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

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  #1  
Old 2014-04-30, 9:45am
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KittyGlass KittyGlass is offline
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Default How do I kiln?

I can't find any straight forward "what to do with your kiln". I'm convinced everyone is born knowing how to use a kiln and I'm just searching for extremley basic answers. Like at what point do I turn the kiln on? Will I have to set it a certain way for what I'm working on that day? What if I do different kind of work all in the same day? Soft glass for a bit then some boro? Do I leave the kiln on the entire time I'm working? Then when I'm done at the torch do I have to set it to start lowering the temp? I'm sure this stuff should all be obvious or something, but I'm getting a kiln and feel really unsure of everything about it. I'm sure the people I ordered it from can answer all my questions, but I'd just like to hear from some other people too. Were you born with this knowledge?

Thanks,
Kitty
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  #2  
Old 2014-04-30, 10:23am
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speedingpullet speedingpullet is offline
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No, of course not

Can't speak for anyone else, but my mad kiln skills (hah!) were garnered from a mixture of trial and error, reading, learning how glass reacts to heat and a little gentle help right at the beginning.

What are you planning to do with your kiln? What kind of glass do you want to use with it? What kind of kiln is it?

From your questions, I'm assuming you're using it mainly as an annealer?

So, for 104COE I'd set it at 960f. If you're doing Boro, something like 1050 is a good annealing temp. Personally, I turn my kiln on as I'm setting up my torch and getting my glass ready. I have mine set to ramp up as fast as possible (9999 on my kiln) and to stay at 960f for 2 hours - I find I don't really like working for much more than that in one session.
By the time I've finished my first bead, the temp is high enough - if not at 960 already - to put the bead and mandrel in. I'll continue working until I'm done, adding my mandrels as I do. The kiln will automatically shut off after two hours, and I leave everything in there until its completely cooled.

If you're planning to do other things in your kiln - like fusing and slumping - then there is lots of info online for programming firing schedules and the like. Let us know if that's what you're planning to do and I'll be happy to point you in the right direction!
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  #3  
Old 2014-04-30, 10:25am
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AmorphousDesigns AmorphousDesigns is offline
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first of all, please consider getting Contemporary Lampworking by Bandu. It is a fantastic reference book for all things glass, including an in-depth explanation of annealing and example annealing schedules.

Like at what point do I turn the kiln on?
I turn mine on, fast ramp to about 930 and hold it at that temp the whole session, adding beads, etc as they are finished or sometimes sculptural pieces "garage" in the kiln as I'm assembling a more complex piece.

Some people cool their items in a fiber blanket or similar and then "batch anneal" everything when they have a kiln full. This requires a controlled ramp up to annealing temperature.


Will I have to set it a certain way for what I'm working on that day?
I use 930F as the set point to garage (hold at same temp for entirety of working session) for both soft and boro. Those 2 types of glasses do require different annealing schedules.

What if I do different kind of work all in the same day? Soft glass for a bit then some boro?

garage the boro with the soft and even leave it in during the soft anneal cycle, but boro does need a higher temp for annealing, so you would want to run a separate anneal cycle just for the boro.

Do I leave the kiln on the entire time I'm working? Then when I'm done at the torch do I have to set it to start lowering the temp?
as above, I fast ramp to the garage temp (930F) and leave it there during the whole session. After putting the last item in the kiln, I reset it for a full annealing cycle. Or you could batch anneal.

I'm sure this stuff should all be obvious or something, but I'm getting a kiln and feel really unsure of everything about it. I'm sure the people I ordered it from can answer all my questions, but I'd just like to hear from some other people too. Were you born with this knowledge?

Recommend the Contemporary Lampworking books.

just keep asking questions
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  #4  
Old 2014-04-30, 10:28am
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Sue in Maine Sue in Maine is offline
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I'll start.

Turn your kiln on BEFORE you start so your kiln can ramp up to temperature so when you are done with your first bead, you can pop it safely into your hot kiln.

Time and temp: Check your manual and program it according to instructions. On my Chilipepper, I set my program for a 6 hour working hold temperature but I can "skipstep" and go into the annealing program if I don't work for a full 6 hours- and I rarely ever work for 6 hours.

Boro and Soft glass hold at different temperatures so please do not increase your annealing temps to boro temps while you have soft beads in the kiln. You can work soft first and switch to boro, leaving your program at soft temps but you will want to Batch Anneal your boro at a later date and take the glass to boro temps. (You will melt your soft glass beads if you put them in at a boro temp.)

And, no, we weren't born with the knowledge. In my case, it took 3 of us to figure out the manual and how to program my kiln the first time. You're in good company.

