View Full Version : Help- Scum & Bubbling!
10-09-2002, 10:39 AM
My husband was using the torch (Lynx) last night and said he was getting bubbling in the tip of a Moretti red rod and a Murano clear when they were melting in the flame but before they had touched the mandrel or bead. You couldn't see the bubbles in the red (it wasn't transparent) after it came out of the kiln, but the clear is really obvious. I presume this is what everyone calls "scum". (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) The clear is definitely Murano; I didn't even buy any clear Moretti with my sampler package.
Are we doing something wrong with the torch? Too much oxygen? We've only had it hooked up since Saturday, and we are both novices at this. I at least took a class and have been reading all I can on forums, but he watched me make some simple beads this weekend and then watched the Crystal Myths video where Kevin O'Grady makes a bead-in-a-bead, and he decided to try one last night. He isn't really concerned with getting things round right now, he's just having fun with colors and techniques, I guess. He's done some really pretty ones; I'm trying to control my jealousy. You can really see the scum in the bead-in-a-bead, so I'm posting a pic of it. (I'm not even ATTEMPTING such a bead at this point!! I'm working on round beads with nice ends.)
Any help would be appreciated. By the way, the exterior bead is very thick, if that has anything to do with it.
10-09-2002, 10:49 AM
Whoops, I haven't gotten the hang of posting pictures yet. Here it is:
10-09-2002, 10:51 AM
I think you are running the torch too hot or working the glass too close to the tip of the torch. I always "boil" my glass or get scum when I'm in too big of a hurry and get the torch too hot or glass too close. Your oxygen could be too high. I usually set my torch to 5 propane & 10 oxygen. Hope this helps.
Mike E etc
10-09-2002, 11:26 AM
No it is not scum in this case. The glass got hot too fast in both cases.
When you clean a clear rod and see all the scratches on the rod, thats where you get the 'scum' when it is heated.
10-09-2002, 12:08 PM
When you said he was heating the tips of rods -- were they new rods (as in not previously used)? The cut ends of rods have scratches that trap dirt. It's a good idea to tweeze off or melt off the very end of a new rod so you don't get scum from the cut places.
I agree that the bubbles look like the result of "boiling" the glass, but you might have some scum there, too. Any glass can get some scum if the rods are scratched. Clean them well and keep an open eye as you're melting. You can often see scratches on the rod when the end is in the torch -- they kind of light up. You can also see scum on the gather. It's much easier to pick the scum off the gather than it is to pick it off the bead.
10-09-2002, 02:13 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm sure he had it too close to the torch, and probably also too hot. We've noticed that the flame changes a lot while we're working, but I hear that's normal for a new Lynx, and it should settle down with use.
Good to know about possible scum on the ends of new rods. I'll have to watch for it.
10-09-2002, 09:05 PM
I'm not sure about the scum--but how do you do a bead in a bead? Is that like a hollow bead with a bead in the middle? Looks hard!
10-10-2002, 09:11 AM
I PM'd Julie about how he did the bead-in-a-bead, even though he's not an expert and I assume someone else will have responded to her with better instructions.
He tried another one last night, and although the inner bead touched the outer wall and isn't free-floating in there, it's much better. There's no bubbling in the clear and the bead is much rounder with nicer ends. Not as thick, either. Thanks for all the tips on the bubbling!!
I'm thinking we'll have to save our pennies to send him to a sculptural class somewhere. Last night he made a cute little hat with a turned-up brim, and a car that resembles a bobsled (don't tell him I said that!).
10-10-2002, 04:26 PM
Do you have the Jim Kervin book on Sharon Peters? It has good tips on sculptural beads, with a decided leaning toward the silly.
And check out Sharon's website -- silliness, and then some.
10-10-2002, 04:30 PM
No, I don't have that one. If it contains instructions for sculptural things, I may have to try it.
I have the Kervin one on James Smircich, and I thought it was IMMENSELY helpful.
10-10-2002, 05:00 PM
Aaaah!! I just went to Sharon's site. Her creatures are great, and her text is HILARIOUS! If she published her own book, I'd have to buy it just because I need more laughs in my life!
10-11-2002, 12:44 AM
The Kervin book on Sharon has a picture of a classic piece that isn't on the website -- a necklace called "Peter Rabbit Meets the Carnivorous Carrot" -- worth the price of the book by itself.
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