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

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  #1  
Old 2012-11-02, 9:51am
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Default What can you do without a kiln?

I have to send my controller to be repaired. It's going to be a few weeks before I have a working kiln again. So I was wondering, what can I do in the meantime? I thought of stringers, twisties, and trying my hand at wig-wags. I have boro and soda lime glass. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 2012-11-02, 10:04am
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Make your own frit. Custom canes, enameled stringers, small murrini,weld all your shorts together. Encased stringers


Stuff to batch anneal later.
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  #3  
Old 2012-11-02, 10:16am
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Ooohh, I LOVE the frit idea! Murrini, too! Weld all my shorts together - that's a fantastic one as well. I have pounds and pounds of shorts... Thanks Nikki!

Keep 'em coming!
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  #4  
Old 2012-11-02, 10:31am
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I batch anneal almost everything, so in my world you can do almost everything without a kiln. You just can't go too big - I have a Zoozii's L+ lentil press, and 9 times out of 10 that's going to crack if it doesn't go straight into the kiln - but smaller beads cool in vermiculite in the crock pot just fine, I almost never have an issue with it.
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  #5  
Old 2012-11-02, 10:43am
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I also have been using the vermiculite to cool my beads so that I can batch anneal too. I just use the vermiculite in a large ceramic bowl...not even the crock pot method.

Have had only 2 beads break... and one I know I didn't flame anneal it well.
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  #6  
Old 2012-11-02, 10:52am
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If you learn to flame anneal you dont have to use a kiln at all...
Its a good thing to know. Now would be a good time to practice it.

Khan
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  #7  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan View Post
If you learn to flame anneal you dont have to use a kiln at all...
Its a good thing to know. Now would be a good time to practice it.

Khan
I think you're gambling big time with that.
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  #8  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:12am
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I work mostly pretty large, so batch annealing isn't an option for me. If I really get bored and still have to wait, I might get some vermiculite and crock pot and make smaller sets.

I think I'll avoid flame annealing. I just feel much better having my beads run though a kiln cycle. Thanks though!

Any more ideas? I'm not feeling quite as bad as I was now that I have some things to do!
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  #9  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:21am
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Depending on what I'm doing and the environmental conditions I batch anneal. I've gone as big as 1.25" with marbles cooled in vermiculite and had no problems(they must be annealed however). I try to steer clear of delicate shapes and tend toward a more venetian design. I work exclusively off mandrel.
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  #10  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:25am
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You can try making shards too, here's a handy tut by Jennifer Geldard http://www.glassgirl.com/shards.html
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  #11  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:27am
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Oh and there's always annealing bubbles by Artco, I haven't used them before but it's an alternative to using vermiculite.
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  #12  
Old 2012-11-02, 11:33am
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Roy - I am guessing you mean boro? I bet I could do boro work in vermiculite without a problem. I guess I'm getting the crock pot/vermiculite after all.

Janel - shards! Another good one. I even have the hollow mandrels. I have heard of annealing bubbles. I'll try the vermiculite with boro and see how that works. BTW - love your pic! Is it new?
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  #13  
Old 2012-11-02, 1:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan View Post
If you learn to flame anneal you dont have to use a kiln at all...
Its a good thing to know. Now would be a good time to practice it.

Khan
I would not take my chances on this one.
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  #14  
Old 2012-11-02, 1:06pm
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I think the flame annealing is really a good way to make sure you have good even heating throughout the bead.......just before you put it in the kiln.

Andrea
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  #15  
Old 2012-11-02, 1:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnehlers View Post
Janel - shards! Another good one. I even have the hollow mandrels. I have heard of annealing bubbles. I'll try the vermiculite with boro and see how that works. BTW - love your pic! Is it new?
You are so sweet! It's not too new, think I changed it about a year ago.
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  #16  
Old 2012-11-02, 4:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamsincolor View Post
I think the flame annealing is really a good way to make sure you have good even heating throughout the bead.......just before you put it in the kiln.

Andrea
^^^^^

This.

To test this, flame anneal a transparent bead and kiln anneal a transparent bead, both of the same size and shape, and when they're cool look at them through a polariscope. You will see a difference.
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Last edited by Lyssa; 2012-11-02 at 4:35pm.
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  #17  
Old 2012-11-02, 4:51pm
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Don't bother with the crock pot. Just use the vermiculite or annealing bubbles.
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  #18  
Old 2012-11-02, 5:06pm
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You have to put them in something, and the crock pot has nice thick heat retaining sides even if you don't turn it on
(but I do anyway, because you never know where that point is where it's just not enough, and the extra 100+ degrees might just save one).
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  #19  
Old 2012-11-02, 6:42pm
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Coffee can works just as well, requires no electricity and does not continue a myth!
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  #20  
Old 2012-11-03, 12:49am
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You just use vermiculite in a can...

If you're batch annealing generally it's a good idea to avoid things like dichro and lots of foil or meshes.

I also used to find thickly encased beads used to bite the dust often if I saved them for batch annealing.

Rounder beads also tend to cope better than pressed beads. Mind you, it pays to remember with the flame annealing to heat BOTH sides of the pressed bead before either sticking it in vermiculite or in the kiln. That action drastically improves the survival rate.

I had a DUH reaction with that one when I read it in a prior tips thread and realised that was part of the reason for my lower pressed bead survival rate at the time.
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  #21  
Old 2012-11-03, 3:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnehlers View Post
Roy - I am guessing you mean boro? I bet I could do boro work in vermiculite without a problem. I guess I'm getting the crock pot/vermiculite after all.

Janel - shards! Another good one. I even have the hollow mandrels. I have heard of annealing bubbles. I'll try the vermiculite with boro and see how that works. BTW - love your pic! Is it new?
Nope, 104. I've made several 104 marbles and cooled them in vermiculite, also venetian style icicles. The trick is DON"T PEAK, until they are dead cold. I use a non contact infrared thermometer if I'm not sure they are cold. When making venetian icicles you need to know what you can reheat and what you can't. Basically if it's thick and round once it is cool leave it alone. If you are going to come back to it leave a stem you can attach to.
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Last edited by Dragonharper; 2012-11-03 at 3:16am.
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  #22  
Old 2012-11-03, 5:16pm
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I don't have a can (my coffee comes in a plastic tub!) but I found a tiny crock pot at goodwill for five bucks, so I will use it.

Wendy and Roy, thanks for the tips!

I really appreciate all the ideas!
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  #23  
Old 2012-11-04, 4:08am
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I have my vermiculite in a large apothecary jar, for traveling I get new 1 gallon paint cans at Lowes.
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  #24  
Old 2012-11-04, 5:20pm
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I once spent a week (2 hours a day) doing nothing but twisties and then more complex twisties. I found the time to be well spent. You could also make boro icicles for a Xmas tree.
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  #25  
Old 2012-11-05, 7:11am
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Great, thanks!
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