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  #26  
Old 04-09-2019, 10:15 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I actually really like Bonzai snips. I don't really have tin snips, I have duckbills from Jeff Lindsay but am rather fond of the needle nosed pliers. My best tweezers came from Starrett or my grandfather.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2019, 11:41 AM
Max Epstein Max Epstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Campbell View Post
Max you have to understand We are the ones that built the equipment that even if you had the fat wallet couldn’t buy. I take offense that just because you think you might “screw something up” that someone else with dedication and passion couldn’t build something better and less expensive then you can buy. I have several things in my shop that I built but don’t care to market that I know is better then anything available. At one time being the truck drivers of the art world actually had meaning and I’m sad to see that go.
Come on Sky, that's not what I meant. Randy posted that his build would cost $1,000 and didn't have funds for more than that. My point is, if you're doing a build for the first time, you're not going to get it right. You are going to screw something up, you are going to make the wrong decision in selection of materials or construction, and you're going to have spend more money to fix it. And that's fine. But don't expect it to come out perfectly and on budget.

I know this first hand. I'm glad that I built my first furnace (well I added the flame safety system, with Charlie Correll's tireless help). I now know how to fix, repair, diagnose etc. And now I'm finishing up with furnace 2.0 which will be built by me from the ground up. And I made a lot mistakes along the way, which have cost me an extra 30% more than it "should" have. And it will end up costing me thousands more in the future because it won't last as long as it "could" because of choices I made. Furnace 3.0 will fix all these issues, and it has been a great learning experience, but it has been hard on my wallet, and it put my shop out for weeks that I could have been working. And you better bet as soon as I can afford to buy a Correll furnace, I will be doing so. I'll be very happy with my stuff until then because well.... I just want to blow glass!

So, the $1000 build turns into $1250 or more, and you're getting into used Scutt Mini territory which is the industry standard for a reason. I got a chance to meet Marcel Bruan who designed the kiln for Skutt at GAS. He set up an entire Boro hotshop, glory hole and all, in the backyard of where I was staying. He's the same as you -- everything he has is built by him, and it was quite an impressive setup, born of a need for innovation and lack of funds, and he's already done a decade or more of building and testing. I'm stealing his setup for daisy chaining propane tanks together for my mobile rig which is ingenious (he has four 100lb cylinders going for the boro glory). Like Larry said, the controller is tuned by him, everything is at 110%. You hit a button to turn it on, and the button twice to anneal and turn off. I really don't think you *can* build a better lampworking kiln than the Scarab. Larry says it has paid for itself 5x over, and I believe him.

Those are just my thoughts. **if it were me** I'd offer the guy $700 for the Paragon in south Florida and get to work *tomorrow* that I know is in budget. Or wait until a nice used Skutt comes along and have a tool that will last a lifetime.

P.S... I'll market your equipment if you want to build it
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2019, 11:53 AM
Max Epstein Max Epstein is offline
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Check out Marcel's latest Instagram posts from his residency at GAS. These guys are insane... in a good way. They were going for 8 hours+ on a single coin pull.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv5kKZHH6eZ/
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2019, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Epstein View Post
You can pick up a nice used F130 for $1000-1200 (I saw one for $800). Why go through all the hassle to build your own when you can buy a proven product? Or save $1500 for a new Paragon or used Scutt Scarab which is really the best in the business.

You're not saving any money, and my guess is you'll screw something up and unless you can build it perfectly the first time.... more $$$.
I'm also going to chime in on this...

Randy and I live in CANADA. That means anything we buy from the USA is a LOT more expensive, often prohibitively so.

In addition to our poor-performing dollar compared to $USD, we have shipping costs in $USD (from America) and "brokerage fees", which is really just a nice way for the shipping company to screw Canadians by charging whatever they feel like charging when the item goes from the USA side to the Canadian side of the warehouse.

A lot of your (USA) cheapest shipping options simply don't exist once you add a border. The ones that do ship international gouge accordingly. Basically Fedex, UPS and Purolator.

The $1000USD deal can easily be $1500CDN once it actually shows up, and that's only if it is light and can be mailed. Heavy equipment... ouch; rarely worth the effort and expense.

Getting a skid of Spruce Pine up here can be horrifically expensive. It's not the cost of the batch, it's everything else. Currently it's significantly cheaper for me to buy SP from Sylvie in Ontario and have it shipped by truck across Canada than it is to buy from Olympic in Seattle.

Finally, Canadians cannot grab deals at Acklands. "Acklands" does not exist in Canada. We have this "thing" called Acklands-Grainger which carries about 1/10 of what USA Acklands has, and at (usually) double the price.

We also don't have Harbor Freight. We have Princess Auto.

