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Old 08-28-2017, 03:01 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Cristalica, SPectrum, blah blah blah

I pulled the initial thread on this which essentially announced that Olympic is going to be carrying Cristalica. The question was, and is, what is the story then on Spectrum.
The last question was a request comparing the many cullets out there today which was off track but I'm OK with it.
It seems I may know more than what should be common street knowledge on this so I'll just sit back.
I do think that you will see serious significant price increases on cullet in general anywhere it's being made in the next six months. Think $1.75 lb or so, before shipping. Harvey was right when he said it can be a secondary product but not a primary product. It starts to make SP87 batch look really good but it's a killer for weekend wire melting warriors. I'll keep making my own. Enjoy the kool aide to come.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:37 PM
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I use the C-cullet for ease of use but I could switch over to batch pretty quickly and with a moly not suffer any ill effects. I have started to notice and uptick in the corrosiveness. I am however burning though quite a bit more of the C-Cullet now. About 400lbs a week.

I will have to very quickly sit back and figure out which way I am going to jump. I really enjoyed making three new batches of color the last couple of months I might just invest a little to upgrade that process and get source material. IE> silica seems to be my hiccup right now of all things. I bet I just have not found the right supplier.

Anyway, SP-Batch will do until I make the turn.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
... It starts to make SP87 batch look really good but it's a killer for weekend wire melting warriors. I'll keep making my own. Enjoy the kool aide to come.
Why? SP87 batch is great in wire melters as long as you don't overthink things and get silly. I mean, 8hr cook times? Seriously?

(I do seem to recall someone once mentioning that number for their cook times at 2250F, but I could be wrong as I'm getting old).

Mind you, given the way folks overthink cullet (again with the 2250?), SP87 is really no more difficult. The bonus is that it's pretty easy on pots and refractories, is the "elephant in the room" for handling and such, and is a really good deal.

I also have to say that I do love your glass formulation. It was just as easy to cook, and produced a glass that was just as easy to use and work, but the big benefit was a final glass that was much more brilliant in the finished work. Thank you again for letting me test it.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:07 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Huntrods View Post
Why? SP87 batch is great in wire melters as long as you don't overthink things and get silly. I mean, 8hr cook times? Seriously?

(I do seem to recall someone once mentioning that number for their cook times at 2250F, but I could be wrong as I'm getting old).

Mind you, given the way folks overthink cullet (again with the 2250?), SP87 is really no more difficult. The bonus is that it's pretty easy on pots and refractories, is the "elephant in the room" for handling and such, and is a really good deal.

I also have to say that I do love your glass formulation. It was just as easy to cook, and produced a glass that was just as easy to use and work, but the big benefit was a final glass that was much more brilliant in the finished work. Thank you again for letting me test it.
That was me with the 2250 cook. I used to charge on a Friday and let it sit all weekend and had perfect glass on Monday. Now I am busier and need to blow the day after I charge, so I cook at 2300 and fine at 2325 for 2 hours & squeeze at 1900.

I never drank the Cullet koolade... batch works just fine for me.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Novota View Post
I use the C-cullet for ease of use but I could switch over to batch pretty quickly and with a moly not suffer any ill effects. I have started to notice and uptick in the corrosiveness. I am however burning though quite a bit more of the C-Cullet now. About 400lbs a week.

I will have to very quickly sit back and figure out which way I am going to jump. I really enjoyed making three new batches of color the last couple of months I might just invest a little to upgrade that process and get source material. IE> silica seems to be my hiccup right now of all things. I bet I just have not found the right supplier.

Anyway, SP-Batch will do until I make the turn.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:55 PM
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Responding to Eben.
I agree and actually go back 20 years from the creation of Spruce Pine. I view current glassblowers as profoundly lazy with little will to seek out necessary solutions to the ways to make glass. I suspect the economy coming will sort out a little of that. My renaissance friends think my vision is unlikely. SHow me I'm wrong.

$1.75 a lb? I think it may be low, but it's coming to you soon.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Huntrods View Post

I also have to say that I do love your glass formulation. It was just as easy to cook, and produced a glass that was just as easy to use and work, but the big benefit was a final glass that was much more brilliant in the finished work. Thank you again for letting me test it.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:43 PM
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Late in the day so excuse any math errors.

IF I pay 1.75 per pound for cullet, I get pretty much a pound of glass. IF I get about .8 pounds of glass with batch I need 1.25 pounds of batch to get a pound of glass. That means if I pay more than 1.4 per pound for batch cullet is more affordable, less than 1.4, batch is more affordable. I will be interesting to see the relative prices for cullet vs. batch going forward.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:42 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
That was me with the 2250 cook. I used to charge on a Friday and let it sit all weekend and had perfect glass on Monday. Now I am busier and need to blow the day after I charge, so I cook at 2300 and fine at 2325 for 2 hours & squeeze at 1900.
Have you noticed a difference in fuel consumption between the two methods?
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:07 AM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bernbaum View Post
Have you noticed a difference in fuel consumption between the two methods?
Its hard to say because I switched over to natural gas a few years ago, but I would think I did.

