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Old 12-10-2002, 01:36 AM
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ValorieCox ValorieCox is offline
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TUTORIAL: Pulling Rods & Stringers from Sheet Glass

This photo step-by-step tutorial is intended as a brief overview of pulling glass rods from sheet glass. In this example I am using a strip of Bullseye Red-Orange Color-Stix, a Lynx torch, and 2 each stainless steel 1/8th inch mandrels as punties.



#1. Clean glass thoroughly, even the slightest fingerprint mark will cause scum on your final rod/bead. With the torch OFF, I am using a spray bottle full of Isopropyl Alcohol 91% (Drug store variety), to spray onto a coffee filter (link free and inexpensive) to use for cleaning the glass.

#2. Wipe the glass strip thoroughly, yet carefully--edges are very sharp. Note the alcohol is extremely flammable, use away from torch.

#3. The glass strip is ‘slowly’ eased into outer edge of flame to warm without shattering. Rotate a bit to expose all edges of the 1-2 inch tip.

#4. Bullseye does not ‘ball up’ like Moretti does, it tends to slump. I use my brass Stump Shaper (or marver) to fold it up on itself, to maintaining size control.
_ _ _



#5. I am continuing to melt, and fold the glass over on itself.

#6. Melting and folding, as glob gets larger and larger. This is the most time consuming part of the process. I want my glob here to be about the size of a cherry.

#7. I am ready to use my two punties, shown on the right of photo. These are 1/8” stainless steel mandrels. (Kristen Franzen Orr uses stainless steel Korean chopsticks).

#8. While maintaining control of my molten glob in my left hand, and keeping it always
hot, I heat up the tip of one punty in my right hand, until the punty tip is glowing red.

...continued...
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:37 AM
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ValorieCox ValorieCox is offline
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#9. Press the punty into the side of the molten glob about ¼” or less, jiggle it a bit to make sure it’s in place, and let the punty cool a few seconds so it’s secure before going to the next step.

#10. Melt of the glass strip off of the glob by heat/cutting it, while twisting the glass strip.

#11. I balance the glob on my right punty (always keeping the glass hot), while taking the second punty in my left hand, and heating the metal tip to a red glow.

#12. Press this punty into the glob, jiggle it a bit until it’s secure. Rotate both punties together (not twisting!) to get the glob completely hot throughout. This step will take longer than you think it should (5 minutes or so with a Lynx, longer on a Minor). The glob needs to be yellow/orange throughout, no cold spots.
_ _ _



#13. This step is important and will determine your success or failure! I take my glob out of the flame, and hold it up for 3 (+/-) seconds with no movement. This is critical for ‘forming a skin’, and getting an even size rod.

#14. With a very light touch, I ‘very slowly’ start to pull apart, while I roll back from my chair and get ready to stand up.

#15. While standing (so glass does not fall in my lap) I let the glass droop while I ever so slowly start to pull a little harder.

#16. As the glass starts to cool, you will need to pull harder, and faster to get the full extension of your arms. Your rod should be about 4 to 5 feet long. Of course the ‘slower’ you pull, the thicker your rod, and the ‘faster’ you pull, the thinner.
_ _ _



#17. The pulled rod stays hot longer than you might expect, so don’t touch it yet. You can use your nippers to cut the rod from the punty, or use the flame. I prefer the flame, as I find it simplest. Here I first melt off the right punty.

#18. With my tweezers to hold the semi-hot rod, I cut it in the middle, then the end.

#19. I drop my punties into cold water, so the glass will cool and fall of the punties.

#20. In a few minutes my rod has cooled, and I cut it into workable lengths in the flame, all ready for making beads. The little clock on my table showed it took 9 minutes from the time I started cleaning the glass, to final step of admiring my new pulled and cut rods.



Special thanks to my mom, Sylvia Skea, for shooting these step-by-step photos; to my teacher, Anne ‘Schermo’ Baldwin, and thanks to Kristen Franzen-Orr, for helping me to understand the fundamentals of pulling rods and stringers.

If this tutorial has been helpful, please rate it’s usefulness, and feel free to offer suggestions of any points and tips I may have overlooked. I’m certainly no expert in pulling glass, but this technique works for me, so I wanted to pass it along to my WC! friends. Valorie
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Last edited by ValorieCox : 12-10-2002 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:56 AM
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AMR GlassWorks AMR GlassWorks is offline
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Thanks Val!!! I just learned how to make green aventurine stringer using this method over at Dodie's house yesterday!! It was fun!! She is so generous also! She gave be a big chunk of aventurine to make some stringer at home!! I'm going to make some stringer and use it for me in a Christmas bracelet!!
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:12 AM
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Hi Val!

Many thanks for the tutorial! Terrific pictures! I'll give it a 5!

One question, what size mm are the final rods?

Thanks!
Cindy
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:47 AM
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Val, great step-by-step, great photos. Thanks for sharing!
Betty
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
One question, what size mm are the final rods?


