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Which Kiln?


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#1 margarets1

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

hi, i have been considering a kiln. i have only been able to find product description type info - no real reviews.

i'm seriously looking at a paragon janus 1613 which is a pottery/ceramics-glass kiln. from the info i have been able to gather, this is a good fit for me (i think, but sure i could be easily swayed); it offers versatility, has 3" firebrick, decent size (16 x 13) altho it does require a 240v outlet. it is the low end (retail about $1500) of paragon's janus line. i'm not big on the 'upgrade after a few years' approach so i'm trying to find something that will meet my needs now and into the future.

anyone know anything about this one? good or bad. what do you think of the combo kilns?

thanks

margaretsp1

#2 Dennis Brady

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:31 PM

hi, i have been considering a kiln. i have only been able to find product description type info - no real reviews.

i'm seriously looking at a paragon janus 1613 which is a pottery/ceramics-glass kiln. from the info i have been able to gather, this is a good fit for me (i think, but sure i could be easily swayed); it offers versatility, has 3" firebrick, decent size (16 x 13) altho it does require a 240v outlet. it is the low end (retail about $1500) of paragon's janus line. i'm not big on the 'upgrade after a few years' approach so i'm trying to find something that will meet my needs now and into the future.

anyone know anything about this one? good or bad. what do you think of the combo kilns?

thanks

margaretsp1


Selecting a kiln
http://www.glasscampus.com/tutorials/pdf/Selecting%20a%20kiln.pdf

#3 margarets1

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:42 PM

i read that a while back. i'm looking for more specifics from users

#4 Stephen Richard

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:05 AM

Go here
http://fusedglass.or...s_kiln_selector
for specifics in comparisions.

Unless you really know what directions you want to go in, it is difficult to answer. I presume the kiln you mention is round? that may give some problems later. If you are not thinking of casting or ceramics, the kiln may be "over powered". For the same money you may be able to get more floor space rather than head space.

steve

#5 margarets1

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:26 PM

ok, let me try -- i *think* i like the versatility of paragon janus 1613....i am currently renovating a home and the idea of making (some) ceramic tiles appeals to me. this particular unit has 3" firebrick on floor and walls and 2" on top (not sure value of firebrick but read somewhere it was a plus). it has a lot of the little nice things like peepholes, etc. that i read about.

i'm looking for something that i can make home decor items, programmable (not a kiln sitter). this was the largest one that could still fit down the steps (max door entry = 26"). i know the round/oct ones won't give me as much usuable space, say compared to a square one, but i'm looking to stay in the $1000 range for a unit.

is this a decent kiln that i can grow with? although in the future i may want to get another one, realistically that prolly won't happen. so i'm trying to make a selection based on....'this one may the only one i'll ever have'.

any kind of feedback would be helpful. thanks.

#6 Boris_USA

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:21 PM

i'm looking for something that i can make home decor items, programmable (not a kiln sitter). this was the largest one that could still fit down the steps (max door entry = 26"). i know the round/oct ones won't give me as much usuable space, say compared to a square one, but i'm looking to stay in the $1000 range for a unit.


any kind of feedback would be helpful. thanks.


Next kiln I buy will be something like the "Evenheat GTS 2541" since all I plan to do is work with glass. You can make out pretty well with a round ceramic kiln also, but there are pros and cons for each, and you sacrifice a few things with either. I use round kilns now, with 26 inch openings. Just use 2 of them them for slumping now, and they are only about 12 or 13 inches deep, which is plenty for what I need them for. They are ceramic kilns, and may not be ideal for glass, but they work, and work well. I could do tiles, or ceramics in these if needed. Not worth a darn for fusing though, or melting a crucible full of glass,so you sacrifice some option. These are 2800F kilns and 220 volt.

I have another round one at 22 inches opening and about 28 or 30 inches deep, for anything taller I may want to make, or in case I need to melt a crucible of glass, brass, or other metals. This one is a ceramic kiln also, but a high fire kiln for bisque or china, and gets really hot. I think it was rated at 3200F and is 220 volt also. Don't use this one right now. Also use a 11X11X11 front loader lab kiln, for "quickies" and smalls. Hot and fast, but very small. Each kiln is better at one thing than the other, and if you have the options to choose from a selection, thats great, but if not, then I would choose one that will do several operations, even if its not the best at doing each. If I had to choose one kiln, and make do with that, it would be a round or octagon kiln, as wide as I could get it, and as hot as I could find, with side elements and a top element, preferably that could be turned off and on. You could do ceramics, tiles, or glass. Sometimes "options" trump having the best for one specific job only. My opinion, of course, and opinions may vary.

#7 Dawnt

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:53 AM

If you mainly want to work with fusing and slumping glass, but think you may want to give ceramic tiles a shot in the future, I suggest you put your money into the largest glass kiln you can right now, then pick up a small ceramics kiln on cragslist or something later. There are LOTS of decent and inexpensive used ceramics kilns out there. Sometimes you can even get them for free if you give yourself enough time to look. Not so much with glass kilns.

If you intend to do glass casting, the Janus is probably a good economical choice.

I started out with a free ceramics kiln and did a lot of glasswork with it. Gave me a good education on how cooking glass really works, (you really have to "get" the process if you're going to kiln sit!),and helped to clarify what I truly wanted in the glass kilns when I finally made the investment.

Good luck with your research and searching!