-R
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  #30  
Old 04-10-2019, 08:55 AM
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Franklin Sankar Franklin Sankar is offline
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Well said Richard. Now times ten.
Franklin
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  #31  
Old 04-10-2019, 04:11 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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in the beginning

When I started none of the items you mentioned were available and no books no forums, etc. It was all word of mouth and trial and error. We took at much as possible from factory situations and then made what we could that we thought would get us by. The amazing thing is that the glass made back then broke new barriers in the art world and we persevered. Back then color bar wasn't being marketed in the U.S. We tried all kinds of things and some of them worked very well. i.e. Dudley's burner head is an example. Until ribbon burners came along the old "Toledo" combustion systems powered most people's units.

Long and short of it is , if you want to blow glass there are a lot of ways to approach it and all types of budgets. I made my first annealer with an element from a 110V dryer element and used the traditional infinite control switch/potentiometer hooked up to a 12 hour sign control assembly with a string that turned the control down for the annealing cycle. cost about $40 complete including the frax in the steel drum . I then stepped up to using self cleaning oven elements for my heat source and for annealing they lasted a long time. Cost of element was about $16 or less.
Bottom line is you can do a lot with equipment that is not that expensive but you need to be creative and be willing to spend some time experimenting and not be afraid to have a few failures. The equipment may not have looked pretty but it worked for what I needed to achieve.
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  #32  
Old 04-15-2019, 07:00 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Epstein View Post

So, the $1000 build turns into $1250 or more, and you're getting into used Scutt Mini territory which is the industry standard for a reason. I got a chance to meet Marcel Bruan who designed the kiln for Skutt at GAS. He set up an entire Boro hotshop, glory hole and all, in the backyard of where I was staying. He's the same as you -- everything he has is built by him, and it was quite an impressive setup, born of a need for innovation and lack of funds, and he's already done a decade or more of building and testing. I'm stealing his setup for daisy chaining propane tanks together for my mobile rig which is ingenious (he has four 100lb cylinders going for the boro glory). Like Larry said, the controller is tuned by him, everything is at 110%. You hit a button to turn it on, and the button twice to anneal and turn off. I really don't think you *can* build a better lampworking kiln than the Scarab. Larry says it has paid for itself 5x over, and I believe him.

Those are just my thoughts. **if it were me** I'd offer the guy $700 for the Paragon in south Florida and get to work *tomorrow* that I know is in budget. Or wait until a nice used Skutt comes along and have a tool that will last a lifetime.

P.S... I'll market your equipment if you want to build it
I agree Max and I hope my comments were not taken in the wrong light. I have friends that build their own equipment and it seems most of them spend as much time fixing things if not more than the time they spend actually working the material. I admire them for it but its not the approach I want to take with the years I have left. Im 53 years old and I feel like I have to concentrate on becoming the best artist I can be as my priority. To each his own.....Can you tell I am a huge fan of the Skutt designs?
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  #33  
Old 04-16-2019, 07:57 AM
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53 years old? As my dad used to say at 94, "enjoy your youth".

The point where it really gets driven home about building and understanding your own equipment is on that friday afternoon at 5:01PM when something breaks down and you realize you've been on the moon all this time.
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  #34  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:47 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I agree with Pete. Even if you buy the equipment, make sure you know how to fix it. I know I don't have to fabrication skills or access to powdercoat to make anything near as pretty as a skutt, but having good knowledge of how a kiln functions makes a huge difference between spending a little time fixing it, and wasting way more time waiting for some other tech to do it for you. Trust me, something always goes wrong.
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  #35  
Old 04-16-2019, 12:49 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Campbell View Post
Max you have to understand We are the ones that built the equipment that even if you had the fat wallet couldn’t buy. I take offense that just because you think you might “screw something up” that someone else with dedication and passion couldn’t build something better and less expensive then you can buy. I have several things in my shop that I built but don’t care to market that I know is better then anything available. At one time being the truck drivers of the art world actually had meaning and I’m sad to see that go.
Building equipment is one profession and making art is another. Only you can decide not to be the truck drivers of the world. Agendas are cheap.
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  #36  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:13 PM
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most of the equipment innovations were started by the artists. Necessity being the mother of invention.
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  #37  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:07 PM
Rosanna Gusler Rosanna Gusler is offline
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most of the equipment innovations were started by the artists. Necessity being the mother of invention.
Heh. And mother is only half of a word....
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2019, 01:29 AM
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My first thought is, during a gold rush sell shovels. I just think blowing glass is the easy part. Owning and maintaining a hot shop that takes either some know how or deep pockets. Marketing yourself as an artist well to each his own. Making significant work now that's priceless.

I do appreciate the perspective and won't argue we all want to blow glass.


Edit: Late night blowing glass and had a couple beers I thought this was the wire melter thread. Not about lampworking so instead of just deleting I'll dig my hole a little deeper and say yes if all you want to do is lampworking buy a kiln.

