Bead Door on Kiln - WarmGlass.com

Bead Door on Kiln

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rpastore
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Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:55 am

I ordered a Paragon Fusion 16 about 2 weeks ago for slumping and fusing. I added a bead door fo the order and am having second thoughts after I saw on the Paragon web site that the kiln will fire slower with a bead window. I contacted Paragon and they verified this and also indicated that there could be a cold spot in the kiln from the bead door that could affect the piece. I have never done flameworking but thought it would be something that I might do in the future so I ordered the bead door. At this point I am somewhat sorry and may try to have it removed from the order. I was wondering what experiences anyone had with this. Any advice would be appreciated.

Labrador
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Labrador » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:27 am

My first kiln was a Jen-Ken glass kiln with the bead doors, and I love that kiln. You use the bead door for flam work and when you whant to fuse you insert the brick in the door and fuse.

Have fun with your new kiln

Sophie :-)

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:52 pm

I don't think inserting a firebrick is an option with the bead door that comes with the Fusion 16. Thanks....

Lynn Perry
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Lynn Perry » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:14 pm

I have a bead door on an Olympic 16" 110V kiln, and, if it fires differently due to the bead door, I can't tell it. I have had the kiln for 7 or 8 years and use it frequently, as recently as yesterday when I bent 30 small pieces of glass distributed across the entire shelf. All of the pieces bent fairly uniformly with the color of the glass seeming to be the greatest factor (the dark pieces bent a little more than the light ones but not by much). I don't know how the Paragon door is constructed compared to the Olympic which is just hinged with a little gap. If the gap was a problem, it would be easy to wedge it tight by propping something against it. I don't do flamework, but the door is still handy to get a better look at the bending than just using the small window.
Lynn Perry

Warren Weiss
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Warren Weiss » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:08 pm

Perhaps you could fill the open space with fiber blanket.
Warren

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:51 pm

I also ordered a small window on this kiln. This is all new too me since I have never fired a glass kiln so I am not sure what to think. I think that if the bead window could cause a problem, Paragon should have either stated this on their web site or not had an option for it. It almost seems like voodoo science to me since I don't understand why a reputable company would not warn users of potential problems if there could be such problems.

Lynne Chappell
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Lynne Chappell » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:26 am

I haven't seen the bead door on this kiln, but if it has a space at the bottom (most do) then block it with fiber paper. The only problem might be if the door is fiber and the kiln is brick, then that side might heat a little differently. The window shouldn't really have much effect, it's pretty small. I don't think that firing a little slower is usually a problem. You can rarely fire glass at full speed anyway. The concern would be uneven heating.

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:20 am

Thanks for the tip. You would think that Paragon would supply something to fill the gap.

Morganica
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Morganica » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:59 am

Every kiln has different firing characteristics, bead door or not--you simply adjust your process to accommodate. I don't think Paragon did anything wrong here. They are a reputable company, but they do expect people who order their kilns to do some research before ordering so they understand what they're buying.

Glass fusing isn't exactly a paint-by-numbers kind of hobby and failures can eat a chunk of your wallet. If you haven't done it before, you might want to slow down a bit and take a couple of classes from a good instructor.
Cynthia Morgan
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Cate G
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Cate G » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:39 pm

I didn't know they had a bead door option for a large kiln. Having such a large kiln so close to you while you are torching could be really hot. I use a Caldera for my bead making. It's 8" square, and is the perfect size for the amount of beads I can make in a 4, 6 or 8 hour session. The Caldera comes in sections, so if I have some real small fusing projects, I can remove the door section. I don't think I would want a bead door on a kiln I was going to use primarily for fusing. My Caldera is a brick kiln with a fiber bead door.
Cate

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:35 am

I did A LOT of research based on what information was available on the web. I am a potter so I am familiar with kilns. I also had classes in fusing, stained glass and glassblowing so I am not exactly naive when it comes to glass. I ordered from Paragon because I know the high quality of their kilns. I did not realize that a bead door could cause cold spots. This information was not on the web. I joined 3 different forums to see if anyone with a bead door has had problems with fusing and so far, I have not heard from anyone.

jolly
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby jolly » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:45 pm

