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GreyBird

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  1. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    I stopped the firing. The Kiln repair guy came today. I'm back in business Bisque firing a load now
  2. GreyBird

    Top element issue

    Thank you for responding. Last night at 11pm I turned everything off. It was only 500º so no harm done. I'll call the kiln guy today and see when he can come. The good news is the Crispy cone mystery is solved!
  3. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    So I think I discovered what happened to the crispy cone. I'm doing another bisque firing and I've discovered an issue with the top element. It stays on constantly even when set on low. So basically the top element is on High even when set on Low. I'll need to find a kiln guy to fix it. For this bisque fire I just turned off the top element. Can I finish the bisque fire with the bottom three elements? or should I abort the firing. -Mary
  4. GreyBird

    Top element issue

    Hi all, I think I have discovered an issue with my kiln. I am bisque firing tonight and I noticed when all switches are turned to low, the top light stay on. It does not blink on and off indicating the intermittent flow of electricity to the elements. So I turned the top element off because the temp began to rise way too quickly. Firstly, can I fire the kiln with just the bottom three elements?Second I will definitely need to hire a kiln repair gut to fix this right? Thank! -Mary
  5. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    My neighbor already came over and scavenged everything. She loves everything, no matter how bad it is. I always tell her. it's fine to take it. Just don't tell anyone I made it, or be sure to mention they're my rejects!. LOL.
  6. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    LOL, Yes. The Cone drop coincided with temp reached (So a cone 7 rod gets me to actual cone 6 temps) I was going to manually turn it back on to slow cool but I found I didn't need to. It took over an hour to drop 200°. I did log temp every hour and adjusted front knobs to stay as close to the desired rise in temp as possible. I have a better schedule to follow from the book mentioned above next time and I have the pyrometer so I'll never over fire as I'll be able to check things manually. My next load will be gorgeous! Today I spent cleaning and organizing the studio. There's a lot of that to do too! Already looking forward to tomorrow
  7. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    I thought it was confusing at first too, but the third segment is the cooling down part. In any case I went through my books ... Yea, go figure. I've have accumulated a bunch of books on ceramics over the years and you would have thought I would have looked up a schedule for firing the electric kiln in one of them before now. In any case I found a detailed clear firing schedule for both bisque and glazes firings in "Electric Kiln Ceramics" by Richard Zakin. So back to work... gotta make another kiln load of stuff!!!
  8. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Well, the learning curve on this stuff is "expletive" brutal. This whole kiln load was a bust. The problem is now I don't know if it was the botched bisque firing or the new firing schedule, or both. I do know the kiln fired to cone 6 because the witness cones were perfect with the 7 cone still standing and the 5 & 6 cones bent over. The stoneware clay body looked way too dark like it was "over cooked". The glazes had all sorts of issues.... crawling, pitting, running... color was off all around. Just awful. As I. unloaded the kiln I wavered between utter disappointment and excitement to start again and get it all right. The biggest thing I learned here is you have to really enjoy the process. If you live for the results you will never make it through the learning curve! LOL. Can someone tell me if this firing schedule looks out right? It did take 12 hours total to fire which seamed very long in comparison to what I've done in the past: 1st Segment: 50°F/hour to 220°F2nd Segment: 250°F/hour to 2167°F3rd Segment: 150°F/hour to 1500°F
  9. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Thanks Babs. I plan on it also used large cone pacs. I will master my electric kiln! lol.
  10. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Just fired a load today. First load with the pyrometer. Such a huge difference. I controlled the rise of the temp with the four front kiln dials. I logged the temp every hour, and I used a bar cone 7 which turned the cone off at exactly 2200°. Well, it's analog but it looked to be 2200° Took 12 hours to fire. Also good to note... dabbing kiln wash on the kiln sitter rods seamed to have done the trick.
  11. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    WOW, I am so glad I got that pyrometer! Ceramic Arts Daily sent out an article called "Techniques and Tricks for electric kiln" which of course I read right away. It noted a firing schedule and explained how to do a controlled cool down even with the manual kiln sitter. Very exciting since I didn't know that could be done... but of course it can, right?! The schedule is: 1st Segment: 50°F/hour to 220°F 2nd Segment: 250°F/hour to 2167°F 3rd Segment: 150°F/hour to 1500°F Pre-Pyrometer I would turn all switches to low for three hours, then all to med for 3 hours then all to high until kiln sitter turns off kiln. Witness cones told me I was reaching correct temp. This morning I started firing at 5am with a room temp of 65°. I am monitoring and noting temps every hour via pyrometer. After one hour with all switches on low the temp in the kiln is 600°! Yikes. There are four switches so I turned, counting from bottom up, 2nd and 4th switches off to slow things down a bit. It's good to know what's going on in there! In case anyone is interested in the controlled cool down part of the article, it says: Allow the kiln sitter to turn off the kiln and leave it off for about 20 minutes. Then use a combination of med and low switches to create gentle heating as the kiln cools. Shoot for 1 to 2 hours on Med. Then 1 to 2 hours on Low. Try for 125° to 175° per hour.
  12. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Thanks Mark, Yes test cones are in. Along with pyrometer. I hadn't usually used them during the bisque fire in the past so have to order some for those temps.
  13. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Hi Curt, I don't think it was a bad batch of cones because my cone was a different type than Terry's. Mine was a triangular shape and Terry's was a rod shape so I assume they were different batches. Also I have used other cones from the same box without incident.
  14. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Mine was a brand new box of cones so hadn't gotten wet either. My kiln sitter rod seams to be moving up and down freely so I don't think that is the issue. I got the kiln from a woman in her 70's 20 years ago and she had been a potter her who'll life so the original firing gauge that probably came with the kiln sitter is long gone. Thanks to google I can probably find out what they are talking about though. Terry, if you find anything would you post it? Would be good to know that everything is working properly Thanks! best, -Mary
  15. GreyBird

    Crispy Cone

    Just a heads up... When I got my Pyrometer it said not to mount on kiln as that gets hot and would affect the reading. Mount on nearby surface away from the kiln. I got an analog one so I just sit it on a table next tot he kiln and put the thermocouple part through the peephole. That seams to have worked out well as I was not looking forward to a complicated installation process.
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