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kdavitt

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About kdavitt

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  1. How Long Do Your Elements Last?

    I get maybe 200 or more firings out of my elements. When they sag, I pin them. My thermocouples go before my elements and in 6 years I've only replaced 2 relays on 3 kilns. I have heavy duty elements on my L&L E 28T 3 240 with over 300 firings - once or twice a week for the past 4 years. When a relay goes, I replace only that one but I make sure I have others on hand.
  2. temp for opening kiln?

    For 4 years now I've been opening the lid of a glaze firing and looking in a number of times from 600F on down. Around 450 I prop the lid a couple of inches open and at 400 I open all the way. I remove the pots at around 220. I do about 2 full loads of 2 or 3 kilns 2 or 3 times weekly and I've had no problems. The attached (if it shows) was taken with the kiln around 430. By the way, that particular kiln has had about 250 firings with the same elements.
  3. Kiln comparisons

    You have an interesting use of commas, Benzine. I asked the tech guy who works for L&L if it was possible to get a 'lemon' but he said it was not. Refuting technical advise with anecdotal evidence? How about with emperical evidence? I heard all this information and advice that JBaymore has been giving from my tech guy and his final advice was load the kiln to 3 shelves and buy their bigger production kiln. If others find the L&L to work great then great. I didn't. I appreciate all the imput. Enough said, I think.
  4. Kiln comparisons

    Forgot to address a question. Of course it was copper wire, with a run of about 30 ft., Perfectly installed. That kiln comes with a plug attached. My new, Cone Art kiln is hardwired with # 4 copper, one 90 degree angle with a run of about 35 ft. box to junction box.
  5. Kiln comparisons

    And you'd get a steady paycheck from them, dealing with all the problems. You'd probably get rich trying to solve their problems. I've gone trough months of dissapointing firings and worked through all kinds of probabilities. My L&L now fires to 04, period. Let's stop this thread. I have nothing more to say and I don't want to hear any more. I heard all this from my tech guy and I still had to buy another kiln. But alls well in the world. Or is it?
  6. Kiln comparisons

    I found my solution. Another kiln of another make.
  7. Kiln comparisons

    Frankly I'm tired of this discussion. I went through all this with the L&L tech, for months. The Kiln Sucks. Get it straight and stop with all the technichal smokescreen stuff. It can not do what it says it can, and you know this.
  8. Kiln comparisons

    I appreciate the electrical education. My tech guy knew a lot too but the upshot of it all was getting another kiln. I know little enough about electricity, (though a lot more than I did a year ago, thanks to these issues). I will ask the electric company to put the voltometer on the meter. The fact that the new, heavier elements improved the situation a lot indicates that the problem is not in the electrical system. I had # 6 copper professionally installed so that is not the issue either. I just did the first test firing of my Cone Art 13 cu. ft. capacity and am laying my hopes on it. Tomorrow I do the first glaze. This isn't a hobby for me, by the way. It supports myself, my wife and two other people. I produce a high quality product and I need high quality equipment. To pull 9 pieces out of the kiln twice a week does not cut it.
  9. Kiln comparisons

    I don't recall at the moment how hot it got with the error message. Less than 2232 - I think somewhere round 2100 +. I have it all recorded but I just left the studio. I see. You work for L&L. Well I don't want to unfairly harm your rep (although I've been hoping for an opportunity to express my experience with this kiln.) Lets just say that my e28 is a poor kiln and nothing the tech guy recommended solved it though he certainly applied himself. After the new elements (the kiln, by the way, is less than a year old and the new elements a couple of months) I stopped getting the e1 but continued with the pinhole problems on the top shelf when fully loaded. I used to get the same error with my 1027 which is about 4 years old but after putting in new elements it fires beautifully. In fact, I run the program it runs on the L&L with the addition of a 15m hold. I think it will make a great bisque kiln but if it were my company I Would Not Advertise it as a cone 6 production kiln.
  10. Kiln comparisons

    Thanks John. No I've not done that but I don't think that is the issue. As I said, I measured volts at peak and it was dancing around and above 240. You seem convinced that it is not the kiln. Why? Do you load up the e28 to capacity and fire to cone 6? Before installing the heavier elements I would often get an Error 1 with the kiln fully loaded. With the new elements I'll get pinholing on the fourth (top) level so I've simply learned that I can't use 4 or even 3.5 levels. I believe it is a factor of the size to element quantity/quality ratio as well as poor construction. KD
  11. Kiln comparisons

    I worked with the tech guy for months on this, tried and tested everything and recorded every firing and the the results. His solution was to buy a larger kiln (L&L of course). The fact is, if I put even 3.5 levels in it wil NOT reach cone 6 and or will pinhole in the upper levels. (I tried just about every remedy I read about for pinholing and it turned out it is simply a matter of the kiln not reaching temp.) I use cones on all levels, every time and I know what this kiln can and cannot do. After my initial trouble I spoke with Tim at Shiefield Pottery. He emailed the president of the company who had me sent their heavier duty elements which I installed. That helped but I still can't fire to cone 6 with a decent load. I'm getting 9 pieces (average size about 10" by 3.5") with about 14 6" by 3" pieces. I've used a dozen different ramp programs with various holds and such. I checked the current at peak (240v). The best program emulates the Skutt med speed fire with a 15 minute hold at peak but it still can't be done fully loaded. I was not eager to drop another $4500 for a new kiln, vent, shelves, etc. but have done so and now I 'll see what the Cone Art can do. It has an extra inch of insulation and an element in the bottom. Seems really well made (as the L&L did not). The fact is the E28t is under powered for its capacity. You cannot use it at capacity for cone 6. That is a fact, not an opinion. Higher amperage is not an option. My commercial space has 240, single phase with no options for upping it. I'm in NY. If you want to make a trip to check it out you'll be welcomed.
  12. Kiln comparisons

    I will never purchase an L&L product again. I bought an L&L E 28 t -3 for cone 6 work. Problems from the start with major pinholes I never got from my Skutt 1027 using the same glazes. Worked with their tech guy day after week after week. Tried program after program. They sent me their heavy duty elements and the problems subsided only if I didn't load the kiln to capacity. You cannot run the E 28 to capacity and reach cone 6. It will not reach cone six with 4 levels of shelves. You have to use only 3 so the 10+ cu.ft. is nonsense. I've downgraded the L&L to an 04 bisque kiln and am at this moment doing a test firing of a new Cone Art, BX 2336 D - oval kiln designed to do production firing to cone 10. I will bisque with the L&L - it should have no problem with that - and fill my Cone Art and Skutt to capacity. My Skutt never fails. I replaced the elements recently and it works like new though is it at least 5 years old and has been fired at least twice a week for that period. The president of L&L has acknowledged that the E28 is under powered. It is WAY underpowered.
  13. temp for opening kiln?

    I remove plugs at around between 500 - 600. I take repeated peeks in the mid 400 deg. F range in electric kilns firing to cone 6 with stoneware. I crack the lid and keep it cracked around 300, open it all the way in the mid 200's and start taking ware out shortly after. I've had no problems.
  14. temp for opening kiln?

    I begin pulling plugs in the high 400's. I take my first look in the glaze kiln at about 350 or 325. I crack it and leave it cracked at 300 and I take stuff out at 212 or even a little higher. I've been doing this twice weekly, for 2 years now and I have no incidents. I'm firing mostly bowls from 10" to 14" across and 3 - 5 inches high.
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