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

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  #1  
Old 2013-01-13, 9:38pm
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julieann1674 julieann1674 is offline
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Default In love with your Kiln?

I am looking to purchase my first kiln...I am a beginner lampworker so any information would be so very helpful and appreciated!!

Are you in love with kiln and why??
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  #2  
Old 2013-01-14, 12:20am
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tammydownunder tammydownunder is offline
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Glasshive... Look no further. Beautifully built, quality kiln with great customer service. I live in a coastal area where salt plays havoc on tools and equipment. I've had my kiln for 3-4 years and it looks practically brand new. Customer service is top notch. I'm a bit of a button pusher and I managed to reprogram my kiln. On an overseas call, Pam took me step by step to reset the program.

There are several recent threads on this subject so I suggest you do a search and you will find many many happy lampworkers using Glasshive products.
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  #3  
Old 2013-01-14, 1:03am
mtarara mtarara is offline
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Glasshive is the way to go. You will never need another kiln.
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  #4  
Old 2013-01-14, 5:31am
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absolutely Glasshive. they are beautifully made, easy to use and the customer service is best around.
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  #5  
Old 2013-01-14, 5:36am
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Oh yeah,,,glass hive .. Love mine!
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  #6  
Old 2013-01-14, 6:04am
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Another Glass Hive user here. Customer service is the best and the kilns are top notch. I do not 'love' my kiln, but that's only because it is too small. I bought a short guy several years ago when I could only do a couple of beads at a sitting. Now I am frustrated by how fast my kiln gets too full!

Sheralyn
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  #7  
Old 2013-01-14, 10:01am
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I have a Jen Ken, had it for about five years. http://jenkenkilns.com/af3p-119w4flipdoor.aspx

I've never had a single problems with it, huge space in the interior and I don't really know what their customer support is like b/c I've never had to call them to find out.
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Last edited by bshelle; 2013-01-14 at 10:04am.
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  #8  
Old 2013-01-14, 10:28am
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I have an AIM kiln that I bought before I had a clue - hadn't even discoverd LE yet, so hadn't had the benefit of the resources here. Thankfully, I did well, especially given that I had no clue what I was doing, it meets all my current and projected needs, and it hasn't given me a bit of trouble.

But if I HAD been here first? I'd have a Glasshive, for the customer support alone! Having someone you KNOW you can reach out to and get answers? Priceless!
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  #9  
Old 2013-01-14, 11:11am
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Paragon SC2. I love it because it has the following features and will last me through many phases of glass and other kiln projects:

bead door
bigger, main door for sculptural stuff
several built in programs, including for metal clay
4 customizable programs
vent at the top for metal clay
window for peeking if trying to kiln strike
120V (normal household voltage)
solid construction, very durable
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  #10  
Old 2013-01-14, 2:53pm
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I have the same Jen Ken as bshelle and have also had no problems in about 5 years, however, after spending time in LE and reading about their support, if I were ever in need of a new kiln I would go Glasshive, also.

Georgia
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  #11  
Old 2013-01-14, 5:02pm
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I have a Paragon SC3 it's just a little bigger than the SC2, my next kiln will be a Glass Hive. Biggest disadvantage to the SC3 is the punty door. You can use the punty door or the main door but not both at the same time. The main door is a swing out door like a house door, if you have something in the punty door it will sweep your kiln out.
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  #12  
Old 2013-01-16, 12:42pm
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I highly recommend Glasshive as well, but I have also had a Jen Ken bead annealer for the past several years and it was great for me as a beginner. The only reason I upgraded was because of space.

If you're on a budget, I would look for a Jen Ken used. I would say to look for a glasshive used, but you would have to pry it from folks' cold dead fingers.
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  #13  
Old 2013-01-16, 12:50pm
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Arrowsprings makes a great kiln, too.
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  #14  
Old 2013-01-16, 12:52pm
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julieann1674 julieann1674 is offline
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Thank you everyone for all of your input!! This has been very helpful, since I am such a newbie, kilns are something that I do not know anything about. So with everything else in the lampworking world, I am trying to learn and make the best purchasing decisions about equipment and tools. I greatly appreciate all of the input!
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  #15  
Old 2013-01-16, 3:15pm
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Paragon Bluebird XL, had it shipped to Bermuda 3 years ago, never had a problem with it. Double doors so lots of space too.
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  #16  
Old 2013-01-16, 3:45pm
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I love Arrowsprings kilns. They have great customer service too. Craig is very patient and will walk you through programing. I think they are comparable to Glasshive, you might check out size and features and price to help make up your mind.

If you get a brick kiln, you can just turn it off 30-1 hour after you are done making beads and let it "ramp down" without a program. That might help you get a less expensive controller. But I'm not sure.
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  #17  
Old 2013-01-16, 4:50pm
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First I had a Paragon SC-3, but as DragonHarper said it's hard to open the main door if you have mandrels hanging out the bead door. It's also small. I later got a GlassHive and use that always! Love it!!

Judy
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  #18  
Old 2013-01-17, 2:13pm
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Thank you so much everyone...all good things to consider...such a decision!
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  #19  
Old 2013-01-17, 7:59pm
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I know you're overflowing with good advice, but let me put in one plug for my Skutt GM10F. It's a firebrick kiln, the quartz elements are shielded behind a wall so I don't accidentally poke a mandrel into them, and it's got a 9" cubic firebox.

Here's a link: http://www.skutt.com/glass/products/beadkiln.php

Good luck!

Nolly
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  #20  
Old 2013-01-17, 8:13pm
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AIM kiln user here... love it, the size is perfect, I can anneal and then slump or fuse without issue.
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  #21  
Old 2013-01-17, 10:26pm
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Got my Glass Hive Regular Guy last summer, and I absolutely adore it!
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  #22  
Old 2013-01-18, 8:24pm
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I bought a used Glass Hive Regular Guy a few weeks ago. Ran it for the first time last weekend.....I love it!

My one piece of advice is to make sure you get one with a digitial controller. I batch annealed in a kiln without a digitial controller while I was saving money and it sucked!
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  #23  
Old 2013-01-19, 9:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennefer View Post
I bought a used Glass Hive Regular Guy a few weeks ago. Ran it for the first time last weekend.....I love it!

My one piece of advice is to make sure you get one with a digitial controller. I batch annealed in a kiln without a digitial controller while I was saving money and it sucked!
Jennefer-I'm learning a lot about kilns, without even using one yet! lol Digital Controller, seems pretty essential. I guess you had to really babysit your kiln. the Glass Hives, they come standard don't they? Is the regular guy a good size?
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Old 2013-01-19, 10:13am
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I have a regular guy and love it! I can get a massive amount of beads in the regular guy.
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  #25  
Old 2013-01-19, 10:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledragonfly View Post
I have a regular guy and love it! I can get a massive amount of beads in the regular guy.
Thanks!!
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  #26  
Old 2013-01-19, 11:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spixton View Post
I love Arrowsprings kilns. They have great customer service too. Craig is very patient and will walk you through programing. I think they are comparable to Glasshive, you might check out size and features and price to help make up your mind.

If you get a brick kiln, you can just turn it off 30-1 hour after you are done making beads and let it "ramp down" without a program. That might help you get a less expensive controller. But I'm not sure.
wow...been following this thread for a while but just noticed this. This is not solid advice. The beads may survive this but that does not mean they are properly annealed and stress free. You should always do a slow controlled ramp down from the anneal temp past the strain point.
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