In this case, the final rods were approximately 3mm, more of a heavy stringer really. If I'd wanted the rods thicker throughout, then between step 15 and 16, I would have pulled my arms less far apart, to have a slightly shorter, but thicker rod.

Val
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Old 12-10-2002, 09:05 AM
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Judy in MN Judy in MN is offline
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Two thumbs up!

[hungry mind]
Now, do you use those stringers to make your twisties? How'dja get that pretty but unexpected purple? What makes your beads so dreamy-looking? When are you coming to my house to give me private lessons? How can I make my Bullseye look as pretty as yours? Do you think you could do a "mind dump" into my head so I can learn everything all at once? What day is it today? Where's my coffee???[/hungry mind]

Oops...got carried away. Thanks for sharing the technique with such wonderful illustration photos (kudos to your mom!). I really appreciate it--Now I know what to do with those sheets in my assortment.

Judy in MN
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Old 12-10-2002, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Val,

Great photos and easy step by step. Thanks to your mom too!
Grrrrrrrrrrreat tutorial!!!!!!
BrendaJ
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Old 12-10-2002, 10:10 AM
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Thanks Val!!! What with my new passion for hollows, and the fantastic Schott clear (at least until my Lauscha comes in) I'm getting reacquainted with Bullseye and liking it a bunch. My one gripe over the years has been some "holes" in their palette that were only filled in by the strips. Now I'll have to rethink that.
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Old 12-10-2002, 11:47 AM
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Great tutorial Val!! I rent torch time in a glass studio with all sorts of glass around. I think I'll be looking at the bullseye more closely now and expanding from my Moretti only palette.
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Old 12-10-2002, 12:29 PM
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What a great job you did in putting this tutorial together!!! I've sent a copy of it to our Glass Class 101.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...430#post504430

Thank you so much Val, for this extremely helpful information!
Cheryl
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:10 PM
BillBrach BillBrach is offline
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Val,

A few of questions...

1. Are you paying for and using "new" stained glass ?? If YES, does the time involved to cut and melt into stringers justify paying a fairly hefty price for new stained glass stock ??

2. Have you tried this with small chunks of stained glass, glass that you would be likely to find in a stained glass workers scrap box.

3. Do you find a large crack develops about 1/2 inch behind the area you just melted off the strip, after it has layed for a few minutes ?? I have this happening, and of course, every time you try to melt off that strip some more, it just breaks at the crack !!

I'm trying to figure out a way to just bypass the "making it into stringers" step.

Great tutorial too !!

Bill
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:16 PM
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ValorieCox ValorieCox is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Judy in MN
Two thumbs up!

[hungry mind]
Now, do you use those stringers to make your twisties? How'dja get that pretty but unexpected purple? What makes your beads so dreamy-looking? When are you coming to my house to give me private lessons? How can I make my Bullseye look as pretty as yours? Do you think you could do a "mind dump" into my head so I can learn everything all at once? What day is it today? Where's my coffee???[/hungry mind]


Judy, Yes that's how I get my little twisties, I mix a couple of these transparent colors together, twist it up a bit, pull a thick stringer, and lay if over a base bead, then encase. The pretty unexpected purple, oh that's still a 'secret recipe', I'll share it once I get a handle on it's predictability. I don't get to MN much, but we have a guest room, and I'd love to play with glass together if you're ever in the Phil'a area! Thanks for your kind comments!

Val
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillBrach
Val,

A few of questions...

1. Are you paying for and using "new" stained glass ?? If YES, does the time involved to cut and melt into stringers justify paying a fairly hefty price for new stained glass stock ??

2. Have you tried this with small chunks of stained glass, glass that you would be likely to find in a stained glass workers scrap box.

3. Do you find a large crack develops about 1/2 inch behind the area you just melted off the strip, after it has layed for a few minutes ?? I have this happening, and of course, every time you try to melt off that strip some more, it just breaks at the crack !!


Oops, Sorry Bill, didn't see your post in time to answer with Judy's.

When I use stained glass, or other scrap glass, I just break off little chunks and hold it in my vice grips or pliers while I melt it enough to attach to a punty.

I am primarily using Bullseye color stix, because as Karen (Desert Dreamer) stated, the Bullseye range can be a little limited in the transparents, unless you use their Color Stix, which are intense transparent colors, already cut into little strips, and sold 7-8 sticks to a tube.

I have purchased only a few sheets of premium full size stained glass, as the little scraps are the optimum size to work with anyway! I don't bother to cut the strips of the sheet glass, I just break it apart.

That little crack which may develop after it cools a bit, can be saved, if when you reintroduce the glass to the flame, you are ever so slow it reheat just one edge first into the outer flame, it will fuse back together, and all start to melt at once.

Valorie
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ValorieCox

The pretty unexpected purple, oh that's still a 'secret recipe', I'll share it once I get a handle on it's predictability.

Oh, if I had discovered something so wonderful, I think I'd be inclined to play with it by myself for a while. You've been so generous with tips and tricks, I'm willing to wait until you've gotten a handle on its predictability and until you're getting on to the next whammo combination.

Judy
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