What I do now is crash it to 1700 at the end of the day and have it come up to working temp in the morning when i light the glory hole and annealers... Having my furnace running off of a GB5 was the best thing I ever did aside from the gas line... so easy to change the programs on it.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Freas View Post
Late in the day so excuse any math errors.

IF I pay 1.75 per pound for cullet, I get pretty much a pound of glass. IF I get about .8 pounds of glass with batch I need 1.25 pounds of batch to get a pound of glass. That means if I pay more than 1.4 per pound for batch cullet is more affordable, less than 1.4, batch is more affordable. I will be interesting to see the relative prices for cullet vs. batch going forward.
*******
I simply don't see the price increasing all that much on batch. I do see it in cullet. The Germans are subsidized and that can't last. I have trouble believing Spectrum has a realistic future. I don't think Olympic would want Cristalica
because they want to offer clients a choice.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:43 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Batch is starting to sound more and more appealing. I look forward to a thread announcement that the East Bay "Vanderlaan" batch is ready for order. Rather than starting with SP87, I think I'll await this version to make the switch. I am loving my chalcedony and look forward to seeing the results with a base glass Pete said would match it very well.

Thanks to Richard for mentioning his positive experience with it as well. I believe our furnace designs are from a similar vein.

I just expanded my own furnace to include two 17 lb color pots. Wow...I could start making some pure opal colors in addition to my cullet based formulas. I wouldn't even be thinking of this if it were not for this forum.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:38 PM
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Richard has certainly attested to the ease of melting my goop in a wire melter. Jim doesn't pelletize and that makes the melt even easier. It's still not a production item but he'll mix it.
To do a fluorine opal base, it needs a different formulation to match but I have it. I have not discussed mixing that with jim. It would be most unhappy in a wire melter, or rather the melter would be unhappy with it. Fluorine dictates a gas unit or a monkey pot which is a bit involved. Right now, there's no demand for either.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:48 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Ahh yes...sounded too simple when I wrote it down. The color base and fluorine...still, it might be less impact-full to the elements in my small color pots. I guess I will have to give it a try sometime to really find out. Gases do like to rise (especially hot ones) and I would hope they continue to do so right up and out of my crucibles.

The recent upgrades to my furnace included a 2" thick or so kastolite-30 "gasket" that forms a collar around the crucibles. Looks like an outline of Mickey Mouse: two small crucible holes and one large one. It doesn't seal the crucible contents from the inner element volume, but does a fair job to discourage transfer at least. Mark's original design used 1" fiberboard but I found it did not hold up very well.

My bad if it goes awry. Then, let the four worst words when used in combination be spoken "I told you so".
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Vanantwerp View Post
...It doesn't seal the crucible contents from the inner element volume, but does a fair job to discourage transfer at least. Mark's original design used 1" fiberboard but I found it did not hold up very well.
I used cement to coat the lip around the crucible, going back about 1in all around. I'm still on my original fibreboard.

I also coated the bricks in both lids, and that's kept them in pretty decent shape. With cement coating, minor drips don't bore holes in the K23.

Using K23 in these furnaces is the trade-off of durability vs. insulation. There's no free lunch, but coating the bricks does help. I'm on my second maintenance lid (only replaced a few bricks) and my third gathering port lid.

I also cut back the opening in the maintenance lid (the big one with the gathering hole) and created a 45deg gathering port using rammable. The bonus about using rammable is that it's as close to impervious to molten glass damage as anything you might use. Mine is 10 years and going strong. I just can't do that total vertical gather thing.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Huntrods View Post
.
There's no free lunch,

[/quote]

****
I've heard that somewhere...
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:33 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Hi Richard, By cement coating, are you talking ITC-100? I sprayed my interior with it and even the elements as some pottery boards were saying it helped. I had a container of it so what the heck. I'm starting to wonder if Pete is right though and the stuff is like refractory snake oil. I mean...how will we ever know if it helps unless we run similar furnaces side by side with and without?...no one is going to do that and in lies the magic, I fear.

Anyway, for this furnace, I got away from the pure Lauckner design and just recycled a kiln. Why?...Speed mostly. I had a show coming up and needed to get some blowing done. But also because Mark's grooved bricks are really a pain...having to perform a re-stack every time you replace elements is just unnecessary. Kilns are made to replace elements easily...more or less. Mark Jessen at Duralite even stepped up the elements to 11 gauge with a geometry that still fit the grooves. Amazingly they came out almost at a perfect length...just a little stretch required.

However, I used Mark's lid design to isolate the crucibles from the interior. My first fiberboard lid became a twisted mess...probably due to the additional area of a relatively large kiln and the extra hole for a color pot. When I added a second color pot, I decided the lid was going to need some reinforcements. I've kept my gathering ports all vertical and glad I did as the chalcedony gathers great this way. Cool thing about a used kiln...it comes with 2 pre-assembled brick maintenance lids (lid and floor of the kiln). I just cut out the crucible holes and done.

