> 2. is it possible to use a blowtorch to fuse glass?
If you mean fuse, then a blowtorch would not be suitable due to
lack of evenness and long cooling time. Fusing means melting flat
glass pieces from a cool state to slightly flowing, then cooling.
If you mean melt, then sure, it is called lampworking. If you have
a literal blowtorch (as Americans call a gasoline powered thing
used by plumbers), no. If you mean a torch using propane, etc.,
with or without compressed air, then sure. Most lamp working
today is done with surface mix torches and Pyrex type glass, but soft
glass can be done with a good propane hand torch.
> 3. How do you make rods of glass using simple eqpt? We make our glass in pl
crucibles, then pour them into discs.
The heating equipment is the problem if mean making glass from
batch, clay crucibles are only cheaper than platinum, rest costs
much the same.
The simplist way to make rod is to pull it. Melt the glass (or when
it is already melted), gather and stretch. You may be thinking too
large. Up to pencil size you will not have to anneal.
Mike Firth Dallas Texas Hot Bits Glassblowing Newsletter