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Enameling issue

Hi y’all. I’ve been torch fire enamelling some copper (not for the first time), and when I get the counter enamel done and flip it over to enamel the front side, the counter side starts to melt and sticks to the trivet! Can anyone help me here? I’ve not had this problem before and I’m using all the exact same tools.

It might help to clean the old debris off the top edge of the trivet.

Knew Concepts sells a titanium trivet that would help with this problem.

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Thanks Betty. I cleaned it up, still no help there.

You probably know all this:

To minimize this type of damage:

  • Periodically file trivet edges to maintain cleanliness.
  • Your piece must be completely dry before firing.
  • Only the edge of your piece should touch the trivet. If the trivet touches enamel, it will stick.
  • The edge of your piece should be neither parallel nor perpendicular to the edge of the trivet, but filed obliquely.
  • Use the minimum amount of enamel, thick enamel will stick to the trivet.
  • Let the piece cool completely before removing it from the trivet …don’t move it while the enamel is still soft.

To repair your piece, grind the damage with an alundum stone then refire.

I have heard about this but have no experience using “Boron Nitride Glass Release” on the trivet to prevent glass from sticking.

Here is a blog post about firing by holding the piece in cross-locking tweezers: http://www.relicuus.com/blog/2011/08/01/torch-fired-enamel/

Also try leaving the counter enamel in a slightly bumpy stage (not firing until it’s smooth), to help prevent it melting to the trivet when you fire the front.

Hello, Laura Lee,
I assume that you want the reverse side of your pieces to be visible with no extraneous marks on the counter enamel. If this is so, then you must begin each piece by cleaning all remaining enamel from the inclined surfaces and the tips of the trivets. . . every time before enameling the front of each piece. If you can rest your piece on only the tips of a trivet near the edges of the piece, then the marks from the trivet will be minor and can be removed using a moistened alundum stone, moistened 3M diamond files and finally, increasingly fine grits of emery paper. This process will give you a smooth surface on the counter enamel, but will not give you as glossy a surface as re-firing it would. However, it you choose to refire, you may run into the same problem. One thing you might consider is choosing a harder enamel for the counter enamel and a softer enamel for the front, so that the counter enamel will not re-fuse when you fire the front of the piece. This is a little tricky, since the difference in fusing temperatures between a hard and a soft enamel is not that great, but this process does offer a way to avoid fusing the counter enamel to the trivet when you fire the front of the pieces. Hope this is helpful.

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Thank you!