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Recommending a kiln
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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2011 10:07 pm
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paintedwindow
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Can anyone recommend a kiln to be used for painting and fusing by a class of 12?
My choices:
Denver Glass Machinery KL-27 ($2200 + 400 for the optional auto exhaust)
or
Paragon Pearl 22 ($2550)
both have computer controllers and take a 20 x 20 shelf.

Last edited on Wed Nov 16th, 2011 03:04 pm by paintedwindow



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 04:25 am
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Judy K
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I have the Pearl 22 and love it. It is great for fusing and painting. But takes a long time to cool, only one firing a day. A fiber kiln may be faster for a class situation.

The pearl is rated for 1700F and some fusing techniques are now pushing that. I found that after I fired to 1600 the alarm sound changed to a wimper.

Another reason I like my Pearl is that Arnold Howard has helped very quickly with anything I needed. Both of my Paragon kilns had trouble from shipping them so far. He got them fixed. ahoward@paragonweb.com Ask him anything. Maybe he would know of a fiber kiln for you.

I love my Pearl. I like the way it opens as a half clam shell. The heat does not rush out the top if you open it. And you can look down on your work when loading the kiln. You can not do this with a door that opens like a frig. It is the best of both worlds. I love the square shelf. The 12 key controller is very nice compared to my old 3 key.

Good Luck

Last edited on Wed Nov 16th, 2011 04:33 am by Judy K



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 05:30 am
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Steve
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I recently, reluctantly, returned a KL-27 that I had been "storing" for a friend until he had the room and wiring in place to recalim it.  better than 2 years of stoage, and use, and I really like it.  Enough to build one of my own like it.

Takes a little getting used to firing down as well as firing up, but for painting you should still fire a couple of times a day, depending when your day starts and ends.

a nice kiln.  but I keep seeing recommendations for Hoaf kolns for painting?  Why not look at that?  for $$? might be a mistake if you get more cycles per day.



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 02:27 pm
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CZL
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Eight fires a day on my last big window at the Cathedral.
That was when propane was nine dollars for a small tank.
About fifty cents a fire. Gas costs more now but If I am pressed I can still get eight fires a day. Hoaf, Rowan Lecompte recommended it to me in 1982 or 3 and I have never regretted it.
It is far and away the best kiln I ever worked with.
CZ



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 02:59 pm
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paintedwindow
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Thanks everyone for your comments so far - they are really insightful and well reasoned. Let me go on record that I own a Hoaf and think they are fantastic. I agree with Charlie that the speed and cost of firings can't be beat. In a workshop situation they are a "time machine" and are the only way to complete the impossible. I didn't mention them in my short list because mine isn't designed to go to fusing temperatures and lacking a computer it's nigh on impossible to run a ramped cycle. In this particular scenario firing the Hoaf with an attached propane cylinder inside the classroom is just not acceptable to the school in question - although I routinely do it at my own studio (with and exhaust hood of course). As an aside, has anyone ever had a propane tank explode? Safety rules mandate storing the tank outside a building yet I have to transport it, obviously, in the back of my car! I also fire my Hoaf at home in my garage with the door open. I keep the tank in the garage, not outside. Will I wake up to a crater someday?



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 04:32 pm
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kathy
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Will I wake up to a crater someday?


Bite your tongue.



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 05:01 pm
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Judy K
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We use propane a lot up here, in the extreme tempuratures, outside. I have never heard of one exploding. A little leak around the stem can happen, but now and then you can have them checked like a scuba tank.

A few years ago the US made all old tanks extinct by insisting they change the fill tops on the tanks. I miss my big 50 gallon. It was irritating to have my property mandated extinct. I still have never heard of one blowing up. But I guess there is a risk during filling the tank, becuase it is filled in a cage, of sorts.

I think if for some odd reason you left something sticking out of the kiln door, it malfunctioned, and started a fire in the building, then maybe the tank would get real hot and expand allowing the gas to escape and ignite.

