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The Propane Gas Kiln


Although propane gas powered kilns are fairly common in ceramics, they're not widely available for working with glass.  One reason for this is that firing glass requires much more precision than firing ceramics.  As a result, gas powered glass kilns require more elaborate controls than electric kilns, making them much more expensive.


The higher price tag is at least partially offset by much lower operating costs for gas kilns.  For this reason, the kilns are most often used in production environments which require multiple firings and quick turnarounds.


In traditional stained glass painting, for instance, it's often necessary to apply paint to a single layer of glass which must be quickly heated to mature the paint, then be cooled to fire again and again until the piece is finished.  Since a propane gas kiln has the ability to heat a single layer of glass from from room temperature to 1200F/650C in less than ten minutes, it's ideal for painting applications on single layers of glass.  A firing for a painted single layer of glass can be completed in about an hour, at a cost of only pennies.


Hoaf, a leading manufacturer of gas kilns for firing glass, does offer a model that is capable of reaching fusing temperatures, but this kiln is seldom used in fusing studios. 


Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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

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