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Old 06-21-2018, 05:52 PM
Bill Glasner Bill Glasner is offline
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The glasma alternative

Bill Glasner here, glass worker since 1973. Back in 2004, I began looking for a better glass for my work and I found it - Glasma formula 705 from Sweden. Long story but I became the North American distributor for this light barium batch in 2005 - Studio Glass Batch LLC. I'm jumping in now because it seems that Glasma has gotten some undeserved bad rap which it's time to respond to. This batch was specifically formulated for studio and school use and quickly became the batch of choice in Northern Europe and Britain. It is completely pelletized and dried, compatible with colored glasses, easy to melt at relatively low temperatures, sold at a reasonable price, and warehoused for quick shipment. Given the uncertainties of the cullet market and as an alternative to domestic batch, Please check out www.studioglassbatch.com or just give a call 585-924-9579. I can put you in touch with many satisfied customers for testimonials.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:29 AM
Anders Rydstedt Anders Rydstedt is offline
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Ive used the pellets and am a big fan on all levels; dust, ease of melting, glass homogeneity, glass clarity and raw cost. If you're making transparent objects it makes a huge difference. It does blow a little differently but it is well worth getting used to. And now its safe to torch, aka doesn't burn.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:36 AM
Sam Stang Sam Stang is offline
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the glasma alternative

I am guessing that the underserved bad rap comes from people who haven't actually used Glasma batch and have something else that they are trying to promote. I have posted on Glasma earlier.
I was contacted recently by someone who wants to try Glasma in an electric moly furnace, which I have no experience using. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who melts this batch with electric. Also, this person said that he had heard that Glasma was corrosive to crucibles with high alumina content. Not sure what pots he was talking about. I have been using pots from Engineered Ceramics and am getting 3 years life from a crucible due to the low melt temps that I am using. I melted Glasma in Laclede Christy fomlac pots for years as well but switched because of size. Laclede didn't make the perfect size for me and Engineered did.
I am really surprised more people haven't switched to Glasma. It seems to me to be the ideal glass. It is an extremely consistent product that gives great results. I have had nothing but perfect melts in the 14 years that I have been using it. No cords and the only stones come from my ancient furnace.

Last edited by Sam Stang; 06-22-2018 at 08:43 AM. Reason: deleted a few words in the 1st paragraph. "on this forum"
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:17 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I think GLASMA is a beautiful glass. I think it requires operator experience to melt it or it does form tiny stones melted too hot. That at least has been my experience and I've been at it for a while. Price is sorta kinda an issue but I tend to think all batch prices to be in flux right now. I continue to expect to see the sole supplier cullet to go up substantially. Spruce Pine continues to be the least expensive alternative on the market today. I continue to make my own glasses as I have for almost fifty years.

Also Sam, I think you meant undeserved, not underserved but I could be wrong.
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:39 PM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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Glasma

We switched to Glasma over a year ago and have never looked back. We melt a slightly different formula than the 705 which serves our purposes better. The workability of the SP was a tad more forgiving, however, to know that your key raw material is backed by a Glass Insitute is reassuring. (No Sick Glass here Corning Batch Co.) The pelletization is perfect. The service that Bill Glasner gives can't be beaten. I visited the factory last winter and was very impressed with the facility and the staff, especially the generosity of knowledge shared by Kenneth Svennson the president.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:53 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Arentzen View Post
We switched to Glasma over a year ago and have never looked back. We melt a slightly different formula than the 705 which serves our purposes better. The workability of the SP was a tad more forgiving, however, to know that your key raw material is backed by a Glass Insitute is reassuring. (No Sick Glass here Corning Batch Co.) The pelletization is perfect. The service that Bill Glasner gives can't be beaten. I visited the factory last winter and was very impressed with the facility and the staff, especially the generosity of knowledge shared by Kenneth Svennson the president.
Why do you use a different version ?
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:08 PM
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What does that mean: "No Sick Glass Here, Corning Glass Company"?

