Well, so many great tips piled up in my notebook that I couldn’t
wait until the weekend, so I spent yesterday working on this whole
problem, and finally had some success.
What I changed:
-I took the tip off of the torch, and turned the flame to very
gentle & airy
-I worked even harder to clean everything very well. I started with
a new batch of granules, from cleaner wire, made on the nicer side
of my block, and then scrubbed them a bit on a scotch-brite when
they were done
-I diluted the flux with water, using 50/50 everywhere. I think the
straight flux was getting too gunky.
-I worked with smaller pieces of sheet, and just paid better
attention to the look of the metal as it glowed, surface changed,
etc. Watching some of Ronda’s new video clips helped with this.
I was able to get some good work done- rings fused and very simple
granulation done to one piece, and a stack of rings fused together.
I think of the 12 granules I did on the first pass after the
changes, only two didn’t fuse properly, and even the previously
non-fused wires corrected themselves.
Cynthia- thanks for chiming in, I’ve copied your tips down, great
insights as to the charcoal/oxygen interactions. I was seeing that
frosted look before, but I think with the hotter and sharper flame,
the “wet” look was just evaporating off too fast to see, and going
right to a burnt and rusty crud of flux. Since I made the changes, I
have been seeing the droplets, in fact, they happened right as I was
thinking the piece looked just about fused, so I’m happy to have
that as a backup indicator.
Lois, thank you for that link, and the torch tip. I have actually
looked at Nancy’s site quite a few times, and been very inspired by
what I saw. I downloaded the bead book a while back, so thanks for
making that available. Even though she passed some time ago, I’m
sorry for your loss of such a talented person- wonderful that you
help her work live on!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me- I’m feeling much
happier about the whole thing now!