Choosing body material – Steel or Stainless steel?
We offer pipes and punties with both stainless and steel bodies. All steel pipes, sizes 3/4" and above, are made with chromoly steel. Here are some of the key differences between these materials
|Characteristic||Stainless steel||Carbon steel|
|Less likely to bend||•|
|More scale resistant||•|
|Body will rust||•|
|Best for beginners||•|
|Better for production shops||•|
|Better for cup work||•|
|Great for your personal work||•|
What is a “section” and why does Spiral Arts use them?
In all of our steel pipes, 3/4" and larger use 4130 chromoly steel for the body, we have welded in a 5" section of stainless tubing between the head and the pipe body. Not only will this help prevent scaling, but it also eliminates problems with the steel near the head cracking or deforming when it is overheated. This design offers the best aspects of both the stainless steel body (low scale) and the steel body (high strength and grip).
How do I choose a wall thickness?
We build most of our standard stainless steel pipes with thicker walled tubing than our competitors. This makes our tools the straightest and most durable on the market. We believe that you will find our tools to be well balanced when you have a piece of glass on them. For those who prefer lighter weight pipes and punties, we make several sizes with thin wall tubing – we call these our “Ultra-light” tools.
What are the heads made from and why does it matter?
The material the head is made from will determine how long your pipe or punty will last. All of our pipe heads are made from either 309 or 310 stainless steel. The 310 is more durable and more expensive (for us) than the 309 although not as available. We almost always make our heads from 310 and will substitute 309 if 310 is not available. Pipe or punty heads made with 304 or 316 stainless steel will begin to experience carbon segregation, cracking, and scaling within a few months if they are used daily.
Plastic or Stainless mouthpiece?
The plastic mouth piece appears on American pipes, not so much because it saves teeth, but rather because it is much cheaper to manufacture than a stainless steel or brass mouthpiece. Nearly the entire history of blown glass has been made on pipes with metal mouthpieces. It was not until the studio glass movement in the US that blowpipes with plastic mouthpieces appeared. Plastic mouthpieces can now be found in nearly every glass shop in the US. The following are some things to remember when choosing a plastic mouthpiece: