Fusing Glass Discussions

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Hi everyone!  Have been playing with my new kiln and LOVING it!!!  Thinking
about pre-emptively buying stock in the electric company to recoup some of
my costs in running the thing day and night.  But aside from the fact that
glass will be making me a pauper in short order, working with warm glass is
fascinating!

With that said, I wanted to find out if this is truly the forum for
discussion of warm glass (I have SOOOO many questions!) or should a new
newsgroup be initiated.  'Cuz time's a-wastin'!!!  I need to SHARE and TALK
and DISCUSS this new love of my life!!!!  Boy, I am such a girl!!! LOL

Look forward to hearing from you all (yep, even you sasspots!!!)

Lori



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
HI Lori

On Thu, 01 Jun 2006 19:26:18 GMT, "FlameNwind"

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Glad you're enjying the kiln - there's an awful lot to learn - but the
best way I've found is to experiment, and keep notes !

There's lots of expertise over in the warmglass forum - but I
personally find it much easier to read this newsgroup, rather than
keep checking a web-based offering.

By all means ask away here -
what sort of kiln do you have and what are you making with it ?
Tried any dichroic glass yet - that's lovely stuff to play with !

Regards
Adrian
www.inspired-glass.co,uk
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions

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Nice website.  BTW, in your link above, you have a comma between "co" and
"uk".   Had to change it to a "dot" to get the link to work.

Did you do the site design yourself?



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
HI Moon

On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 10:22:28 -0400, "Moonraker"

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Thanks


Bother ! <g>
should have been www.inspired-glass.co.uk

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Yes - thanks for the compliments. <blush!>

IANL I ran a little web design company - still do the odd little site
for friends etc. (Still can't type though !)

Never did get into all the sooper-dooper flash / java / bells &
whistles stuff - tend to think that 'simpler = better' in many cases.
That's what comes of starting off with 1200 baud modems !

The biggest challenge with the glass site has been getting half-decent
photographs - still working on that one .....

A little light tent helps - but I've still got some little stained
glass tealight holders with mirrored backs which confuse the hell out
of my digital camera.

Somebody suggested covering the mirror with cardboard - must try that
when I have an idle moment.....

Regards
Adrian
 

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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions

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In another life, I was in the photo biz.

Actually you might want to use the white cardboard as a reflector.
Position a light so that it is illuminating the card. Then, position the
mirrored object so that it is being illuminated by the white reflector.
Move the camera lens and or the object around so that what you see in the
camera's viewfinder is the white card on the mirror's surface.

You will be bouncing light from the cardboard to the mirror to the lens.   I
use foam-core board in about 2x3 foot sheets.  I actually buy the foamcore
in both white and black.  If you cut a hole in the board and put the black
side toward your shiny objects and the lens thru the hole,  you can
eliminate most of the reflection of the camera on the object.

Hairspray on small shiny objects will kill the reflections, too.  Several
thin coats work best.



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi Moon

On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 11:56:10 -0400, "Moonraker"

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OK


I see what you're saying.

Imagine a piece of mirror cut to a quarter of a circle - this is the
base of the tealight.

Two more pieces of mirror form the back of the tealight holder - they
sit on the  two radii.

The stained glass, agate, whatever is foiled up and sits along the
curve of the base.

Looks great when illuminated by a tealight - but all the light and
reflections produces a very confusing photographic image - maybe I'm
getting too close in to the thing (macro lens).


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The light tent has a detachable zippered 'front' which can be adjusted
so's the camera lens pokes through - similar idea, I guess.

I need to get a bit more scientific with the lighting - currently
using a couple of 'proper' daylight compact fluorescents - but they
need to have better reflectors and be more 'adjustable'....

Have just packed them in a big cardboard box along with all the other
photo stuff - preparatory to our 'big move' - so will have to wait a
couple of months to have another 'play'
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Didn't know that....
I've found that a bit of highlighting (small halogen desk lamp) can
add a bit to small jewellry pieces...

Thanks for the ideas -
back to the box-packing !

