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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2012-04-21, 9:30pm
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Default Batch anneal question

I'm obviously a newbie..... just starting out and decided that I would batch anneal because it takes me soooo long to make each bead at this time.

I know this must be the silliest question ever... but once my beads are cooled off in the vermiculite, do I take them off the mandrel or leave them on there to run them thru the kiln process.

When I do run the batch, do I just put them all in there at the same time and heat them for an hour then run the digital controlled ramping program?

The girl I bought the lampworking stuff from ran the kiln every time, but I think until I get better at this it is a waste of energy. I used vermiculite today and none cracked.

Thanks a bunch!! Pixx
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  #2  
Old 2012-04-21, 11:55pm
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You can take them off the mandrels or leave them on. I'd probably leave them on, because I wouldn't want to mess with non-annealed beads any more than necessary and risk them breaking. I would put them in, bring them up to temp, give them a good soak and then run your annealing cycle. You can make more beads and toss them in while the beads you're batch annealing are soaking.
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  #3  
Old 2012-04-22, 1:15am
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My boro process is a bit different. Beads are first removed from the mandrel. Then cleaned. The idea being is that if the cold bead is stressed removing from the mandrel and perhaps cleaning will help sort out beads that are prone to cracking.

Beads off of mandrels also take up less space, thus more can be placed in the kiln. And it is nice to be done with process once they are annealed. In place of removing and cleaning.

The best process for larger beads or with shocky glass is to place the bead into a hot kiln to garage as other beads are being made. Many do this with good results and then run the annealing cycle at the end of the bead production cycle.

Overall the best process will depend on your work flow and the tolerated bead loss.
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Old 2012-04-22, 5:32am
BarbaraD BarbaraD is offline
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I am now lampworking full time - hobby turned to business. I cool my beads in a fibre blanket. Sometimes 3 days later I put the beads from the blanket into the cold kiln, heat to 200F and add beads which are warm not just made. I prefer to fill the kiln to capacity to save on electricity. A couple of times transparent beads just made and not cooled sufficiently in the blanket have cracked. I would appreciate if anyone could tell me at what temperature one would make and add beads directly into the kiln. Obviously the programme would have to be adjusted to hold this temperature. Currently my Paragon programme 1 holds at 200F. Would this not be too cold for a hot bead just out of the flame?
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Old 2012-04-22, 5:38am
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Yes, way too cool. I garage at 948F. The trick with finding a garage temp is that it needs to ba above the strain point, around 830F for Soda Lime (104) and below the point where the glass will flow under it's own weight or due to gravity. I do mostly marbles in the 1.25" to 1.5" range that's why I use 948F, any higher and I risk the marbles deforming under their own weight.
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  #6  
Old 2012-04-22, 9:12am
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thank you very much for your replies! one more silly question...

If I risk taking them off the mandrels..... do you just stack them in the kiln or ?? I have a rack in there to rest the mandrels on, but if they were loose, do just stack them in there or do only what will rest in one layer on the kiln floor. I have a kiln from arrow springs that is brick lined with front door and top load too.

Thanks a bunch for all your help

Pixx
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  #7  
Old 2012-04-22, 9:31am
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Pixie, I'd just dump them all in, but then I'm a bead stacker. If you're worried about doing that or any other kind of melt down, you could put down a piece of fiber blanket on the floor of your kiln and spread the beads out on it. Alternatively, a layer of kiln wash isn't a bad idea.

Barbara, I garage at 925. When I run the annealing program it goes up to 950 for a soak.
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  #8  
Old 2012-04-22, 9:49am
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I only get to torch 2-3 times a week. While I am torching, I garage at 850 and haven't had one crack in over 2 years. I anneal every 3 weeks.

I remove the beads from the mandrels on my next torching day. They sit in glass bowls until annealing day. I lay them on the kiln floor and hit my scheduled annealing program. Haven't had a single problem yet.

I give them a good flame anneal, wait until most of the orange glow is gone, and into the 850 kiln. I had always read that the stress point is 700 - 750. That is why I went with 850. Some people think that is to low, but never a problem.

Rick
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