Where did that come from?
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:16 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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Soda bloom
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:32 AM
charlie jenkins charlie jenkins is offline
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My experence

We tried to melt Glasma, but over 5 years ago.
We have an Electroglass furnace for 18 years now, we started with the recommended Phillips glass that was formulated to work best with these furnaces, all was fine until 2008 when the price went well past a dollar per pound plus delivery.
Our first choice was with Glasma and we used it for about a year. Like others said it was a fine working glass but browned under torch and fumed A LOT. While charging, the fuming was noticed in the air in the rooms above the studio.....and I believe had a slight etching effect on some skylights we have.....(maybe no correlation, but happier not thinking about how it may have effected my health). Worse, the fuming coated the inside of my electric furnace and the SIC elements which would cause them to arc and turn off(big deal if your charging) and also the door would stick(badly).

So we went with Spectrum, but only after the Premium came out. This furnace can not handle Borax glass, must work with Lithium based.

Spectrum was great, the 2.0 was also great but now, we are adrift.

Our situation prefers cullet, not batch but it seems that Crystalica is also not our answer....(Borax based).

I think I will need to suck-it-up and spend $ more on the Phillips batch again if we are to melt anything......

Questions?......Answers? Can anyone offer us a Lithium based cullet any more?
We are desperate to find an alternative to the 2.0 nuggets, so if anyone has some suggestions that would be great.

And please refrain from squelching me with the "I told you so's..." around the buying cullet vs. batching your own. I am not a alchemist. Im too busy just blowing the glass.


C
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:12 PM
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Making a modification to your furnace could help if you can put an exhaust tube in the door and open that tube when you are in a charging fining cycle.

Another alternative is to install a blower on that tube and then put in another tube elsewhere and to blow out the exhaust through the furnace. I know one person doing this and he is successful melting fluorine opals in an SiC furnace.

I read that you don't like batch yet in touting Phillips you seem to ignore SP87 in its entirety. It should be made clear that the Spectrum 2.0 cullet was an absolute clone glass of SP87. So, if I was looking at that from my attitude resplendent with squelching, Both East Bay Batch and Spruce Pine make a lithium batch at about a half percent or greater. SP contains no borax. It's also worth noting that GLASMA makes a variety of batches. I don't know if Bill imports more than one. The browning sounds like selenium to me.

As to the etching etc, It sounds like your ventilation should be greatly improved on if you don't care for breathing fumes from your work environment as you seem concerned with health issues. A complete air change of the room is appropriate once every two minutes or better to keep clean air. Is that squelching as well?
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Last edited by Pete VanderLaan; 06-30-2018 at 07:18 AM. Reason: new information
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:41 AM
David Hopman David Hopman is online now
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I've been running the East Bay Electric batch in my Electroglass furnace for about 6 years now. It is lithium based but at a higher percentage than SP87.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:08 AM
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I did not realize Jim ran a lithium glass. I'm talking to him today and we'll see what's what.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:12 PM
Sam Stang Sam Stang is offline
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The Glasma Alternative

Yes, I meant undeserved and I should have caught that.
The price difference is not really that significant. $.88 verses $.70 for SPB 87 ER (the batch that I used to use). What you get for that 18 cents/lb is a much better looking glass by any measure, great energy savings, much longer crucible/furnace life and a lot less silica dust to deal with. I do like blowing Spruce and I feel like I am a slightly better glassblower with it, but I feel as though I can make anything with Glasma that I could make with Spruce.
As per the spectrum 2.0 being a clone of SP87Ö it sure didnít behave like it in my experience but I guess thatís a moot point now.
And Pete, would you consider moving this discussion back to the general hot glass discussion? I feel that many people wonít find this in the current location.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:42 PM
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It's being watched. If bill want to remove his ad at the beginning, I'd consider that, but it's an ad, nothing more. You could always start a new thread in general discussion without the sales pitch beginning. I tend to frown on threads where the poster has one post total and wants to hawk a product. It is certainly true that I can be testy but I have seen more than my share of self promotions on craftweb based in dubious science.
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:48 PM
Kazuki Takizawa Kazuki Takizawa is offline
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Glasma

