TUBECRAFTER:
AMATEUR VACUUM TUBE MAKING
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ron soyland
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GLASS BLOWING FOR TUBE MAKING
Glass blowing for vacuum tube making is somewhat different from that of other glassblowing proceedures such as lab glass manufacture. There are dozens of complicated glassworking proceedures that are used in the industry but for tube making only a small portion of these need to be learned. The greatest difference between vacuum tube glasswork and other types of glass blowing is that a bench torch is rarely if ever used. Hand torches are far more suitable for vacuum tube making proceedures.

The proceedures below are rated with difficulty of S= simple; M= moderate; D= difficult.

GLASS BLOWING PROCEEDURES YOU NEED TO LEARN:

S1. SEAL OFF THE END OF A SMALL DIAMETER TUBE. (TUBE LESS THAN 20MM)
M2. SEAL OFF THE END OF A LARGE DIAMETER TUBE. (TUBE LARGER THAN 20MM)
M3. EVEN OUT THE GLASS THICKNESS IN THE END OF A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
S4. DRAW DOWN A LARGE GLASS TUBE TO A SMALLER DIAMETER.
M5. BLOW A SPHERE FROM A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
D6. MAKE A SMOOTH TAPER ON A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
S7. MAKE A FLARE IN A SMALL GLASS TUBE. (FLARE = DIAMETER OF TUBE)
M8. MAKE A DEEP FLARE IN A SMALL GLASS TUBE. (FLARE 3X DIAMETER OF TUBE)
S9. BLOW A HOLE IN A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
M10. MAKE A HOLE IN A LARGE GLASS TUBE FROM THE OUTSIDE. (NO AIR PRESSURE)
M11. JOIN A SMALL GLASS TUBE TO A HOLE IN A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
S12. JOIN TWO LARGE GLASS TUBES.
S13. JOIN TWO SMALL GLASS TUBES.
S14. JOIN TWO SMALL GLASS TUBES COAXIALLY POSITIONED.
S15. JOIN FLARE TO LARGE GLASS TUBE.
S16. MAKE A BEAD ON A WIRE.
S17. MAKE A PINCH ON WIRES. (USED FOR HOLDING A GROUP OF WIRES)
S18. MAKE A VACUUM TIGHT PINCH SEAL ON WIRES.
D19. JOIN A BEAD TO A HOLE IN A LARGE GLASS TUBE.
D20. MAKE A VACUUM TIGHT BEAD SEAL.
M21. PINCH OFF A SMALL DIAMETER TUBE UNDER VACUUM.
S22. MAKE AN INSULATED BEAD JOINT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE WIRES.
S23. SEAL A CRACK IN A LARGE TUBE.
S24. SEAL A HOLE IN A JOINT.
S25. FLATTEN A SMALL GLASS TUBE.


Each of the proceedures above is routinely used in tube making. When learning the glass blowing, you first will learn a basic set of proceedures and then add to them as you get to more complicated tube construction. It is beyond the scope of this website to teach basic glassblowing technique. Only those unique to vacuum tube making will be discussed in any detail. To get descriptions on basic glass blowing, the following books can be purchased, plus you can watch the many youtube videos on glassblowing.

"SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL GLASS BLOWING and LABORATORY TECHNIQUES"
BY W.E. Barr and Victor J. Anhorn. This book gives detailed explanations of basic glass blowing techniques.

"CREATIVE GLASS BLOWING" by James E Hammesfahr and Clair L. Stong. This book is a very detailed book showing equipment and proceedures used in scientific glass blowing.

If you are only going to buy one of the books, buy the second one. However, it is best to have both books since the other book has a lot of details that are not directly glassblowing related, such as making hermetic seals in glass. The books can be found used for under $30 each, but new expect to pay upwards of $75 each.
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