorite caneworker, this stainless sizer makes it quicker and easier to sort cane by diameter. The stainless steel flats are welded together 4mm apart at the narrow end and about 9mm apart at the other end. You just slide the cane in question from the wide opening down the middle slot until it stops--this is your size so you drop it in the box below.

I photographed it over a temporary cardboard box but I'll make a nice plywood box with steel separators for the different sizes I'll sort into. I'll hinge the side of the box so it's easy to open and grab the cane from each size box.

I'm interested in others' solutions to sorting cane.

Scott Novota
05-21-2012, 06:03 PM
Here I was thinking you where going to offer it up for sale. Now am left here trying to figure out how I am going to get one made.

David Patchen
05-21-2012, 06:11 PM
Here I was thinking you where going to offer it up for sale. Now am left here trying to figure out how I am going to get one made.

I've got enough of the 1" x 1/8" stainless stock to make one more of the metal pieces but you'd have to make your own box for the sorted cane to drop into. I was even thinking of just putting it on top of a couple of wine boxes.

Tom Fuhrman
05-22-2012, 11:39 AM
I don't know if they are still available but you used to be able to buy a stainless "wire gauge" that looks very close to contraption you made. I still have one around the shop that i can use to gauge wire with but hadn't thought about using it for sizing cane. Just need to place it over a receptacle to catch the cane as it's broken off.
if it was machined properly you could make it adjustable with a nut to hold the 2 pieces of stainless together and then swivel it as needed and retighten.

Jon Myers
05-22-2012, 04:27 PM
now just tilt that a little, add a hopper and a motor with a cut pully for vibration...

Peter Bowles
05-24-2012, 12:05 AM
and make the dividers in the box adjustable so you can accommodate for the quantity bell curve at any given thickness.

Eben Horton
05-24-2012, 11:26 AM
I just lay all of my cut cane on the marver in a row and eyeball it. I group into Fat cane, medium cane and thin cane. Then i rubber band them into little bundles.the rest gets made into something in the 'end of the day' type of style.

David Patchen
05-24-2012, 10:33 PM
I just lay all of my cut cane on the marver in a row and eyeball it. I group into Fat cane, medium cane and thin cane. Then i rubber band them into little bundles.the rest gets made into something in the 'end of the day' type of style.

Damn it! I suspected you were cooler than me.

Eben Horton
05-25-2012, 10:03 AM
Damn it! I suspected you were cooler than me.

Not cooler.. Just set in my ways :)