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Old 11-30-2018, 12:06 PM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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White melting Furnace

Hello. We are increasingly asked to make white components. As I may have mentioned before, we are tired of putting chunks of color bar on the pipe. I am in search of someone who can come to our shop and solve our production problem...ie design a small furnace, organize ventilation and workflow. This would be well paid! Anyone interested in coming to Burlington Vermont to solve our problem and perhaps drink some good local beer?
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:03 PM
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Are you talking an opal white or an enamel white? Big difference. Is it to be a batch melt? Eric and I have this curious little floor furnace for just such a proposal. I would not be surprised if he would sell it. I'm not positive of the capacity but I had though 38lbs. It would run best as a venturi I think.

Once you get the white right, then you have to deal with dirty tools. Its the song that never ends.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:17 PM
Eric Trulson Eric Trulson is offline
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Hi Rich,

I'd suggest working with Pete to figure out your specific needs on the glass itself (opal vs enamel formulation, batch vs. cullet, all that stuff), but once you know what you want to melt, I'm happy to work with you on the furnace and ventilation end of things.

I'm a mechanical engineer and a furnace builder, so this kind of job is definitely in my wheelhouse. As Pete mentioned, I've got a small furnace body already sitting around that might fit the bill, or I'm happy to design and build something specific to your shop's needs. I'll shoot you a DM with my contact info and we can go from there.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:35 PM
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I don't tend to believe that a white enamel ( Lead arsenate) is viable in an open studio. I would not want to be involved in an endeavor of that nature. Fluorine is bad enough. I'm not aware of any commercial cullets that would fit most american clear cullets, so that would be yet another issue.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:58 PM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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I am open to all ideas that will enable us to make an opaque white for lighting. We use Glasma 46 and enamel white bar from the big three. Glasma is open to making white batch for us as well. I could even change the clear batch formula if necessary for fitting. Importing may be an issue. I am open to Pete and Eric working with us to arrive at a suitable solution. I would rather talk in person or have someone come up to our studio. I admit that noodling things around here ourselves for the past year hasn't gotten any further in this department. Currently we make upwards of 1000 white pieces per month.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:16 PM
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If you really have to have an enamel white, I suspect contracting with one of the colormakers to make you cullet of it to be the safest way to go. That stuff is really remarkably toxic. It is melted really cold as cullet or you'll ruin it , perhaps 2025F but it's a gas generating glass. It would be best to melt daily, perhaps more frequently than that in very small batches. So I don't think you need me.
Ed Skeels used to simply keep a small pot hot and drop color into that pot as needed. He kept the color in a color box so when it was moved, there was no shattering of the glass. It just melted down and was drawn out. Ed ran a large lighting operation.

What I would not do is to design the tooling as you might hope and that includes the ventilation which is really important. If you can't run a decent exhaust system for it, it really is not a good idea to melt it.

Straight opals with fluorine have the same issues of toxicity and ventilation but they aren't as severe as the arsenate issues are.
1000 pieces a month is lot of stuff. Those glasses continue to gas off once they're on a blow pipe being walked around the shop. How would you deal with that? It sounds cumulative to me.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:01 PM
Jordan Kube Jordan Kube is offline
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Sent you a PM, Rich.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:41 AM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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What would you imagine the Opal white to look like? Not Opaline like right? Also should I be worried about the fumes once they leave the building?
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:48 AM
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In my opinion, you have too many conflicting issues to ever consider the enamel as batch particularly the venting. Gaffer uses torit filtration and that would cost you about 25K and takes up a significant footprint as Bullseye has learned. If you made a weak fluorine opal it might pass neighborhood inspection but would not be dense enough for your perceived needs. Big kids use big kids tools.

A small color pot furnace and color box utilizing cullet from one of the rod makers carefully shepherded by someone there to keep it ready might work. It might not. Making 1000 white pieces a month makes for real fumes. You may be whistling by a graveyard using the proposed path.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:20 AM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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Is there a way to monitor air quality and fumes accurately to see exactly what we are dealing with so that I can make the strategic business decisions moving forward?
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:49 AM
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I don't know if you followed the thread in cords seeds and stones regarding the Bullseye crisis last year over pollution and toxicity in Portland Oregon. I changed the name of that thread several times so it would not be trackable by the google spider since I did not want to have lawyers seeking it.

Studies of moss by US Wildlife people showed the presence of Arsenic and a host of other minerals in moss and lichen. That led to the Bullseye facility and a chrome plating facility in South Portland. That showed massive amounts of those metals emanating from the stacks. Bullseye was shut down by the state for melting cadmium, arsenic, chrome as the primary poisons. Bullseye wound up spending well over one million dollars installing Torit filtration and baghouses on their tooling . Ultimately, Uroboros closed its doors rather than to install filters.
Bullseye currently has a lawsuit filed against them in Portland by a clean air group for what I understood was in excess of one billion dollars.

So, when you tell me you are concerned about fumes in your neighborhood, I suggest that you should forget about melting lead arsenates in your shop. While fluorine glasses would be less toxic, you seem to say that you don't find them dense enough. I've suggested buying the enamel white cullet and melting it on a smaller daily scale but you don't seem to want to embrace that idea. The only way you are going to filter for these materials is with torit filtration. It costs about 25-30K per baghouse and filter. They in turn take up a good bit of space. That doesn't include your internal HVAC costs.

When I was doing the color rods, I could see that the business would have been successful but that I would spend the rest of my life with White Chevy Malibu's with Govt plates in the driveway. I didn't want to do that so, I shut the venture down. That was over fifteen years ago. I don't melt arsenates even in my classes. I get mine from East Bay.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:10 AM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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I wonder if me ting a phosphate opal would be a good solution? Itís so beautiful
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:41 AM
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As I read it, it would be no where near dense enough. The reason it's so beautiful is the translucency
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:19 AM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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My last post was concerning measuring air quality in the shop. I am open to melting white cullet in the studio if that can be done in a safe way. I would love to know if anyone is presently doing that at any scale.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:36 AM
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well, without investing in some sensitive expensive equipment, It's best to start simply. If you put such a small furnace in, would it be under a hood with positive draw? The simple way to test that is with damp paper lit and smoking a good deal. Hold it near your hood and see what the smoke does. If it draws the smoke straight sideways into the hood then your ventilation is adequate within the studio. If it doesn't you may want to think about beefing it up. If you don't beef it up, consider not pursuing the glass. It has a distinct odor which is helpful.

My experience with OSHA inspections is that they are always triggered by a disgruntled employee- every time.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:14 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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get in touch with Tim Mosser at Mosser Glass or whoever is running Davis Lynch Glass these days. They are making the white lighting glass on a daily basis and have for many years and they have reached compliance with the Feds as they are monitored closely. You might see if you could buy white cullet from them.
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