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Author Topic: Hello, kilns and grinders  (Read 935 times)
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Redding
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« on: March 29, 2016, 11:37:36 AM »

Hi, I just joined as I have starting doing a bit of fusing. Have enjoyed using my hotpot but now looking to do some bigger pieces, slumping and want more control. I am erring towards the Skutt hot start pro kiln wise as I think paragon SC2 will be too restrictive sizewise (I really like the paragon clamshell one but its too )

Does anyone have any thoughts on these? Any advice on where people might sell second-hand kilns?

The other thing I think I need is something to grind with.
Do I really need a big grinder or will something like a Dremel do?

Thanks - I'm sure you've all been asked these questions a gazillion times already  Smiley
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Pam
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 04:32:42 PM »

Hi Redding
I've PM'd you.
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Zeldazog
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 06:29:12 PM »

My first kiln was a Hot Start Pro, loved it, fab kiln. 

Big enough for a decent size round, and although the standard (round) shelf will only take a 20cm square, I got a shelf cut at 26cm which just fits in, so was able to do slightly bigger work.  It's still cheap enough to run, to not worry about costs if you only want to do a few small things. 

I only sold it on when I got my Hobby Fuser, another great kiln, and I needed the space at the studio - but I often wished I'd hung onto it.



As for a grinder, really depends what you think you'll need it for?

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flame n fuse
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 05:48:52 AM »

hotstart pro would allow you to fuse larger pieces than the SC2. but SC2 with a bead door is good if you are also a bead maker. we also have a kilncare hobby fuser which is excellent.
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Redding
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 03:30:57 PM »

Thanks for the comments. I don't do any bead making (yet) so a bead door wasn't a priority for now, I'm more wanting to do pendants, coasters and try some slumping.
That's interesting about putting the slightly larger shelf in. The firebox 14 isn't that much more expensive but gives much more space for square pieces - is there any downside to that?

If you have a top-opening kiln, do people tend to put it on a work surface or a rolling stand? I had a look at the Skutt stand on wheels, and seems very practical but out of my price range. I wondered if there are any alternatives if you need to save space?
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Zeldazog
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 07:11:49 PM »

Thanks for the comments. I don't do any bead making (yet) so a bead door wasn't a priority for now, I'm more wanting to do pendants, coasters and try some slumping.
That's interesting about putting the slightly larger shelf in. The firebox 14 isn't that much more expensive but gives much more space for square pieces - is there any downside to that?

If you have a top-opening kiln, do people tend to put it on a work surface or a rolling stand? I had a look at the Skutt stand on wheels, and seems very practical but out of my price range. I wondered if there are any alternatives if you need to save space?

It was not so much that it was a slightly larger shelf, it was that it was square, and *almost* touched the walls in the corners - but because it was square, it still allowed for airflow (there is a gap around the edge of the round shelf to the wall, as is with all kilns/shelves)

I had my Hot Start Pro on a rolling stand with lockable castors, for a couple of reasons - I had it home, in my kitchen, and wanted to be able to roll it away into the cupboard under the stairs (not that that happened very often!) but also my brother is a welder and works for a fabrication company (and also good at maths) so he made a heptagonal stand specially for it. 

The Firebox 14 wasn't out when I got my Pro; at the time, although I wouldn't have had room for the Firebox at home anyway.  I don't think the Firebox 14 was even out when I bought by Hobbyfuser, but I'd been hanging my nose over a Kilncare Hobbyfuser for a few years so not sure which I'd have gone for if I'd have had the choice - whilst I cannot fault the back up and service I had from Warm Glass and the Skutt was a reliable workhorse, when I bought my Hobbyfuser, I had gone self employed, so was comforted by the fact the kiln is UK built and the factory is within easy driving distance in case of problems.

I guess it boils down to whether you want to spend the extra nearly 200 compared to how often you will want to do something that wouldn't fit in the Hotstart Pro.  I was able to fuse and slump up to 25cm square, didn't do rounds at the time.  Or a set of four coasters with room to spare.  For how cheap it is to run, even if you have to do two firings to make 8 coasters, its not going to break the bank, as opposed to one firing in the Firebox to do up to nine at once.

Even though I have a Hobbyfuser, which means I can fuse up to 38cm square, I rarely do - moulds are costly when you go up in size but often it's because I usually buy 50x40cm glass - so if I make a bowl 30 or 35cm, I'd only get one of those out of the sheet and end up with some long, thin offcuts in colours that I might not do small things in - where as if I do 25cm square, I will get two out of one sheet of glass (it still leaves an awkward offcut but better use of glass for me)

The advantage of a square kiln of course, is that you can get a 32 cm circle inside a 32cm square, but you can't get a 32cm square inside a circle!  At the time I was obsessed with square things, so that would have been important to me.

One great thing is kilns hold their price really well, so even if you decide to upgrade sooner rather than later, you should get a good price if you treat your kiln well.

A lot of people will say go for the biggest you can afford/fit in - and yes, it's true, I hadn't had my Hobbyfuser long before I was going "I NEED a bigger kiln" - yes sometimes I do, but not all the time; I think it was a while using the Hotstart before I was wishing for bigger - there's a lot of learning to do and not spending the money on the bigger kiln straight away allowed me to buy other bits of equipment and lots more glass and build up gradually.


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flame n fuse
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 05:19:01 AM »

Redding, if you think fusing is going to be a long lasting interest, I think the SC2 would be too small for you. (though much easier to put it away somewhere if short of space).

Our hobbyfuser is on a stand in the garage. Had to put a wedge under one of the legs because the floor's not level. I know someone with one in the middle of the kitchen. Never had any probs with it, has a memory for several programmes and can make items up to 37 cm across in it. runs, like the Skutts, off a normal 3 pin plug.

second hand kilns, esp SC2 are advertised here fairly frequently.

so it's a balance between money, size and space.
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Rachels
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 06:46:28 AM »

I have a Skutt Firebox and it's brilliant. Like you I was thinking of getting the Pro, but a friend who had previously had a Pro and sold it to upgrade to the Firebox recommended the Firebox.  It has a lot more room than the Pro, but doesn't cost that much more.  I have used mine hundreds of times for fusing.  I also batch anneal my lampwork beads in it.  If you have the room and funds I would definitely recommend the Firebox.
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