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Old Flameworking Techniques

Found the following text on simple glassblowing operations in a manual published in 1896 By George S. Newth. The title was Elementary practical chemistry: a laboratory manual for use in organized science schools.

Keep in mind that this text on flameworking was written in 1896 so be sure to follow all modern day safety precaustions and procedures.

The text is not formatted to the origional layout. Illustration images may be added later.

To see a copy of the orginal text search for this title in google books.



GLASS-BLOWING operations, as a general rule, require skill, practice, and patience to perform with anything like success; nevertheless there are a number of smaller and simpler operations which can easily be done by the young student, and which it is most useful that he should know how to perform. The bending of glass tube and the rounding of the ends have already been described. For these operations, however, an ordinary gas-flame is employed, but for those now to be described the blow-pipe is to be used.

A blow-pipe and some sort of foot-blower usually form a part of the regular fittings of a chemical laboratory, but even in their absence much may be done by means of a small Herapath mouth blow-pipe.

General rules.---(I) Never bring a piece of cold glass directly into the blow-pipe flame, but first warm it in the smokey flame before admitting wind from the blower.

(2) When a tube is being heated, it should (except in special cases) be continuously revovled in the flame, so that the heating may be uniform; and also, as it gets soft, to prevent the glass from falling out of shape.

(3) When actually blowing glass, always remove the soft glass from the flame.

(4) Always begin the blowing gently, and then regulate the force of the breath as the soft glass gives to the pressure.

To open out the end of a glass tube.---When a cork is to be fitted into the end of a glass tube, the end should be opened out a little, or "bordered." The simple tool required for this is a round stick of charcoal, pointed at one end like a lead pencil.

Experiment 34.--Take a piece of moderately wide glass tube and warm one end in the smoky flame (Rule I). Then admit wind into the flame, and hold the tube in the position shown in Fig. 26, revolving it all the time (Rule 2).

When the end of the glass is sufficiently soft, remove it from the flame, and push the pointed piece of charcoal into it, giving a screwing motion to the charcoal (Fig.27). When the tube is sufficiently opened, hold it in the smoky flame again, gradually turning down the gas. This anneals the glass, that is, cools it slowly, and makes it less liable to crack afterwards.

To draw down a glass tube to a jet.

Experiment 35.--Heat a piece of tube in the blowpipe flame, holding the glass as in Fig. 19. As soon as it is soft, remove it from the flame, and pull gently, revolving each end slowly at the same time. The glass then assumes the form shown at a, Fig. 28, the walls of the tapering and narrow parts being very thin. Now heat another piece, keeping it longer in the flame; observe that the glass gradually thicken and the walls fall together as the mass gets softer and softer (b, Fig.28). Keep the tube quickly revolving, or the soft part will drop. Very gently draw the ends apart, still revolving, and the tube will take the shape seen at c, Fig.28, where the tapering and narrow parts are thick walled. The tube may then be cut at any desired point on the narrow part by means of a file scratch.

Old Flameworking Techniques Part 2

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