I have the habit of huge, unmanageable piles of stuff and just pushing what I don't want aside and making just enough room to work in, which isn't doing as far as glassworking is concerned. It doesn't do much for the apartment in general but the table in particular is feeling the strain. When some coworkers expressed an interest in what I'm doing, it was the last straw. I have to clean up after myself. The picture to the left and below are the results of this. The stash rack is going to need replacement since I have a compulsive need for more colors and this will be added to soon as soon as the next delivery. I moved the annealing bubble into a crock pot on high, hoping to slow the cooling in the beads since the kiln isn't going to work out.
Boy, isn't it. I knew the pyrometer was cooked due to an overfire incident but thought it might be salvageable with common sense and pyrometric cones. Not by a long shot. The name should have been my first clue, in fact it was--Paragon quick-fire. I set the dial on the power controller for the lowest setting with a pyrometric cone on the shelf and watched it like a hawk. After 15 minutes I saw small wisps of smoke coming out from under the lid. Propping it up just a tad allowed me to see that the pyrometric cone was smoking a little but unchanged in shape. At 30 minutes a definite chemical smell was coming out of the kiln and I checked again. Below is a picture of the resulting cone.
This is a #022 cone, the lowest in the line which is supposed to melt at over a thousand degrees at a fire rate of 270 degrees F an hour. Overfired. The instructions on the kiln state that large cones such as this may bloat and distort with too rapid firing but this doesn't look at all bloated. It looks melted. I can't trust this. I'm going to burn the place down. Looks like I'm going to have to save my pennies and buy a kiln the hard way.