Dawn

#8 margarets1

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 12:47 PM

sorry for long delay in responding (can never remember password) to the great suggestions. i didn't realize the choices would be so overwhelming.

i did review the comparison chart, very interesting.

i've been looking at craigslist for a used kiln in my area, but no luck yet.

for those that have used combo kilns, if you have *NO* hands on experience with kilns, does a combo present more of a learning curve if one just wanted to start out doing warm glass? the janus combo i am looking at, has a toggle switch to go back and forth between glass and ceramics - so i'm hoping that i won't have to do any calculations (my math is horrible!) for any type of conversion. can anyone speak on that?

thanks.

#9 Dennis Brady

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:32 PM

sorry for long delay in responding (can never remember password) to the great suggestions. i didn't realize the choices would be so overwhelming.

i did review the comparison chart, very interesting.

i've been looking at craigslist for a used kiln in my area, but no luck yet.

for those that have used combo kilns, if you have *NO* hands on experience with kilns, does a combo present more of a learning curve if one just wanted to start out doing warm glass? the janus combo i am looking at, has a toggle switch to go back and forth between glass and ceramics - so i'm hoping that i won't have to do any calculations (my math is horrible!) for any type of conversion. can anyone speak on that?

thanks.


I can't see how there would be either need or advantage to switch back and forth. Ceramics can be fired in a much simpler schedule then glass but usually requires much higher temperature. Any kiln that can reach the temperature desired for ceramic, and has a digital controller, can be used equally easily for either ceramics or glass. As has been commented, a ceramic kiln can be used for firing glass. A glass kiln can also be used to fire ceramics - as long as the clay being fired doesn't require a firing temperature higher then the glass kiln can produce.

Whatever kiln you chose, you will have a significant learning curve learning what firing schedules to use. Glass is complicated. Ceramics much simpler.

#10 Boris_USA

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:01 AM

sorry for long delay in responding (can never remember password) to the great suggestions. i didn't realize the choices would be so overwhelming.

i did review the comparison chart, very interesting.

i've been looking at craigslist for a used kiln in my area, but no luck yet.

for those that have used combo kilns, if you have *NO* hands on experience with kilns, does a combo present more of a learning curve if one just wanted to start out doing warm glass? the janus combo i am looking at, has a toggle switch to go back and forth between glass and ceramics - so i'm hoping that i won't have to do any calculations (my math is horrible!) for any type of conversion. can anyone speak on that?

thanks.


Dennis made good points. The "learning" part is not all that difficult, if you approach it in an uncomplicated manner. Learn the properties of glass and heat combinations, and what can and can not be done with glass and a kiln. After you have studied how and why glass reacts, under different temperatures, and what you want to do with it,you should have a pretty good idea of what you need out of a kiln for that purpose. Same way for ceramics. List what is needed for doing ceramics you may want to do, from size to temperatures required. Then you should have a pretty good idea of what you need as a kiln for that too. List the kiln requirements together, and you will have the specs your kiln must have, to do what you want to do. Get as much as you can afford, in features and capabilities, because its alway better to have more than you need, than not have what you need when you need it. With some tools and equipment, "Overkill" is a good thing. It will not leave you "wanting" or "wishing."

In this day and age, not a whole lot of manual calculations are required anymore. Controllers and computer programs have taken over that task. I still prefer manual control.

My opinion as I see it...

#11 margarets1

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

thanks to everyone for their response and feedback. im still undecided on which kiln but have bought and am reading the warm glass 'bible'. i spoke to local glass artistians as well as my glass supplier...unfortunately, size to get it thru the door will be the factor i cant ignore.


the kiln i get will prolly be bigger than the tabletop kind. i read somewhere about carbon monoxide - yikes!!! true? is a vent kit necessary for a hobby/home kiln?

thanks

#12 Boris_USA

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:36 AM

thanks to everyone for their response and feedback. im still undecided on which kiln but have bought and am reading the warm glass 'bible'. i spoke to local glass artistians as well as my glass supplier...unfortunately, size to get it thru the door will be the factor i cant ignore.


the kiln i get will prolly be bigger than the tabletop kind. i read somewhere about carbon monoxide - yikes!!! true? is a vent kit necessary for a hobby/home kiln?

thanks


I think you need combustion, or a flame, to produce carbon monoxide. However, a kiln can produce "Toxic" fumes, if you plan to do anything else, other than basic plain glass. I dont use a vent kit, but do have an exhaust fan in the wall directly behind and slightly above my kilns. Good for any fumes, and venting excess heat out, in the summer.

#13 Dennis Brady

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:13 PM

There is no need to vent fumes firing glass but frequently a need to vent fumes firing ceramics.

There's a significant risk in firing glass and ceramics in the same kiln. Some ceramic glazes produce fumes that will leave a residue in the kiln that can contaminate any glass fired later in that kiln. Glass artists that buy dual-purpose kilns that can fire both ceramics and glass invariably expect to fire only bisque clay (usually for molds) and not glazes.

#14 margarets1

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:15 AM

although no early plans to do ceramics, but sounds like i better add the vent price to my total. my puppy girl sometimes sleeps on the first floor; no doubt she'd inhale all those fumes.

kiln, vent system, 240v and 120v line...gosh this adds up. hope i have some bucks left to get some glass. haha sheesh, and i thought dog showing was expensive

thanks for feedback.




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