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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2015-06-30, 7:04pm
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Default Clear Glass (for encasing)

What brand of clear glass do you use for encasing and why, please?
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  #2  
Old 2015-06-30, 7:57pm
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Ccaronn, if you do a search for threads on "what's the best clear?"' you'll probably find over a 100 separate threads and polls over the years. The only thing that's "clear" to me, is that there is no consensus. There are some clears that work better or worse with silver glasses for some, some clears that are stiffer and some softer, but even those can vary from batch to batch. Try working first on your encasing skills with one of the less expensive clears and once you feel you've mastered the technique, try sampling some of the more expensive clears if you're dissatisfied with what you're using. Good luck!

Mimi
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  #3  
Old 2015-06-30, 7:58pm
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If you click on search, then go to Advanced search and search titles only for the word clear, you can find a bunch of threads on the subject. Lots of opinions, and it is a hot button for some because it is asked so often.
I personally use Effetre Super Clear (006) the vast majority of the time for what I do.
Double Helix has some wonderful clear, but pricey for most of my purposes.

If the end of the (whichever you use) rod is cloudy when you melt it, pull the tip off with your tweezers or pliers (drop it in your water) before adding it to your bead if it will show.

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  #4  
Old 2015-06-30, 9:29pm
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Will do, thank you!
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  #5  
Old 2015-06-30, 10:53pm
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The sharp edges of nipped or broken glass can over heat very quickly unless you are very very patient with it.

In a lot of the videos I see on youtube they just pull the end 1/8 inch off out of habit once they get it hot enough.

The Double Helix clears are to die for but the are spendy.

The other problem is which batch are you getting.
If a maker sells to a retailer in January and it does not get to the US until March and you buy it in April but it takes you a year to use up a pound of it .... Well you can see that what you use may have been around a bit before you melt it.

And then you hear about someone having issues with a particular brand and it takes six months for the consensus to build that there really is a problem with the glass and not the inexperience of the users and then the retailer has 300 pounds of glass to get rid of so they sell it off at a major discount and I buy a pound or three just to experiment with but I don't know that it has "issues".

So the "best clear" is an ideal and depends on what you can afford and how fast you use it up and how long it has been in inventory and how much experience you have at melting glass.

And then there is the question of what qualifies as best?
Good Enough?
Better Than Others?
Better Than the very cheapest stuff I started out with?

Better than it was 6 years ago?

Good enough to put in a museum?

Best clear is what ever you have on hand that keeps you from throwing it out today even if you don't have anymore.
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  #6  
Old 2015-07-01, 4:36am
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That is a bit circular but I think I follow, thanks!!
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  #7  
Old 2015-07-01, 5:03am
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I use Double Helix "Zephyr." I've had issues with every clear glass, but Double Helix has the best quality-control and customer service by far. The price is a little high, but it's hard to work with imperfections in clear when you're encasing with it.
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  #8  
Old 2015-07-01, 6:34am
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Not CiM. Just don't.

I've had luck with recent Effetre Super Clear.
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  #9  
Old 2015-07-01, 5:16pm
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Thank you very much, everyone!
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  #10  
Old 2015-07-02, 5:29am
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While I don't love the moretti clear, (mine is very scratched from sitting around and moving the studio 3 times..) if you skim off the edges before you use it (just scrape off the offending stuff with the sides of a tweezer while it's hot), it's perfectly clear. People don't like to take the time to do it, and it seems like it's wasting glass, but you weren't going to like the bead with scum on it, so it IS worth the time. And then you're not praying to the incompatibility gods to spare you..I look at it this way-if it's good enough for Loren Stump, it should suffice for my beads.
Yes, I like Zephyr for ease of use, but I have POUNDS of moretti
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  #11  
Old 2015-07-02, 6:12am
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Effetre super clear. It's inexpensive and it works just fine. I have never needed to strip it. I wipe it down firmly. Or, if I'm really feeling fancy, I soak it in a vinegar bath for a few hours and dry it, firmly, with a soft cloth. By firmly, I mean I wipe it hard.
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  #12  
Old 2015-07-02, 6:34am
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My biggest gripe about Effetre super clear is the bubbles. I've had nice batches in the past, but the last two batches I've bought had lots of bubbles in every inch of every rod. Not worth my time to remove them - I make more than $3/hr.

Last edited by dusty; 2015-07-02 at 6:36am.
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  #13  
Old 2015-07-02, 9:21am
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We tried Uroboros 104 clear rods this weekend. I was impressed! I have tough standards for clear. Howaco has them.
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  #14  
Old 2015-07-02, 10:21am
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I've bought 2 pounds of Uroboros. The first was nice, and the second had bubbles all through it - every gather had to be picked clean.

Effetre, Uroboros, CIM, Lauscha - I've had great batches of all of these, and bad ones, too. Lauscha, at least, was about 90% good. I'd happily buy Effetre or Uroboros all the time if their quality wasn't so inconsistent. I tolerated that kind of stuff for years, and I'm really glad I don't have to any more. I don't think that Double Helix has the best facilities, and maybe not even the best recipe, but they do have the highest commitment to quality and the best quality control.

