Thread: cullet shortage
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:57 AM
Pete VanderLaan's Avatar
Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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These days, my formulas are proprietary after a really bad experience with one student in my last color class. What I told Dobern was that the borax was going to cause trouble and that there were specifics as to how to eliminate the dissolution issues I saw for the furnace parts. I did write a replacement formula for Spruce Pine which removed the Lithium entirely and remained a lower melt glass. That was field tested by a number of people who all really liked it. Tom however found lithium wasn't going to be as expensive as he thought, nor was it going to be rationed. I can still see the second thing happening as the battery market keeps growing. That beast that Musk built in Australia takes a lot.

Originally the low melt cullets AKA sys96 claimed you would save a ton on fuel and that was indeed pretty much true but what you didn't get told was that it would eat up your expensive furnace and crucible and that would off set any savings. Once again, no free lunch. As the wire kiln has made it's way into regular usage, melting batch has been eliminated in that type furnace unless you're really patient.

So a class in clear really only applies effectively with people running equipment that can take the heat. If it can take the heat, Spruce Pine 87 batch continues to make the most sense, it's the wire melt people who will experience all the grief. If you don't want to melt SP87 because of dusting, they do make respirators after all and you could always consider a career change.

In a clear , you can go in a couple of different philosophical directions. You can be a runny Italian stem maker and you can also go to high luster glasses. Runny glasses like lithium and sodium . They are normally prone to devit and have poor polishing character. They don't really take color well either. The high potassium glasses are going to take color really well and they certainly are shiny when polished. Most glassmakers don't make their color so that feature of potassium gets ignored. Then you have these borax glasses which are low melt but they melt everything. Follow that with Barium which is shiny as Hell but is best made with zinc. So, just like your studio, you tool up for what you make. It's smart to do that with your glass too. The real world is only going to offer you one cullet apparently. When it offered three, they were all incompatible with each other which was just dumb in my mind. They should at the very least all be hovering on 96.
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