The Neon News

Gild it, glue it, grab it:
Hot hints from Candice

by Candice King

Number 12 - Winter 1993

Two more for silicone addicts:

1 . To keep the edges of metal screening (the kind that covers your pattern and keeps it from burning) in good shape, do this: use two- inch-wide masking tape and wrap one inch on top, fold it on the edge and ulap one inch under. Before wrapping them, lay a bead of silicone onthe edge of the screen, and press it flatwith thetape when wrapping. This way, when the tape wears offthe silicone is still there and the screen won't unravel.

2. As a cushion and "anti-spin'' device for mounted tubes (such as straight border tubes, where the electrodes rotate doull over time), take a scrap piece of acrylic sheet and lay thin silicone beads on it. When they are dry, pull them up and cut them into short pieces, and lay them on top ofthe tube supports during installation. (Note: keep these in a bag, otherwise they are dirt magnets.)

One old-timer' s rule of thumb for filling warm tubes: to know the gas pressure for a given size of glass, subtract the tube size (in millimeters) from 24 for red, 22.5 for blue.

Never strip powder from a tube by pushing something through. Instead take tie-wire and pull something through. I saw a guy's hand get trashed when the stick of ruby red broke and glass went into his bonejoint - he was in the hospital a week because glass was all the way down in the joint. There's little blood injoints, so intravenous antibiotics were needed.

Don't try this dep't: I knew someone with a homemade copper manifold, and when neon-filled tubes would turn out blue from too much mercury in the manifold, he'd set a big bag ofice on it and open the tip of the system, putting his finger over it and then off to suck all the mercury down to the forepump. 0 didn't have the heart to tell him that it would ruin his forepump, he seemed so proud of it.)

For glass marking, use Berol china markers in these colors: Brite Blue #167T, Brite Green # 176T. (These don't burn off in the flame, but will rub off when done.) Also, some benders use 'Stabilo 8008' pencils (made in Germany) but they won't go onto hot glass.

Also, there is a gold suspended in oil that fires onto glass. It's great for signing your work. You use a calligrapher's pen with itand then slowly sneak it toward the fire till it turns gold. Try it. See your local ceramics shop.

My old boss could never get any glass bent because the phone rang all the time. He found a bands-free phone system with a headset so he could bend and talk at the same time. It's a real money-saver for the small shop.

If your ribbon fire has a hot spot at the throat end, or the center if it's a 24", stuff a piece of wadded-up screen in the throat above the economizer. It diffuses the air and helps it. It also helps the howl, ifI remember right. If you have to seal on a 900 "trode by hand and the heat rises and burns your bend: Cut a three-inch square of Nonbestos, poke a hole in the middle and put it over your electrode holder. It forces the rising heat around it and away from your hand.

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