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Borosilicate, or "boro" for short, is also called "hard glass"; it has a COE of 32 or 33. The lower COE means your finished pieces will have a higher resistance to thermal shock and breaking. Borosilicate glass has unique characteristics, including a fascinating property of changing colors in different types of flames. Boro projects are more easily reworked and will anneal faster than soft glass projects. Because it melts at a higher temperature, bigger and hotter torches are usually the best for hard glass work.
Get the Right Equipment
Torches for boro are fueled by propane and oxygen, so you'll need appropriate hoses, regulators and flashback arrestors. Torches come in a variety of sizes; beginners will likely want to start with a small or mid-range torch. Annealers are handy, but are optional for basic boro work. Delphi has a great selection of all the shaping and hand tools you'll need. Check out the Flameworking Torches and Tools section of the website.
Always make sure you're working in a well-ventilated area, since flameworking does create some noxious gases as a by-product of your torch and glass work. And always wear appropriately shaded safety glasses (like Boroscope shades #45105) to protect your eyes from glare, IR and UV radiation from the flame, as well as projectiles.
Get A Good Book - Delphi Recommends "Flameworking"
Select a complete flameworking resource that concentrates on borosilicate. We suggest "Flameworking" (#6330) by Elizabeth Ryland Mears. A good instructional book, like a good instructor, will provide all the information you need to set up your workspace, show you the basic techniques, and provide projects that will help you learn and experiment with glass. Delphi also teaches Beginner to Advanced Borosilicate workshops at the Delphi Creativity Center. Go to the Classes page for an up-to-date schedule.