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rainz3d 2015-08-27 7:09pm

Reducing kiln-formed glass
Hi all,

I've been fusing a lot of lamp-working glass in the microwave kiln and have made some good pieces, but I obviously haven't been able to reduce any of them to obtain mirror-like surfaces because I don't have a torch.

Would it work if I bought a Hothead torch and passed it over the cabachons for a few seconds while the glass is red-hot and then put the kiln lid back on to anneal the pieces in the kiln as per usual?

Just to be clear, I'm trying to reduce glass that I fuse on the kiln shelf rather than on a mandrel.

Any help is much appreciated.

shawnette 2015-08-27 7:15pm

Using activated charcoal in your kiln will produce a reducing environment, but I don't know if it works with microwave kilns. It's cheap (found in the pet aisle for fish tanks), so you might want to try it.

rainz3d 2015-08-27 8:50pm

activated charcoal
Hmm that sounds interesting. I'll give that a shot. Thanks for the tip :)

Speedslug 2015-08-27 11:28pm

You could ignite a piece of charcoal and stick it in the kiln as a half glowing ember.
That would burn up the oxygen in the microwave and give you a reducing atmosphere.

You would want some sort of metal dish of some sort small enough to fit under the dome with you piece or else use a few larger chunks in a metal dish and let them burn as an ember for a few minutes with the door closed to use up the oxygen inside the microwave.

You could light a candle flame and close the door to get some idea of how long it will take to use up the oxygen by timing when the flame goes out.

Metal can be used in a microwave as long as there are no points or sharp edges. I have had a metal tray that rotates in my thousand watt unit for the last 25 years.

A ceramic dish will do as well but the heat from the charcoal could cause it to break.

hyperT 2015-08-28 11:37am

Oxidation Reduction
Electric kilns produce an oxidizing atmosphere.
Gas kilns produce a reduction atmosphere.
I have used charcoal in my electric kiln and it works fine.
Mostly I was stopping the devitrifying on the surface of the glass
while making bent glass lamp shades.
This problem is more caused by the electric kiln running the
temperature up to fast. I never did ramp things up or down.
Just thought I would post this incase any kiln fire people are
having that problem.

Have fun, Wayne

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