So, now I have a kastolite replacement of the fiberboard lid and a recycled kiln lid for the gathering port/maintenance lid. My actual lids over the crucibles are brick also made in Mark's design with angle iron frame, sheet metal and hose clamp tension. So far so good.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Vanantwerp View Post
Hi Richard, By cement coating, are you talking ITC-100?
Don't know what that is. I used the same cement I used to build the lids. It's called "Super Titebond", and is a grey cement (Mark used some black stuff in his video). I dilute it about 2-1 until it's a runny slurry and paint it on. Several coats.

Quote:
Anyway, for this furnace, I got away from the pure Lauckner design and just recycled a kiln. Why?...Speed mostly. I had a show coming up and needed to get some blowing done. But also because Mark's grooved bricks are really a pain...having to perform a re-stack every time you replace elements is just unnecessary. Kilns are made to replace elements easily...more or less. Mark Jessen at Duralite even stepped up the elements to 11 gauge with a geometry that still fit the grooves. Amazingly they came out almost at a perfect length...just a little stretch required.
<sigh> I'm on my second set of elements since 2003. The first set died when my first glass pot overflowed (filled too full) and killed elements and bricks. I had to rebuild.

I never used the 8ga 'garage door spring' elements Mark used because I could not get them, so a local (to Calgary) guy came over and we designed 12ga elements to give 2000W in the 1 cu. ft. space. That meant 8 grooves overall.

I used a router on a plywood table (homebuilt) with a 1/2in dovetail bit to make the grooves. They are still in perfect condition the last time I checked (less than a year ago when I built the new small lid). Wash the elements with acetone, handle with cotton gloves when installing. Same set since 2004. Many, many hundreds of hours on them now.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:39 AM
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Rudyard Kipling?


I might have been waiting to post that.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:39 AM
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The other driver with batch is the OSHA requirements for handling that are way more rigid if you have employees. That will drive a lot of cost every year as well.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:07 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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<sigh> Your a funny character Richard. I think you should really consider the limited amount of glass we as hobbiests (and you, in particular) actually blow when telling everyone about how bullet proof your furnace design is. Anyone can get several years out of equipment that they seldom use. Last I read...it was too hot for you to blow glass...in Canada? I blow year-round but only on the weekends...I don't give a rip how hot it gets. That's what fans are for. Anybody should take that into account when reading about my experiences. My stuff gets pushed but not like Pete or Sky or Jordan or Eben. Someday I hope to do this full-time but I'll buy a moly when I do. Your 14 year element b.s. is just rubbing me the wrong way...cotton gloves, acetone and all. Get real.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:21 PM
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Actually, he's quite real and it's not BS. Ever been to Calgary in July and Aug.. ( hint it can be brutally hot)

I have clients who go through big pots like it was melting ice and I have clients who use exactly the same pots and are really careful in how they bring stuff up, how they load and I don't hear from them nearly as much.
Now it might be an irritant to you that Richard succeeds at this point but he has been getting great service and keeps on plugging at it. These days I no long have a big system and use small pots. After a bit over a year they are showing slight wear and they are always running.
If someone offers something up, don't let your nose get out of joint over it. Get more curious. I would never handle a kanthal element without gloves and I clean mine too. I would tend to use an SCR with it as well. It's worth noting that richard isn't trying to sell you anything and won't let you come and drive his MBG either. He has nothing to gain from exaggeration. I actually have elements in one kiln that have been in there since 1998. It's not a hi fire unit but twenty years is a long time.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:39 PM
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I'm not the one who first promoted acetone and cotton gloves. Read the archives and the many long posts about it.

I'm sorry I don't measure up to your idea of perfection.

But I'm over 60 now and I really don't care. Blow it out your ass.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:51 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Sorry Richard. Pete makes very good points. The "<sigh>" seemed to come out of nowhere and just felt a little arrogant to me. I've always enjoyed your posts and your thoughtful approach to glass.

I would just warn people like me when I started over 10 years ago that elements typically last a year when run in a glass furnace. It's an important design consideration. Keep an extra set on hand (as well as a crucible)! Don't count on them to last a decade.

If you have built a Lauckner furnace, as I have, the brick design is fine for holding elements but bad for replacing them. My next furnace was purchased from Glass Hive and they used more of a kiln style element groove that spiraled around the crucible. When my elements went bad, I replaced them pretty easily. I hated their lid design though...nothing but 6" thick fiberfrax. Eventually a pot cracked and the whole thing was more or less ruined.

So back to my own devices and a kiln style, supped up a bit. I don't expect super element longevity but I can replace them when they eventually wear out.

My Lauckner furnace never got the chance to fail. A fire in my shop took care of that. Do everything you can to avoid that hell. It is devastating. Funny thing about glass equipment in a fire...it almost survives but not quite.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:14 PM
Mitcheal Veenstra Mitcheal Veenstra is offline
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well, we just bought our first round of C cullet that arrived this week. It'll probably last us a year and depending on what's going on then we'll decide.

I'm a lot less leary of mixing and melting our own glass now since the class at Corning. We'll work on the phosophate colors this winter and I'll try a few melts of clear to get a feel of what we can do with our wire melters to have options no matter which way things go.
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