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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2011-09-24, 1:44pm
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Default Boro for the bead makers - Show and tell and tips and tricks

I don't seem to quite fit the boro mold. I only make beads. No off mandrel stuff.

So, I thought I'd start a thread and see if there are others?
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  #2  
Old 2011-09-24, 1:45pm
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So, a tip. When making a bead, I typically do a thin wrap of clear next to the mandrel, then do my colors, then encase. I lose less beads to cracking that way.
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  #3  
Old 2011-09-24, 2:12pm
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A first layer of clear is a good idea. However, find that only certain colors require that first clear layer.
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  #4  
Old 2011-09-24, 2:41pm
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OOo thanks Debbie! I do mostly off mandrel with boro, but would LOVE some tips on bead making...shoot for that matter, even soft glass tips in bead making LOLOL!!!
How sweet and kind of you to think about this!
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  #5  
Old 2011-09-24, 3:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierces*designs View Post
So, a tip. When making a bead, I typically do a thin wrap of clear next to the mandrel, then do my colors, then encase. I lose less beads to cracking that way.
I do this, but learned it the hard way after 100 beads cracked due to putting white down first on my mandrels.

Now I always wrap a thin layer of clear down first.

To get a thin layer I use a 3-4mm rod, I also encase with the same rod. That way my beads don't end up too big.
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  #6  
Old 2011-09-24, 4:17pm
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Debbie, What's the Boro mold and why limit yourself by setting boundaries? Seems you already have the ability to do anything you try. Try some off mandrel work just to stretch your skills a bit. I bet the experience will improve your skills on mandrels. Ill try some beads if you try some off mandrel sculpture
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  #7  
Old 2011-09-24, 4:47pm
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Debbie..I'm so glad that you started this thread. I was looking at some of the boro beads that I bought from you...the ones I'll be using with my clay pendants. So beautiful!!

As you described above.....I noticed that it looked like a clear wrap first..then a solid/opaque color..then the boro..then clear. I was curious if most boro bead makers make their beads this way. It seems to use an opaque color under the actual colored/silver/reactive boro makes those colors just really pop.

I bought a bunch of boro to play with, with my cricket, and noticed that I don't see all that glorious boro stuff so well. Might be that opaque inner core that I'm needing?
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  #8  
Old 2011-09-24, 5:22pm
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Generally I'll make a twisty, using many colors on a rod of clear. I don't put down a clear wrap first, there's a bunch of clear in it already and no one color is touching the mandrel. Usually that gets encased.
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  #9  
Old 2011-09-24, 5:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T View Post
I do this, but learned it the hard way after 100 beads cracked due to putting white down first on my mandrels.

Now I always wrap a thin layer of clear down first.

To get a thin layer I use a 3-4mm rod, I also encase with the same rod. That way my beads don't end up too big.
I tend to use a 5mm rod and encase right to left in one layer if I want one look. If I want a more "dimensional" look, I will use an 8mm rod and do 2 wraps around the middle and then melt down.
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  #10  
Old 2011-09-24, 5:32pm
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Debbie, What's the Boro mold and why limit yourself by setting boundaries? Seems you already have the ability to do anything you try. Try some off mandrel work just to stretch your skills a bit. I bet the experience will improve your skills on mandrels. Ill try some beads if you try some off mandrel sculpture
I need to. My issue is time and space. Time because I get to torch maybe one -2 hours a week. Space because I work in a barley box so I lack the ability to really manipulate the glass because I can't reach around.
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  #11  
Old 2011-09-24, 5:36pm
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Debbie..I'm so glad that you started this thread. I was looking at some of the boro beads that I bought from you...the ones I'll be using with my clay pendants. So beautiful!!

As you described above.....I noticed that it looked like a clear wrap first..then a solid/opaque color..then the boro..then clear. I was curious if most boro bead makers make their beads this way. It seems to use an opaque color under the actual colored/silver/reactive boro makes those colors just really pop.

I bought a bunch of boro to play with, with my cricket, and noticed that I don't see all that glorious boro stuff so well. Might be that opaque inner core that I'm needing?
I know the light colored opaque wrap seems to make all the difference in my colors.

I personally LOVE Parramore white (and pink and mint and blue, etc). It is smooth as butter and does not boil. I do a wrap of clear, a wrap of white, then my colors. Then usually a roll in some frit, then encase. I usually make up my own frit blend. I have no idea of ratios or anything. I just mix it up until I like it.

