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Old 08-13-2020, 09:53 AM
Bryson Cutler Bryson Cutler is offline
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Blenko Glass Cullet

Hey everyone!

Blenko Glass Co has an overage of cullet here on site and are looking for anyone interested in purchasing it.

We have multiple 55gal drums of mixed color cullet. Most drums have a primary color but there will be some other colors mixed in.

$270/barrel (includes barrel fee)
Each barrel is approximately 500lbs

Local pickup in Milton, WV is preferred but delivery arrangements could be made and priced based on location.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2020, 06:38 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Details, pesky details. What is the linear expansion coefficient of the cullet? Is it compatible with itself?
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:03 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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It also looks like it's just swept from the factory floor...
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:30 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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last time I was there they had piles of it stacked outside, not in barrels. Maybe they're trying to clean up the place.
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:08 PM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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I feel like it should at least be properly sorted by color for that price.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:34 AM
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Dirty mixed color cullet when crushed does indeed have a place in asphalt bases. Getting rid of dirt on cullet is close to impossible. You can get the easy stuff but not the film on it. Glass has no use for certain elements and they won't go into solution, nor will they burn off. If you don't even know if they will fit themselves, this is better stuff to steer clear of. Cigarette butts just make it special.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:38 AM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
Cigarette butts just make it special.
Cigarette Butts are extra
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cazes View Post
Cigarette Butts are extra
Always toss a few Kent filters into your melt, for safety's sake.

“Micronite” one ad boasted, is “a pure, dust-free, completely harmless material that is so safe, so effective, it actually is used to help filter the air in operating rooms."
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:00 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Samuel View Post
Always toss a few Kent filters into your melt, for safety's sake.

“Micronite” one ad boasted, is “a pure, dust-free, completely harmless material that is so safe, so effective, it actually is used to help filter the air in operating rooms."
I used to rent the last shift at our local 501c3 shop so I had to charge for the next day and there were always butts in the spectrum bags Toasty!
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:05 PM
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Quoting Madmen..

:It's toasted.
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:52 AM
Bryson Cutler Bryson Cutler is offline
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Hey guys!

Sorry for getting back so late on this. Just got back onsite from vacation and other COVID craziness.

To your point, we are working very hard to clean up the factory here at Blenko.
You are correct in that historically the cullet has just been piled up outside.
It is now housed in barrels and we are working towards sorting it better moving forward.

We have had a changing of the guard so to speak regarding leadership here on site and we are not only looking to clean up operations but also reach out and engage more with the glass community as a whole.

To answer some questions here, yes a lot of the cullet has indeed been swept off the floor and is mixed. I do not have any data on thermal co-efficients but we are looking into getting some of that data as we restructure operations moving into 2021. I personally would love to have that data handy as it would solve many issues we see with glass compatibility as historically I understand that we've kinda just thrown our hands in the air when things didn't work.

Some smaller studios have had success in remelting the glass that was not mixed and we have also had success working with architects in using it with asphalt and other non-melting projects. We even have a few vendors who tumble it for marbles.

Do you guys have any tips or ideas on ways we could use this, etc?
What are we missing? Very much open to feedback.

Also, yes, cigarette butts cost extra
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Old 08-28-2020, 02:38 PM
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Actually most of the W.Va factories became adept at observing differences on expansion right on the hot shop floor but it may be a lost skill at this point. We used to do it some when Shorty was still on the floor with Earl. All the formulations can be calculated for expansion not to mention observations on viscosity and durability. Then straight forward field testing can be done as well using either Hagy seals or ring tests which were a variant of the old factory floor tests.

That dirty cullet is a major problem and I don't foresee many sales of it as mixed and dirty. For asphalt yes. In the future more rigorous cleanliness would be a boost for sales of it but it has to start right. Cleaning cullet doesn't work well.
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:54 PM
Eric Trulson Eric Trulson is offline
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I can only speak for myself, but the biggest three factors I would look at when buying colored cullet to remelt for studio glass work would be:
- Glass has not been mixed in with floor sweepings or other contaminants
- Glass is sorted by color & expansion
- Glass has a known, consistent thermal expansion that generally matches other 96 LEC studio glasses (this one is optional, but adds a ton of value to the cullet)

If the glass is mixed in with dirt and other contaminants, it's entirely unusable from my perspective. You can't ever get it fully clean, and mystery inclusions run too much risk of breaking or marring a piece, so any potential savings on material cost aren't worth the additional risk and lost product. Please don't re-sell floor sweepings as melting cullet.

A bit of mis-sorted color isn't ideal, but is much more manageable, especially if a barrel was 95%+ of a single color. If the cullet's expansion matched other common studio glasses, that would be really excellent, and makes the cullet quite a high-value product. Without that, it's still useful for people who want to remelt your cullet and make pieces using only that glass, just a bit less valuable and less broadly marketable.

I think there would be a very brisk trade for high-quality colored glass cullet, even at a higher price point than $0.50/lb. If it's not reliably good material though, it's not really worth it at any price. Affordable material that causes problems further down the line turns into expensive or unusable material very quick.

