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The Small Segmented Kiln


This is one of a continuing series on choosing a glass kiln for fusing and slumping.  Click here to go to the first part of the series.


Unlike most kilns, the segmented kiln is made in several pieces which can easily be taken apart.  Most commonly, there are three parts to the kiln:  bottom, top, and  middle.  In most cases the middle segment of the kiln is the only one that contains elements.  The top segment sometimes has a viewing window to allow looking into the kiln while it fires.


One advantage of a segmented kiln is that it's very easy to access the kiln when firing.  By removing the top it's possible to reach into the kiln and manipulate glass.  For this reason, the segmented kiln is a very good choice for bracelet making or other activities which require reaching into the kiln.


Another advantage of the segmented kiln is that it can easily be adapted for use as a vitrograph kiln.  Simply replace the bottom segment of the kiln with a false bottom (such as a piece of fiber board with a hole drilled inside) that will allow molten glass to drip out the bottom of the kiln. 


On the downside, most segmented kilns are equipped with a pyrometer but not a controller.  As would be expected for a 120 volt kiln, they tend to be small, but their inexpensive price makes them a good starter or test kiln.  They're most appropriate for people who want to make bracelets or set up a vitrograph kiln, but can be used for fusing and slumping small items as well.  Evenheat's Hot Box is one of the most popular segmented kilns.


Future tips will discuss additional small kiln configurations, such as top loading and front loading kilns.


Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

You can read more about vitrograph kilns in Bullseye's TechNotes 2, available on this page.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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