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Studio -- Show us your studio setup

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  #1  
Old 2017-02-11, 9:34pm
Beckala Beckala is offline
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Default Used Kiln Advice

Hi All,

I'm getting a first real studio set up (after taking a class and doing way too much research). I was going to wait a few months before investing in a kiln but while browsing Craigslist I came upon a JenKen AF3P 11/4.5 with the 2in bead door and digital preprogramed controller available for only a couple hundred bucks. This would save me over $500 on a new option. Turns out it was originally purchased in 2005 and hasn't been fired since 2009. The seller says it works and is willing to prove it. It was only used 2-3 times between 2005 and 2009 by a retired hobbyist.

The questions: Am I creating future headaches for myself with this savings? What worries should I have here? Electrical risks? Massive repair costs? Would it be better to just wait and buy new? What other questions should I ask? Things to look out for?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2017-02-11, 11:33pm
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
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This is something I would jump on in a heart beat!!!!!

There really are only a few things that make a kiln and none of them go bad unless it has been rained on and then frozen while wet.

Everything that can go bad could also go bad 30 days out the box when brand new and it is all repairable other than the brick and even then they can be shipped back for repairs.

Take your time warming it up after long storage by bring it up to 225 degrees f and leave it on for ten hours to drive any dampness out of the brick then take it up to your working temperature by, say, 200 degrees an hour. Nice and slow.

This will dry out any possible moisture.

Then give it several coats of kiln wash on the floor and on both sides of any shelving. That will keep any melted glass from imbedding into the pores of the kiln brick should the unthinkable happen and the relay get stuck on and melt everything into a puddle.

I got mine from someone that rarely used hers and although it was 4 years old it might as well have been brand new out of the box. It was, in fact still in the box because that was how she stored it when she wasn't using it.


ETA: That is same one I have btw.


I did put a wooden handle on the bead flap. I carved mine but a dowel with a 1/4 inch hole in one end and two holes for screws through the side is not hard to do yourself.


Go with longer mandrels and don't poke your mandrels into the heating element because it is wired straight into the wall outlet and can knock you on your butt in no uncertain terms.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2017-02-11 at 11:39pm.
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  #3  
Old 2017-02-12, 6:12am
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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If it fires for $200 you want it. Id buy one like that and I dont even need it, its such a good price to have as a spare.
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  #4  
Old 2017-02-12, 6:35am
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never put kiln wash on the sides or bottom of any shelves
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  #5  
Old 2017-02-12, 7:05am
Beckala Beckala is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to go take a closer look this afternoon and most likely buy it.

A big thank you to Speedslug for the details on how to test everything after I get it home.

I plan on testing the digital controller while I'm there and having it start a cycle just to see what I'm dealing with. Then get it home and follow the advice from here about testing it out. I really can't believe I found a deal.

Thanks again!
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  #6  
Old 2017-02-12, 2:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowbird View Post
never put kiln wash on the sides or bottom of any shelves
Please teach me why that is, Yellowbird.
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  #7  
Old 2017-02-12, 3:11pm
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I think they mean removable shelves, Phill. Any kiln wash on sides or bottom of removable shelves can flake off onto products firing underneath the shelf.
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  #8  
Old 2017-02-12, 3:43pm
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
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Oh Ok.

I use mine only for garaging my beads and they are not subject to being sticky by the time I put them in there so it didn't occur to me.

I only use my shelf for the rare times when I do a bottle slump and then only because the shelf would be easier to take out and scrape a glass puddle off of.


Thanks.
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Old 2017-02-16, 4:25pm
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I would also invest in an extra heating element and also an extra relay. I've had mine for 11 years, and those are the only 2 things I have ever needed. Just call Jen-Ken and they will send them out, they are always helpful.
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  #10  
Old 2017-02-16, 9:07pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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My kiln is brick and I never put kiln wash on my kiln, its just more dirty dusty stuff in the kiln.

For soft glass fussing and slumping and boro slumping I use a kiln shelf and use kiln wash only on the top of the shelf.

I slump boro for fun sometimes 30 minutes at 1,600f and things flatten out nice.
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  #11  
Old 2017-02-17, 4:41am
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Dasi Dasi is offline
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Rebecca, that kiln has kiln wash on the shelf already. No need for more. You won't be using the shelf for beads. Get a mandrel rest for inside the kiln to put your finished beads on.
http://www.mountainglass.com/Kiln-Ma...l#.WKbflvkrKM8

Many suppliers have this rest available. Once the sticky is gone from the bead you can move the bead off the rest and onto the floor of the kiln. I usually keep about 3-4 beads on the rest at a time. Some colors like rubino should always stay on the rest since they stay sticky at around 950.

Firing up the kiln and holding at around 200-250 might dry it out but I think you are ok either way. Call me and we can see what is already pre-programed and usable. Or you can just try to fire up the kiln and see how it does. Babysit it for the first firing. Don't turn on and leave the room.You got a fair deal on that kiln! Enjoy!
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  #12  
Old 2017-02-18, 6:39am
Beckala Beckala is offline
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Hey Heather and everyone! Thank you for the help. I've got the kiln on for the first time this morning and it seems to be working perfectly. The only real struggle at this point is worrying about dedicated circuits and trying to find a way around extension cords.

Thank you again!
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  #13  
Old 2017-03-01, 3:23pm
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Most home 110 volt AC circuits are rated at 20 amps. Some at 15 amps. Check the circuit breaker for the correct ratings. For a 20 amp circuit the wire size is #12 copper.

Would suggest for extension cord use, that the cord should consist of #12 wire. For a 13 amp load one could use a cord that does not exceed 50 feet if made of #12 copper wire. Shorter would be better.

If the extension cord is getting hot when the kiln is in use, then its wire size is too small for safe use. Stop using, and use a cord with a larger wire size.
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