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I Forge Iron

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Hi guys. I've read in Alex Bealer's book his description of inlaying glass from broken bottles into forged ironwork. I've also been told by a number of people that this can't possibly work. I tend to trust Bealer when in doubt. I've seen photos of a gate by Shawn Lovell, but she used cane glass to do it.
Have any of you ever tried this the way Bealer describes it and if so, any suggestions/tips/things to watch out for?

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I don't know what is in Bealer's book.  I have melted glass from broken drinking glasses.  If things don't cool slowly enough, the glass will crack.  If there is too much shrinking of the iron, the glass will crack.  If there is anything floating in the forge it can stick to the glass.  The melted glass is really sticky.

 

ron

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Melted marbles into split crosses. Let it sit on top and run down into the gap. But I usually dunk mine to crack 'em deliberately. Cool crazed glass effect. Word of caution, can shoot off little glass splinters when ya do it, or break off more than you want. Sometimes comes out right, occaisionally not. 

 

Tried pushing it with a rod, but it doesn't work well unless it's good and hot. If you put it onto a coal fire, might want to put it on a piece of steel bar to keep pieces of coal from getting stuck in runny glass.

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A Natural form can be seen in meteorites called Pallasites.

Put pallasites into Google images and you will see some interesting stuff.

The conditions under which this happens are "unusual" - it's though to occur at he boundary between a planet(ismal) liquid Ni-Fe and molten rocky cores.

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Guest Johnnie

I have had a go at layering glass and cooking it in a purpose built kiln. Like said above the cooling time is essential especially for plate glass. Marbles in the gas forge sounds like a plan. To incorporate glass into a forged piece I guess you'd use a template of the glass and fit after forging. 

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I used marbles to inlay in the handle of a knife.  I used the gas forge, wire a piece of thin sheet aluminum to retain the glass when it melts.  If you don't use the aluminum the glass will stick to what ever is below the item.  Watch the glass as it slumps into the void and turn the forge off and block all openings with fire brick to retain the heat and allow it to cool slowly.  When you get ready remove the aluminum you will find that it has burned away.

 

Instructions for making Mokumé say to paint "white out" to act as a release.  I have not tried this but it might work.

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Glass likes to have oxygen present. Lack of oxygen produces black discolourations in the glass. Foreign substances also tend to promote devitrification. When I fuse glass I heat at about 100deg / hour for 2 hours then 600deg / hour for 3 hours at 960 deg you can crank the heat up to get a complete fuse or a tack fuse. If I am going to manipulate the glass while it is soft I have second kiln running at about 960 deg so the glass will retain its shape but not cool too quickly. I can put each item into the kiln as I form it. When completed  I running the annealing program to allow and let it cool to room temp. Depending on the size of the object I will anneal between 8 and 12 hours I have a program in my kiln for annealing. I find that stainless steel has a similar COE (coefficient of expansion) as the glass I use; I have some frequently used molds made of stainless. If glass cools too quickly it will fracture this can be seen in the glass with a polarized filter.

Interesting effects can be created by using glass "frit" (powdered glass). Frit is readily available with a known  COE. Also many colours and mesh sizes.

 

For inlay applications we would not have to worry about the glass fracturing while it is heating. Due to the small mesh of the glass frit may actually melt in the presence of the hot metal rather than heating it in the forge.

 

here is an example of a small pane of glass I made for a project where glass frit is used. broken bits are placed between two pieces of cut glass and the voids are filled with glass frit.

 

post-2703-0-81290700-1374960254_thumb.jp

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