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

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  #1  
Old 2015-05-20, 4:36am
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Olimpia Olimpia is offline
Does my glass look 2 big?
 
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Default I know...not ANOTHER annealing question! :-/

There's tons of annealing questions, I promise I searched. The problem is that there are so many conflicting answers that I am totally confused. So here's mine at the risk of being told...."go search!"

I can only torch maybe a couple times a week and usually can make no more than two or three beads at a time. I make big momma beads! I can't make myself run my usual 12+ hour annealing schedule for two beads.

I'm also a bit worried about leaving the kiln unattended most of the time it's annealing, and the electric bill is worrisome.

What can I do? Can I garage them while I make them? I garage at 930 (Effetre, DH, StrikingColor) and normally go through a ton of ramps and holds -can't remember them all right now. So when I finish the last one, can I turn off and batch anneal later?

Thank you so much!

Reborn newbie
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  #2  
Old 2015-05-20, 4:52am
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Yes you can batch anneal a full kiln load at a later time, just make sure your pieces cool slowly enough to not crack or check
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  #3  
Old 2015-05-20, 5:29am
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When you say run your full 12 hour schedule, can you not shorten your work time & go straight to anneal? On my Chili Pepper, I do a skip step once the last bead is in, and go to anneal. Then it is about 3 hours to turn off.

And just how big are the beads, that makes a difference.
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  #4  
Old 2015-05-20, 7:50am
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Great to see you, Olimpia! It's been a while!

Since you are already garaging at 930, why not just wait another hour or so (depending on the thickness of your beads) and then ramp down 100F an hour to 700 then turn off your kiln - provided that you have a brick-lined kiln?
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  #5  
Old 2015-05-20, 12:55pm
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For boro beads just cool in a fiber blanket. Yes, some will crack, but then all can be batch annealed at some later date. For larger pieces such as marbles it is important to anneal at the time the object is made.

The best results are achieved when the object is placed hot into the kiln, garaged and then annealed.

The schedule that works for my application is presented in chapter 8 of "Contemporary Lampworking".
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  #6  
Old 2015-05-20, 7:36pm
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houptdavid houptdavid is offline
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But if you are already running your kiln to garage, why not just go ahead and anneal?
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  #7  
Old 2015-05-20, 10:02pm
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I trust my kiln as well as I trust my kitchen stove or my washing machine.

As long as I have the kiln located with lots of air space around it and I don't have volatile liquids in the studio I would be very comfortable letting it run while I am asleep or out working in the yard.

I wouldn't start an annealing cycle and go shopping but I wouldn't leave a turkey in the oven and go shopping either.

It may be the geometric increase in time needed to anneal thicker glass that is going to be your biggest headache.
When you make big glass objects they demand longer annealing and the there just isn't a way around the physics involved.

Maybe it would be possible to find, make or buy some sort of external blanketing to put around you kiln to help slow the heat loss -once you get the glass below the strain point-( which I think is around 750 ) and then you could turn off the kiln and let it cool slow enough to avoid the risk of cracking.

But if you have a sizable thickness of molten glass getting it down to room temp is going to require such a slow cooling rate that you will have already performed tow thirds of a full annealing cycle anyway.

Unless your talking boro in which case a lot of the above can be shortened.

But either way you wont be able to avoid the electrical costs. If you make something molten and somehow get it to room temperature with out it breaking, when you do go to anneal it you are going to bring it back up to temp in order to relieve the stress and then cool it slowly.


I can appreciate wanting to not anneal only two things at a time and with smaller stuff you can slow the cooling enough to not lose it but I don't think you can find a blanket thick enough to allow a sizable hunk to cool slow enough without creating stress fractures.
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  #8  
Old 2015-05-20, 11:19pm
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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I use "annealing" bubbles to cool my beads and then batch anneal when I have enough. Once I am done with the bead I turn off the oxy, turn up the propane and bathe it in the flame for about 30 seconds. Then into the bubbles. You get to know how long for each size bead. I make everything from small spacers, big hole beads, giant hollows and 30mm pressed beads. I have very little breakage. Just sharing because it isn't not the traditional way to do it, but it works for me.
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  #9  
Old 2015-05-21, 6:23am
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I usually make beads over a two or three day period before running an anneal schedule . I just turn off the kiln when I am done working, leave the beads in & turn it back on when I am ready to torch again. It's been 15 years now, never lost a bead doing this & I make a lot of beads.

