The day I traded my little convection over for the Nuwave Pro Infrared Oven, I thought my days of oven calibration were over. Don't get me wrong: the Nuwave oven is ideal for reborning. Highly recommended. But now I have encountered a new challenge: freezing cold weather.
Weather impacts my ability to turn vinyl dolls into lifelike babies because I use Genesis Heat-Set Paints. Heat set paints are wonderful. They do not cure until you are ready to cure, allowing for intricate layering and blending of effects to create gorgeously realistic baby dolls. BUT the difficulty with heat-set paint is the fact that vinyl releases toxic, noxious fumes when heated. To protect my health, I always cure and cool my dolls outside. This was working great until we reached freezing temperatures here in CT. Suddenly, my wonderful Nuwave oven could not keep up.
So, this evening was dedicated to oven calibration. How quickly does the oven reach the desired temperature? Can it hold that temperature? Does it get too hot to overcompensate for the outdoor temp? (BTW this was a huge issue with my old convection oven.) If the oven gets too hot, you risk melting the vinyl. It was time to experiment and get some answers.
The first test bake was at 60% power - my usual temp. As I suspected, the poor oven could not maintain 250 degrees in extreme cold weather. It took 8 minutes to get to 250 and then it wavered between 250 and 240 for the rest of the cook time. Ideal curing temp for Genesis is 250 - 265 for 8 minutes. My paint would never set under these conditions.
The next available increment on the NuWave is 70% power. Therein lies the graph. The oven reached 250 in only 2 min, and consistently stayed above ideal paint curing temp (the red line). Yet on occasion we'd hit 280 trying to fight the freezing outdoor temp. My paint would certainly cure, but would we damage the vinyl?
Good thing I keep my test parts handy. I popped a test leg in the oven at 70% power to see what would happen. The paint certainly cured, the vinyl was hot and soft, but I did not see any shiny spots or other evidence of melting. Next, I tried Fahtima's arm - since you can always replace an arm. Good paint adhesion and 0% vinyl damage. She held up even better than my test part. That empowered me to confidently cure the rest of the parts.
After an evening of measurements and experiments, my oven is calibrated and Fatima's first layer of paint is done! Just in time too - next week's forecast is even colder...brrrrrr.
Nevertheless, I will be signing up for the next class I see on Miracle Blend Air Dry paints. Until I can move to a warmer climate, it's good to have options. :)
Reborn Doll Babies
Reborn Doll Artist
Hi! My name is Kim. I am a reborn artist based in NC. I have been creating dolls since I was a child. I discovered the art of life-like baby dolls in 2011 and have been reborning ever since.