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It has been a while since we've had a thread on how the Akro spinner cup worked.   Pictures are missing and links are broken in some of our past threads. 

Anyone up for making a fresh explanation of the cork-making process?

Thanks in advance.

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Dani posted this page from Roger and Claudia Hardy's Akro guide.   Has a lot of info in it, though it doesn't all make sense to me.   (I'm getting hung up on the probably trivial point of it looking like the glass was dropped halfway down the rollers.)

Big version at Dani's site:  spinnercup.jpg (2550×3300) (inthenet.net)  (might need to give the picture an extra click to get to full size)
 

Little version for preview :)  

EzlkI4r.jpg

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The marble machine rolls just make the marble round. The spinner cup turned fast and it also spun the marble round. Maybe the glass glob already twisted and some rounded was dropped half way down the rolls.  Because it was not necessary to have the marble travel the full length the rolls for rounding and cooling.  Short rolls were used early one and in recent years. But the longer rolls help round the marble more and also allow more cooling time, which hardens it. When most companies made marble flats or gems, they used very short rolls about 12-18 inches long. The round glob or marble was yet hot. The marbles would fall from the short rolls down to near the center of a large flat thick steel rotating disc. When the hot marbles hit the disc that makes one side or about half of the marble flat. The then flats or gems rotated around on the disc until they worked their way to the outside edge of the disc and then fell off into  bucket or catch container.

Excavated Akro corkscrew spinner cup. 

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1 hour ago, Tommy said:

I love this stuff . Did they just stop the spinning to make slags and game mibs? 



Slags were a different method in an earlier period.   Slags were discontinued and corks were introduced at the tail end of 1929 or the beginning of 1930.  

In the 1930's though, there were lots of marbles which weren't corks.  There were patches, sparklers, moonies, flinties and as you say,  game marbles.    I'd guess they had different set ups for those which didn't have a spinner cup attached at all.  

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Hi All! I'm a newbie here and this topic fascinates me as well.

On 2/9/2021 at 8:57 AM, Steph said:

Dani posted this page from Roger and Claudia Hardy's Akro guide.   Has a lot of info in it, though it doesn't all make sense to me.   (I'm getting hung up on the probably trivial point of it looking like the glass was dropped halfway down the rollers.)

I would add that the cup rotates to drop it in the funnel, before it is deposited onto the rollers. 

EDIT: Ooops! I now see what you were talking about Steph, in regards to the location of the spinning cup mechanism and its location with respect to the rollers in Burnett's hand sketch above. I think it is meant only to be a "functional" drawing ... and as such he was taking artistic liberty. haha

On 2/9/2021 at 5:36 PM, wvrons said:

Excavated Akro corkscrew spinner cup

This is a cool spinner cup! Did you dig it up yourself? What a piece of history. Wish I had one.

If you don't mind my asking: What is the approximate outside diameter at the top of the spinner cup? And what is the approximate inside diameter of the small hole at the bottom? And do you know why the smaller hole is there?

There are two patent plate drawings that I've seen in a past forum. I'll try to go grab them and provide links.

Edited by JoePaddie
added a clarification
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1 hour ago, JoePaddie said:

If you don't mind my asking: What is the approximate outside diameter at the top of the spinner cup? And what is the approximate inside diameter of the small hole at the bottom? And do you know why the smaller hole is there?

 

I own two, as well as two funnels and some plungers.  One has hand-carved grooves, this one doesn't.

 

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Thanks Alan. Appears to be a hefty little guy. These parts must have gone through a number of design changes and iterations over the years.

Looking at the 2nd patent drawing of 1931 above, what are your thoughts as to how these were mounted? I'm guessing they were pressed into the flanged holder (#24) and screwed down (#29) to the top of the helical spline gear (#27).

At first I wondered if the approximate 1/8" hole down the center of you spinner cup might be a centering hole. The "center hole" on Ron's spinner cup appears much larger though ... so then I was thinking it was meant to bleed off air that might get trapped beneath the molten glass ingot.

But then I saw part #25, which appears as though it might be an ejector assist pin. (Unfortunately, whoever used the highlighting to indicate the molten blue base and red cork material, has covered up the top of part #25. Although the blue and red spiral may functionally depict what will happen to the material, it does not happen outside of the spinner cup as shown).

Brain Storm Rules! Any and all ideas appreciated.

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One of the most important parts was the metal rod the glass flowed down under the orifice. This gave the stream resistance allowing it to corkscrew.  Some transparents, especially the Reds, show a dark pattern down the center of the marble. Probably oxidation off the rod. I believe the early kinda corkscrews (Ades) were probably made before the rod was part of the process 

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2 hours ago, lstmmrbls said:

One of the most important parts was the metal rod the glass flowed down under the orifice. This gave the stream resistance allowing it to corkscrew. 

Thanks. This is very interesting. 

So the 1/8" hole down the center of the spinner cup contained the rod, right? Was the rod fixed or did it rotate with the spinner cup?

When the gear driven spinner mechanism is pivoted about the shaft (#32) to eject the marble, has the metal rod been retracted somehow?

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These are some spinner cups. You can see there were different designs in the cups, just cut outs to give the cup traction, grip to spin the glass. You can see on the base where a set screw made marks in it to hold it in the fixture it's mounted in on the photos Alan shared. Some have holes in the bottom, some don't. I would presume to vent air in order to keep bubbles out and to let the glass fully seat into the cup.

 

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For the following, please reference Fig 4 of the patent drawing above.

I've come to the conclusion that whoever did the annotated drawing of blue and red molten glass and superimposed it on the patent apparatus drawing above, helped to create a huge confusion factor with respect to how the spinner cup actually functioned. It appears that this drawing has been floating around these forums for some time.  

