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

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Old 2016-06-30, 12:11pm
pyro369 pyro369 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 30, 2016
Posts: 3

I am a new lampworker and will start making pendants and pipes. Should I get the Paragon SC3-BD, Bluebird XL, or F120?
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Old 2016-07-01, 12:13am
Katia Katia is offline
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Join Date: Mar 14, 2015
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 131

It depends on what you are going to do (annealing beads only or make some fusing, etc), quantity and size of your creations.

For the bead annealing you do not need temperatures like 2000F, so SC3 willl not be the best buy if you want to make beads only. It can develop really high temperatures but the door is relatively small and the beads will be located in the bottom. The loading through this small door is not the most comfortable solution if we are talking about beads only - it is pretty easy to damage the insulation of the kiln with the mandrel when you put the mandrel into the narrow slot in the lower part of the door.

At the same time the versatility of this kiln is attractive, as well as the modest power requirements (I have its "junior brother", SC2 and I'm happy that I had no need to provide a separate power line to run it).

Bluebird seems to be a really comfortable device for the beadmaking because it is built for the beadmaker. But if you decide that you want to fuse, slump, etc, you'll need a separate kiln.

The last one from the list is the biggest, probably you'll have to look at your" production plan" and power supply and decide if the existing lines allow you to plug it and start playing or you'll need to provide a separate line. And this one is the most expensive - you need to evaluate if you load it enough

Some guys do not like the fiber chamber construction because if something happens to the heating elements built into the walls or to the fiber itself, the repair is pretty expensive.

Summarising the above, from this 3 particular options for beadmaking only I would buy Bluebird. But there are other brands in the market, look at them as well when you decide on what you want your kiln do for you.
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Old 2016-07-02, 1:18pm
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Mountain Snail Mountain Snail is offline
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Join Date: Oct 08, 2010
Posts: 855

I love the bluebird XL but I find I only fill half of it some days. I have an SC2 as well for the days I am not going to marathon torch. I don't like that the SC2 is a one piece fiber heating element though. Do not piece it with a bead mandrel! Dangerous. And if the element breaks the baffle is $300 + bucks to replace.
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Old 2016-07-02, 1:56pm
Katia Katia is offline
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Join Date: Mar 14, 2015
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 131

What about annealing rods with fused shorts on them, glass that was shocky or twisties? Spare space is nice, it can be used.

A couple of weeks ago I finally obtained the bead door - nearly 93$ for the door resulted in 185$ total - shipping is that expensive (when I bought my SC2 some years ago I did not think that one day I buy a torch and "saved" money - ordered with a window door (a bead door one was 15 UK pounds more expensive, ordered from UK). If I damage the kiln I have two choices - change the country to live or start building kilns (option "give up glass can not be considered)
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decisions, kiln, paragon

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