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Old 01-26-2021, 11:38 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is offline
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Soaking plywood for blow mould?

Eben mentioned something about this a little while back in the thread in the classifieds about that large vase replacement. But I'd like to ask some more about this because I have a project I'd like to do later this week where I'll be maxing a simple 5-sided (open at the top) plywood box to use as a blow mould for a square shape. I (hopefully) will only need to use it once, maybe twice at the most. Curious how long I should pre-soak this in a bucket of water first though. Eben mentioned 2-3 days, but that got me thinking that the 5/8" A/C plywood I'm using might 'delaminate' if it got that saturated with water? Would it be enough to just soak it for a short while before using? And I'm assuming I should torch the interior of the mould before soaking to char it up a bit? I'll be using this outside because I know it'll be kicking off some nasty smoke. Thanks in advance to those who have experience with this.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:01 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Hey josh. Line that plywood box with some freshly soaked newspaper and you wont have to soak the wood at all.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:13 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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You dont need a bottom just put it on a loose plywood board on the floor. Nick the bottom of your box sides with a saw to let steam escape easily
Have you blown asqare mold before? You know how to do it?
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:26 PM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is offline
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No I haven't blown into a square mould yet Michael. Any tips?
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:17 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Its a little bit tricky... I dont know how big you’re going for , but just in general blow out and shape you bubble to as close to the form shape as possible with a wood paddle. Get it as hot as you can and when the bottom hits the bottom quickly blow as hard as you can bouncing the pipe up and down, letting the pipe slide in your mouth. You should blow hard and fast, never letting the pipe be still -after the second or so filling the form, mouth blow the pipe as hard as you can and thumb the pipe and slide it up and down rapidly, pounding it solidly in the bottom each time. As soon as you think you can control it let pressure go, come out and walk straight to a glory hole and fire polish it. Sit down and paddle sides and bottom until satisfied shape. Don’t try too thin and if your bubble is too small to start with, it will get surprisingly thin in the corners especially the bottom ones. Thats kind of the general idea anyway
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:23 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig View Post
quickly blow as hard as you can bouncing the pipe up and down, letting the pipe slide in your mouth.
This might win the prize for best glassblowing innuendo ever..

Thanks for the advice, the mold I made is 8" (20cm) for all interior dimensions.
And I won't be filling to the top of the height dimension, so that it's a bit more squat of a shape than it is wide. But I'm also hoping to punty with a blow-punty and then go back in the mold to finish off the other half of the (almost) cube shape.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2021, 09:35 AM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Unfortunately it’s difficult not going there when blowing non turnable molds
Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:55 PM
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Chalk your pipe and the mold before you actually blow it. If you try to go back into a square mold, it ain't perfectly square which you will discover. The chalk tells you which way to reinsert the piece.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:50 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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And I thought you had to use a square blow pipe... damn.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:31 AM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Thanks for the advice, the mold I made is 8" (20cm) for all interior dimensions.
And I won't be filling to the top of the height dimension, so that it's a bit more squat of a shape than it is wide. But I'm also hoping to punty with a blow-punty and then go back in the mold to finish off the other half of the (almost) cube shape.[/

