I continued to have trouble with the vermiculite and scarring, If I tried to let the beads cool even the tiniest of a bit they stuck to the mandrel and I had a heck of a time getting them off. Obviously the fireblanket was out, it was NOT the safe material I thought it was.
So Billie Anne, wonderful person that she is, exchanging emails with me, offered a possible solution.
Can we all say YEAH BILLIE ANNE!!!
She told me about a product made for lampworkers that is actually perfect for what I needed. They are called Annealing Bubbles. I found the person who is selling them the least expensively online. (unless you want to purchase them in a fire resistant tin that is available) His name is Malcolm and he is with the company called Artco. This is the link http://www.artcoinc.com/annealing_bubbles.php
They don't have a cart system yet, but when I called he was very helpful, and sooner than you can say Bippity Boppity Boo my annealing bubbles were on their way. They came from Californin and arrived in NewYork 3 days later! Now I call that speedy service.
So today I tried them and I really am impressed. They are light little bubbles of silica so when I dropped anything in there the pieces automatically bury them selves in. They dont stick to even the hottest stuff and they keep what ever i drop in there hot for a long time and they cool super slow. In my opinion that is the trick to the chipping on the pennies and maybe even the large smooth bead I am having trouble with. The more dense the item being torched, the greater occurance of shock, In my opinion.
I ordered the $7 bag and it was enough to fill by BPS pan AND my crockpot. I had the crockpot on with it filled with the bubbles and the crockpot warmed up but the beads didnt seem to get hot, maybe a little warm. I am sure it will hold the heat though bcz I tried to retrieve some annealed pennies from my BPS pan after about 45 minutes and they were still hot.
|This is the box they came in, to give you an idea of the size of the bag.|
|A close up of the box with a ruler|
|The annealing bubbles in my hand|
|The amount of bubbles left AFTER i filled my BPS pan|
|My full crockpot|
|My Baby with a bagel ( hey, its my blog!)|
|The babys name is Gibson Trommler Kelley|
Trommler means drummer boy in german.
When he was a smaller puppy his feet sounded like drumming on the hardwood floors.