A Newcomer's naive questions! - WarmGlass.com

A Newcomer's naive questions!

This is the main board for discussing general techniques, tools, and processes for fusing, slumping, and related kiln-forming activities.

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Stephen23240
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:01 pm

A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Stephen23240 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:41 am

So many questions - so much confusion - where to start?

Hello everybody from a newcomer to the world of fusing! Has anyone successfully allied an Italforni kiln (with Pyxsys ATR620 controller) to the EZ Fuse software? My controller has the ability to program 20 segments but the only variables are temperature and time rather than rate of temp increase and hold time. Is the producer of the EZ Fuse program still in operation? There appears to be many unresolved issues regarding its use. Is there another program that does the same job?
What is a haik brush? Why cannot one use an ordinary paint brush?
I have seen people talk about using stainless steel moulds for slumping etc; what other materials can be used?
I'm sure that I'll be back to pester you with more questions fairly soon!

many thanks
Stephen

Bert Weiss
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Re: A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:43 am

Stephen23240 wrote:So many questions - so much confusion - where to start?

Hello everybody from a newcomer to the world of fusing! Has anyone successfully allied an Italforni kiln (with Pyxsys ATR620 controller) to the EZ Fuse software? My controller has the ability to program 20 segments but the only variables are temperature and time rather than rate of temp increase and hold time. Is the producer of the EZ Fuse program still in operation? There appears to be many unresolved issues regarding its use. Is there another program that does the same job?
What is a haik brush? Why cannot one use an ordinary paint brush?
I have seen people talk about using stainless steel moulds for slumping etc; what other materials can be used?
I'm sure that I'll be back to pester you with more questions fairly soon!

many thanks
Stephen
Stephen

I use a controller that programs like yours. You will have to learn how to convert programs based on degrees per hour to a program that goes from temperature point to temperature point over time. After you make the conversion, it is OK to use rounder numbers that are close by. For instance to begin a schedule at 300dph, I would program in 100 < 1000 take 3 hours.

My recommendation is to stay as far away from the EZ fuse program as you can. Over the years there have been dozens of people who use it and have failures, then come on this board to find out why. Reason number one is that they have lousy schedules programmed in.

Make a notebook to log your firing schedules.They often need to be tweaked or changed as you do different styles of work, or encounter problems. Depending on what kind of controller you have, there may be a computer interface available. This will allow you to create schedules and store them. You don't mention what kind of glass or glasses you plan to be working with.

A haik brush is a wide paint brush with very soft hairs. You can use any brush, including a sprayer. I started out using a mouth atomizer, a simple device for spraying that utilizes your breath for power. If you have access to compressed air, there are several sprayers that work much the same, only with compressed air.

For slumping, mold and glass require compatibility. Both materials expand and contract independently. during cooling,when the glass contracts, if it wraps around a material that has not contracted, it will break. If the glass has somewhere to go, it will not.

Bisque fired ceramic makes a good mold (no glaze). Stainless steel can be good, but shape matters. Alumino silicate fiber blanket can be good. For creating textures, I often make mixtures of refractory particles including sand. My advice to a starter would be to buy some molds designed specifically for glass slumping. When you get a feel for the process, you will make better decisions about adapting materials from other sources.
Bert

Bert Weiss Art Glass*
http://www.customartglass.com
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Stephen23240
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:01 pm

Re: A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Stephen23240 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:12 am

Thank you for a comprehensive reply, Bert. That is pretty much what I have been doing with my kiln, it's good to have you confirm it and not find out that there is an easier way of programming it.

Bert Weiss
Posts: 2338
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 12:06 am
Location: Chatham NH
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Re: A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:30 am

When it comes to kiln wash application, you will find that most people obsess on how to minimize texture from the kilnwash. Personally, I realized that you can't really eliminate this texture. So, my strategy is to make the texture part of the design and make it interesting. Even when I use my haik brush, I like to introduce a wave pattern that ends up being readable in the glass.
Bert



Bert Weiss Art Glass*

http://www.customartglass.com

Furniture Lighting Sculpture Tableware

Architectural Commissions

Stephen23240
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:01 pm

Re: A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Stephen23240 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Ah, I see! I had not realised that kilnwash application could affect the final piece so markedly! I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in having a poor opinion of EZ Fuse! Deviating slightly - I love having access through the internet to these fora where knowledgeable people are willing to share their expertise, thank you Bert!

Ralph
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:12 pm
Location: Australia

Re: A Newcomer's naive questions!

Postby Ralph » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:42 am

Stephen
The Pyxsys ATR620 can produce most any schedule you'd want to use for glass fusing, but it's an odd controller to use (at first). The controller has many complex capabilities but for standard glass schedules these may hinder rather than help. I sought advice from the Au agent to program out all the extra PID controls. Understanding the translated English language instruction manual is between difficult and impossible.

Once you grasp the input sequences the controller programs easily. In broad terms:

1. Enter first segment time in hours and/or minutes (controller shows "t" - this represents time not temperature)

2. Enter temperature you wish to reach within the first time segment (controller shows "s" - for set-point)

3. Repeat for as many heating/cooling segments (up to 20) you require.

To hold any temperature for a time segment don't increase (or decrease when cooling) the set-point for that segment.

You can easily translate degrees per hour into the controller settings. Time and temperature are the only inputs you need.

Follow Bert's advice and use a schedule suited to the type of work you're firing rather than a generic schedule that is supposed to cover everything. Check your glass-brand website for typical examples. You can fine tune by checking out recommendations appearing on this discussion group. You'll soon decide who to trust.


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