(And despite this somewhat long and grouchy response, I am thrilled to hear that Blenko is shaking off some of the dust and looking to establish more ties with the larger glass community! Good luck going forward)
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:12 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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As I understand it, Dean Six has somewhat taken over the running of Blenko. I know Dean and have a lot of respect for him. He does not have a working glass background but as far as knowing historical elements of glass and it's production , he is extremely knowledgeable. He has written several books on numerous glass factories and was one of the founders of the Museum of American Glass in Weston, WV, which if you have never visited, is well worth a visit. and is admission free. I wish him luck as it is definitely an up hill battle running a glass production plant in the US these days with technology inherited from at least one generation ago.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:45 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Going to have to agree with Eric here. It's basically useless, especially at $.50/lb. Dirty unsorted glass is really going to be of interest to the "recycle" people that have minimal care about end quality, and they'll usually only want it if it's free.

Oceanside now has the old cutoff buckets for sale again, but I don't know what they're charging. I certainly wouldn't have called it a great blowing glass, but at less than $2/lb, sorted, and being compatible it at least one base glass, it was quite appealing.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:13 PM
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I have to agree that unsorted, dirty glass is not worth anymore than the Asphalt crusher.

That said, sorted glasses with a really easy nod to documenting linear expansion coefficient will improve the value well beyond one dollar a pound. Maybe $1.50 to the point where taking care of it is worth it.

It's a mindset to keep the kent filters out of the cleanup. I still remove drops from any color to a separate container and by the end of the month, that container will have long since paid for itself.

I always think of Gary Beecham and those PVC tubes for his cane work. As fast as it was drawn, it was in the tubes, really clean.

Why does anyone think I can charge $70 bucks a KG for black? The waiting list was long when I kept it.

Blenko has to get out of the Keystone cullet mindset of .02 lb. That was fifty years ago.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:14 AM
Bryson Cutler Bryson Cutler is offline
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Pete, to your point, we are typically pretty good about rote learning for thermal compatibility. They know pretty well which colors cant be mixed and which colors need longer lehr times and such. Nothing scientific but it works 90% of the time. Lots of trial and error for new color melts though.

Eric, we appreciate the good will. To Tom's point, it's an uphill battle for glass factories in 2020 and we're going to need all the luck we can get haha.
I'm going to work with the team down there to separate the colors into clean barrels and ensure they do not mix in any floor sweepings or bad glass.
Hopefully moving forward, we will have a better cullet offering.
At this point, its literally just taking up an entire section of the factory so we are probably going to have to just throw it away.
We do use some as a base for our melts to bring down the gas usage but not enough to make a dent.


Thanks for all the advice guys! Much appreciated.
I'm sure I'll have other questions in the future. Our guys here on site are excellent at what they know....but pretty much only what they have been doing at Blenko for the last 50 years. (Seriously some of our blowers have been here for 50 years)
We are sorely missing out on some of the production glass advances that have happened in the last few decades. As we hire new and experienced glassworkers, we are hoping to bring in some of that expertise we have missed.

Last edited by Bryson Cutler; 08-31-2020 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:44 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If the blowing quality is on par, coe can be determined, and there is any kind of pot life to it then they could easily go past $1.50. The stuff from spectrum, and presumably oceanside, really started showing its stripes as a fusing glass after a couple days. If the color didn't change, enough of the fluxes burnt off to render it unusable.

I bought some old blenko billets on the cheap and the transparents were way better than than anything spectrum was offering. If I wasn't sans color pot I'd definitely be down to melt that.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:56 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If you can determine compatibility of certain colors with spruce the demand, and therefore price, will skyrocket. I'd be way more scientific than rote on this, cause a bad batch is an awfully easy way to lose all interest. Word moves quick around here.

Being compatible with other glasses in your line up is really only going to be most applicable for people with multiple color pots, severely limiting your audience. In those cases you're probably looking at a production shop, so you'd also need to be able to supply consistently enough to remain relevant.
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:56 AM
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well, the best thing to do is to alter the base formulas for all the colors to be compatible with the clear. That's what I did with the factory in Shanghai when I went over there . You need about seven bases to cover the spectrum. I still crack up seeing my entire portfolio of formulas in Mandarin. When I went in, they were breaking 80% of everything they made. Two weeks later when I left, they were breaking nothing.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:33 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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That type of change seems like biting off way more than they're used to chewing, "rote" compatibility and all. Not a connoisseur of the stuff, but I didn't remember much of the blenko I've seen having a clear coat or color mixing either, so I'm not sure how beneficial that would be to their current modus operandi.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:08 PM
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Not a lot of glass from Blenko cased color with clear. Fenton did. It does more frequently get down to annealing schedules and those folks ran short chain drive lehrs. If something got annealed for more than a few hours, it was unusual.

Shanghai was open so we could mix fluorines , clears, reds and they all fit each other. That proved to be a big selling point when making custom lighting. Then, Wang Kai would have someone suggest "add barium" and then the cows were totally out of the barn.
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:22 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If they're not trying to change too much of the lineup and aren't actively trying to get into the cullet/color market, I'm not sure how they would rationalize such changes. I totally get it from the Shanghi perspective, and it sure would be nice to have another major US supplier, I'm just not getting my hopes up.
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:22 PM
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We scotched Shanghai making the cullets for American consumption early on mainly because of shipping issues coming in to the west Coast ports. It was never an issue of being able to supply either quality or quantity. Portland has been profoundly flaky, Sea Tac only a bit better. Only Oakland looked reliable and that was not sufficient for us to go with it. We knew we could ship at. 04lb from Shanghai to any coast port. It's what happened after that which concerned us. On the coast, it goes CSX to the east. It has to be able to get to CSX.

We haven't changed a bit.
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:31 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If there is a case for domestic cullet it's shipping. Especially if you can have it produced on both coasts.
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