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Old 02-16-2005, 12:17 PM
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Post newbie kiln stress is taking over

Good morning everyone! I'm another confused newbie trying to keep afloat with all the kiln options out there. I can only imagine the relief that comes with making the decision.

The kilns I'm stressing over are:

this one...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

and this one...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

and this one...
http://www.artglass1.com/hg910qw.htm
This one has quartz-encased heating elements and I'm not sure how big a difference that makes. It sure seems to knock the price up, though!

There's also the AIM 84BD/D from Frantz that so many people have applauded.

I'm sorry for not posting the pictures! I'm trying to figure out how to do that!

If you were to pick one, which one would it be and why? Tyou!
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:21 PM
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Keewin Keewin is offline
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

Let me try that again!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT


Sorry about that!
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:31 PM
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Red*Dog*Designs Red*Dog*Designs is offline
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I have an Arrow Springs kiln and would highly recommend them !

http://www.arrowsprings.com/html/kiln_prices.html
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:41 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I have the Arrow Springs AF-99 and it has the enclosed coils you mentioned. It was pricy, but I love it! There's plenty of room and also a bead door. I have had mine for about a year and never had a moment's worry with it. . . other than being totally scared to turn it on the first time! It was also programed so I didn't have to figure that out. You can add other programs, but since I justmake beads, that has not been necessary for me. Hope you find one you like.
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:55 PM
PamDugger PamDugger is offline
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I too have an AF99 and have had it for over 10 years with no problems whatsoever with it. I also suggest you look at the Arrow Springs controllers as they are very versatile and in the over 5 years I have had my digital controller I have never had to send it back. I really advise you to consider getting a controller that is separate from the kiln, as the Arrow Springs kilns and controllers are, so that if you want to change kilns or add another one, the controller can be easily switched from one to the other. And if, perchance, your controller ever does break, then you don't have to send the kiln back to get it fixed. Just one beadmaker's opinion.
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:56 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I just finished this mind boggling hunt and decided on an AIM 84BD which I ordered off Ebay from KilnWest(hope that's okay to say). I was really impressed with how fast it came. They had said 4 weeks or more and it arrived yesterday. It was easy to set up and I can't wait to fire it up. I only got a chance to test that it went on last night.

But you're right, it was such a relief to decide on one. I finally decided on what I wanted to use it for now and what I might want to do in the future. It has the ability to remove the bead ring and do fusing which I liked. I also liked that I could garage my beads and not reach into a hot kiln.
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Old 02-16-2005, 01:08 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

Here are two more questions...

what's a "three-key digital controller" vs. a "digital controller"?

and what's a bead ring?

My poor brain!
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Old 02-16-2005, 01:16 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

go with the jen ken. you will outgrow these little baby kilns too fast. the jen ken is big enough to do pie plate size fused pieces in.
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Old 02-16-2005, 01:29 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I'm in the same boat trying to choose a kiln. If you decide to go with a jen-ken I'd choose the 11"/4.5" because the interior is larger than the square one (6" X 6" interior), is less expensive and the digital controller holds more programs. Well those are the reasons I ruled out the square one anyway. Good luck to you finding your perfect kiln. I know it's tough to choose with all the great options out there. I only wish $$$ wasn't an issue for me.
Oh just a side note too. If you buy a kiln from one of those auctions you listed it can take up to 4-6 weeks to be shipped.
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Last edited by Bubbyanne : 02-16-2005 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 02-16-2005, 02:34 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

I got mine at www.hotglassbeads.com almost two years ago and I never regretted it! It's made by Paragon.

Look at all that room in there, it's 12" deep.
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Old 02-16-2005, 04:35 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

That looks like an excellent price for a kiln with a digital controller. Obviously, if you can get the bigger one for the same price as the smaller one (or lower, or even slightly higher), go for that. If all you're planning to do is anneal beads, either would be a great choice for you.

I've been making beads for 4 1/2 years, and I have yet to have the urge to fuse a salad plate, let alone a pie plate. Even if I did want to do large-scale fusing, I might want to keep my little kiln so I didn't have to fire up a huge kiln just to anneal beads.

I have an Aim 84BD, which I would recommend except that I don't think you could get one with a digital controller as cheap as the Jen-Kens you linked to. (Try kilnwest on eBay, though -- they're an authorized distributor for Aim, and often have those kilns on eBay for a good price.)

I've used the Jen-Ken tall bead annealer (same as the second one you linked to, except taller) and my one complaint would be that the handles on the bead door get really, really hot -- hot enough that you don't want to touch them with bare fingers. I think it's a poor design and I don't understand why Jen-Ken doesn't change it. It's a minor point, and I wouldn't reject a Jen-Ken for that reason if you liked it for other reasons.

If you want a kiln with quartz-encased coils, go with an Arrow Springs kiln. Yes, they're more expensive, but they're well made and you can trust Arrow Springs to treat you well if something goes wrong.

Lisa, the picture you posted makes me a little nervous, because the top of your stack of mandrels is just a hair away from hitting the heating element. It seems like it would be really easy to jab a mandrel into the element when you're stacking.

An advantage of the Aim 84BD is that the section (ring) that has the bead door in it has no heating elements, so that you're not going to jab a mandrel into an element when you're using the bead door.
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Last edited by Emily : 02-16-2005 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 02-16-2005, 05:09 PM
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Graceful Graceful is offline
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Cool Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

After stressing for 3 months over this same decision, I finally decided to go with the Aim 84BD. However, I wanted the digital controller and was trying to keep my price down, so after searching all over the place I found it here for $465 - http://www.clay-king.com/itemaim84.html -much cheaper than anywhere else.

My husband ordered it for me for Christmas and I had it in about 10 days. I have seen posts where people had to wait weeks for thier kilns. I guess I just got lucky.

One word of caution though - you can't go to Clay-king's site and find it. You have to use this particular address.

Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck in your hunt.
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:22 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

Hi- I bought a Jen-Ken AF3P in December from Two Lasses Glass Classes and I love it, mine is similar to yours but a bit larger inside (11" x 4" ). I also bought it from their E-bay site. I paid $450 + $49 shipping- worth every penny! It has a 3 button Bartlett controller which isn't difficult once you get the hang of it. Hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to pm me,
Donna~
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:47 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

Yup I have the JenKen and LOVE IT. I got it on ebay from the factory (molly1086 is ebay id) as a scratch/dent (never saw the blemishes) It was 417 with the controller and bead ring (a MUST HAVE for beads) and their service is great. I love that I can fuse a plate in it (tho havnt done any fusing yet I DO have lots of ideas LOL) Great kiln.
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:54 PM
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Re: newbie kiln stress is taking over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
Lisa, the picture you posted makes me a little nervous, because the top of your stack of mandrels is just a hair away from hitting the heating element. It seems like it would be really easy to jab a mandrel into the element when you're stacking.

As I explained in the mini tutorial (on stacking beads in your kiln) I wrote today and posted in Tech - my kiln has a safety feature that shuts off the power when the door is opened. Also the picture has a depth perception problem (like cameras do) and the tips of the mandrels are 2-3 inches from touching the back wall.
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