LE has a great SEARCH feature. At the top of your LE screen, follow across... User CP... FAQ... Member List... to the right you should see "search." Click on search and a drop down box will appear. Type in words for LE to search for... anything less than 4 letters, use an * as a wildcard. For example: Programming a* kiln

It will bring up a lot of related threads that have those words in the text of the posts.

I hope this helps.

Sue
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  #5  
Old 2014-04-30, 11:17am
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@speedingpullet I'm getting a glass hive regular guy, and I'll mostly be working with 104 coe (moretti) glass right away then try out 33 coe boro I think, beads and tiny cat sculptures, then maybe try 'usable items'. I'm brandy dandy new so I'm not positive exactly what I'll get into

@AmorphousDesigns I'll look for that book, thanks c:
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  #6  
Old 2014-04-30, 1:23pm
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Well good luck and have fun - whatever you do!

LE is always here to help you out if you need it
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Old 2014-04-30, 3:25pm
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[quote=KittyGlass I'm getting a glass hive regular guy, and I'll mostly be working with 104 coe (moretti) glass right away then try out 33 coe boro I think, beads and tiny cat sculptures, then maybe try 'usable items'. I'm brandy dandy new so I'm not positive exactly what I'll get into
[/QUOTE]

Welcome to the addiction

The folks are dandy at Glass Hive - even if you call them up w/questions like 'How the heck do I turn this thing on and anneal?' Which I did when I got my regular guy, BTW, and that's after having a different kiln I'd used for years.

Asking questions makes a whole lot of sense if you don't want to end up w/puddles of glass on the kiln floor. Or worse - you on the floor, kicking in aggravation.

And here's an invite that the rest of the gang will agree on too - come on up to the Gallery and visit w/us at the Newbie/Intermediate thread. Show off work or get commiseration on what went wonkie. All questions welcome too. And if nobody can give you an answer, someone usually has something bookmarked or can point you in a direction. Saves a lot of

DJ
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  #8  
Old 2014-04-30, 6:29pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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Kitty,
It depends on the kiln and what you want to do.
Most glass kilns come preprogrammed for batch annealing and the methods mentioned above work fine. Some programs are setup to fuse or for different COE glass.

It varys with controller and manufacture of the kiln.
Often its included in the manual.
If your waiting for delivery you can make beads today and batch anneal later.

I tend to do this as I don't have a kiln yet, and have a friend with a small kiln that anneals for me.
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Old 2014-04-30, 10:56pm
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I totally felt the same way before I got mine. I did a lot of searching here. Then when I got the same kiln you are getting, it came preprogramed and nice instructions. You'll be fine
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  #10  
Old 2014-04-30, 11:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyGlass View Post
@speedingpullet I'm getting a glass hive regular guy, and I'll mostly be working with 104 coe (moretti) glass right away then try out 33 coe boro I think, beads and tiny cat sculptures, then maybe try 'usable items'. I'm brandy dandy new so I'm not positive exactly what I'll get into

@AmorphousDesigns I'll look for that book, thanks c:
The Glass Hive folks will program your kiln for you. Let them know you want it programmed with the standard annealing schedules for soft glass and boro. You'll flip it on when you get ready to torch and then start the annealing program when you're done torching.
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  #11  
Old 2014-05-01, 7:09am
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If you want to do boro in the same cycle think about doing it at the beginning of the sat/kiln cycle. That way your kiln will ramp up to 1050, and stay at that temp while you do boro. When you are done with boro just ramp it down to 950 (or the temp you choose on the annealing range based on what you need - some silver glasses need to be cooler a little or they loose color). Then while it's ramping down clean off your boro, and take out your soft glass, and stretch and maybe grab a little snack, and your kiln will be ready for soft glass for the rest of the day. No second cycle needed.
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  #12  
Old 2014-05-02, 3:07am
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i'd read contemporary lampworking vols 1 and 2. if you don't know what to do with a kiln after that then i don't know what to tell ya.
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Old 2014-05-02, 7:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyGlass View Post
@speedingpullet I'm getting a glass hive regular guy, and I'll mostly be working with 104 coe (moretti) glass right away then try out 33 coe boro I think, beads and tiny cat sculptures, then maybe try 'usable items'. I'm brandy dandy new so I'm not positive exactly what I'll get into

@AmorphousDesigns I'll look for that book, thanks c:
Welcome to LE!

Here is an awesome post on annealing schedules for soft glass:

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...85&postcount=6

And here's an interesting thread on annealing that you might enjoy: http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=101454

GlassHive is a great company - if you have questions give them a call. I think on their kilns program 1 is pre-programmed for soft glass? Maybe someone can help me out with that.

Best of luck to you! Show your first beads in the gallery!
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