SS Screen - WarmGlass.com

SS Screen

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lbailey
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SS Screen

Postby lbailey » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:35 pm

Been using some stainless steel screen for melts with good results. Mostly shades of blue, clear and a little white or red. Probably used this screen 7-8 times.

Before using it this weekend I decided I'd remove the left over glass in the screen by gently tapping on it with a hammer while on concrete. Didn't get it all but a lot broke off easily. Blew off any dust with compressed air. However, when I used it the glass has many flakes, pieces of spall embedded in it, not on top and loose (which is the norm).

So I obviously caused this by trying to fix something that wasn't really broken..... :? Question now is, how to prep this screen for normal use again (without dropping these flakes in the hot glass)?

Thanks!

tbach
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Re: SS Screen

Postby tbach » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:58 pm

Had the same problem . . . When I called the screen source, I was instructed to smash all of the glass off with a hammer (on concrete floor works best, with lots of paper below and on top) - not big bangs with hammer . . . just short taps. When all of the residual glass is gone, I was told to use a coarse metal brush to clean off the spale from the stainless. That process has worked for me.

Also tried using a metal brush attachment on my drill . . . hard to manage . . . wants to move all over the place instead of where I want it to be - the hand brush worked much better.

Before I learned about using a metal brush, I took my screen to someone to have it sandblasted . . . that worked, too, but it's a pain to have to take it somewhere every time you use it.

lbailey
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Re: SS Screen

Postby lbailey » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:09 pm

Didn't take a metal brush to it, that could have caused the problem. I do have a SB so might try that next.

I wonder if any of this needs to be done after every use or only when changing colors?

JenniferB
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Re: SS Screen

Postby JenniferB » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:20 am

lbailey wrote: I do have a SB so might try that next.


I don't know what size the flakes of SS would be when they're sandblasted off the screen, but wouldn't this contaminate the sandblast medium?

Jennifer

Brad Walker
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:12 am

JenniferB wrote:
lbailey wrote: I do have a SB so might try that next.


I don't know what size the flakes of SS would be when they're sandblasted off the screen, but wouldn't this contaminate the sandblast medium?


I'd be more concerned about the opposite -- the sandblast medium contaminates the screen, which then falls off during the firing and embeds in the glass.

We clean our mesh after every firing, by getting the worst of the stuck glass off the screen by knocking against something then taking the wrong end of a toothbrush and sliding it into the holes in the screen to knock off any stubborn spots. I wouldn't use a sandblaster.

Jerrwel
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Jerrwel » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:11 pm

lbailey wrote:I wonder if any of this needs to be done after every use or only when changing colors?


I just bought several different gauges of SS screen to start experimenting with various effects and have not used SS screen before; so I'm thinking about what is going on in this process. My thinking about avoiding metal flake contamination requires a 2-step heating process of use/decontaminate then use again and may only work if residual glass fully encases the mesh (which I don't know). Can the screen be 'pre-conditioned' by melting clear glass over the entire mesh or at least an area large enough to avoid steel flake contamination in subsequent firings? Subsequent firings might have a little clear glass comtaminating the project but that might be minor compared to metal flakes. If there is to be a color change from one firing to the next, can clear glass be used again to remove the previous color before firing with the new color or even the new color fired through the screen before using in the subsequent project? Maybe I am over-thinking this and cleaing the screen between uses is not such a PITA and effectively removes the risk of metal flake contamination.
Jerry

Brad Walker
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Cleaning the screen between firings takes less time than applying kiln wash between firings.

lbailey
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Re: SS Screen

Postby lbailey » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:52 pm

Thanks guys, I was waiting for more input before next steps. (So haven't sandblasted anything)

Brad, I did as you suggested and tapped the areas of the screen with left over glass. Got a lot of it out fairly easily, not pounding it hard or anything like that. Then I took it outside and blew off any left over bits. But when I used it next it ruined that melt with lots of embedded dark flakes that are definitely spall from the SS wire. I assume these were shed during the firing as there was nothing loose beforehand.

When you clean your screen between firings do you pre-fire it or take some other step to avoid this?

Jennifer, re: your comment: "I don't know what size the flakes of SS would be when they're sandblasted off the screen, but wouldn't this contaminate the sandblast medium?" This is why I keep turning down people that want to use my SB for other kinds of projects......... [-(

Thanks

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Re: SS Screen

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:41 pm

lbailey wrote:Brad, I did as you suggested and tapped the areas of the screen with left over glass. Got a lot of it out fairly easily, not pounding it hard or anything like that. Then I took it outside and blew off any left over bits. But when I used it next it ruined that melt with lots of embedded dark flakes that are definitely spall from the SS wire. I assume these were shed during the firing as there was nothing loose beforehand.

When you clean your screen between firings do you pre-fire it or take some other step to avoid this?


