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Extra Hands PLUS

Extra Hands PLUS

Item# 67301
Another Dust-Collector on the Shelf, November 8, 2009 1 stars
Pros
Magnifying Lens is very powerful, letting you see every detail of glass or foil, etc. extremely closely.
Cons
Cheap engineering, screws do *not* keep arms tight as others have noted. Here's what will happen to you: you will clamp your tiny piece of foiled glass that needs tinned (or what have you) and your piece of solder in another clamp, peer through the lens and get ready to work. Suddenly, thunk! The arm holding your glass has just let go, and it swivels down with a crash. And this is with ***lightweight** things being held!
Other Thoughts
I so wanted this product to work for me. It hasn't for the reasons given above: it is to be a secure holder of one or more things, and in precisely the positions and angles you set. It simply doesn't. You eventually tighten a screw with all your might (after having an arm droop and fall several times previously), and get your magnifier in place, soldering iron in hand, and Thunk! there it goes again, your piece now hanging down like a piece of limp spaghetti. Also, look at the photo of this item. See the sizable lens? See the impressive armatures and mechanical connectors, and knobs? Looks great, and you can just imagine how it would help you do a particular task you have in mind. Now, take a good look at the base. Whoever engineered this thing apparently missed the concept of center-of-gravity. Put anything on one arm that is not exactly balanced by the load on the other and boom, the whole thing tips over. Save. Your. Money. Avoid this item
Mastercraft Lead-free Solder - 1 lb.

Mastercraft Lead-free Solder - 1 lb.

Item# 2999
2 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Disastrous, November 8, 2009 1 stars
Pros
Being free of lead--a poison--is great; delivering terrible performance is not.
Cons
Very brief "waxy" state, i.e. extremely short time between liquefied and hardened. Dull finish.
Other Thoughts
Like many, I try to avoid any and all toxins in my environment whenever possible, and given the great reviews, I thought this product would serve me well. It didn't! It has an extremely high melting temperature, which is workable with good soldering skill, but it solidifies almost immediately after the iron is removed--this makes pulling a continuous bead along a seam extremely difficult, as any bumps in your glass that cause the iron to stop for the briefest of moments frequently means that the iron itself gets stuck as its trailing edge adheres to the already solidified solder behind it! I have tried different irons, and iron tips, maximizing temperatures, trying different fluxes with it, etc. The results have all been the same: terrible, and amateur looking solder lines! I can't run away from this stuff fast enough!!!!
Morton System Start-Up Kit

Morton System Start-Up Kit

Item# 60001
Overall a Great Tool, But Prepare for a Learning C, October 21, 2009 5 stars
Pros
I use this system with almost every project I undertake. It allows you to score and break glass resulting in burr-free surfaces, which means less or no grinding, and much better foil adhesion. Overall, it is a welcome and necessary tool for me.
Cons
The user manual is unnecessarily confusing. The graphics often conflict with the text, and I find that I'll be 3 pages in on a subject, and then find a paragraph heading saying "Read this First." One would expect that on the first page, *before* the settings are made as instructed by the previous pages. Also, there's lots of "choose explanation B" unless you are left-handed, then choose option C, skipping steps 8-12, but step 11 will tell you it must not be skipped, and must be followed by Option B. Really, a thorough re-write of the manual by someone other than the original author would help *tremendously*.
Other Thoughts
The kit includes an instructional CD to help you understand the written instructions. Inexplicably, the CD is an *audio* CD and not a video showing the techniques. Further, the audio is just a literal reading of the printed manual, which doesn't aid in understanding at all. How difficult would it be to use a video camera and record mpgs of the procedures? All in all, I am glad I stuck through the learning curve for this system despite the confusing documentation. It really is a wonderful system to use, and is quickly becoming indispensable to me.
Taurus 3 Ring Saw

Taurus 3 Ring Saw

Item# 57003
1 of 3 found the following review helpful:
An Indispensable and Wonderful Tool!, October 11, 2009 5 stars
Pros
I love this saw! The circular movement is natural, it cuts like a champ, and is giving me really beautiful results. My friends and family comment on how my glass looks much more professional than before. If you can't afford this saw, then save your money until you can. It truly is a pleasure to use, and it opens up all sorts of more difficult cuts. I don't know how many sheets of glass I wasted before this saw when trying to cut inside curves. This saw makes that completely effortless, reducing my scrap glass to practically nothing at all. I enjoy using this saw, I am proud of the results I make with it, and am very glad I own one.
Cons
The included tutorial videos are really annoying. They really, really try hard to be funny (they're in a 1950s "Mr. Wizard" style, complete with a nerd in a lab coat with thick glasses), and they are anything but.
Other Thoughts
This saw will take you from basic glass maker with acceptable, amateur results to intermediate and advanced glassmaker with really superior results that you will be proud of.
BehtesdaJim
Profile
BehtesdaJim's info
joined:Nov 15, 2006
location:BETHESDA, MD US
display name:BehtesdaJim