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Old 08-01-2017, 02:05 PM
Brian Wong Shui Brian Wong Shui is offline
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Studio Operation with Cristalica Nuggets

Hi everyone. I've been reading the threads about Cristalica cullet with great interest.

After melting batch for years, we've been considering switching the studio over to cullet (I can hear Pete's toothpaste comment right about now). There are many reasons, but the most important is that we need to get back the day that the studio is closed for charging.

I have some questions to the folks who only melt Cristalica cullet in an electric furnace.

A. Charging

Do you wait until the pot is near empty or do you keep adding material at the end of the day?

Is stirring required?

Is preheating of Cristalica required to prevent popping (and possibly element breakage due to glass tagging the element) or does the noodle shape minimize the problem?

What are the typical temperatures for melting?

Is a squeeze required to get rid of the bubbles?

Are there any cording issues?

B. Wear on refractories

What has the wear been like on the refractory? I read in a previous post that Cristalica seems to deposit borates on the refractory around the doors/vents. We used to melt Gaffer batch and had that problem. SP87 seems to be much kinder to the refractories.

C. Compatibility and Working

What is the measured LEC of Cristalica? Everything that I've read seems to indicate that it fits a 96 LEC glass. However, the data sheet posted on pruce pine http://www.sprucepinebatch.com/wp-co...ifications.pdf shows a theoretical of 96 and an actual (practical) of 100. Is this a typo? If this were true, things should be blowing up all over the place.

How does it polish?

Can you torch it without it greying out?

What is the working time like?

D. Supply chain issues

Are there any supply chain issues that we should know about? i.e. anything that would prevent Spruce Pine from obtaining the product (short of Tom deciding not to carry the product)?
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:41 AM
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Scott Novota Scott Novota is offline
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Brain,

I am close enough you could come on down if you want to get some to try out or just visit. We have about 2 tons left out of 5 tons from the last order I can spare a couple hundred lbs if you want to give it a run. I will try and give you the low down as best I can. I figure I have melted approx about 6/7 tons at this point in a smaller moly (sub 200lb) so that is a lot of charging.



A. Charging

Do you wait until the pot is near empty or do you keep adding material at the end of the day?

- I run it down to the screws every 3rd or 4th charge. Otherwise I top it off.


Is stirring required?

- No.


Is preheating of Cristalica required to prevent popping (and possibly element breakage due to glass tagging the element) or does the noodle shape minimize the problem?

- I have not seen it pop at all actually. I am sure it might but I have not seen it at all in my charging. It seems to help being in the bird crap configuration that it is.


What are the typical temperatures for melting?

- I melt at 2100f, dump in, let it go flat, dump again. I leave it from around 11pm night of charging to 5pm the next day and am bubble free. I am sure you could tweak it to suit your needs but I have not had a reason to do that.

Is a squeeze required to get rid of the bubbles?

- No in my case.

Are there any cording issues?

- after the 3rd day in the pot the bottem 1/5 will have slight cords but my pot is getting long in the tooth. I strongly view it as an seasoned to less than perfection crucible than a glass issue.


B. Wear on refractories

What has the wear been like on the refractory? I read in a previous post that Cristalica seems to deposit borates on the refractory around the doors/vents. We used to melt Gaffer batch and had that problem. SP87 seems to be much kinder to the refractories.


- In my experience Crys-Cullet has a bit of a bite to it. I am on my 3rd year in this furnace and have seen it attack the seal and gathering port a bit. Not as much as Spectrum original nuggets by any means(that stuff was like pacman) standard but more than SP or Premium v2 nuggets. The longer you leave the charge in before using it the more borax seems to be cooked off. In short it does have a little bit of attack to it. Not enough to change my use. I have yet to pull the system offline and get a really good look at things so take that with a grain of salt.

C. Compatibility and Working

What is the measured LEC of Cristalica? Everything that I've read seems to indicate that it fits a 96 LEC glass. However, the data sheet posted on pruce pine http://www.sprucepinebatch.com/wp-co...ifications.pdf shows a theoretical of 96 and an actual (practical) of 100. Is this a typo? If this were true, things should be blowing up all over the place.

- It seems pretty spot on. I have had no troubles at all with any colors. I have blown though a bunch of K and R and and hand full of Z. Gaffer being my main color I use has had zero problems sans the Mint opal and I strongly believe that was user error not the color of the cullet. None of Pete's colors have had any issues at all either so far.(Black, all his silvers, and all the colors from the color class as well as a couple I made onsite).

How does it polish?

-Better than SP/Spectrum but I may be biased on that. It seemed better but I have not polished anything else for at least a year now. It seems to have a bit more brilliance to it but again I might just be tricking myself.

Can you torch it without it greying out?

- It seemed to torch at the bench fine without a problem.


What is the working time like?

