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Thread: Burning Dichroic

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    Default Burning Dichroic

    Hi everyone!

    I'm currently trying to learn how to work with dichroic, but I've been having some issues with burning the dichroic.

    I currently have two ways I try to encase the dichroic in clear. Either:
    1. Warm up the dichroic at the tip of an oxygen-rich flame. Then, heat up the clear so that it's glowing a bright orange, and press the dichroic into the clear
    2. Place the dichroic (metal face up) on a piece of graphite. Heat up the clear until it's glowing a bright yellow, and is the consistency of moist chewing gum. Then press the clear onto the cold piece of dichro.


    Now I don't really have a problem with the encasement per se, but I have noticed that after I've worked the piece, the dichro appears to have burned. My understanding was that as long as the dichro is encased, it should not burn out. Apparently, this is wrong. Can anyone explain to me why the dichro burns and how to correctly work it?

    I'd also like to add that I am working with dichroic scrap from an unknown vendor at a 1/16" thickness. Is it possible that the dichroic is just of a lower quality and thus burns out easier? Is there any way of using this dichroic to practice at the very least? Any possible working tips I could try?

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    You may have seen this but Anderson Coats makes use of dicroic often and has several videos with good advice.

    I have had good luck with using his methods.

    Last edited by snoopdog6502; 05-28-2018 at 10:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Fai i have found that I have work dichroic really cold to maintain the color. Use as little heat as you can get away with, don’t rush it.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    another fool proof way to encase dichro is to stuff a tube with the strips, and surround the strip/s with lengths of clear rod. pre-heat this in the kiln, then heat/vacuum down like you would a vac stack or stick stack. i've had the best luck using this method.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    both of these were made by putting a strip of dichro into a point (on a handle...i don't trust points for heavy work) of 44mm heavy wall, and filling the gaps with pieces of clear rod. there's so much clear around the dichro, you can really beat it up, heat-wise.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Thank you all so much for your replies! I think the mistake I was making is that I assumed that the dichro could not burn after encasement, so I was working the piece really hot (I'm talking a really bright glow). I think I need to work my pieces a lot cooler when working with dichro to prevent it from burning.

    I'll give it a shot and see what happens! Thanks!

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    The way I learned, many years ago, is to...

    >Take a strip of dichro and punty up to it (heating the noncoated side)
    >Preheat the dichro (noncoated side)
    >Use a HIGH OXY flame
    >Hold dichro (coated side) parallel to the flame
    >Stripe on clear or color
    >Keep using HIGH OXY flame to heat and stretch

    Last edited by KT-Old School Glass; 05-29-2018 at 09:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Depending on the dichro, there are a couple ways it can be burned out easily.

