Today we went to work on the furnace. First, thanks to Cia Friedrich and Patrick Morrissey for all their help and expertise. Patrick and I started by evaluating the the inside of the furnace. Whenever we shut down the furnace, it is an opportunity to investigate any weak areas, holes, cracks, or deterioration, even though the only reason we shut down was to adjust the pots.
My furnace is 11 years old this month and is in wonderful shape. We did a major repair about 3 or 4 years ago, and it just keeps on going! Patrick is an expert designer and builder of glass equipment. I consider him New Mexico’s greatest glass community asset!
Cia inside the furnace
After Patrick used an angle grinder on all the trouble spots, Cia climbed into the furnace with some high temperature refractory castable material and patched some holes and cracks.
Cia still inside the furnace
We then replaced all the pots to evaluate their fit, made some adjustments, removed them, then lifted the large pot to repair the pedestal underneath it.
fixing the pedestal with castable
Here is the final arrangement of all the crucibles in the furnace. When the furnace is on, it is harder to see them at 2100 degrees!
The crucibles put back in place
The large crucible is for the clear glass, and the three in front are for my colored glass.
Yes! Success! The furnace will have a pilot flame over night with the door open, so the everything can warm up slowly, and allow the castable to dry. When I come in the morning, it should be only about 300 degrees. Then I will start making slow adjustments, bringing the furnace up approximately 100 degrees an hour- hopefully getting to around 1200 degrees by the end of the day. We should be charging the furnace with glass by Thursday, blowing by Friday.
In the mean time…
time for cleaning up...