Last edited by Sky Campbell; 04-17-2019 at 01:44 AM. Reason: ^^^^^
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  #39  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:48 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Talking

Quote:
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Not about lampworking so instead of just deleting I'll dig my hole a little deeper and say yes if all you want to do is lampworking buy a kiln.
****
Oh well said , You might as well since we all know lampworking isn't real glassblowing...
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2019, 11:27 AM
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I was trying to say is lampworking doesn’t “require” the infrastructure that it takes to work raw materials into glass it does skip a few steps. I value it no less and do agree some of the most significant glass work being made today is pioneered by the artistic lampworkers.

I mean no disrespect by my late night rant and will try not to do that in the future. I started in a research lab blowing scientific lab ware then decided to branch out. I failed to see the ability to express myself through pipes so I went a different direction. Over 20 years of lampworking that provided me a path to do whatever I wanted and to dismiss that would be foolish.

If anyone wants to pick up, I have several lampworking kilns they can have. I will be liquidating my lampworking shop in the near future as it doesn’t provide my income anymore and hasn’t for some time. This includes hundreds of burners, glass lathes, ovens and more scientific apparatus then you will find at most universities.
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  #41  
Old 04-17-2019, 12:00 PM
Rick Kellner Rick Kellner is online now
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Sky,

Consider me interested in hearing more about the various burners, lathes, and scientific glassblowing gear. Do you have an inventory or price list yet?
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  #42  
Old 04-17-2019, 12:56 PM
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I mean no disrespect by my late night rant and will try not to do that in the future. .
*****
I really like late night rants actually.
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  #43  
Old 04-17-2019, 05:21 PM
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I truly value all of the information, opinions, and discussion in this thread.

I can certainly see that a homebrew annealing setup may be less than ideal for serious production, but I'm not scared off by building stuff (I, too, am an electrical engineer by [original] training, johnny-come-lately art school grad) so adding a controller won't cost me a huge amount above and beyond building the box and elements.

I am drawn towards building my own for a number of reasons. Primarily a reason already mentioned: I feel that I have a better shot at fixing something that I've made from scratch.

As Richard mentioned, the used market in Canada is very limited. Even though we have legal weed across the country, I don't think that we have nearly as many bong makers as our southern neighbours! I am trying to figure out whether I can buy something through eBay and have a customs broker handle the paperwork for me. It may or may not be worth the hassle.

At the moment, I'm in the stare at all the crap in my garage and try to figure out how to add one more thing stage.
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  #44  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:03 PM
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I truly ...
At the moment, I'm in the stare at all the crap in my garage and try to figure out how to add one more thing stage.
Put up a tin shed! :-D
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  #45  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:16 PM
Max Epstein Max Epstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Campbell View Post
My first thought is, during a gold rush sell shovels. I just think blowing glass is the easy part. Owning and maintaining a hot shop that takes either some know how or deep pockets. Marketing yourself as an artist well to each his own. Making significant work now that's priceless.

I do appreciate the perspective and won't argue we all want to blow glass.


Edit: Late night blowing glass and had a couple beers I thought this was the wire melter thread. Not about lampworking so instead of just deleting I'll dig my hole a little deeper and say yes if all you want to do is lampworking buy a kiln.
That's cool. Wish I were blowing glass and drinking beer.
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  #46  
Old 04-18-2019, 08:13 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If you build you will definitely know the in's and out's of your kiln and make diagnostic and repair much easier. It also allows you to make it as simple or complicated as you want.
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  #47  
Old 04-18-2019, 10:06 AM
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Extra insulation shouldn't be necessary, but I do advise a skin. Brick leaves dust by just looking at it. Especially if your ever moving it.
I've been thinking about this. How hot would the exterior likely reach? I don't want to skin it with galvanized metal if it's too hot.
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  #48  
Old 04-18-2019, 10:23 AM
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My current lehr I run at 930F. It has a one inch thick white board interior and a two inch thick backing of insblock. It's skinned by sheet steel and it gets warm, but not unduly so. It has a softbrick floor. It's a reasonable insulation for a 24 hour cycle kiln.

You can do more insulating but it will take some serious time coming down to room temperature. It's not quite like building a furnace where you anticipate a long campaign.

Most kilns are underinsulated as glass furnaces and badly so. Annealers, not so much given the function. Keep it 18 inches from any combustibles. When you wire it, check your connections after a week. Then, check every few months.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:27 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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It all kind of depends on the combined r factor of your refractory and how hot you are taking it. Most decently insulated cold faces shouldn't get to the point galvanized being a problem. A lot of the time people just buy mild steel and use engine paint to seal.

What you have to watch for is how the door is configured. If it's not sealed right the excess heat can cause deterioration to the areas around it, but again, you're probably not going to temps where that is going to be much of a problem.

You only really start to run into cold face issues with poorly insulated casting or high temp fusing kilns. The elevated temps and potential introduction of moisture can kill coated or galvanized mild steel. I had to rebuild a lid on an old Denver that you could put your finger through.
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  #50  
Old 04-18-2019, 11:43 AM
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I had to rebuild a lid on an old Denver that you could put your finger through.
***
Before or after you started using it?
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