So, how do you plan to finish the top by going back in the mold? What's blow-punty?
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2021, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
And I thought you had to use a square blow pipe... damn.
*****
Those are OSHA square pipes. A safety feature anyone can understand.
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:52 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig View Post
So, how do you plan to finish the top by going back in the mold? What's blow-punty?
Blow punty is a crown-type punty but made on a blowpipe, with the hole opened so it can be blown through later. And before sticking it on, a hole is drilled with tungsten at the bottom of the piece. Blow punty seals around that hole without covering it so you can inflate later while the piece is on the punty. That hole that's left also ends up being important for annealing the otherwise closed-off form. I think I'm going to modify this mould today to be a hinged, 2 part mold because I'm concerned about fitting back into it on the second fill like Pete alluded to.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:07 AM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Oh; thats what I was guessing, but never heard of, interesting. So you seal off the top before knnocking it off the pipe then I figure
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:56 AM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Another good help is to make a v shaped trough out of plywood maybe 8” sides 18” long or so, that you cover with a good layer wet newspaper.
And let it sit horizontally on a marver or something to help you shape the bubble as your are making it bigger before going into the mold. Have an assistant keep after the bottom at the same time.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:38 PM
John Riepma John Riepma is online now
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Corning posted a YouTube video within the last couple of days of a visiting artist making a fairly tall square vase. Might be some tips there you could use.
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:32 PM
Brian Bradshaw Brian Bradshaw is offline
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Make sure you have small vent holes on the flat sides of the mold. If you don't the sides won't be flat. I have always used sheet cork to line simple angle molds (like squares, triangles, etc). High temp silicone to hold in place and sprayed with water from a spray bottle immediately after use. Once a carbon layer is formed, a light squirting will be enough for a couple more blows. Just my 2c....
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2021, 06:33 PM
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Franklin Sankar Franklin Sankar is offline
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Is the alternate to striping, not to strip?
Franklin
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:51 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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getting the temp right and being careful.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:48 PM
Michael Hayes Michael Hayes is offline
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this would be a great post for Ed Skeels to chime in.

one time he said to me: (paraphrased) "Freehand glassblowers think they need to get the glass close to the mold shape before they go into the mold. They're clueless"

he never did tell me what we're suppose to do, so i'm still clueless.




also, Hi Ed!
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:53 PM
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Ed pu his pants on one leg at a time, no different than anyone. He paid attention though and that's a big mark in his favor.

You could learn most of what Ed knew on the subject with a big pot of hot glass and a helper. Then, it's down to refining it. He's in some Little America right now. It makes more sense to him.
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Old 01-29-2021, 10:54 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Although I have the greatest respect for Ed Skeels..... have you seen him make the 6 foot roundels?
A statement like that is just bull- it all depends on what you’re doing
Where is he Pete?
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2021, 08:38 AM
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I never saw him do larger than about a five foot one Michael. It was done by a robot that he built. The project was for a client that backed out and then Ed dismantled the robot.

If it had been me, I would have placed an ad in Architectural digest for them.

He made all the fixtures for Sonoma Lighting for years. He was a harsh taskmaster but anyone who worked with him really learned a lot. At one point early in his career, he worked for Steve Smyers in Benecia California. Steve shared a common wall with Nourot studios there and Michael ( Nourot) made full batches of Selenium cadmium red glass every night as well as a fluorine white for encasements.

Smyers fell for one of those organizational seminars that were popular in the '70's and '80's and they premised that everyone had to buy into their role in the business to be successful. So Smyers makes Ed the Safety Officer for the day.

Ed immediately turns Nourot in to OSHA. This toothpaste was not going back into the tube. Lots of trouble.

That was pure Ed. Absolutely brilliant engineer, craftsman who utterly rejected art as an avenue to success. In my mind terrified of it.

Somewhere in the archives here, we have a perfect Ed explanation of how to cork a mold properly.

To follow up on the Sonoma Lighting story, Sonoma signed a contract with a Chinese firm to make the sconces and cut Ed out entirely. Then the Chinese were having trouble making the things and Sonoma had the balls to ask Ed if he would teach them how to do it properly. You can imagine how that went over.

He then went to run a shop in St Louis called Third degree and it did not take long before he was no longer running the Shop in St Louis. That was also typical Ed.
Divorced, alone, brilliant difficult man. Ed has a commercial truck driving license. Last time we talked he was on the road doing miles. We stayed in touch for a while but he's gone off now, who knows where? No one else quite like him.
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:34 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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I miss Ed.
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:22 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
I miss Ed.
so do I,
he always had a different perspective on most things and made a lot of tools that served me well.
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:47 AM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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I always wanted a pair of his diamond shears. Im still using 3 of his blow pipes with inconel heads that he made at least 20 plus years ago. They are just about ready to be retired. Id say I got my monies worth out of those babies. They will hang on my wall soon.
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