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie jenkins View Post
We tried to melt Glasma, but over 5 years ago.
We have an Electroglass furnace for 18 years now, we started with the recommended Phillips glass that was formulated to work best with these furnaces, all was fine until 2008 when the price went well past a dollar per pound plus delivery.
Our first choice was with Glasma and we used it for about a year. Like others said it was a fine working glass but browned under torch and fumed A LOT. While charging, the fuming was noticed in the air in the rooms above the studio.....and I believe had a slight etching effect on some skylights we have.....(maybe no correlation, but happier not thinking about how it may have effected my health). Worse, the fuming coated the inside of my electric furnace and the SIC elements which would cause them to arc and turn off(big deal if your charging) and also the door would stick(badly).

So we went with Spectrum, but only after the Premium came out. This furnace can not handle Borax glass, must work with Lithium based.

Spectrum was great, the 2.0 was also great but now, we are adrift.

Our situation prefers cullet, not batch but it seems that Crystalica is also not our answer....(Borax based).

I think I will need to suck-it-up and spend $ more on the Phillips batch again if we are to melt anything......

Questions?......Answers? Can anyone offer us a Lithium based cullet any more?
We are desperate to find an alternative to the 2.0 nuggets, so if anyone has some suggestions that would be great.

And please refrain from squelching me with the "I told you so's..." around the buying cullet vs. batching your own. I am not a alchemist. Im too busy just blowing the glass.


C
At what temperature were you melting GLASMA, Charlie? I've read in past thread that cooking GLASMA above 2200F will cause stones to appear from alumina chunks from crucible floating into the glass. But it seems like most people are melting it around 2200 or a little higher. Bill's suggested melting temp is 2200F for small crucible furnace.

We have a small moly furnace here and are deciding what to melt next after our 2.0 nugget pile runs out. Does anyone have any recommendation for how to make the hole in the furnace door for venting during charging?

And does it brown really fast using torch flame on this glass?

Thank you,
Kazuki
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:09 AM
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I cast a 3/4 inch thermocouple tube into the door when I had to rebuild it from all the goo the borax caused. I put it in so that the tube came out right at the top of the doghouse. I stuck fiber in the outside hole when I wasn't charging.

If I was to do a door without a total recast, I've used a 3/4 inch masonry bit 12 inches long to drill it. That is a standard masonry bit at any hardware store.

A friend did something I thought to be ingenious and he cast two holes. One would have a line from the compressor fitted out and the other was just the exhaust. He would melt fluorines in the SiC furnace and was clearing those fumes about once an hour when charging or working. He let it sit the rest of the time and never had trouble with his elements. It does make the temperature drop some but only briefly.
I can't imagine the browning to be anything but Selenium in reduction. I do think it's the case that melting GLASMA caused issues if you over fired it in alumina pots. It is a beautiful glass though. They do make a lot of formulas. GLASMA for a while was making cullet but they stopped about two years back. If Oceanside had any brains, they'd start to melt the 2.0 in Tijuana.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:56 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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Phillips batch was beautiful. What happened to that source?
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:12 PM
charlie jenkins charlie jenkins is offline
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....

Re:
As to the etching etc, It sounds like your ventilation should be greatly improved on if you don't care for breathing fumes from your work environment as you seem concerned with health issues. A complete air change of the room is appropriate once every two minutes or better to keep clean air. Is that squelching as well?
-No, just good advise. Since then I have greatly improved ventilation. Thanks
And I'll take another look at the batch option(can't not).

C
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:52 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Tell me more...

