Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I didn't blow up!!

EEEEEKKKKK!!! I am so excited!!!

I spent this morning on the phone with two local welding supply companies comparing prices on hoses, regulators, oxygen tanks and refills. Then, I spent mid day getting all the supplies I needed and guess what I was just doing!?!?! I WAS MAKING BEADS ON MY NEW TORCH!! YEE HAWW!!

So here is the deal. I have had the torch here for a couple weeks, but I have been holding off setting it up. I was nervous about setting it up. It is such a huge change. Plus a huge expense. The torch with shipping was $208 and the supplies to get it running was $315, encase you ever wondered what the start up is on a basic duel fuel set up. I am rather proud of what I did today. I absolutely refused to wait for my husband to come home to do it for me. I wanted to do it all myself. I am totally capable, I just needed to have confidence in myself.

I bought the hoses, those were pretty basic. The regulators I bought are Smith brand. Highly recommended by the techie gurus on the glass forums I frequent. I got "flashback" thingies. Which basically make it so the gases can't travel into the wrong lines and cause an explosion. Safety First people!! The tank of oxygen is a 244 cubic feet tank. It will be interesting to see just how long it lasts. It is huge! It weights about 125 pounds. The guys at the welding place loaded it in my car and told me to have my husband help me unload it... NO WAY!! I did it all myself. I am a big tough girl... I got big guns (aka biceps, lol). I hauled it into the studio.

I think we need to have a quiet moment of silence for my trusty hot head. It has been with me 2 long years and never let me down. I love that little guy.... okay moment over.... next thing I had to do was get the old torch out!! I spent a while this afternoon unscrewing the hoses that had been mounted to my bench for safety, I unmounted the torch that was screwed to the desktop. Then I had to do a little rearranging. The big desk moved down, the little desk was turned perpendicular... it is a whole new set up. I mounted the new torch to the desk. Yeah people, I know how to use a screwdriver, yep yep yep!! Once secured, I set to getting the tanks ready. I twisted the regulators on the tanks, tested the pressures, checked for leaks... then it was time to try it....

It is so cool... it is whisper quiet. Ron said he couldn't even tell it was running. There is definitely going to be a couple weeks of a learning curve. It is super hot and melts the glass very fast. Once I learn where the hot spots are, I'll be able to better control the glass. You should have seen my first bead!! It was lopsided and wonky. I think it was worse then the very first bead I ever made, lol. By the fourth I was back to being able to make basic rounds again. For fun I rolled a black bead in raku frit... and hot damn I didn't know that raku could go the colors I say in the bead. It is just amazing.

I am so proud to have set everything up myself... and I will be busting my butt the next few weeks relearning how to make beads on this new gem... but I hope you all will stay with my and watch my progress. Bare with me while I mess around, that kinda of thing. I will have Ron get a picture of me making some beads so you can see... for now, I wanna race back out and play some more!!


Chrissie said...

Congratulations Kerry!! I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to see all of your new creations! I am shedding a tear for the poor little hot head :) And I'm really glad that you didn't blow up!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Kerry!! I'm cheering you on. What an achievement! I can't wait to see the progress in your work. Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerry,
I have been reading your blog and looking at your site. I love your work. I am new, don't have enough time to get the practice I need. I am still trying to figure out what colors to use and how they will turn out. I have been using a hothead. Just ordered a bobcat. I am going to use it with a concentrator. Anyway, I will be reading your blog as I also learn to use my new torch.
Now I am on to the next step, ventalation. I have been working outside so far. I am also trying to teach mlyself to customize a Zen Cart template site. I do wirework too.
Janet Hechmer