Thread: Color bubbles
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:49 AM
Greg Vriethoff's Avatar
Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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Here's some things I have picked-up over the years that seemingly help prevent introducing bubbles in rods. If your rods have bubbles already, there's not much you can do about it other than pick them out once the glass is nice and soft.

Some of this stuff I learned from one of Lino's assistants for anyone that cares about that.

To preheat opals (I do this mainly with Gaffer white, and pretty much any other white, enamel, etc.), take your chunk of rod and place it in a ceramic coffee mug. Fill with water to cover. Microwave on high for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Use tongs to take from cup to color oven.

For ALL colors: when taking first heat in glory hole after picking-up out of color oven - don't turn the pipe/rod. I know it goes against everything you've been taught, and it takes awhile to get used to. Apparently, the slight temperature differences in the gh environment are enough to induce thermal shock as the piece rotates in the chamber. Insert it slowly and hold it perfectly still for about 20-30 secs. It'll sag, then you can turn. I know it sounds nutty, but I've had almost no instances of popping since I adopted this technique.
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