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

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  #1  
Old 2012-10-11, 6:17pm
Karens62 Karens62 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 27, 2012
Location: Marion, NC
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Default Which kiln to buy?

So, I have been told that for my 50th birthday (on 12/12/12), I get a kiln as my present and I can get it now! Now I have to figure out which one. I have done a ton of reading but want to hear your preferences to meet my criteria.

1. Primarily beads, but possible 2-3" blown ornaments
2. Encased elements or elements in the lid. I am REALLY paranoid about touching an element with a mandrel.
3. 110 current. I do have a 220 plug for my pottery kiln, but that would be a hassle.
4. I am not planning on quitting my job, this is a hobby, even if I am passionate about it , so I won't be torching for many hours each day.
5. want to stay at max of $800 before shipping, less would be better.

I have looked at the ChiliPepper but not sure it will work for the small blown ornaments? Please help me pick out my present!
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  #2  
Old 2012-10-11, 6:53pm
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eregel eregel is offline
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Join Date: Jan 22, 2012
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I wasn't on LE yet when I bought my kiln, or I'd have looked at Glass hive, but I'll give you the info on mine, as it fits most of your requirements.

I bought an AIM 84BD, and have been really happy with it. With the optional digital controller, it's $645 - here's the link

http://aimkiln.com/aimlamp84bd.htm

With the bead door ring in place, it's 9" tall, so plenty of space for small sculptures; I was also looking for a kiln that would allow for the possibility of eventually branching out to slumping, fusing, PMC, etc., and this one is good for that.

It runs on 110, DOES have exposed elements, but they're way up in the top ring, you'd never accidentally bump one putting a bead in. And it's a brick kiln, not fiber; it doesn't get terribly hot on the outside, at least at the temps I'm running to anneal 104, and it holds it's heat really well.
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  #3  
Old 2012-10-11, 7:04pm
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purpledragonfly purpledragonfly is offline
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you can't beat the customer service and the excellent product of the Glass Hive Kilns.
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  #4  
Old 2012-10-11, 7:08pm
beckd beckd is offline
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Default Kiln

Don't over complicate buying a kiln ! Buy a Glass Hive and be done with it !
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  #5  
Old 2012-10-11, 7:14pm
fionac fionac is offline
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I've got a Paragon SC3 with bead door (never use the bead door as I only batch anneal, but it might come in handy some day ) I did a lot of research and picked this 'cause i wanted multi function, I use it for beads, fusing, pmc and enamels. The controller is v.easy to set.
Here is a link to someplace that sells it in US
http://www.clay-king.com/kilns/parag...ragon_sc3.html
and link to specs
http://www.paragonweb.com/SC3-W.cfm
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  #6  
Old 2012-10-12, 8:26pm
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peggy593 peggy593 is offline
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I adore my Glass hive kiln. Arrow Springs also makes good brick lined kilns, and if people here hadn't turned me on to Glass Hive, I probably would have bought one of those. You can call Glass Hive and tell them what you're trying to do, and they'll talk to you.
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  #7  
Old 2012-10-14, 2:54am
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tammydownunder tammydownunder is offline
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I live in Aus and have nothing but great things to say about my glasshive. I'm a bit of a button pusher and accidentally pushed the wrong buttons and reprogrammed my kiln. Pam went through step by step to tell me how to reprogram my kiln.
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  #8  
Old 2012-10-14, 3:16am
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I love the JenKen I have and though the elements are in the wall you'd be doing some serious acrobatics and getting your hand burned before you'd touch one with a mandrel. Or you'd be using 18" mandrels.
I got it through Bill Brachhold and he talked me through it with skype for as long as I needed him.
He organized it to be 220v for me since I'm in Ireland.
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  #9  
Old 2012-10-14, 5:00am
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chrisann chrisann is offline
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Go with the glass hive the unlimited customer service far exceeds any other kiln manufacturer IMO. Have owned JenKen, Skutt, Aim, Paragon and GlassHive, they all work but Mike and Pam are by far the best on customer service. They even help me when I have issues with the other kilns. And they are a small mom and pop Biz! I support small biz wherever possible.
ChrisAnn
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  #10  
Old 2012-10-14, 5:19pm
Karens62 Karens62 is offline
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Thanks for all the great advice!
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  #11  
Old 2012-10-18, 12:10pm
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demcc2 demcc2 is offline
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Two words. I think everyone here knows what they are........


GLASS HIVE


Duane
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  #12  
Old 2012-10-18, 1:50pm
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I love my Arrow Springs kiln and controller. Had them both 10 years now, and going strong. Craig is always available to answer questions and help with programming - even on one holiday when my controller got messed up due to a electrical spike. arrowsprings.com

Great folks, great kilns and great service.
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  #13  
Old 2012-10-18, 3:00pm
Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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If I could marry my glass hive i would...maybe at the least I'll go give it a hug lol
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  #14  
Old 2012-10-18, 6:10pm
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Dott Dott is offline
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Whichever kiln you go for try to get one with a brick interior for excellent heat retaining properties. I'd stay away from a fiber blanket interior. Make sure the heating element is recessed into the brick to minimize the risk of poking a mandrel into the element. Also a digital controller would be a plus for temperature regulating. Support a Small Business and buy made in the USA! These are the things I was looking for in an glass bead annealer/kiln and went with Glass Hive.
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  #15  
Old 2012-10-18, 6:48pm
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SilverRiverJewelry SilverRiverJewelry is offline
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Glass Hive for sure! My only regret is that I didn't get the next size up. I got the short guy, and if I had to start again I would get the regular size. I too work a day job and don't get to torch nearly as much as I would like but even so, I can easily fill the short guy in an afternoon.
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  #16  
Old 2012-10-19, 8:05pm
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bexrox bexrox is offline
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I got my Glass Hive Regular Guy this summer I had a little trouble programming it (I was too excited to get going and missed the last page, apparently), but Pam walked me through it on the phone until we realized my error. Well, now I can say how much I love it!! I had heard so many great things about Glass Hive when I was looking, and everything I heard is my experience too

ETA: There is a current wait time of 3-4 weeks for their kilns, but that's still before your birthday!

What a nice hubby, btw.

ETA again: Sorry to assume that it's from your husband... you didn't specify...

What a nice whoever-it-is!
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  #17  
Old 2012-10-19, 8:37pm
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I'm loving my Fishbone by Evenheat. The support has been amazing too. I've gotten answers to questions within 2 hours. They are awesome and the kiln is everything I wanted.
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  #18  
Old 2012-10-20, 10:33am
SageCreekStudio SageCreekStudio is offline
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This is the kiln I chose. And I love this kiln! I chose this kiln because I can grow into it. It is large, but I found that I wanted to do more than I could do with a bead annealer. I can fuse, slump, anneal, etc. I regret paying the extra $50 for the bead door as I never use it, it is too small.

http://www.clay-king.com/kilns/olymp...ic_146gfe.html

I bought my kiln from this vendor and customer service was good. I would buy from them again. Prior to this kiln I had a chili pepper.
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