Travel safely, as I am sure you do. Protect the stem, the tank is not the problem. I saw a photo of a carless scuba diver, 35 yrs ago, who let his tank roll around in the back of the car. The stem was knocked off and the tank shot through the side of the car. That could wreck your day. So I have always made sure the bullet was pointed away from me just incase of freak take off. But still I have never heard of that happening up here.

I feel very safe around propane used properly. It has a stinky agent added to it so you can smell it if it is leaking, which can happen in the cold because of contraction of everything at -37F , .......which I just woke up to :(



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 05:38 pm
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Judy K
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My one firing a day, in the Pearl, is because I am a fuser first and only learning to paint, so I still anneal everything. I have seen painting fired much faster and the hoaf certainly does not take time to anneal. So you could probably get 3 firings if you sat the kiln and cracked the lid to cool faster. It is a good kiln for both fusing and painting. .....But way to heavy to drag around in your car and it takes 220 power.



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 06:08 pm
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David Crane
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One of the reasons they changed the top connection was inexperienced and careless people actually were incinerating their back porches and garages because the old tanks had a fine thread that was English- tighten counter clockwise, loosen clockwise. If you weren't careful you crossed the threads and did not get a good seal- fire up the grill and in a matter of seconds there is a blast furnace spraying fire at your wall, deck, whatever. There also were anecdotes of people taking a large wrench to the connection when that stubborn sucker just would NOT loosen when turning counter clockwise!

Ah, aren't American lawyers great?
Constant vigilance protecting us from ourselves, AND accumulating billable hours.



 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2011 07:12 pm
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Judy K
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The only time I have seen that happen was in a lampworking class, with little map gas bottles. It was upsetting. We could smell it and the teacher was not concerned. A girls bottle flamed out to the side. The teacher picked up the bottle and threw it out the door to the only dry grass behind the school. Then we were all out doing the fire dance in the grass.

Apparently the map gas bottle gets cold with use, contracts, and can allow a little seepage of gas. If you don't know to stop and warm the bottle or trade it in for a warm bottle, you could have a flame out.

The teacher told us he had never seen that before. ..... It happened again the next day. Then he blamed it on the torch heads.

I don't do lampworking.

I like my gas bottles outside.



 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2011 05:25 pm
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CZL
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The only explosions here have to do with my temper and I have been firing with my kiln since the early eighties with it.
CZ



 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2011 08:38 pm
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scott ouderkirk studios
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I have a KL-27 that I've modified by moving the elements to the lid (28amps @220volts) and adding a Digitry GB-1 controller to. I usually do 3 paint firings a day with it but when I'm busy I can do 5 a day if I start early in the morning. It will heat up so fast you can break glass if you want, kinda like putting a V-8 in a Vega. I'm doing the same type modifications to a KL-60 right now for production work like the honey and syrup bottles that I paint on. Biggest problem with the Denver Kilns is the hinges so I replace them with heavy stainless steel ones.

Attached Image (viewed 290 times):

kiln Kl-27.jpg



 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2011 08:45 pm
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scott ouderkirk studios
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Ken, didn't read the thread before I replied. I just designed a kiln that I will use for classes that I'm building from scratch. 27"x17"x9" deep and will run on a 110 volt 20 amp circuit breaker. Handles on the sides for portability. Getting it ready for Spring.



 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2011 01:11 am
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Steve
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Scott, On that 110 kiln, will it have the oomph to do the multiple firings per day and be as efficient in electric use as a 220? Fiber walls and brick floor? just curious. and don't want to hijack the thread, so if you care to send a message, that would be fine.



 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2011 02:59 pm
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Rebecca
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Scott, can you post specifics on the hinges you used on the Denver?

Rebecca



 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2011 04:43 pm
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scott ouderkirk studios
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I ended up with some heavy piano type hinges from an auction that I am using. They are 2 1/2" wide when open flat, 1/16" thick stainless steel and the most important thing is they use a 3/16" pin so they are really strong. The stock Denver hinges have a really wimpy pin and thin steel. You could probably find something similar in Grainger catalogue or a similar supply house. Hope this helps.



 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2011 06:27 pm
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Rebecca
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Yes, thanks, Scott.

Rebecca



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