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Bending Glass Stringer in a Candle

A standard glass stringer is approximately 1mm thick, which is thin enough that it can be bent and shaping using an ordinary candle.

Light the candle. Then hold the stringer at each end, so that the middle of the stringer is in the flame.  (You can hold the stringer with pliers or tweezers if you prefer.) After a few seconds (usually ten or twenty), the stringer will soften and you can bend it in the heat. 

The hardest part about this technique is learning when to bend the stringer.  Too little time in the flame and the stringer won't be hot enough to bend.  Too long in the flame and the stringer will burn through or distort in the flame.  It usually takes people two or three tries to learns just how hot to get the stringer before the glass will bend easily.

Once the stringer is bent, you will probably notice black soot marks around the bent area.  These can be cleaned off when the stringer cools down, but soot will almost always burn off in the kiln so cleaning isn't usually necessary.

It's also possible to use an alcohol burner and denatured alcohol to bend the stringer, but alcohol burners are much more dangerous than candles, so use special caution if you decide to use a burner rather than a candle.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

These suggestions made by various posters on the Warm Glass board.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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