Another tip for the cricket? Crank it higher than you are used to. And work much closer to the face of the torch than you are used to.

I tend to hold my mandrel in my left hand and glass in my right to apply. Then I flip the mandrel to the right of the torch and hold my left hand under the mandrel and the right hand over teh mandrel and spin it towards me evenly to round them out.

I tend to make 2-3 beads per mandrel. Unless I am using my bead roller, then it is 1.
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Last edited by pierces*designs; 2011-09-24 at 5:39pm.
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  #12  
Old 2011-09-24, 7:33pm
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I don't put a layer of clear first, but rarely had cracking issues. There was one glass called Pistachio that cracked all the time so I stopped using it, and my last batch of Stormy Weather has cracked after about a day and I am getting more green than the purple I love, so I stopped using that too.

I think the clear is a good idea and might start using that. It might also lighten up some of the more concentrated colors, or build the color core out a little more.

I usually use a wrap of white first in a lot of my beads, and love the Borostix white, but none of them give me trouble.

Erin
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  #13  
Old 2011-09-24, 10:16pm
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Default Started on off mandrel

Then I was lucky to take Nancy Tobey's Boro Bead class in Corning.
I love beads...............

Watch out for the Asian White as a base. I love using it as a stringer and in marbles but had a lot of cracking when I used it as the base.

Have fun.......
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  #14  
Old 2011-09-24, 10:59pm
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I also mostly make beads when I work with boro... though I rarely touch it in warm weather because my studio gets so hot! It's almost boro season again though.

Almost every bead I make with cane that I make with a clear core, and I rarely have any problems with cracking. It also lets me use many color layers and add wisps and streaks easily without ending up with a ginormous bead.
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  #15  
Old 2011-09-25, 5:50am
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Debbie thanks for starting this thread.

I make boro beads as well. Love the wispys ... but must admit ... I rarely post pix of them. I am also implosion obsessed and that seems to be what I photograph more often.

I almost always start with a black or clear core. The Asian white loves to crack if you put it directly on the mandrel. But put a thin layer clear first and it's happy.

Since I don't like burning through mandrels ... I do a wrap of my core color ... heat the top edge of it and flatten it (like a mini tube) to make my footprint for my bead. I find I burn through less mandrels this way.
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  #16  
Old 2011-09-25, 6:08am
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Debbie...thanks for the tips!

Rebecca......a boro twisty would be interesting....I'll have to try that today after I get my soft glass stuff done.


I'll also have to figure out how to anneal my boro. I use a chilli pepper for my soft glass while I work. I have a jen-ken glass/ceramic kiln too but it doesn't have a bead door...so I'm thinking I'll need to batch anneal. I don't believe the chilli pepper can achieve the temps for boro?


Anybody have any suggestions about annealing my boro beads? Most will be under 3/4" in size. Also.....what temp and schedule do I need to anneal boro beads of this size at?
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  #17  
Old 2011-09-25, 6:29am
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you anneal boro at 1050.

Hold 15 minutes per 1/4"

I ramp down from there to 850, hold for the same amount of time I soak for, then I let it crash on it's own.

I have a more gentle descent program for thicker stuff, but for most of what I make, that's fine.
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  #18  
Old 2011-09-25, 6:41am
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If you want the silver colors to kiln strike, just replace 1050 with 1085 in Tom's program... BAM... kilnstrikealiciousness...
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Old 2011-09-25, 6:42am
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Thanks Deb, I have a small pile of boro that I have yet to try. Like you, I don't do off mandrel or sculpture and only a few hours a week, so this is a thread I'm interest in, too.

Mikelene, I have a boro schedule written down from years ago, with footnotes to use it for the old 'ASK' too.

garage @ 970
anneal @ 1050
ramp down to 850 hold for 1/2 hour
ramp down to 600 and turn off

Anyone know if that's right?

EDIT: boy, you guys are quick, glad to see what I was told was good, but what about the garage temp?

-Donna
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  #20  
Old 2011-09-25, 7:30am
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The garage temp is fine... it's desirable if you're using striking colors in bead sets... if you garage in the striking range, the first ones to go in strike more than the last... if you garage them all lower and then ramp up to strike when you've put the last on in, they all strike for the same amount of time.
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  #21  
Old 2011-09-25, 7:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagpieGlass View Post
Debbie thanks for starting this thread.

I make boro beads as well. Love the wispys ... but must admit ... I rarely post pix of them. I am also implosion obsessed and that seems to be what I photograph more often.

