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Beehive Kiln & Sandblasting


#1

Hi Gang,

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
you want.

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
same time.

Sand/bead blasting

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.


#2

Hello, is there an inexpensive table to use for a small mobile
kiln, my instructions say that it must be heat proof…but the
one metal table i saw in catalog cost 300.00 plus…what other
kinds of surfaces are good…lynn


#3

Lynn said,

  is there an inexpensive table to use for a small mobile kiln,
my instructions say that it must be heat proof.<<

First if I were you, I’d check to see how hot the bottom of your
kiln get s at the highest heat. This can be done with a thermometer
or by feel. Generally the bottom of things don’t get too hot if
they’ve got enough insulation in them. If the bottom gets very hot
you may want to consider your choicce of kilns; the operating
expense could be high. A simple solution might be a cookie sheet
large enough for the unit to si t on. Adding a small block (piece
of 2x4, the flat way) under each leg (corner) will increase the air
space between the cookie sheet & kiln. Thi s will promote air
circulation & keep things cooler.

HTH

Dave


#4

Hello, is there an inexpensive table to use for a small mobile
kiln, my instructions say that it must be heat proof…but the
one metal table i saw in catalog cost 300.00 plus…what other
kinds of surfaces are good…lynn

What about using a regular table with a soldering board on top?
There is a footed soldering board available from Gesswein, Rio
Grande, ect. that comes in sizes up to 12"x12". Maybe you can
put a few smaller ones together if that isn’t large enough.

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#5

Warning! this is what I do…which has not been
studied, approved or authorized by anyone. I have two surfaces I
use for my kiln and to press out my enamel plaques on after
firing. I went to Home Depot and bought this fiber/cement board
they sell. It is used behind shower stalls etc. as a backer. Ask
persistantly, they all carry it. I cut it by repeated scoring
with a utility knife and then breaking. I also have a nice big
sheet of granite. I pestered a local company who puts in stone
countertops until they said something to their supplier who
grudgingly let me come to the yard and pick one out of the
THOUSANDS of pieces they had laying around. They admitted they
have no use for it but werent’ even interested in donating it for
a tax write-off to a school I knew.

My solution to the problem.

Karen
@karenworks1


#6

If you have a relatively sturdy table for your kiln, why don’t you
just cover it with firebrick. It will also give you a heatproof
place to put very,very,very hot things. I have done this for
severeal years with my burnout ovens and have been happy with the
result. It is a bit costly to begin with but if you buy the
firebrick at a masonry supply, it is less costly than if you go to
a jewelry supply(sorry supply guys - but you know I’m right).

Good luck
Stella


#7

Gravestone/Headstone companies make spelling mistakes, drop and
crack headstones. They will sometimes give (and often sell), really
nice chunks of polished granite that can be used as surfaces for
flattening enamels on, surface plates etc. Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/tree.cgi
Product descriptions: http://www.ganoksin.com/kosana/brain/brain.htm


#8

Hi Folks,

Fire brick is cheap and available from Home Depot, Builders
Square, or any building material supplier. Let your fingers do
the walking! Set a layer of fire brick down and put a cookie sheet
over it and Voila’ your problem is solved! BTW fire brick is the
same size as regular brick but weighs about 1/10 as much as
house bricks.

Regards,
Skip
Skip Meister
NRA Endowment and
Instructor
@Skip_Meister
03/17/9809:43:42


#9
Gravestone/Headstone companies make spelling mistakes, drop and
crack headstones. They will sometimes give (and often sell), really
nice chunks of polished granite that can be used as surfaces for
flattening enamels on, surface plates etc. Charles

Did I already mention going to an installer of stone countertops?
Same effect of the gravestone, but thinner and easier for me to
handle?

Karen


#10
First if I were you, I'd check to see how hot the bottom of your
kiln get s at the highest heat. This can be done with a thermometer
or by feel. Generally the  bottom of things don't get too hot if
they've got enough insulation in them. If the bottom gets 

To Add to Daves comments.

Home Depot will have Ceramic tile in 12" by 12" Squares at about
$1.00 Each. They also may have a tile backer board 3’ by 5’ for
about $10.00. This makes a nice non combustible surface. You would
want the white stuff rather than the Gray cement based stuff. A
good inexpensive source for Aluminum Pans is A restraunt supply
co. They will have various sizes of sheet cake pans for $100.00
each or less. These also make a fireproof surface but do conduct
heat like a cookie sheet. These are good for use on sa bench top
to kkep stuff from getting lost. Jesse


#11

Hi Gang,

   Fire brick is cheap and available from Home Depot, Builders
Square, or any building material supplier.  Let your fingers
do the walking!  Set a layer of fire brick down and put a
cookie sheet over it and Voila' your problem is solved!  BTW
fire brick is the same size as regular brick *but* weighs about
1/10 as much as house bricks.

Be aware there are two types of fire brick commonly available:
the hard brick usually used to line fireplaces, boilers, tops of
welding tables et c and the soft bricks made of magnesia. The
soft ones are the type usually found on metalsmith’s benches.
They’re soft enough to push pins & other small items into.
Generally Home Depot & other building supplies stock the hard
brick, the soft, magnesia brick, is usually available at locations
specializing in brick & other masonary products. The bricks made
from magnesia usually co st $3- $5 each depending on location. The
hard fire bricks are less expensive.

Dave


#12

To Add to Daves comments.

Home Depot will have Ceramic tile in 12" by 12" Squares at about
$1.00 Each. They also may have a tile backer board 3’ by 5’ for
about $10.00. This makes a nice non combustible surface. You
wouldo. They will have various sizes of sheet cake pans for
$100.00 each or less. These also make a fireproof surface but do
conduct heat like a cookie sheet. These are good for use on sa
bench top to kkep stuff from getting lost. Jesse