If you look at reference #25 in the center of the cup in Fig 4, you can see the "rod" that is claimed to have existed. In fact, the original patent description refers to #25 as a "groove". And #24 in the above referenced drawing is the cup itself which the patent description states "may have grooves #25 provided in its inner surface". 

The spinner cup (#24) as mounted on the machine above was originally drawn on the actual patent plate with a cutaway depiction of the internal "spherically" shaped cup with a "groove" cut in it. In the original patent drawing there is a horizontal line that is clearly drawn across the top of the cup. In Figure 4 above the line disappears and the "groove" magically turns into a "rod". Go figure.

When you think about it the inner stationary "rod" never made sense anyway ... unless it can be retracted down the center of the cup. But as noted, not all the cups had a center hole. And there is no way such a "rod" could be afixed (or retracted) from above. Otherwise the first time the pivot arm is cycled to tilt the cup 90 degrees and eject the cork, it would break the "rod" or jam.

 

 

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I have never understood this rod or what ever it is, in the center of the cup ?  The shear had to be very close to it. If not retracted some way, the rod would be near the shear. If the rod remained in the cup, the marble would have a hole or space where the rod was. I would think that could lead to a weak point in the center of the marble. Would this rod be made of graphite ? The spinner cups are graphite or some soft carbon. Most people say the cups are graphite because the hot glass would not stick to them when it tilted to dump the marble. I agree with what happens to the rod when the cup tilts over to eject the marble ?  I also think maybe the hole in the bottom of the cups was to release air or hot gas. But some had holes and some did not ? Plus the holes are not all the same size ? So many questions may be some of the reasons probably why no one ever copied this piece of equipment to make corkscrews.  That and the cost to build it. 

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9 hours ago, wvrons said:

I have never understood this rod or what ever it is, in the center of the cup

Me neither. The two drawings included here, clearly show the modification that was made to the original patent drawing to fit the false theory of a "rod". (The horizontal line across the top of the spinner cup has been erased in the the modified drawing).

As noted in my previous post above, the patent description refers to #25 as a "groove" NOT a "rod". The patent drawing was intended to provide a cross sectional view of the internal cup with a "groove" on the back wall.

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Thanks for the drawings. Maybe the rod is actually a line or mark #25 on the drawing for the groove on the far inside of the spinner cup ?   The cup in the drawings looks like it is upside down. With the smaller diameter portion of the cup turned up. The drawings look like the cup is the same diameter top to bottom.  You can see in the pictures of actual spinner cups above that at least some were different diameter top to bottom. I thought maybe the smaller portion bottom of the cup was some way that the cup was anchored. The rod(if true)would have to be short not much longer than the cup. Because there is not much room above the cup for the shear. I still have a lot of mystery around this maybe a rod. If the rod was flush with the top of the cup ? The cup could tilt and eject the marble without the rod being retracted. Were there different size rods ? Some of the cups bottom holes are different sizes and some have no hole. Would the hot marble slide easily off the rod when the cup tilted to eject the marble ?  Would that hole in the marble from the rod fill in and close itself up ? Every time I think about this rod, I have problems with it working.  I am still missing pieces of the puzzle. Which might be a explanation or answers to questions ? The cut away drawing might be causing some confusion. Like identifying marbles, it always easier and more accurate in person in hand than from pictures or any drawing.    

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17 hours ago, JoePaddie said:

". . .the patent description refers to #25 as a "groove" NOT a "rod". The patent drawing was intended to provide a cross sectional view of the internal cup with a "groove" on the back wall."

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I think there is no doubt about it.

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OK; This makes sense, but leads to another question: did all molten glass feeder machines have graphite cups?  The Akro ones spun at various rpms to make corks, but were the cups removed to make non-cork mibs? How bout other companies?

If molten glass will not stick to graphite, were other parts made from it? Ok 3 questions. Thanks

Bruce

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 Most times when the hot glass was sheared the elongated glob did fall into a cup or a tube like chute or trough down onto the rollers. I have seen a few of the configurations with the cups. But none of those were graphite. They are cast metal, made like a funnel, about 3-4 inches across the top funnel down to a smaller hole 5/8 to one inch hole at the bottom. These cups can be adjusted up, down, in , out, and at angels. This adjustment is critical.  But these cups have to be wiped out or cleaned often due to the glass buildup. Most times the operator will squirt a little water around the sides of the cup or take a wet glove or cloth and wipe out the cup. This fractures and removes any thin layer build up of glass stuck to the cup. That would have been impossible due to space with the cork spinner cup. 

 I don't know how steady or routine graphite pieces were used. This was experimented with in different spots and uses. The only steady use that I know of was the Akro cork spinner cups.  

 With the Akro corkscrews, at least the spinner cup and equipment to tilt it would have been removed to make non corkscrews. Maybe even the shear might have been changed ? There also had to be different size spinner cups. They made several different size corkscrew marbles, most 9/16 to one inch or over. What ever attached or held the spinner cup, had to also hold different size cups or separate pieces of equipment with the spinner cup was used for different size corkscrews.  

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You all may have me convinced there was no "rod" it just seems that the stream would have twisted around not necessarily corkscrewed without something providing resistance. And what also explains the dark area and occasional twister like pattern down the center of some corkscrews? It was also explained to me to "rod" was above the shears 

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Wish I could stream some molten glass into a spinner cup to see what happens. It was also explained to me the "rod" was an improvement on the original patent so it would not be described in that patent. And the first corks before the "rod" were the kinda corks that many Ade types look like 

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