All I normally do is remove the screen from the kiln, bang it against an outside wall (don't always do that), then poke the wrong end of a toothbrush into the holes. Don't normally hammer or hit it with anything, I may have done that once or twice, but don't normally need to; besides, there's a chance you could get flakes from the hammer, though that's probably remote. I'm sure the abrasive from a blaster could cause a problem, too.

I haven't counted, but I've used the screen easily a dozen or more times with no embedded metal issues, only the usual flaking off. I've had that flaking with every grade of stainless I've used, so I assume it's normal.

The screens we have are Type 316 stainless, which is a better grade than the easier to find Type 304, which I had a bit more trouble with.

jim simmons
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Re: SS Screen

Postby jim simmons » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:42 pm

How about heating it up to about 800 or 900 and then plunging it into some cold water?
jim


Brad Walker wrote:
lbailey wrote:Brad, I did as you suggested and tapped the areas of the screen with left over glass. Got a lot of it out fairly easily, not pounding it hard or anything like that. Then I took it outside and blew off any left over bits. But when I used it next it ruined that melt with lots of embedded dark flakes that are definitely spall from the SS wire. I assume these were shed during the firing as there was nothing loose beforehand.

When you clean your screen between firings do you pre-fire it or take some other step to avoid this?


All I normally do is remove the screen from the kiln, bang it against an outside wall (don't always do that), then poke the wrong end of a toothbrush into the holes. Don't normally hammer or hit it with anything, I may have done that once or twice, but don't normally need to; besides, there's a chance you could get flakes from the hammer, though that's probably remote. I'm sure the abrasive from a blaster could cause a problem, too.

I haven't counted, but I've used the screen easily a dozen or more times with no embedded metal issues, only the usual flaking off. I've had that flaking with every grade of stainless I've used, so I assume it's normal.

The screens we have are Type 316 stainless, which is a better grade than the easier to find Type 304, which I had a bit more trouble with.

Brad Walker
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:36 pm

jim simmons wrote:How about heating it up to about 800 or 900 and then plunging it into some cold water?


That would work, but it sounds like more work than just cleaning out the holes in the screen.

Jerrwel
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Jerrwel » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:42 pm

Brad Walker wrote:Cleaning the screen between firings takes less time than applying kiln wash between firings.

Brad, to quote Gomez Addams, "Now you've done it!" I did my research and found no reference to using kiln wash or boron spray on SS mesh before firing. Is this needed? I thought about it but concluded that kiln wash would get into the glass same as spalling metal. Even experienced fusing people seem to be having questions so maybe we need a good tutorial (hint) or chapter in a book about all types of melts but especially wire melts. Common sense does not seem to apply but does it ever in fusing? Wish I had realized that you sell the better mesh at Warmglass as I would have bought some on one of my trips to Clemmons; next time.
Jerry

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Re: SS Screen

Postby Havi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:59 pm

I heard that if you kilnwash the stainless steel - the kiln wash might get into the molten glass, which is as bad as having the flakes inside the glass....



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Brad Walker
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Brad Walker » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:24 pm

Jerrwel wrote:
Brad Walker wrote:I did my research and found no reference to using kiln wash or boron spray on SS mesh before firing. Is this needed? I thought about it but concluded that kiln wash would get into the glass same as spalling metal. Even experienced fusing people seem to be having questions so maybe we need a good tutorial (hint) or chapter in a book about all types of melts but especially wire melts.


See "Contemporary Fused Glass", Chapter 15 ("High Temperature Firing"). Both pot melts and wire melts are covered, as well as the advice not to use kiln wash.

I'd sell you a copy of the book but I suspect you already have one. :D

Morganica
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Re: SS Screen

Postby Morganica » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:04 pm

I don't like using any kind of mesh or wire. Easiest way I've found is to use SS square stock--you can control the type of SS, the individual rods are extremely easy to clean, and you can put them into any configuration you want with a couple of firebrick.
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lbailey
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Re: SS Screen

Postby lbailey » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:45 pm

Hmmmm..... this could also solve the problem of left over glass in the screen that is a color or type you don't want in your next melt....and you could vary the hole size as you like......

Interesting, thanks Morganica

tbach
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Re: SS Screen

Postby tbach » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:59 am

When I "had my screen sandblasted," I took it to an auto body shop in the area . . . no way would I use a sandblaster that is used for glass projects, because it would most certainly contaminate the grit. I'm not really sure, but I think that the grit used by auto shops is much more coarse. It worked well for me the few times I used it . . .

. . . but the steel brush worked better, and I didn't have to "outsource" the work. Just a little elbow grease, and I was ready to go with the next melt. Those next melts were free of metal flakes from the stainless screen.

I do like the idea of using stainless bars - they would probably be easier to clean, and would allow for different configurations, as Morganica mentioned. Thanks for that one!

Heating the screen in a kiln and then plunging it into cold water makes good sense . . . but didn't work for me at all - even when I repeated it several times. Also tried it after hammering off as much glass as I could. Still didn't work. This process was suggested by a staff member at Bullseye, and maybe I missed a step somewhere, but it never did the job for me.


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