Here’s some thoughts on the two subjects.
A homebrew kiln can be made from an electric hot plate & 1 or 2
clay flower pots. This doesn’t have a lot of heat control, just hi,
low & medium; but it’s cost is quite low & it may suffice for what
Get a 1 burner electric hot plate, about $30, unless you can find
1 in a thrift store.
Get a clay flower pot with a diameter that will cover the burner
on the hot plate.
Form heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the inside of the pot.
(Some folks don’t do this.), Cut a hole in the foil to match the
hole in the flower pot. Place a piece of metal or fire proof
material over the burner to act as a floor. If a metal is used
don’t used a coated (galvanized, powder, painted, etc) metal. What
ever is used as a floor should not be so heavy that it requires a
long time to get hot.
To use, put the floor over the burner. Put the item to be heated
on the floor.
Cover with the flower pot.
Turn on the burner. A little experimentation will be required to
establish heat ranges & times before the kiln is used.
If the aluminum foil tends to sag when heated, a 2nd flower pot,
the same size as the 1st may be used. Invert the 1st flower pot.
Cover the outside with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the 2nd
flower pot over the 1st so the aluminum is between the 2. Punch a
hole through the aluminum where the holes in the flower pots are.
When removing the pots from the burner, remove them both at the
I’ve never sand/bead blasted any jewelry, but have blasted other
metals, plastic & wood. The blasting was both for coating removal &
for decorative finishing.
As a general rule, blasting should be the LAST thing done.
Soldering should be done prior to blasting or the solder may flow
over the blasted area changing the appearence.
Polishing, buffing & texturing should also be done prior to
blasting for the same reason as soldering.
Areas that are not to be blasted need to be masked to prevent the
blast media from marking them. Rubber cement from the office supply
store worked well for me. Several coats may be painted on to build
up a sufficent thickness to resist the media, if required.
Depending on the intricasey of the blasted & unblasted areas, just
covering the unblasted area with a gloved finger while blasting
near it may be adequate.
The rubber is resiliant & absorbs the shock of the media. The
tomstone industry uses very thin sheets of rubber as stencil
material to mask tombstones when cutting in letters & designs.
Paint thinner, nail polish remover or other solvent will help
remove the rubber cement. If the label lists the material used as
a vehicle/solvent in the cement, it or the same class solvent will
do a good job of removal. Just be sure any stones or other
materials in the piece won’t be affected by the solvent.