Joining up stringers - WarmGlass.com

Joining up stringers

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nigeljohnson73
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am

Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:16 am

There has always been a bit of rivalry between the Scots and the English, but I'm over it, why is my glass not :)

I'm trying to may glass flags and I have managed to get the St Patrics and St Georges cross without too much of a problem, the Union Jack took a couple of swings, but the St Andrews cross is not playing nicely after my 11th try.

Basically the stringers separate in the middle like this:
IMAG0154.jpg
Separation


My thinking is that the blue heats faster and more so in the corners (nearer the edge of my microwave kiln) so the corners tack first and then the stringer shrinks away from the looser edge in the middle.

Originally I just laid the pieces as close as possible (glastac glue or cyano to hold)
I tried balancing the bits in one direction on the edge of the other bit (they both fell off)
I tried to get 2 full length pieces to balance, but everything moved
I tried shaping the pieces to balance better, but the thinner glass heated faster (as expected) but just shrunk away without attaching.
I tried overlaying 1 longer over the bit in the middle (that's the photo above) (it always seems to be too sort or falls off)
I tried using a clear glass prop, but because I want a texture, not a full fuse the clear has texture as well.

If I had a lamp, I'd probably look to heat the middle of one bit so it bends so I can put it in the kiln without anything moving, but I don't have a lamp, and the moving flame would probably cause the fixed bit to move as well.

Is there anything like solder flux I can add to the bit of glass so it heats up faster?

Or any other ideas on how I can make this a little more consistent and complete my series without loosing any more hair :-k

Thanks in advance
Nigel

JamesL
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby JamesL » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:36 am

I've use a lit candle to heat, bend and manipulate stringers and noodles. Stringers don't take much to bend, just wave it through the flame. You can feel when it's giving way. Noodles take a little more time.

The flame does cause the glass to soot up but it comes right off with glass cleaner and towel.

Valerie Adams
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Valerie Adams » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:13 am

JamesL wrote:The flame does cause the glass to soot up but it comes right off with glass cleaner and towel.

There's no need to clean the soot off. It'll burn away clean in the kiln and that way you don't risk breaking your manipulated stringers.

nigeljohnson73
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:55 am

A candle... :shock: I would never have thought of that, off to Tesco tonight I think :)

I'm guessing I'd need to use some form of tweezer to hold the stringer an inch away from where it needs to gend? Once the stringer goes soft, is there enough time to place it before it hardens again?

I think we have a creme brulee heater somewhere and I've seen them used in jewellery videos on you-tube. Is there much air displacement with them? could I bring that close to the whole piece with the stringer in place rather than the stringer to the flame? Would there be enough radiant heat? If I'm using hairspray to hold things on the piece, am I likely to loose an eyebrow?

Wow, so many questions all of a sudden :)

Thanks

Valerie Adams
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Valerie Adams » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:49 am

Just get a little oil burner, like the kind they use on restaurant tables instead of candles. Hold your stringer over the flame with your hand and a tweezer or needle-nose pliers. Heat gently, bend as you like, remove from the flame so it cools and holds its shape. Set aside on a non-flammable surface while you bend the next ones. Use them as you like.

Morganica
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Morganica » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:42 pm

Creme brulee heater/mini-torch is probably too hot until you become proficient and can work very quickly. It really takes very little time in a candleflame to bend stringer. Oil burners work well, and so do alcohol lamps (like the ones you probably used in your science classes in school). Alcohol lamps don't get the glass as dirty.

I like to hold the stringer in the flame, with the part to be bent right at the tip of the blue part. Let it stay there until it starts to droop a bit, then raise it into the softer part of the flame and let it drop. With a little practice you can make surprisingly tight spirals just doing this. If you want to form a specific shape, do it with cold tweezers. (If you heat the tweezers along with the glass it's slightly more likely to stick)

Your fingers can probably get within about 2 inches or so of the soft area, and it cools down pretty quickly...but be careful. It won't look hot when it really is.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
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nigeljohnson73
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:25 pm

Well, happy news and sad news.

Sad news: for some reason two attempts suffered from devit. 3rd bit from the same glass that didn't have devit ever before the last 2 is cooling now... hopefully clean.

Happy news: Maguyvered an old zippo filling it with meths + stringer = bent stringers :D

I wish I could get the join flatter with a contour fuse, but it worked and I have a St Andrews flag finally... well, I will have in n hour :)

thanks for all your help guys

Mike Jordan
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Mike Jordan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:27 pm

If you have a Dermal tool and a fine cutting disk, you could also use a straight edge and cut a groove from corner to corner to lay your stringers in. that way they won't roll and depending on how deep you make it, they would not stick up as much. I've also used a grinder and grinded a flat bottom off the stringers so they lay flat. It's tricky with the little ones but works pretty good on the bigger stringers and rods.

Mike
It's said that inside each of us is an artist trying to get out. Well mine got out... and I haven't seen him since.

nigeljohnson73
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:36 am

Thanks Mike, great points.

For my current project I really want the relief created by only contour fusing, but I can see how flattening the stringers would be REALLY useful and will definately bear that in mind for future projects.

My stringers seem to have a natural flat side (I guess from when they cooled) so that scoring and cutting can be a nightmare, but, put a bit on top of a flat glass back and I think they hover above the surface and generate their own static :)

Valerie Adams
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Valerie Adams » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:06 am

nigeljohnson73 wrote:... that scoring and cutting can be a nightmare, but, put a bit on top of a flat glass back and I think they hover above the surface and generate their own static :)

I simply cut my stringer with a pair of wire cutters, or hold them firmly onto my work bench and then cut with an x-acto knife. While mine don't generate any static, I find a dot of cheap non-aerosol hairspray holds them in place.

Morganica
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Morganica » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:55 am

Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

nigeljohnson73
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:57 am

I was using really cheap hair spray as well (probably should have moved to a more ventilated room but I digress) but I was wondering whether that was causing the scum on the top of my glass after firing so I stopped, I have since read up on devitrification so will move back to hair spray. I also use glastac, but that just takes ages to dry.

nigeljohnson73
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Joining up stringers

Postby nigeljohnson73 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:59 am



Thanks for that, I looked at it earlier this week. I didn't quite get to grips with it. My personal preference is to measure and roll the cutter over the top, then rotate the stringer a quarter turn toward me and push gently. So far no odd breaks.

Susanbuckler
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Susanbuckler » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:39 pm

If someone could give me some additional tips for cutting 2mm stringers, I'd be grateful. Doing my best to follow Cynthia's advice but I cannot seem to cut the stringers so they are all the same length. The piece I am working on has a base of two 2 mm pieces of tekta, with a design consisting of 2mm stringers on top.
Thanks so much
Susan
Susan Buckler
Woodstock, NY

Valerie Adams
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Valerie Adams » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:51 pm

It may be an easier solution to let your strings run off the edges and then grind them off after firing, or use a tile saw to trim up the fired piece.

Susanbuckler
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:31 pm

Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Susanbuckler » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:17 am

Thanks Valerie
I thought that might be the best solution as I struggled with the stringers tonight
Susan
Susan Buckler
Woodstock, NY

Stephen Richard
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Re: Joining up stringers

Postby Stephen Richard » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:33 pm

I've found sprinkling a small amount of clear powder over the already placed complete pieces keeps the stringer in place without glue
Steve Richard
You can view my Blog at: http://verrier-glass.blogspot.com/


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