Oh, I make some big beads too. Lots of 1&1/4" Lentils etc.
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  #10  
Old 2015-05-21, 10:37am
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Olimpia Olimpia is offline
Does my glass look 2 big?
 
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Thank you so very much! Lots to process and give a go! Before anything I would like to say I am so thankful and impressed as to how generous you all are with your knowledge and how you share it with a stranger... no questions asked, you guys rock!

Yes, Haylay.. I am back! Missed you! I am using your annealing schedule that you generously provided, so I think I like your idea, seems like once I'm done it would take a couple of hours to turn off, right?

My beads are about 3/4" to 1 1/4" sometimes a little chunkier. I don't make sets because I am simply incapable of making two beads alike. I have a brick kiln Jen-Ken Af3P with a bead door and a Paragon Bluebird XL, which I have run 3 times tops...(what was I thinking?!)

Truth be told, I am recently remarried and DH is worried about the electric bill and risk. I can torch just two days a week for a couple of hours since I am working a full-time office job. (I know, kill me now). Anywhoo, It would have to run it always at night while sleeping; this has never bothered me but my DH is a bit of a worry wart and I can see him lying in bed wondering all night if the shop is going to burn down. I think it's funny, he doesn't!

Flameonglass, that is exactly what I would like to do, make beads, garage, and then turn off to anneal on the weekend!

I should post my schedule and see what you guys think I can do and where I can adjust.

Thank you all again!
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  #11  
Old 2015-05-21, 11:13am
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Congrats on being remarried, Olimpia!

I used to worry about leaving the kiln on all night when I first started too. We installed a smoke detector right above the kiln and never gave it another thought. Just make sure the kiln is sitting on non-flammable surface and not near anything flammable.

I agree that thick beads may not survive fiber blankets/annealing bubbles/turning kiln off especially when they are on big mandrels and/or pressed. This type of beads also require ramping up slowly instead of just turning on the kiln and ramp full speed.

Having said that, if you are willing to lose a few beads, you can always do a test run and make a decision based on the casualty rate!
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Old 2015-05-21, 11:40am
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And broken beads, once you get the bead release out of them, can still be used as frit.


As to the costs of running a kiln, I think if you look up the details you will find that you might spend 6 dollars a month if you are making beads all day every day.

Maybe someone who has done the numbers can chime in here. I know that it is ridiculously less than most people would guess but the numbers escape my feeble mind at the moment.
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Old 2015-05-21, 1:29pm
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lotusbunny2009 lotusbunny2009 is offline
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Olimpia,
Your stained glass windows are stunning! Your domes are unbelievable!!
I LOVE your four nouveau lady windows. In awe, Karen
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  #14  
Old 2015-05-21, 4:37pm
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Olimpia Olimpia is offline
Does my glass look 2 big?
 
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Thank you so much Karen! Stained glass had been my bread winner for many years; also my first love with glass. My back can no longer do it as often but I still get to do a few commissions a year.
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Old 2015-05-21, 4:38pm
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Olimpia Olimpia is offline
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I'll give it a go! I'll test all your suggestions and see what happens!

Thank you Hayley! I'm very happy!
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Old 2015-05-21, 4:45pm
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Olimpia Olimpia is offline
Does my glass look 2 big?
 
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I just discovered a smoke detector that connects to your Wifi! It's from Nest. It will send you messages to your phone! That would help my DH sleep better....it's pricey though...$99 at HomeDepot. Anyone use this?
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Old 2015-05-22, 1:02pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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It costs almost nothing to run a bead kiln through a full cycle.......maybe $3 or $4 ? My huge coffin kiln that I use for fused glass costs a little over $5.00 per load. Minimal! You throw away much more than that in leftovers every week!
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  #18  
Old 2015-05-22, 2:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olimpia View Post
I just discovered a smoke detector that connects to your Wifi! It's from Nest. It will send you messages to your phone! That would help my DH sleep better....it's pricey though...$99 at HomeDepot. Anyone use this?
We have the Nest in the house and love it. It also monitors carbon monoxide as well as lights up in the dark like a night light!

We haven't programmed it to talk to the phone tho...
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