Last edited by dusty; 2015-07-02 at 10:24am.
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  #15  
Old 2015-07-02, 1:01pm
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Thanks, everyone! I'm a little overwhelmed by all there is to learn about lampworking. I almost feel like I'm back in school!
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  #16  
Old 2015-07-02, 1:54pm
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But a fun school!
What books do you have, btw?
There is a lot of information in Cindy Jenkins "Making Glass Beads"
and Corina Tettinger's "Passing the Flame"

My local library system has a half dozen books I was able to borrow.
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  #17  
Old 2015-07-02, 5:21pm
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I have to second the Passing the Flame book.

It reads well and can be chopped up by reading the idea that has your attention at the moment as well just starting at the beginning and reading it straight through to the end.
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  #18  
Old 2015-07-05, 7:39pm
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I have both and I love them!
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  #19  
Old 2015-07-09, 11:37pm
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Effetre Super Clear is what I typically use. I liked Lauche Soft but had cracking issues so I gave mine away.

I have both the aforementioned books. Each has valuable information. If I had to pick just one, I'd prob choose Corina's.
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  #20  
Old 2015-07-10, 3:01pm
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I got an order of Effetre Super Clear from Franz on 6/24. It was MIND BLOWING good. I JUST called and was told that super clear is produced every two weeks, so alas my chances of scoring that same batch are gone. I ordered 4 pounds today and I've got my fingers crossed. I agree if money is no issue go for Zephyr.
I've never had a super clear this good.
I'd be crurious to what people think of the consistency with Effetre? I've been out of the game for the last year or so and I'm back in full swing now. Has the glass changed in the past year????
Thoughts?
Thanks
Cara
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  #21  
Old 2015-07-10, 4:40pm
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I have only had one batch of super clear that I was unha0py with, and I really think it was 004 not 006. That was over a year ago though.
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  #22  
Old 2015-07-11, 8:40am
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Eileen, this super clear was soft and completely clear. If i could be sure I'd get it again, I'd order 10 pounds! Ill let you know when i get this next batch
Cara
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Old 2015-07-11, 9:44am
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Sounds wonderful, and we can never have too much clear.
I do use the scummy stuff inside opaque beads, so none is wasted, but it is wonderful when it is a lovely batch.
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Old 2015-07-12, 12:48am
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Oh please do mention Cara, I need to get some more clear soon. My last batch that I'm working through has a lot of scratches, very annoying.

Apparently Zephyr can't be cleaned with even soap and water, for those thinking of going that route.
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Old 2015-07-12, 7:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
I have only had one batch of super clear that I was unha0py with, and I really think it was 004 not 006. That was over a year ago though.
I think the same thing happened to me. I have a point or two that I'm slowly going through on test beads or insides or things I don't care about but I'm pretty sure it was 004. Big difference.

Zephyr is the dream. Love it especially for murrini beads because of the softness. 006 for every day good clear.
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  #26  
Old 2015-07-12, 10:36am
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While there *are* lots of other threads over the years about which clear is best, I find that it changes (new glass may be introduced, a previous favorite went bad, etc.), so this question is almost always timely.

I never had any luck with the Moretti Super Clear (I haven't tried it in years). I used to use Lauscha exclusively, but there must have been a bad batch, because it some point I started getting tons of compatability cracks. Switched to Double Helix Zephyr, and despite the price, I love it because it works wonderfully. I still have my supply from a couple of years ago, so I do not know what the current favorite is.
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  #27  
Old 2015-07-12, 6:23pm
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Clear is definitely not "one size fits all"! I love both DH clears, but also stock Lauscha because it is stiffer so lends itself to different uses than DH. I have pounds of crap clear, that is any clear I've purchased since 2000 that didn't live up to expectations. Unfortunately, there is more crap clear in my stash than good. Oh, I also have some TAG Diamond that I covet, but I'm not sure they have any currently available.

If someone told me I could only have one clear, I'd probably pick Zephyr, but would morn Lauscha and cuss because there are certain beads I make that can only be done well with Lauscha. Zephyr, however, is creamy dreamy!
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Old 2015-07-13, 3:20am
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I used to be a Lauscha girl but discovered the "soft" Lauscha was COE102 and not 104 and that led to some cracking for me. I was having some bead release issues and at the time found the stiff too stiff for me. About a year ago I got a bad batch of superclear and have been reluctant to use it but this new batch totally knocked my socks off. I hope that effetre just finally got it right. I have a pound of Diamond stashed, worried about it cracking. is that possible or did I imagine that?
Cara
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  #29  
Old 2015-07-13, 6:33am
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Yes, I have some diamond clear too. I thought that clear was defective or something and was recalled?
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Old 2015-07-13, 6:37am
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Hi Cara! I was wondering what diameter you got? I wish I knew how often they restock the super clear. So you mean that Effetre makes it every 2 weeks, but is that how often they restock it?

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFlowerBead View Post
I got an order of Effetre Super Clear from Franz on 6/24. It was MIND BLOWING good. I JUST called and was told that super clear is produced every two weeks, so alas my chances of scoring that same batch are gone. I ordered 4 pounds today and I've got my fingers crossed. I agree if money is no issue go for Zephyr.
I've never had a super clear this good.
I'd be crurious to what people think of the consistency with Effetre? I've been out of the game for the last year or so and I'm back in full swing now. Has the glass changed in the past year????
Thoughts?
Thanks
Cara
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