    If you make a marble and keep it very hot for too long, weaker dichro batches, like a red i tried once, will lose all their color easily. A nice piece of starship may take a lot more heat. Another thing is for hollow work dont blow dichro out too thin. if its really thin it can get overheated easily.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    I've always heard to run a super oxidizing flame too. It seemed unnecessary, so I tried working it in a cool reducing flame and it turned out just fine. It was actually easier in a reducing flame. Maybe not all dichro for I haven't used a whole lot. Definitely worth a try though.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    I learned to work it the way KT mentions. In the past, once I got it down, I didn't burn it out very often. But after not messing with it for a long time, I bought some scrap as well, and I feel like it wants to burn on me no matter what. I have nothing to compare it to though (like starship). I used to run a national 8m back in the day, and had/have a phantom/mirage now, so I want to blame user error and not having a full grasp on my torch before blaming the dichro. However I have even stuck 3 strips together to try to make the dichro layer thicker/more hearty and it still managed to dull/burn on me. I have considered giving my shop mate a few strips to see if he has no issue with it compared to what he uses, because he can work things no problem and if he does just fine with it, then it is definitely me. I also had some images that I stuck on a little pendant or marble and though I seemed to get a few to look ok, it just never seems as blingy as I remember... guess I just need heaps more practice.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    There is a DVD series produced by Dichroic Alchemy, two volumes. It's from the early 00s I think, and it shows all sorts of basic and more advanced techniques for working dichro. All of the demos are by awesome glassblowers like Delenne Peralta, Jason Lee, Clinton Roman and Marcel Braun. It's an awesome series, but they explain that the best way to work dichro is what KT describes, but also trying not to overheat it. If you get it white hot, it can still burn away. The cheap scrap does work and comes out ok, but it is definitely easy to burn compared to the dichro images I have used.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    What color is the dichro and what are you trying to do with it? Silver and gold colored dichro tend to look like ashes when stretched way out...but they still reflect light. Thought I was burning out dichro at first too till lurch told me if it still sparkles it's not burnt. Oh and I'm with KT's method too just hold the dichro out of the flame while striping and don't forget to stripe some glass on the edges when your done.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    I get thick dichro. I only heat the clear side. Then I encase the colored side without putting it in the flame. Only tip I can give you. Burning dichro sucks. Some colors are better than others.
    Use lots of melted like soupy clear too. Be careful of air bubbles. Once you dial in the dichro it works good. I use a tile nippers and a scoring knife to cut mine.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Working with a GTT, use LOTS of "blue" OXY. This cools the flame more.
    Quote Originally Posted by gomilobster View Post
    I learned to work it the way KT mentions. In the past, once I got it down, I didn't burn it out very often. But after not messing with it for a long time, I bought some scrap as well, and I feel like it wants to burn on me no matter what. I have nothing to compare it to though (like starship). I used to run a national 8m back in the day, and had/have a phantom/mirage now, so I want to blame user error and not having a full grasp on my torch before blaming the dichro. However I have even stuck 3 strips together to try to make the dichro layer thicker/more hearty and it still managed to dull/burn on me. I have considered giving my shop mate a few strips to see if he has no issue with it compared to what he uses, because he can work things no problem and if he does just fine with it, then it is definitely me. I also had some images that I stuck on a little pendant or marble and though I seemed to get a few to look ok, it just never seems as blingy as I remember... guess I just need heaps more practice.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P0rn View Post
    There is a DVD series produced by Dichroic Alchemy, two volumes. It's from the early 00s I think, and it shows all sorts of basic and more advanced techniques for working dichro. All of the demos are by awesome glassblowers like Delenne Peralta, Jason Lee, Clinton Roman and Marcel Braun. It's an awesome series, but they explain that the best way to work dichro is what KT describes, but also trying not to overheat it. If you get it white hot, it can still burn away. The cheap scrap does work and comes out ok, but it is definitely easy to burn compared to the dichro images I have used.
    ..you mean VHS...? I had that. I remember learning dolphins from a VHS tapes as well. "Flatten flatten flatten"

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    I get thick dichro. I only heat the clear side. Then I encase the colored side without putting it in the flame. Only tip I can give you. Burning dichro sucks. Some colors are better than others.
    Use lots of melted like soupy clear too. Be careful of air bubbles. Once you dial in the dichro it works good. I use a tile nippers and a scoring knife to cut mine.
    definitely, the 1/8" stuff is so much easier to work than the 1/16", i'm pretty sure Dichroic Alchemy only offers 1/8" sheets. the starship tical is by far my favorite of their lineup, great stuff.
    CBS i've had mixed results with, it seems to burn easier (probably my newb coming through). CBS now offers a "splinter rainbow" sheet, that seems to be very similar to DA's starship, i use that when the other is out of stock. need to get more soon.
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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    So let's say I encased the dichro and now have some dichro cane. What's the best method to make pendants/ marbles or what method do you prefer? Just make a gather, add backing color or twist the cane...?

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    I prefer an implosion. I gather on the end of a tube. Then pick it up on the marver. Then encase it with the backing.
    Dichro cane is not as good as the sheet dichro.

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    Default Re: Burning Dichroic

    Once you have the cane, easiest thing to do is twist it up, then melt it into a ball and color back it. Twisting it will help to distribute the sparkles for a more uniform look. The marbles earlier in this thread are done that way (I think)

    I think it looks best if one tip of your cane is in the center on the lenz. You want the orientation so the spiral is flat and wide when looking at the pendent from the side view. when you look at the front of the lenz, you wont see the spiral at all. That's how isa24's pics look to be made.

    back in the early 2000's that style of dichro marble was known as a "galaxy" marble. Galaxy style is considered something totally different these days.

    Obviously the post above mine, Nomad misunderstood the question? Perhaps he only reads new posts to save time for all the interstate drug buying, marketing, and shipping?
    Useless fact > Back in the early 2000's that style of dichro marble was known as a "galaxy" marble. "Galaxy" style is considered something totally different these days. I do not know what its called.

    I do agree with Nomad, its easier to get a nice product from coated sheets of dichro vs. pre coated rod.. No one ever mentioned pre coated rod in this thread as far as I was aware? Coated Rod does have its place , like vac stacks. Its much harder to keep a pre coated rod out of the direct flame.
    Last edited by BORO; 06-06-2018 at 08:52 AM.

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