I almost always start with a black or clear core. The Asian white loves to crack if you put it directly on the mandrel. But put a thin layer clear first and it's happy.

Since I don't like burning through mandrels ... I do a wrap of my core color ... heat the top edge of it and flatten it (like a mini tube) to make my footprint for my bead. I find I burn through less mandrels this way.
I have to admit that I get so frustrated with burning through mandrels that I just stick with 1/8" mandrels. It seems like hardly anyone is using those for boro these days, but I love that they let me work without being super-careful!
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Old 2011-09-25, 8:06am
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Thank Brent, I wouldn't have thought of that, I'll bet it makes for an interesting set to have different stages of striking though.

BTW, Brent, I bought some of your Serendipity a while back, I have it on my table to finally try it, is it boro?

-D
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  #23  
Old 2011-09-25, 8:13am
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It is boro!
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Old 2011-09-25, 8:52am
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Thanks for starting this thread. Since I'm just starting in boro, I am interested in all the help I can get. (I swore I wouldn't keep trying, but the dark side is powerful...)

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Old 2011-09-25, 11:37am
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Thank you Menty, Smiley and Donna!

Hey...I like that word....kilnstrikaliciousness. I also like the idea of kiln striking! So 1085 it is.

Just finished up with my torch session for today. I played with some boro using my cricket torch with one 5lpm oxycon and propane. I made small boro beads...nothing larger than 5/8".

It took a while to melt and round up the beads. My settings were good and the heat was definately there...I'm just impatient, I guess.

Keep in mind that I've been feeling the need for more heat/flame/width to create my soft glass beads/cabs....so the boro was painfully slow for me!

I definately see a larger torch in my future to work the boro with and another oxycon....I like to work pretty fast in the flame. Thinking a scorpion since it seems to work great with the oxycons.

Thanks again for the great info everyone!
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Old 2011-09-25, 11:41am
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I have somehow determined the sweet spot for me with the mandrel. I can actually make boro beads on 1/16. LOL

The biggest thing is NEVER hit the mandrel with the flame. Keep the mandrel just below the flame.
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Old 2011-09-25, 11:44am
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Thank you Menty, Smiley and Donna!

Hey...I like that word....kilnstrikaliciousness. I also like the idea of kiln striking! So 1085 it is.

Just finished up with my torch session for today. I played with some boro using my cricket torch with one 5lpm oxycon and propane. I made small boro beads...nothing larger than 5/8".

It took a while to melt and round up the beads. My settings were good and the heat was definately there...I'm just impatient, I guess.

Keep in mind that I've been feeling the need for more heat/flame/width to create my soft glass beads/cabs....so the boro was painfully slow for me!

I definately see a larger torch in my future to work the boro with and another oxycon....I like to work pretty fast in the flame. Thinking a scorpion since it seems to work great with the oxycons.

Thanks again for the great info everyone!
Slow down your spin and turn only in one direction when making boro. That was a lesson I learned. The "normal" Back and forth spins that we do in soft glass just don't work as well.

slow it down and keep a good consistent one direction spin. That is why it works for me to have both hand on the right side of my torch. I can use my left hand as kind of a fulcrum underneath the mandrel and spin with my right.
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  #28  
Old 2011-09-25, 11:47am
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Thanks Debbie..I'll try that next time with the one direction spinning. I did find that if I held the glass close and turned really slow, that it melted better.
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  #29  
Old 2011-09-25, 12:58pm
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I have somehow determined the sweet spot for me with the mandrel. I can actually make boro beads on 1/16. LOL

The biggest thing is NEVER hit the mandrel with the flame. Keep the mandrel just below the flame.
You are insane!

I burn through enough 3/32 mandrels. Although I don't know what torch you are on either. My cudda would never let me use a 1/16 with boro beads.
I do love the heat and how quickly I can make them.

I might have to try Kalera's suggestion of using the 1/8.

For now I have learned to temper my mandrels and that does help a lot.
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Old 2011-09-25, 1:07pm
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You are insane!

I burn through enough 3/32 mandrels. Although I don't know what torch you are on either. My cudda would never let me use a 1/16 with boro beads.
I do love the heat and how quickly I can make them.

I might have to try Kalera's suggestion of using the 1/8.

For now I have learned to temper my mandrels and that does help a lot.
I use a Scorpion, which has a bit more concentrated heat. When I am doing 1/16 I only use the inner fire, which is a cricket.
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