I will now show you how to bend your cathode using the blowtorch approach. Get your flame going at about ? to ? of havnch tall. The flame can be no bigger, or you can say goodbye to your cathode, as it will heat up much too quickly.
Update: After conducting a few more tests, and from a tip from a guy over at CCMOD, I found out that you should place some foil or other material over the air holes on your blowtorch/heat gun. This will significantly reduce the temperature of the flame, which will help you have more control and lessen the chance of overheating the glass, which causes an imploding or folding effect. Still remember to do slow passes over the cathode with the flame; refrain from getting impatient and holding the flame in one spot to heat it faster.
When you pass the cathode through the flame, you will see no black residue gathering on the glass (as opposed to if you were using a candle). This can help, as it makes it easier to see the coloring of the glass, which indicates whether it is approaching too high of a temperature and getting ready to start bending. You must pass the glass through the tip of the flame, going in ?? passes back and forth, and always spin the cathode in your fingers to prevent the flame from sitting in one spot too long. If you let it sit in one spot too long, the results can be devastating, as shown in this picture.
This can happen very quickly, so as soon as you notice the cathode glass, in any spot that you?re heating, becoming either red-hot, or starting to bend, quickly pull it away from the flame for about 10-20 seconds to let it cool off. Then begin passing it through the flame again. Another tip I found to prevent the cathode from overheating in one spot is to notice the flame color. When you first start off, the whole flame will be all blue, but as the glass begins getting very hot the flame will turn orange as it hits the glass. That is an indicator that it is getting very hot and you should be intently watching the glass to make sure it doesn?t begin bending too fast.
If you overheat it, and it begins bending too fast, the glass will have a ?folded? effect which is shown in the below image. This can hamper the quality of the cathode because it makes the gasses inside have a lot of friction. This will cause your cathode to most likely flicker really quickly. (Think of your monitor being at 60hz or less, and how you can see the quick flickering).
Each time you get the glass to bend a little, remove it from the flame for about 30 seconds and then continue on. If you don?t give that section time to cool, while you?re working on the next section, the first part could overheat again and bend more than you desired.
If you hold the cathode at the tip of the flame, going in ?? passes back and forth without rotating, it will take approx. 15 seconds before it will begin bending on its own.
With the candle, you?ll notice that as you pass the cathode through the flame, the carbon residue collects on the glass. Don?t worry about it; it will easily wipe off. The one thing I don?t like about that, though, is it hampers your ability to see the glass bending, and makes it easier to accidentally have the bowl effect mentioned above.
While passing the cathode through the candle, you can move it more slowly and leave it in a spot a little longer because of the much lower temperature of the candle flame. If you do small passes it should take approx. 45 seconds before the glass will begin to slightly bend, and 1 minute, 15 seconds before you should have a significant bend.
Now for the downside of this all. It?s VERY VERY easy to have the imploding effect occur, or if you get a nice bending going, but you apply a little too much pressure, that combined with the heat will make the glass very fragile and easy to break.
My first attempt turned out quite successfully. It was just a few simple bends with a candle.
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