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

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  #1  
Old 2014-06-19, 9:10pm
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KittyGlass KittyGlass is offline
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Default Batch Anealing

So, I have a few questions about batch annealing and before anyone yells at me I did try to find the answers first, but couldn't, and have yet to get a book about it (buying all the tools to make glass leaves you pretty broke).

Do I need to put the beads on a mandrel when I set them in the kiln?
- if so, does the mandrel need to have bead release on it? And can the beads touch the blanket in the kiln or can they not touch anything?

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Kitty
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  #2  
Old 2014-06-20, 12:41am
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This is how I batch anneal. I have my kiln set up like in the picture with beads cooled in vermiculite and then "strung" on old thin mandrels that I have cut down to fit into my kiln. I leave the bead release in the beads and clean after I've annealed. I bought some holey sheets of metal from the hardware and bent them into a fat U shape which sits up off the kiln floor (Not sure that this is necessary). My batch annealing schedule is usually as follows:

500degC/hr, to 475degC, hold 0
100degC/hr, to 505degC, hold 1hr **
40degC/hr, to 400degC, hold 0
500deg/hr to 250degC, hold 0
0000

The kiln is a Paragon SC2. **I vary the temp and time at the annealing step depending on the glass. For example I will hold at a lower temp for longer for a silver striking glass so I don't kiln strike it and change the final outcome from what I put into the kiln.

This schedule works well for me, but remember that kilns vary and the temp that your kiln displays may not be the real temp.
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Old 2014-06-20, 12:45am
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I think some people pile their beads in the kiln touching each other. In theory this should be fine because the softening temp is well above annealing temp, I just can't cope with it. I'm a bit OCD I think. That said, I do sit marbles on a fibre blanket on the floor of the kiln, but thats boro, and there is no choice.
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Last edited by fionah; 2014-06-20 at 6:39pm.
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Old 2014-06-20, 2:36am
Floorkasp Floorkasp is offline
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Because I often make many small beads, I pretty much always take the beads off the mandrel. I would anneal them as 'bead skewers'. I will wash out the bead release before. First few months, I was careful not to let them touch, etc. However, after I needed a way to anneal a whole batch of a hundred headpins, I needed another way. I put them in a pyrex dish, all on top of each other, and it worked just fine. I now do the same with most of my beads. With beads made with silver or silver glass, I will still skewer them, and make sure they are not touching. They can give of a bit of yellow stains on other beads. With marbles, I do not batch anneal, but just toss them on the bottom of the kiln without anything else. Never had beads stuck together, breaking or anything.
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Old 2014-06-20, 7:12am
lindacw lindacw is offline
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I batch anneal, all together, without mandrels, touching or not. I spread them out into a single layer, but often they are touching each other I like to have at least 1/2 a jar of beads made before I fire up the kiln. They sit on a raised kiln plate.. ? My annealing cycle was preprogramed on my kiln and goes up to 950 F.
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  #6  
Old 2014-06-20, 8:34am
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I don't think it matters if they are all piled vs spread out up as long as the time at each step is enough for the entire batch to reach the same internal and external temperature and stay at the annealing temp long enough to be effective and ramp up/down at a slow enough pace to evenly heat/cool the entire mass.
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Old 2014-06-22, 12:11am
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Be careful though if you're using Enamel on your beads (and since you're new at it, you probably aren't). It has a lower melting temperature and your beads may stick together if they're touching. When I batch anneal, sometimes they're on the mandrel, and sometimes I've taken them off. Depends on what I'm doing with them or if they're loose on the mandrel.
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Old 2014-06-22, 8:08pm
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Thank you for all the replies! I successfully annealed my first batch last night, so so proud ^.^ I watched it like a hawk though! and I'm sure it wasn't necessary, but they're all my tiny creations!!
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Old 2014-06-22, 8:52pm
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Thanks for the info. Useful to know the different ways, especially when one is short of big mandrels!
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