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Microwave kiln

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  • Microwave kiln


    I was at a shopping evening last night and got talking to a glass artist/jeweller. I told her I was going on a PMC course in April and how excited I was but worried as I don't have a kiln.
    She said that hobs and torches were no good, but I could get a microwave kiln.

    Has anyone used one for PMC? Did it work? How much are they?

  • #2
    The topic of Microwave Kilns comes up every now and again...
    Here's the last time but to save you thread hopping.....

    To quote Tim McCreight (who wrote what is pretty much the metalsmiths bible)
    "One immediate problem is it is very difficult to know how long to run it. If you consider that most microwave popcorn packages say something like "Heat for one to six minutes, depending on your microwave," you get an idea of how different the units can be. If you are making a dozen identical pieces, and don'tmind melting or underfiring the first ten, you can determine the proper time for that unique shape and get those last two right. Not an ideal arrangement."

    For someone new to silverclay, I'd suggest a good torch would be more reliable. PLUS once those hot metal gasses have vented through the top into the microwave itself, you shouldn't then use if for food...

    The pros:
    1) Cheap initial outlay

    The Cons:
    1) You contaminate your microwave
    2) It's not suitable for hollow forms
    3) No temperature control or way of viewing
    4) Can melt you pieces as each microwave is different

    All in all I'd save up and buy something like the Ultralite Kiln
    (you can see one HERE) or save even more and buy a small
    Paragon, Prometheus or Evenheat...

    In the mean time good torch control would probably do for a lot of pieces
    Nic x
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    • #3
      You can also always ask someone with a kiln to fire for you - some pmc suppliers and tutors offer this as a service too.


      • #4
        Thanks I didn't think to do a seach of the forum before posting! DOH!

        I will see what the the teacher shows us about firing but coming very quickly round to a torch!

        Good idea George but this class is quiet a distance from me so unless I can find a local person, it wouldn't possible to use the lady running the class.


        • #5
          I've always found torch firing PMC very easy and reliable with good results - its so quick and no big outlay in money - I would definately recomend trying torch firing before investing in a kiln. Good luck with it all and hope you enjoy your course!

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