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

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  #1  
Old 2024-01-02, 12:54pm
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Default Cracked Up

So last night, for the first time in probably seven years, I dusted off my kiln and I made some 3/4 inch marbles of 104.

Holy god I am way out of practice!

Anyways, I baby sat the kiln until it was on it's last ramp down to 500F and went to bed at some ridiculous late hour. I opened the kiln this morning, and two of the marbles had cracked. In thirty years, I've never had this issue before, so I'm not sure what's going on. Do pyrometers go bad from sitting unused for that long? It's been so long since I've made regular sized marbles that I could have just let those two cool in the mold too long when melting in the punty marks, but it seems like all of them would have cracked if it was the pyrometer?

I garaged at 920F, did a full ramp to 980 and held that for two hours, then 350F per hour down to 800F, held for ten minutes, 100F per hour to 700F and held for ten minutes, then 350F an hour to 500F and off. Bear in mind it has been a long time for me, but I ran that program from memory and now I'm wondering if maybe 350 per hour was just too fast for those two as they were both the only double helix implosions in moretti super clear. Was hoping someone could maybe take a look at my program and let me know if it's a .
You'd think someone who did this for a living for half their life would be able to figure this out, but it really has been a minute since I've put anything in the kiln. The other marbles seem alright though, and I was careful not to get any close to the elements etc.
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  #2  
Old 2024-01-02, 1:29pm
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I garage at 920F, hold after final bead for 30 minutes, then ramp down 200F to 400F from 920F. I am just making small beads usually so don't have the hold at 800. Maybe the 350 is a bit fast? But I also think the hour going from 800 to 700 is a bit slow. But my schedule is not nearly as conservative as some others I have seen. The only time a bead has cracked on me is when I encased pea green.
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  #3  
Old 2024-01-02, 2:11pm
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I'm really leaning towards the 350 ramp being too fast, but the other marbles being ok is what has me stumped as they were all about the same size. I have nothing to check the pyrometer with, but I had a 2 inch chunk of vaseline cullet in there to preheat for stringers as well while it was garaged, and it seemed about right when I took it out to torch it, if that makes any sense. I know that isn't exactly a thermometer LOL...

I am absolutely out of practice though, and I hate using grabbers for some reason I don't entirely understand, but I did put some heat into the mold before breaking the puntys. I'll try it again and slow the down ramps to maybe 200F per hour, but I definitely wanted to get some input on the firing since it's been so long. I don't remember where I got the 10 minute holds at 800 and 700 but I wonder if that is long enough for 3/4 inch marbles as well?

It sure isn't like riding a bike man, I made some fuglies last night LOL One really nice implosion, two cracked DH's implosions, and three fuglies. I finally had to quit when my back went thermonuclear on me, but it felt really nice to make something again. The cracking has me really frustrated though and I need to figure out what happened. I'm supposed to be teaching my wife this stuff, and I'd hate to see her invest the time and end up with cracked pieces as well.

Last edited by jesnbec73; 2024-01-02 at 2:19pm.
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Old 2024-01-02, 2:23pm
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I'm not home so I can see my kiln but I'm pretty sure my ramp down is 150 per hour so I agree that 3:50 is pretty fast for a marble especially.
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Old 2024-01-02, 2:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
I'm not home so I can see my kiln but I'm pretty sure my ramp down is 150 per hour so I agree that 3:50 is pretty fast for a marble especially.
Thanks! I'm also thinking it was too fast. Reckon the ones that did make it are time bombs?
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  #6  
Old 2024-01-02, 10:44pm
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I fired her back up this evening and made myself try again. I slowed the down ramps way down until under 700F this time, and I made a fat one and half incher in this batch just to see if it was me or the kiln. Morning will tell the tale I suppose, but it felt a lot better tonight than it did last night and I was a lot slower with things.

I'm so out of practice, last night was my first regular marbles in about six years and I honestly think some of it could have just been what I used to call 'transfer panic' going from the mold to the kiln. I hope so anyway. I'll post some pics assuming I've got a couple decent mibs in there tomorrow and not a pile of fumed frit lol
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  #7  
Old 2024-01-03, 2:19pm
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Looks like it was definitely my fault, I slowed the ramps down and opened the kiln this morning and had some decent marbles in there.









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  #8  
Old 2024-01-03, 2:26pm
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I had forgotten how tricky it is the take a decent picture of these things. I saw a macro lens attachment you could get for your cellphone camera a while back, has anybody here used one of those things?
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Old 2024-01-03, 8:14pm
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Pretty marbles but no advice on a macro lens.
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  #10  
Old 2024-01-03, 8:41pm
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Love the marbles.

I have a macro lens for my iPhone - works well, though I have not used it to photograph beads
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  #11  
Old 2024-01-03, 8:55pm
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Yay! Glad the change in schedule made the difference! Nice work!
On my phone, if I zoom in, then touch the screen where I want it to be focused, it usually works, though sometimes I have to move it to a different space and try more than a couple of times.
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  #12  
Old 2024-01-07, 1:53pm
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Beautiful marbles I tend to use the zoom function rather macro on my phone so no advice from me on that either, sorry
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Old 2024-01-08, 2:41am
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Thank you! I hate trying to zoom in on something like a hollow implosion marble, it always either wants to focus on the imploded bit, or the backside of the marble. Of course a regular camera would be able to use a wide angle lens I guess, but I don't guess that's an option with too many phone cameras.
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  #14  
Old 2024-01-08, 2:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitreousTyro View Post
Love the marbles.

I have a macro lens for my iPhone - works well, though I have not used it to photograph beads
Is it a separate lens or is built into the phone?
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  #15  
Old 2024-01-08, 5:14pm
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My real camera macro lenses have less depth of field than regular lenses zoomed in.
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