Regards
Adrian

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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
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I agree with that, Adrian!  The learning curve feels like the letter "O"
right now.  I have a raging battle going on between the left and right
hemispheres of my brain every time I go to fuse.  The creative side sighs
and pouts and pokes to just get on with it!  But the analytic side insists
that I must, at least, have a fair working knowledge of the equipment and
the science of glass and all its wonderful nature.  Although I am certain
that a wonderful marriage will ultimately occur between the two
sides...right now they are more interested in wrestling than doing the tango
with one another!  Plus I insist on using glass that has not been tested so
I can be surprised by the results...I live to make things hard for myself!
lol

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My feelings as well.  I LOVE this newsgroup...even with all the varying
dissent...or is it BECAUSE of the varying dissent???  Even though folks go
off the specific topic often, they are still giving up an immense amount of
information and I feel like I am getting quite the education.  And then when
they post links...ahhhh, the beauty of glass!

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I have a Jen-Ken kiln - 11 x 4 1/2 internal dimension, octagon, one side
element, 120v, 1700 degrees.  Because it is my first (sort of infers that
there are more on the horizon, no?) I confess to cheaping out and not
getting exactly what I wanted for fear that it would end up an ornament in
my already stuffed crafting studio.  So it is smaller than what I actually
wanted and has a pyrometer and infinite switch as opposed to a digital
controller.  On the whole I am glad that I am having to learn how to control
the kiln myself rather than just programming it.  Still, there is the
occasion when I wish I didn't have to be quite so diligent (and anxious)
going through the various stages and adjustments of the fusing process.

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Egads!  That stuff is so incredibly expensive...I am waiting until I achieve
Goddess status in creating and successfully fusing before mixing in my tiny
stash of gold, um, I mean dichroic glass!  Until then I have to satisfy
myself with admiring those pieces that others (such as yourself) have
created and invested.

Smiles!
Lori



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi Lori

On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 17:52:37 GMT, "FlameNwind"

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Oh yes - been there - done that !

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My limited experience suggests that non-tested cathedral glass is much
more forgiving than on-tested 'streaky' stuff.

I did run a few test strips - using spectrum clear as a substrate and
fusing little bits of 'everything' in my glass stock shelves onto it.

Viewed through a pair of crossed polars you could see the stresses -
which allowed you to make reasonable guesses as to what would fuse
with what - also viewed under ordinary light yu could see what had
de-vitrified and what hadn't...

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True !
Also I can read the newsgroup with a 'proper' off-line reader (free
agent from forte) so I don't have to use a web-based interface.

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OK - I'm using a little (digitally controlled) Paragon SC-2 - and
thinking of upgrading to a larger kiln (see other thread). I get the
feeling that it's not such a bad thing to have a manually-controlled
kiln - at least you get a 'feel' for the process....

The other side of it is that, with a digitally-controlled kiln, you do
get repeatabilty - so you can do as I'm doing at the moment and load
the kiln with little pieces of glass for the 'feathers' on a
stained-glass dreamcatcher - and just leave 'em to 'cook' - knowing
that they'll turn out more or less like the last batch...
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Here's a tip.
Try buying 'dichro scrap' - search on ebay.
You can get 1/2 lb or even 1lb if you're feeling flush <g> - and if
you chose your supplier carefully then you get a good mix of 'stuff'
to play with. Gives you a feel for the material - some sellers will
also sell you a named 'sample set' - which can be a great way to see
what the stuff in the catalogues really looks like.

On a purely commercial note - you can make a pendant and a pair of
earrings from a 1" square 'sample' piece - and then sell the 'set' for
many times what you paid for the glass - but that's getting all nasty
and commercial <g>

I've recently been playing with 'kiln carving' - and it seems that
bog-standard 'casting plaster' will survive kiln temperatures on a
one-off basis - you can place a piece of glass over a plaster mound
and it'll slump and thin til you get a quite interesting effect. Works
well with coloured glass - as you get a light colour on the high
points of the mould..... fun!

Another form of kiln fun can be had by cutting a sheet of (any) glass
into thin strips, and then laying them out in two layers at 90 degrees
like a woven thing. Tack-Fused flat makes a nice coaster - tack-fuse
it and then slump it and you get an unusual tray - one of those 'how's
it done' things - gets people talking at shows.... <g>

It's great fun ! - and sometimes even the 'accidents' are beautiful !

