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Neon Glass Bending

 

If you are interested in learning how to bend glass for neon,visit my new website. www.neonglassbendinglessons.com

Some people call it a craft some call it an art but the reality is it's probably both.
A neon glass bender is the person that makes the neon signs or art work by molding the straight 4' glass tubes into whatever shape is needed,he utilizes special torches to heat the glass until it starts to bend and at the precise moment before it melts he takes the glass out of the fires and sets it over the pattern, the pattern is a drawing on paper or neon channel letterspecial non burning material to follow the shape exactly as the drawing .
The demand for glass benders has gone down mainly because neon used to be the main light source in channel letter signs ,but now they use LEDs (Light Emiting Diiods)About.That neon on patterntechnological breakthrough affected the neon industry in a great way,about 90% of the neon produced was for internally illuminating channel letter signs.
So mostly a Neon Glass Bender today manufactures exposed neon for window store fronts or custom made neon signs either for business or home, and also repairing the existing neon signs.
The times are a changing and Glass Benders have to adapt to survive.


The tools used by the glass bender are


1.-Rubber hose ....used to blow on the glass to bring the diameter of the glass back to its original size after bending.
2.-Metal File ...to cut the glass
3.-Electrode Holder
4.-Marking Pencil... To Mark where the bend will go
5.-Weight Bag.... Used to keep the neon section from moving while welding a piece of ....glass
6.-Flatener material .. Used to flatten the glass,mainly on curves to keep it good looking
7.-Cross fires torch.. used to weld,or bend glass
8.-Hand Torch ...Used to weld Glass
9.-Ribbon Burner ... Used to curve the glass

Glass Benders Tools neon tubes in box Ribbon Burner hand torch cross fires
Tools Of the Trade
Neon Tubes
Ribbon Fires
Hand Torch
Cross Fires
neon pattern

The Neon Pattern

The pattern is a real size drawing of the neon sign to be made,that will guide the glass bender on how to make the sign or any other neon light.Back in the good old days when there were no computers this patterns were made by hand,so the glass bender needed to know a bit of drawing so his neon wouldn't come out looking bad,in big shops there were people that specialized in only doing patterns.But now every pattern is done in the computer and then transfered to a plotter that draws the pattern on paper.

 


The Neon Manufacturing Process

 


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