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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2007-08-31, 9:50am
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Serendipity831 Serendipity831 is offline
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Post Opinions or suggestions about Jen-ken AF3P 11/4.5 kiln?

Would anyone care to provide suggestions or opinions about the Jen-Ken AF3P 11/4.5 Glass Fusing & Bead Annealer with the Orton AutoFire 3 button digtal Controller and 2" flip door? I am in the process of researching the equipment I need to set up a studio (whew!)

Overwhelmed in Chimacum
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  #2  
Old 2007-08-31, 9:55am
Just Nancy Just Nancy is offline
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I don't know anything about that kiln. I do remember researching till I was blue in the face. One supplier told me I didn't need a kiln for my hot head beads, another said to use the freezer and just test for stress. I was determined and finally decided a lot of them are about the same. Choose what you want (fire brick, etc), size and availability then price around. You will want a flip door (IMHO).

Once I had mine here, I kicked myself for not getting it sooner. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 2007-08-31, 10:24am
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That is the kiln I have. I bought that one because I want to do things other than lampwork like enameling, fusing and PMC. Of course, I have yet to do any of those other things. *grin*

If i were trying to do more production lampwork and sets rather than focals, it would be too small for me. I would probably go for one of the long skinny kilns like the chillipepper. I think there is another one with double doors.

Anyway, I've had it for almost 2 years and it has been completely reliable. I found instructions on the web to program the controller. It also came with instructions that are easy to follow.

I do love it. I got mine from twolassesglassclasses. They are on the web and on ebay. They were great to work with. No problems at all.
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Old 2007-08-31, 11:26am
BeadinMarie BeadinMarie is offline
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I have that one as well and also got mine on ebay from twolassesglassclasses

I love it have had it about 2 years now, even moved it from california to Arizona without problems! I love it!

-Marie
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  #5  
Old 2007-08-31, 3:26pm
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Another twolassesglasses customer for this kiln here.

The relay went out on mine when it was about a year old. Jen-Ken thought it was the element, so they sent me a replacement coil along with a relay. Turns out it was the relay after all. Although it was disappointing that it failed after such a short life, Jen-Ken had excellent support and was quick to send the replacement parts.

I opted for this kiln because of its versatility: fusing, PMC, small pottery, but like Lara, I've yet to begin those projects..

If I was anything other than a evenings and weekends hobbyist, I would opt for something with better capacity, like the Chili Pepper, Bluebird, or Glasshive's annealing beast, as the little door on this one seems to fill up quickly. I don't like to stack beads, and even with the perforated metal couches, it still seems difficult to get a lot of beads in it.

But for its price and versatility factor, it was definitely what I was looking for when I purchased it and I don't regret getting it.

Good luck, and have fun setting up your new studio!
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  #6  
Old 2007-08-31, 9:04pm
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I have the Jen-Ken tall Bead Annealer w/fold up door, with Bartlett controller. Got it about 2 years ago, also but from Centre DeVerre. Have had NO problems with it and it arrived quickly. I'm glad I got the fire brick kind, as I sometimes get interupted and I simply turn it off, then anneal the beads at a later time. A fire brick kiln cools slower. I'm not sure you should do that with the Chili Pepper or a similar one. Maybe someone knows for sure.

I am not just crazy about the fold up door. I don't like the fiber blanket material they use on it for insulation. It flakes off. I wish I could get more beads in the kiln. I think a different shape, more like the Chili Pepper, would be better.

http://www.cdvkiln.com/menubead.htm
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  #7  
Old 2007-09-01, 12:29am
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I have the kiln you are asking about and it's great! The only difficulty I've had is the programming manual isn't written very clearly. My husband programmed it for me and all is right with the world!
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  #8  
Old 2007-09-01, 2:57am
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I bought mine from twolassieglassclasses too and love it I will say that for versatility it is great but if I was going to do tons of stuff in one day then I would like to have a larger door but the reason I bought this one is because I wanted to be able to fuse a plate if I wanted to. If I was going to fuse just small items then one that is long with longer doors would work. You can't fuse in anything other than brick tough so a chili pepper you can't fuse in. If you are only going to anneal beads I would love to have a long one like that. But other than the door I love it. I just stack my beads after they cool on the rack and I can get alot in it.
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Old 2007-09-03, 8:17am
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I've had mine for about 4mths., and I love it!!! I do wish I had gotten the 4"bead door instead of the 2". I'm a big guy, and sometimes it's a lil difficult to place things through the small opening. I have started using annealing blanket on the inside so I don't have to fuss w/trying to get the mandrels just right on the furniture. I have also used it to fuse some cabachons, and will also start making small glass bowls. I just love the versatility, and proraming the controller is a breeze.
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  #10  
Old 2007-09-04, 9:31am
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I have the one with the 4 inch door. Hate the insulation in the door, love the kiln. It holds heat well and I can fit quite a bit in there. I've slumped some cabs and done pot melts in it.

I bought mine used last year and I've actually had quite a few problems with element. I've replaced it three times and the relay once. But Jen-Ken is very helpful and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. Now that I'm doing beads full-time though, I wish I had one from glass hive. Also, having just gotten back from Glass Stock, I'm totally in love with Mike and Deb, all the more reason to buy from them.

Teague
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  #11  
Old 2007-09-04, 11:00am
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We sell all of the Jen-Ken Kilns. I guess the right kiln depends on what you are using it for..I really like the 4 inch doors myself because I do big. We have 3 Chili Peppers at the Studio and they are workhorses. I did have to replace a part once and almost had heart failure. The Jen-Ken man was a great help!! And even sent me photos as to how to do it!
Paula
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Old 2007-09-04, 1:41pm
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I never use my flip door anymore, it's too awkward.
I just got an "Ov Glove" from a hardware store (canadian tire here) and flip the top and set my beads down whre they need to be. No thermal problems so far as far as I can tell!
(the glove is great! my hand hardly feels any heat!... now if they only made elbow length ones!)

It is awkward in it's shape, and the only reason I use the flip door is if i have a 12 inch
mandrel...I stick the bottom out the door so it'll fit. (BHB mandrels and a lot of special mandrels are 12 inches.. I should go somewhere and get them all cut down to size)

I'm so happy for a controller that i'm not going to complain about programming it... only that you risk death if you TOUCH MY KILN BUTTONS!!! It's set, and i'll adjust it within the program to suit my needs, but I don't know about anything else, and if i mess it up, I"ll press buttons until i see what i need, and then go from there.
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