- Same as SP, I find the lock up at the end to be more linear than SP or Spectrum.


. Supply chain issues

Are there any supply chain issues that we should know about? i.e. anything that would prevent Spruce Pine from obtaining the product (short of Tom deciding not to carry the product)?

- I have had no issues at all. That might be more of a Pete question like a lot of these.

Last edited by Scott Novota; 08-02-2017 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:03 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Tom tends to stay two full containers ahead in stock. Dobern has more than adequate production capacity.

It simply does not pop in the furnace given the shape. I'm very happy to hear how Scott is doing with it. I withdrew from the venture since it just was too difficult to try to co manage a business when the principals were 1500 miles apart. So I have not been inclined to comment on what should be Spruce Pine's Business.

Compatibility should not be an issue.
It is extremely clear and bright.
It is slightly shorter than SP87.

Nice stuff.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:04 AM
Mitcheal Veenstra Mitcheal Veenstra is offline
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we have been thinking a lot about switching to the Cristalica in our little shop. When we talked with Candy at GAS she said she'd ship us a small charge for our color pot to play with and see what we thought.

We found that in the small electric color pot at 2100F it seemed like we might want to increase the gathering temp, it was slow to tail off. raising the temp just a little would probably fix that. (we have gathered our spectrum 2.0 premium at 2100)

That was the only even slightly negative thing we could find to say about it. It charged easy, it fined out easy, it worked easy. As Scott says it seems to have a more linear lock up time.. I'd say we easily got another move on the heats. As an example, I heated the lip, tweezed it, cut clean with the duckbills, all on the same heat. I could never do that in our shop with the spectrum.

We only had it hot in the pot for 3 days before we worked out everything in the color pot but it just is a much nicer glass compared to the spectrum we'd been using.

We also run an electric pot wire furnace for our main furnace, and expect to likely replace/rebuild it in the next two years. I doubt it will be so aggressive to cause us to replace earlier.

We compared the finished clear pieces to pieces of a similar thickness made a month or so ago in the spectrum. The spectrum clear just looks dingy compared to the clarity of the cristalica.

We didn't do extensive testing with color, but did pick up some cane we'd made earlier with k and r color and cased in spectrum 2.0 without any problems in the cristalica. Also buried some mixed murrines we'd made that was a mix of 2.0 and spruce pine batch. Everything seems happy.

we're sold. We'll be calling Candy with an order for our shop once we are back from Corning.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:32 AM
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Another thing : It's incredibly clean and easy to handle. 55 lb boxes packed like it held fresh veggies. You can scoop it out of the boxes with your bare hands. Really clean, no dust.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:43 AM
Brian Wong Shui Brian Wong Shui is offline
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Scott, Pete and Michael. Thanks for the information. It has been very helpful.

It seems like a good time for us to to make the switch since we are swapping the crucible sometime in the next two weeks (scheduled, not due to failure).

Scott, I appreciate the offer. I probably won't take you up on it this time because of scheduling, but if it changes, I'll let you know.

Here is a crucible question for Pete.

Does the 70-80 charge cycle limit still hold true since the crucible isn't seeing dramatic temperature swings? Based on what I'm reading here, the temperature swing between charge and use is about 50-100 degrees F (200F if you squeeze). This is a far cry from melting batch.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:58 AM
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That is a good point Pete I am really spoiled on the boxes now. There is no dust at all really just a couple of broken bird turd nuggets.

We have them stacked 5 high in storage and they don't buckle but you drop the 6th one on top and have any type of humidity and it will buckle.


We literally take a box cutter and cut a window in the short side of the box and pour it into our scoop. One box is two scoops worth of glass. It is as close to Pete's toothpaste tube glass as I think you will get. I am not sure if could be better outside of getting to Borax out of it.

Last edited by Scott Novota; 08-03-2017 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:23 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I did propose to Dobern a good way to get the borax out but they passed on changing the formula. I don't carry any weight with them. Eventually, I just concentrated on my own stuff which is as sweet as it can get.

Andreea was going to look at beefier boxes since the ones on the bottom of the pallet could get pretty squished, particularly if the humidity was up. I don't know if that happened.

Somehow, I'm reasonably confident that I'll hear about someone just throwing the entire box into a furnace as the ultimate toothpaste tube approach. Not a good idea. Don't try this at home.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:19 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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When I used to use Corning batch, I would throw the whole bag in. Whooooof! Huge balls of flame would rush out the door.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:48 PM
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don't do that with a moly.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:41 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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25+ years ago, we had to bag all the SP batch at Penland and then threw the entire bag in the furnace. As I recall they were about 10lb. bags and we had to wear a cumbersome ventilation contraption with piped in air when we were filling the bags.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:05 PM
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and all of us are still alive except the drinkers and smokers.
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