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Old 01-23-2004, 10:46 PM
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Mark Wilson Mark Wilson is offline
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mailbox annealer

well i started a project today, that i promiced i would post here. i am building an annealing kiln. it will be made inside a large rural mail box. it will have a fire brick floor to add some thermal mass, and a frax dome. i am building the heater in the end of the kiln. the fire bricks will help to keep the temperature uniform. the inside area will be 0.8 cubic feet with a 9x9x21 inch interior. it will have 1200 watts and pull 10 amps at 120v. here is a photo of it. i will be working on it over the next few weeks, so it won't be finished for a while. i will keep track of the cost but it will probably be about $75 to $100.
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Last edited by Mark Wilson : 01-23-2004 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:02 PM
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Mark Wilson Mark Wilson is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

i found a box of these at a local surplus store. they were $1.95 each. it is labeled 4800 Watts at 240V, so i figure it will be 1200 Watts at 120V. unfortunately, i have already sent out most of the elements to some glassblowers. you could use a electric stove cooking range element instead and they only cost a few dollars.
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:07 PM
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phishstuff phishstuff is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

Mark,
This is a very interesting thread and I am interested in hearing more. I have a mailbox annealer and really like it, so I would love to see how it was made and see about making my own one day.

More, more, more!Thanks for showing.
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:15 AM
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JoyceMI JoyceMI is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

Great Mark! Keep us posted on this tutorial. Even though I may not build one I find these tutorials of yours interesting. Amazes me the knowledge and things you come up with.

Will be looking forward to the progress!
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Old 01-24-2004, 05:02 AM
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Re: mailbox annealer

I just love your tutorial's Mike and I'm really excited about this one. Cant wait to see more.

n
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Old 01-24-2004, 07:56 AM
Li Mei Sheng Li Mei Sheng is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

Fantastic idea. After seeing the cost to ship a 100lb kiln from the US, I was wondering how hard it would be to build one! May I ask some general design questions?

Do you glue the firebricks to each other, and with what? Is a complete metal shell necessary for safety?

And would the fiber stuff serve to reduce electricity usage in a taller kiln that might not always be used to its full height? Sometimes beads, sometimes two-foot-tall sculptures, to name an extreme spread. Assuming one were to switch off upper-level heating elements before stuffing the fiber in.

My grandmother had a kiln (for ceramics) that had stackable rings -- need more height, add a ring and plug it in. This was twenty or thirty years ago. I don't know if the design would be suitable for glass, since I am sure glass needs higher temperatures than ceramics.

What a great project!
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:53 AM
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Mark Wilson Mark Wilson is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

Quote:
Originally Posted by npuffer
I just love your tutorial's Mike and I'm really excited about this one. Cant wait to see more.

n
the name is mark!!!!!
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:50 AM
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FiredDesires FiredDesires is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

lol,
Mark, that was maybe a Freudian slip on Puffers part.......since Mike Crowley of the GlassHive uses mailboxes to create his annealers....

I'm glad your posting the steps on making yours, I'm interested in seeing how they go from start to finish....I love the one I have and wouldn't hesitate to replace with the same....when/if mine should ever die!

At your estimated cost total, your not putting a digi controller ...I just couldn't do without mine....after years of "hand ramping" those fujis are worth their weight in gold.

Thanks for sharing, I look forward to the next installment in the "Mark's amazing kiln" story.
Catharine
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:00 AM
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Re: mailbox annealer

ok i finished it today. i only took a couple of hours to build. i lined the inside with steel and it has a brick floor to hold heat. the heater is in the back end of the kiln. the total cost is about $100 for a 16x8x8 inside diameter annealing kiln. it will have an external temperature controller. i am going to post some photos detailing its construction.
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:01 AM
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Mark Wilson Mark Wilson is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

here is one more.
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:10 AM
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Re: mailbox annealer

here are a couple more. one shows the metal lined inside. the floor is brick and the frax insulation is protected by the metal. i have a brick in the end to protect the elements. the floor is 3 bricks long or 13.5 inches. you still have another 3 inches in length because of the brick in the end.
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:50 AM
tom z tom z is offline
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Re: mailbox annealer

That is awsome! What are your plans for a pyrometer and a infinate control switch? I want a mailbox annealer!
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Old 02-29-2004, 01:01 PM
Lonnie Strunk Lonnie Strunk is offline
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Hi Mark, do you know how long it takes to get to say 950 degrees F ? How hot will it get ?
Let us know when you find out.

Thanks for all the information.

Lonnie
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:01 PM
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Re: mailbox annealer

OH Mark, I'm so sorry that I called you Mike, it was an absolute slip of the fingers without realizing it. I love following your posts and tutorials. (I feel so bad cause I know I hate it when someone calls me by another name)

Anyway, What an excellent job you did on this kiln, I'm going to have to make one of these ASAP just so I know I can

Thank you Mark for sharing!!!

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Old 02-29-2004, 07:40 PM
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Re: mailbox annealer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Strunk
Hi Mark, do you know how long it takes to get to say 950 degrees F ? How hot will it get ?
Let us know when you find out.

Thanks for all the information.

Lonnie

hi lonnie,
it took about 40 minutes to heat up to 950F, but it took one hour for the temperature to stabilize. i just pluged it into my temperature controller about 1 hour a ago, and it is at 950 stable to within 1 or 2 degrees. i think that my use of brick for the floor and around the heater, adds thermal mass that helps to stabilize the temperature as well. i really like having the inside lined with steel. it helps to keep frax off your art and out of the air. i sprayed the end of the kiln with frax rigidzer, collidial silica. i think this kiln could go much higher in temperature, but i wanted an annealer thats all. i can put my hand on the outside of the kiln when its at temperature, so it is pretty well insulated. the 3 bolts through the door to hold on the fiberboard door get real hot. i am going to have to figure out a solution for that.
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