Well, Glasma has my attention as a possible "next glass". I had to buy some more Cristalica as East Bay is just too darn busy to handle my small fry needs. I've been trying to get Pete's formulas custom batched but Spruce Pine could not be bothered and Jim is overwhelmed. I guess I have been "told so", but had to give a shot.
Bill is doing a great job of customer service and is looking into a possible color base from Glasma. I would use the color base from Spruce Pine, but my main objective is Chalcedony and Pete has mentioned that it comes out brown with their mixture.
A couple concerns with Glasma...He has sent me the SDS for 705 and 705E, which is a version more friendly to alumina containing crucibles. Neither one has ANY alumina...would this not affect the longevity of this glass? Particularly if exposed to water on a regular basis (drinking glasses, outdoor glass). I suppose it could be added back but only by guessing to achieve a good Labino rule. Also, the pellets would seem less than ideal for good chemical mixing. Wondering if anyone has any experience with tricks for adding colorants to a pelletized batch.
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:39 PM
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when Tom gives me pelletized batch. I crush it right away. That takes tools and some commitment and actual effort. .
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:31 AM
Jordan Kube Jordan Kube is offline
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Dan, given your interest in mixing color you might consider mixing your own clear. Dave has posted two nice formulas for clear. Get yourself a $300 8'x8' grow tent, a 3.5 cuft harbor freight cement mixer, a nice floor scale, gram scale and you'd be good to go. You'd probably be down to $.50 a pound

This is the one I use and it works great: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:19 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Hi Jordan. I'm thinking about it seriously now and was pricing chemicals at the online pottery stores this morning. I have room in a garage separate from my shop which would be pretty perfect. Bought a damn nice cement mixer with a plastic drum. I'll probably do it for the color side of things....don't really have a choice...but I'd rather have a clear with some QC backing it up. You really do get what you pay for. That extra $0.20-0.30/lb is a whole lotta peace of mind.

If my batching sucks for whatever reason, I can just go into my old bag of tricks and use commercial colors with a dependable clear. At least I'm not SOL and can't make anything decent because all my glass (clear and color) is affected.

I would warn anyone that a posted recipe will still require some fitting to your own needs. Perhaps that is obvious, but I was surprised how far off the "96COE" phosphate opal was from an actual fit. Without Jordan's input I would have been completely lost. That's not meant as a slight to Dave who is a glass hero of mine He is making his own colors and works on a different scale.

I'm looking hard at Spruce Pine and Glasma for clear.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:08 PM
Jordan Kube Jordan Kube is offline
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I too had to adjust for expansion from the original recipe. There is an implied "your results may vary" attached to any glass formula. You have to use your head. Some recipes may cross the street, others may not.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:21 PM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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Yep. Interesting in the archives it's mentioned that 96 compatible fluorine glasses wind up with spreadsheet numbers in the 70s for LEC. While I understand that they are completely different glasses, reading this helped me to grasp the phosphate opal results.

melt-test...melt-test...melt-test
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:50 PM
Dave Bross Dave Bross is offline
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You always have to adjust any recipe for each individual furnace, location, elevation, humidity levels, phase of the moon....no, wait, just kidding on the moon.

Each furnace evaporates different quantities of the alkalai as the batch melts, depending on how powerful the furnace is and then the other variables like elevation, etc. kick in on how much of the alkalai goes away. Two identical furnaces in the same shop may want a different calculated number for each furnace. Move one furnace across the street and you'll probably need to recalculate again.

Those clear recipes are quite simple to mix. Try them with bucket/paint mixer for mixing in a small trial quantity if you're worried about screwing up.
Use the check boxes on my spreadsheet to log each chemical as you add it because that's the most likely screw up.
The other elephant in the room there is moisture in the chemicals and that's easily corrected.
Try them and you'll be amazed.
You can also scale working characteristics over a wide range by varying the lithium.

Yes, I would be VERY wary of any batch lacking alumina. You can get around using alumina with things like zinc or more calcium but I much prefer the insurance provided by the alumina.

Some day in the (very?)near future the high lead colors are going away, along with the leeway on mismatch they provide. Being able to batch and match will become priceless then. As you now realize, all these pre-mixed batches do not fit all colors, the lead is letting everyone off the hook on actually matching the glasses.
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