Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 28 February 2014

Silvercreek Preschool

We were introduced to this wonderful facility for pre-schoolers with learning disabilities through the sad tragedy suffered by an old friend. Suffice it to say that we proudly love the connection with Silvercreek, and continue to find ways to do some fundraising on their behalf.
From a recent move (Vanna Opal has way too many shoes- Imelda Marcos is envious) we have a ton of storage boxes (average cost $3-4 ea). Come on in and for a lousy $1/box they're yours...

Monthly Sale

The end of the month is traditionally the time when we get to put something on sale, but more importantly it's also another opportunity to post an embarrassing picture of Zenia as the means to announce it. 
The March Sales Page is now up here...

Saturday, 22 February 2014

More Chihuly

Sorry about the pic Zen, but I just couldn't resist...
Love him or hate him. That's how we prefaced a chat about Chihuly and the exhibition he put on at the Museum of Fine Arts a few months ago (see here). 
It got a lot of interest from those who read this blog and/or follow us on Facebook and Instagram, so we thought it a good idea to dig up an old photo album of an exhibit he put on several years ago here in Toronto. This one was held at the Sandra Ainsley Gallery in the historical Distillery District and at the time was the largest collection ever of Chihuly's works in a private setting. 
Because our website is so large, we are posting this photo album on our Facebook page here...

FIG Solder

This is what over half a ton of FIG branded 60/40 solder looks like.
Yeah, I know, there's many more alloys than 60/40, even those less dangerous (lead-free) but we do love to live on the edge. 
As to why 60/40, we republish these words of wisdom from Mikey telling you why...

Did you know that...
... the atomic weight of lead is 82, its symbol is Pb, its density at 300k is 11.4? Tin’s symbol is Sn, and its electron configuration is ... oh, never mind, that’s way too much information.

Solder is an alloy of tin and lead, and the proportion of the two affects the melting point, but in a strange way. The most popular alloy for almost all stained glass work, and most definitely copper foil work is 60/40 (60% tin, 40% lead... Helpful Mikey)(a titanic intellect in a world full of icebergs...Ed). Looking at the two metals by themselves we see that tin melts at 450F and lead at 621F. But something really weird happens when you combine the two- the melting point drops down to as low as 361F depending on the mix of the two.
Check this out:

Ratio tin/Lead   Melting point
     0 / 100                621F
     30 / 70                496F
     50 / 50                421F
     60 / 40                375F
     63 / 37                361F

If we continue to raise the amount of tin to lead past 63% the melting point begins to rise again to where it is 450F at 100% tin, therefore 63/37 solder has the absolute lowest melting point. Pretty weird, eh? (what, you forgot about Marv Albert?...Mikey) And you thought that ratio was a gimmick? With respect to cost, the last time Stan (Mike’s metals commodities broker) checked, tin was about ten times more expensive than lead, telling you why solder prices can vary so extremely according to the amount of tin they have.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Now Back In Stock

Yup, still no full line distributor in Ontario, but we seem to be managing very well.
We've just brought in a bunch of fusible glass (also great for stained glass) nicely topping up our selection. Lots of Lemongrass SP226.72, Uroboros Lipstick Red Opal #60-615, the relatively newish 60-618 Black Cherry and the stunning Uroboros #60-602 Flame Red Opal.
And remember, every Tuesday this month this glass is included in the 'Buy 3- get 1 Free Sale'!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Our Used Tool Sale ...

... is underway and with a vengeance! 
From Fan Out lead dykes,  to Toyo lead pattern shears to Supercutters, to gently used soldering iron tips ($3/ea!) to light sockets and in-line switches, to grinder heads (used and new in damaged packaging) to strip/cirlcle cutters and running pliers- just so much stuff. 
Mikey even tripped across a box of high-end lamp fixtures- 3-socket clusters in verde green patina finish and 4-socket clusters in rich brown patina all with old style keyed sockets. If you've ever built a Tiffany style lamp then this is the ultimate and final touch to complete that lamp. Originally priced at $139 and $169. Yours for $50!

 And should you want to come in to visit and think you might be missing the Olympics, don't worry- Mikey has installed a large flat screen TV for your Olympic viewing pleasure (and how-to YouTube videos no doubt after the Games... Vanna Opal).