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Iron pontils

dab46

Member
Oct 17, 2015
14
3
Anyone tumbling bottles should know how to do it - but there are a bunch of options that include using a rubber ball, caulking, nail polish or some other method to protect the iron or graphite.

are you doing this yourself or are you just curious how it’s done?
just finished doing one, used rubber ball, worked great!
 

dab46

Member
Oct 17, 2015
14
3
So far, I haven't been able to navigate the website very well. The reason is because I really stink with using computers. Will get better, but it will take time.
I just posted a picture of some of my misc. bottles, it took me over 2 hours to successfully get them posted (finally my wife helped me or I would still be trying to post them.)
opmustards
I have all the same problems plus I can't spell or type.
 

Harry Pristis

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2003
1,126
83
Northcentral Florida
The closest thing as far as wood being used would be a block with a hemispherical cutout that was wet and used to give the rotated parison a uniform globular shape, normally used in freeblown objects. Still see them used today. Not sure what they're called though.
The wet block allows steam to escape. Imagine, though, a dip mold of wet wood. The molten parison would trap steam in the closed cylinder -- an analog to a steam engine piston. Explosive. That energetic environment would not be suitable for forming a bottle out of a parison.

Prior to the development of brass and iron molds, I suggest that bottle molds were made of clay -- dry, perhaps fired clay -- sometimes just a hole in a clay floor (reported for big vessels). Even clay molds would have a short life, and that's why it took the development of metal molds to make glass bottles commercially important in the later 1700s.

There has been lots of speculation by modern collectors about molds. When this speculation include wood dip molds or any sort of closed mold of wood, I think the speculation is misguided.
 

K6TIM

Active Member
Jan 14, 2021
35
8
Hi,
I was wondering what is the best way to preserve the iron on a pontiled soda while tumbling?
Any info would help.
Thank you,
opmustard
The iron pontil mark cannot be cleaned.The reason is the dirty pontil rod and that iron go into the glass.Leave mark alone as well as the patina to keep the value of the bottle alone.You can polish the bottle,but the age old patina will remain!
Tim Durkin
 

nhpharm

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
2,388
113
I read with interest some of the comments on "painted" iron pontils. My understanding is that, particularly in the west, some early bottlers painted the bottom of their bottles to be able to quickly sort theirs from others when the bottles were returned. I believe that some of them even documented this in trademark applications in California.
 

opmustard

Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2021
184
43
just finished doing one, used rubber ball, worked great!
I have used a rubber ball as a pontil protector and had very mixed results.
Please, describe in more detail how you used the rubber ball (size, position, stopple size, etc.
Thank you,
opmustards
 

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