From the video on Youtube, it looks like you could easily cut out a piece of 1 inch fiber board (or whatever will work best) a bit bigger than the bead door(s) and then put a brick holding that against the outside of the door to make a complete seal. You just don't want air going through there when you don't want it. No big deal as far as I can see. If you are going to use the bead door, I think you made the right choice.
There is more to life than increasing its speed.-Mahatma Gandhi

Morganica
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Morganica » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:38 pm

rpastore wrote:I did A LOT of research based on what information was available on the web. I am a potter so I am familiar with kilns. I also had classes in fusing, stained glass and glassblowing so I am not exactly naive when it comes to glass. I ordered from Paragon because I know the high quality of their kilns. I did not realize that a bead door could cause cold spots. This information was not on the web. I joined 3 different forums to see if anyone with a bead door has had problems with fusing and so far, I have not heard from anyone.

Well, you've heard from six people here so far, and the consensus seems to be that it's either not a problem, or it can be readily solved with a little refractory. If you're familiar with kilns, fusing and ceramic it should be pretty obvious that changing the kiln's infrastructure can affect a kiln's thermal characteristics, so you'd want to ask the manufacturer about it before ordering. The impression I'm getting from your posts is that you feel Paragon in some way misled you or is making defective products, and I don't think that's a fair characterization.

I agree, though, that if you're not sure you're going to do lampwork it's probably better to ask Paragon to remove the bead door from your order. I generally find that when I order equipment with stuff I don't use now but might in future, it's mostly wasted money. By the time I get around to actually doing whatever it is, the equipment needs to be altered or replaced anyway.
Cynthia Morgan
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http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
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"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:04 pm

OK, so in the end, this may not be a big deal and I might be overreacting. With that being said, I am not not suggesting anything bad about Paragon. I know their reputation for quality and that is why I ordered a kiln from them. Fact is they state on their web site that the kiln may fire a little slower with bead doors. After I contacted them by email, they responded promptly and said I might "see a cool area right behind the door when fusing". As far as knowing the thermal characteristics of the inside of the kiln without actually seeing the kiln and how the bead door was attached, I would have assumed that if this was a potential problem, a filler would have been in place.

rpastore
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:27 pm

Ok, so here is another thought...

I also ordered a window which is 1" by 3". I was wondering if this also had the potential of creating a cold spot?

Morganica
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Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby Morganica » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:55 pm

rpastore wrote:Ok, so here is another thought...

I also ordered a window which is 1" by 3". I was wondering if this also had the potential of creating a cold spot?

Anything that alters the structure of the kiln is probably going to change the kiln's thermal characteristics in some way. The real question is, does it change enough to make a noticeable difference when you fire in that part of the kiln and, if so, is there an easy way to compensate? I think in most cases there's so much else going on in the kiln that any cold spot from a window, vent or door gets lost in the shuffle.

When you get your kiln (and congratulations on that, BTW, those are nice kilns), you'll want to profile it to get a sense of how it will fire. There's an excellent Bullseye tech note, "Know Your Kiln," that's available on their website as a PDF download, and it's worth running the tests they suggest to figure this out. (Thank heavens Bullseye finally published an index so you don't have to guess where they put this stuff: http://www.bullseyeglass.com/methods-ideas/technotes-1-knowing-your-kiln.html)

If you really want to absolutely understand what's happening in the kiln, also look at their "Monitoring Kiln Temperatures" tech note. (http://www.bullseyeglass.com/methods-ideas/technote-7-monitoring-kiln-temperatures-for-successful-annealing.html) You have to buy a data logger and thermocouples if you want to try it--and if you're not casting or fusing very thick/tack-fused pieces it's probably not worth it--but you'll learn precisely how your kiln fires.

What usually happens, either way, is you find you need to add a few minutes to critical segments of your firing schedule, or just generally ramp slower. If there's more than a 10-15 degree differential in the area around the door/window, you get out the fiberboard or firebrick and cut a wedge to add extra insulation and that usually does the trick.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

rpastore
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:10 am

Re: Bead Door on Kiln

Postby rpastore » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:26 pm

Thanks...I more than appreciate the time and advice that you have given me.


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