Regards
Adrian
Suffolk UK
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions

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As usual, Brady,  in your rush to look important you offer more WRONG
information.

Definition:    A kilowatt hour (KWH) is 1000 watts of current flowing for
one hour.   (Kilo=1,000)  Eh?

Once the wattage of the kiln (or any electrical device, for that matter) is
known,  that wattage figure  must be DIVIDED BY 1000, "then" multiplied
times the hours (or fractional hours) of use and "then" times the KWH price
rate to determine cost of operation.    It's grade school math, you dummy.

I know you aren't too smart,  so read slowly and look at these examples,
maybe you'll get a clue:

An 1800 watt hair dryer used for 15 minutes at $0.10/KWH is  (1800/1000)x
(15/60)x $0.10/KWH =$0.045 cost or less than a nickel to dry your hair.

Running a 150w power supply on a PC left on for 24 hours would be:
(150/1000) x 24 x $0.10/KWH = $0.36 per day.

My electric bill came today.  We used 1079 KWH in a 31 day billing cycle and
the bill was 75.90 plus taxes.  That's about $0.07/KWH, so my examples above
are off a few pennies.

A 40A/220v kiln is 8800watts, or 8.8KWH if it runs for an entire hour.  On a
hypothetical cycle of 4 hours, that is 35.2KWH or about $2.46 at my local
electric rates.

Once again, the Canadian prairie dog pops out of his hole, barks a bit, and
takes a round right between the eyes.  When will you ever learn?



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi All

On Thu, 1 Jun 2006 20:10:53 -0400, "Moonraker"

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Not wishing to get all nerdy about it <g> but.....

Moon's calculation would be fine if the heating element in the kiln
was 'on' throughout the whole of the firing cycle.

This isn't the case - on my little SC2 kiln you can hear the relay
which switches the power to the element clicking in and out as the
controller attempts to provide the required temperature rate. The
elements will be 'on' for a shorter period of time as the kiln ramps
down - and may not even be on at all as the thing cools to room
temperature.

Even with a 'manually' controlled kiln, I think that you control it by
switching resistance in series with the elements - which reduces the
current and so the power consumption.

I guess the only 'simple' way to find out is to actually fire your
kiln with some means of measuring power consumed - or run it for a
cycle with all the other electrical 'things' switched off - and read
the utility meter at the start & end of the cycle.

In the grand scheme of things, it's one of those things that's
probably not worth the effort of calculating <g> - as a very rough
rule of thumb you could take Moon's figure and divide it by 1/2 or 3/4
- probably wouldn't be that far out....

Life's too short - back to the glass ! <g>

Adrian
Suffolk UK
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi again

<big snip>

OK Adrian - back in your hole ! (ducking those bullets <g>)

I see that Dennis has taken the intermittent nature of the power
consumption into account - sorry - should have read it all a bit more
closely....

FWIW - the webpages over here (UK) claim that the SC2 costs less than
50p to run a 'cycle' - that's just under a Dollar to those of you in
the USA.

At those sort of costs, and on a 'commercial' basis, the electricity
involved in running the kiln is a tiny amount of the costs involved in
producing saleable items - so probably not enought to worry about...

To swiftly paddle my canoe into less controversial waters (I Hope!) -
I'm toying with the idea of buyinf another kiln.
The Paragon SC2 is great for little pendant pieces - and for smallish
dishes / kiln-cast pieces - but I'd like to be able to make larger
pieces - say up to 12" diameter.

One UK retailer is offering the Skutt HotStart Pro or the Paragon
Fusion 7 - for about UK Pounds 720 - 750 each inc tax. (About $1300)

Any comments for or against these models - or suggestions for an
alternative...?

We're moving to Ireland in the near future, where the 'purchase tax'
is even higher - which is why I'm thinking about a new kiln 'now'...


Thanks in advance
Adrian
Suffolk UK
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions

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Why buy?
Check on availability of 2300 deg insulating firebrick, make a kiln, or
insulating ceramic fiber blanket, 8lb. 1"thick..
Build you own kiln, its not tough to do, and then you just buy the elements,
not alot. and talk to Jack Bowman about a controller.  His controller will
work with any kiln, then you are not handcuffed to the size of your kiln for
the project you want to do.



Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
HI Java

wrote:

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Hmmm - never thought of that !
I must admit that the price of kilns is quite staggering for what they
are.... but then, the same could be said of a lot of things....

Anybody on here followed the 'diy' route - any experiences ?
I could buy a lot of glass for the 750 Uk Pounds ! <g>

Thanks
Adrian

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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
I'm building a glass melting furnace at the moment, a bit different as
it fires longer and hotter so benefits from even better insulation. I
can recommend Wright Refractories as suppliers, all the glass people I
know in the UK seem to use them.

Wright Refractories
Bridge Street
Wordsley
Stourbridge
DY8 5YU
01384 76493

Adrian Brentnall wrote:

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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Adrian Brentnall wrote:


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Try here:   http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/xmissionbobo/my_photos


I built this one for around $2200 and I think that included $500 for the
welding machine.


--
Jack

bobo1148atxmissiondotcom


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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi nJb


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Phew - that's some kiln !
Though I did see a bigger one on holiday on the Amalfi Coast in Italy
- they were using it to fire enamel onto granite (?) tabletops - which
were from 4 ft round up to 4ft x 8 ft......

Anyway - very interesting. - thanks !

Adrian
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Adrian Brentnall wrote:
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My kiln is 56 Amps. I read the meter one evening, loaded two large 1/4"
float glass pieces to be slumped, and then read the meter in the
morning. Electrical usage for my entire house and kiln during that
period was less than $3.

I should be picking up a 4'x8' Denver Bell Kiln soon. The price is too
good to pass up.

--
Jack

bobo1148atxmissiondotcom


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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Hi again


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That sounds very good.
Electricity must be fairly cheap over there - presumably it's running
off 3-phase....

The place we're moving from in the UK is wired for 3-phase - only one
phase has a meter connected, though I rather suspect the that previous
owner used to play tricks with the other two phases..... <g>

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What a beast !
Presumably it fires like a smaller kiln - but slower ?
I guess if you are firing a piece of glass that big you'd need to take
it a bit gently anyway.....

Tell me - on a larger kiln (as in 14" - larger than my baby paragon)
would you expect to get a more even heating inside the kiln.

I ask because I'm always loading the little shelf with rows of pendant
pieces - only to find that the stuff at the back has fused perfectly -
but the stuff near the front-opening door needs to go round again.

I've been doing some kiln-carving - and a square piece of glass that's
been slumped is noticeably trapezoidal after slumping - wider at the
front where it's cooler and narrower at the back where it's hotter.

If things were more uniform in a larger kiln then I could maybe sell
off the little SC2 to part-fund the new one.....? what do you think ?

I'll go to bed tonight & dream of 8ft x 4ft kilns - sad eh ?? <g>

Thanks
Adrian
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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
Adrian Brentnall wrote:

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At home, it's single phase and `$.08 per KWH. Our studio is 3 phase but
only the compressor motors use 3 phase. The 4x8 will be hooked up that way.
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Just as fast as a small kiln, but of course the larger the glass the
slower we go.
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Sounds like a front loader. Elements on sides and back. Try firing
slower to allow the door area to keep up with the back.
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Slow down.


I think you will be happier with a top loading kiln.



--
Jack

bobo1148atxmissiondotcom


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Re: Fusing Glass Discussions
HI again


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OK. By comparison my electricity costs $0.2 per KWH - hmmm !


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Understood


It's the little SC2 - link here http://www.paragonkilns.com/SC2.htm
It is a front-loader and I think it has heating elements on left and
right side and on the top - nothing front or back.

I had slowed the rate down - maybe I should slow further...?
One comment I had was that with such a small kiln, the air inside
warms up very fast - and as the thermocouple is measuring air temp
rather than anything else, it may cause the controller to think it's
reached its setpoint before it actually has...
 
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OK - I'll give it a try.
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I was thinking the same.
The front-loader seemed like a good idea at the time, and it's been a
good education (bought it last October) - but I think it's time to
move onwards (and upwards !)

Thanks for your comments - very helpful

Regards
Adrian
Suffolk UK

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