18 November 2017

Kiln Repair Directory

We all know, life happens... and, usually it's timing stinks!  You know how to fix the minor issues with your kiln but, sometimes after troubleshooting, you still need additional help.

Not to worry... Kiln Frog's "Kiln Repair Directory" is a great resource of over one hundred kiln repair technicians across the US.

Please be advised that Kiln Frog does not recommend or endorse any of the named repair services and cannot be held responsible for any of the work performed. As kiln technicians are independent business people, it is also possible that their advice may not always reflect our opinion.

Finally, to ensure that our list is as complete as possible, we are requesting your help! If you are aware of a good repair person or company, please let us know and we are happy to add them to our list.

11 November 2017

Math + Design

Bullseye Glass Quick Tip:

This Quick Tip shows you how to combine the power of mathematics and the beauty of metallics to create an awesome design!

The Fibonacci sequence is a numbering system found in nature, from flower petals to seashells. It’s pleasing to the eye (even if you’re not aware of it) and a versatile design tool. The sequence starts with a one, followed by a one. Each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the preceding two numbers: F (1) = 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21...

For this project, Bullseye translated the beginning of this Fibonacci sequence into centimeters and arranged them to transition from one color to another. Pretty cool, right!

Fibonacci example

08 November 2017

Evenheat Knife Ovens are READY 2 SHIP!

Need quick delivery... NO PROBLEM!

We now have a small amount of Evenheat KF 18 and KF 22.5 Knife Ovens in stock and READY 2 SHIP! 

Best of all, they all come equipped with Quiet Drive Solid State Relays and your choice of the RM3 or TAP controller!

What are you waiting for? ORDER NOW

04 November 2017

Learning to Read your Relay

No matter what kind of kiln or oven you use, unless you have mercury or solid state relays, it's a fact of life that relays need to be changed. But, before you replace the mechanical relay of a digital kiln, it is very important that you read the label printed on the side to be sure you are installing the correct one.

The label is confusing until you spend a little time studying it. On the label, find the voltage of the relay coil, which is the electromagnet inside the relay. When the electromagnet receives a signal from the controller, terminals inside the relay come together. The terminals make a clicking noise and turn on the heating elements.

The voltage of the coil is printed on the relay near a symbol of the coil. In the sample relays shown, the coil is symbolized by a rectangle with a diagonal line. The coil in the top left relay is 12 volts DC, which is the most commonly used kiln relay. The coil in the bottom left relay is 240 volts AC. The coil in the relay on the right is 200 - 240 volts AC (for 208 volt kilns).

The 12 volt DC coil is used in relays that are turned on by a digital controller. The 240 volt AC coil is used for relays that are activated by an infinite control switch instead of a digital controller. DC means direct current, which comes from the controller to the relays. The symbol for DC is a horizontal solid line over a broken line. AC is the current from the wall outlet and is symbolized by a wavy line.

The relay is rated for a level of current. The current rating of the relay does not mean it requires that much current to operate but, is the maximum safe level that the relay can handle.

28 October 2017

The PERFECT kiln for bottle slumping

Glass bottle slumping is extremely popular because you don't need to buy expensive glass and it gives artists the opportunity to recycle wine and/or beer bottles.

When thinking about buying a kiln for glass bottle slumping, it’s important to consider the size of the bottles and molds you are planning to use, before you buy it. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy as the long shape of glass bottles and molds make them hard to fit into many of the standard smaller, household current kilns.

It’s like the Goldilocks syndrome… this one is too small, this one is too big but, this one is just right. So, with that mind, Paragon Industries accepted the challenge to create the perfect bottle slumping kiln.  They recognized that most people who want to slump bottles want a kiln big enough to efficiently slump multiple wine and/or beer bottles at the same time. And, most don't have a 240v electrical circuit available, so they need the kiln to run on regular 120v household current.

With those specifications as their guidelines… the rectangular Paragon S1310 Trio was born!  And, is the only kiln specifically created for glass bottle slumping!

Now that you have the perfect kiln, here are some tips to help you make your glass bottle slumping experience more successful:

Remove labels. From washing soda to ammonia, there are many options when it comes to removing labels from bottles. Most involve hot water and soaking from a couple hours to overnight.  After the label has been removed, remember to wash the bottles thoroughly under cold water to remove any residue. Many people also use isopropyl alcohol to clean fingerprints as cleaning the glass is critical to your success!

Keep a log. Bottles come in diverse shapes, sizes and glass properties. Thicker bottles will take longer to heat and slump. Different shaped bottles will slump differently and at different rates. Different glass may have different melting temperatures. We suggest keeping a log of your firing. You may see some patterns that will help you get more consistent results.

Sample Bottle Slumping Firing Schedule
Be prepared to adjust. It's uncommon that a generic firing schedule will get you the perfect results without some modification. And, there are a million factors that can impact the temperature… maybe you loaded your kiln with more bottles, so it will take longer to heat.  Or, like your oven, some kilns just run hot, while others run cold. Whatever the cause, you will need to adjust some parts of the firing schedule to get the best results from your kiln.

Fusing bottles together. Glass compatibility, also referred to the coefficient of expansion or COE, is important to understand if you are going to be successful with glass bottle slumping. If you don’t use glass that has the same compatibility or COE, the stress will cause it to crack or break. Sometimes it happens immediately or sometimes is happens later... but, I can 100% guarantee that it will happen. Most bottles tend to be in the 82-86 COE range which is similar to float or window glass. However, since the COE of any given bottle glass is unknown, it is not recommended to fuse them with other bottles or fusible glass.