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Found 184 results

  1. HI there. I've literally joined this group today as it seems like everyone is really knowledgeable and I was hoping you may be able to help me figure out whether you think it's worth it to buy a new kiln or take a chance on a second-hand one? I've been looking on eBay as it's cheaper to buy second hand but being completely new to pottery I don't really know what I'm looking for. I would like to have the option to fire porcelain eventually so it would have to be able to reach those temps, but apart from that there are so many options....it seems to be a bit of a minefield. I don't reallywant to buy a white elephant and just wondered about other people's experiences? Cheers Benjinca
  2. My friend and I recently bought a used kiln and wheel. Our first test with the kiln we messed up and fired our stuff to cone 6 (instead of 06). We hadn't had a lot in the kiln, just a few really small cut-out pieces. It took about 6.5 hours to get close to cone 6, but the large 6 cone didn't fully drop, and the cone 7 didn't really move much, so we weren't totally sure if it was fully done. Moving on to our second fire. We had new things to fire, so we bisque fired our stuff (half full with things stacked) to cone 06 this time. Our cone sitter fell out when we closed it (not sure exactly what happened), so after 6.5 hours, we stopped it. We again weren't 100% sure if things we underfired, overfired, or totally perfect. We tried the "lick" test and it was sticking to our tongue. We decided to glaze it and fire to completion. This time, our kiln was full. We didn't put anything on our bottom level (we were worried out glaze would run and it would ruin the kiln). We put in a cone 7 sitter (to make sure it fired completely to cone 6) and we had our large cones to watch at the top and bottom of our kiln. After almost 11 hours, it still wasn't complete (and it was 1am) so we turned it off and left it. So now I'm left with a million questions. 1) How can I tell if it is completely fired? 2) Can I re-fire the stuff and would I have to fire it from start, another 12+ hours? 3) I've read a million posts talking about different kiln lengths, but I'm wondering how exactly you can tell how long it would take? 4) I think our bottom heat isn't as strong as our tops, so should I be putting thinner stuff at the bottom? Or just get the heaters fixed? 5) If our bisque fire wasn't fully fired, would that make our glaze fire take longer? Thanks so much for any help! Already this website has been a huge help for my friend and I. We basically use this as a pottery bible. UPDATE!! We re-fired our glaze and this time everything went off after 8 hours. The glaze is a little runny, but our main concern is the bottom elements not being the best. We had our thin stuff at the bottom, and it did glaze over, but the cones didn't change at all. The top cones did, though!
  3. So, I picked up a new-ish kiln off of an auction site, from a local school district. I knew that the kiln wasn't working, and that it had some damage, based on the photos they shared. But it looked like it was still in good shape, and I didn't spend too much on it, all things considered. The control boxes look practically new, minus a little discoloration on one of the wire wraps, that can be seen in one of the photos in the gallery. Obviously, the BIGGEST issue is, the bottom slab/ bottom brick damage. That was more than I expected. I've never seen anything like this (Heard about, but never seen), but I'm sure Neil has seen things like this from time to time. If you look at the photo of the slab, you can see, and may even be able to guess what happened. You'll notice the melted mass (The shelf posts are stuck in those positions), and even see that some of the bottom wall bricks, along with most of the bottom element came with the bottom, when I took them apart. After I got it into my work shop, I think I figured out what happened. The control is a kiln sitter, with a back up timer. The sitter rod, on the inside has some black "glass" connecting the rod, with the insulating tube, and cone supports. I don't know if that was from a firing before the kiln's "last" firing, or the one, where it stopped working. Regardless, the sitter was not functional, and my guess is the kiln just never shut off. What I thought was a runny glaze on the bottom slab, is actually melted clay. You can actually see pieces that didn't fully melt, still there. I can't say if it was a mid to high fire clay that was just fired too long. Or if it was low fire clay, that was mistakenly fired too hot. Or some combination of any of that. Soooo, I've got some work ahead of me. I need a new slab, which luckily, I have one from another kiln, that I never got around to fixing. Same size and model, just older. Then I need to replace the bottom bricks and element(s). Hopefully, that will get it functional. Time to get to work!
  4. Hi, I have this problem of cracking or clay splitting when throwing in the wheel, pls find the attached picture and also, after firing at cone 08, the clay has a lot of surface cracks and sometimes structural cracks pls find the attached pic, pls advise why this is happening and how to avoid this in future. Thanks.
  5. JanieEddings

    Help firing older kiln

    I was given an older paragon kiln with a set n fire. Its model lt-3k and I have no idea how to use it yet. I want to fire cone 6 stoneware and already have some greenware ready to fire and plenty of furniture. Any advice would be great!
  6. Hi, I’m new to this, total novice! I’ve been given a kiln I can’t find instructions to. i tried to fire it up to try it out and it just turned off. here are some pics: Thanks in advance
  7. Hi All, I would like to get advice about purchasing a new kiln. I'm an Elementary Art teacher in North East Florida. We have over 600 students and growing. I would really appreciate input on the best size and brand to purchase. My budget is $1500 - $2000. I am a painter and photographer, so ceramics is out of my comfort zone. I will be operating the kiln at home, in the 2 car garage, if that influences choices. (No cars park in the garage.) Thank you! Rhonda
  8. Hi everyone, I recently fired a gas kiln but there was very poor reduction and my pieces (with a celadon glaze) came out oxidised. Would it work to refire these same pieces in a fully-functioning gas kiln? Is there any reason the might not reduce as they have already been high-fired? Thank you!
  9. We have an old evenheat kiln that we're struggling to master. It's a 4320 model but with the 4 toggle switches and not the 4 dials. Our problem is that the top element takes way longer to heat up than the other 3. We did a paper test and initially it appeared that the top element wasn't warming up at all, after 30 seconds the lower 3 elements had all scorched their pieces of paper while the top was still unmarked. We took the cover panel off and tightened a couple of wires that appeared overly loose, one going to the top element and one going to the grounding point. The top element now at least get hot enough to scorch the paper but takes at least twice as long as the other elements. So the switch works and the element works but we're stuck as to where to go next. The only thing I can see different with the top element circuit and the others is that the top circuit includes a "therm-o-disk" which appears to be some kind of bimetallic thermostat. Could that be the cause of our issue? Or could it simply be that in this model of kiln the top element doesn't get so hot because it's at the top where all the heat rises to anyway. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. We're really struggling to get consistent glaze firings in this kiln and now there's two of us potting away going back to the small kiln would be painful, not to mention lead to further global warming.
  10. Without much experience or knowledge, and a call to Georgie's (skutt is closed on wknds! arrgh) I've narrowed it down to what I think I should get, with two other small kilns that require 240 voltage as runner ups. Until I call Skutt and ask for further advice I won't be giving anyone any money. At this point cone 6 would be like manna from heaven compared to the low fires done by the shop I go to. Just to complicate matters I picked up a truly ancient Paragon for $200 bucks which seems restorable and almost certainly fires off 240 voltage and who knows what else, and if I can get it running someday, not now, supposedly will fire to cone 10. However I'm not going to invest that kind of cash at this point for various personal reasons. Anyway here's what I'm looking at ctl+pasted off the Georgie's site. As I mentioned it's pretty much down to Skutt because otherwise I'll have to go hundreds of miles further to get parts service for any other brand, and I like Skutt's customer service and reputation: Any experience with 120 volt kilns? Do they really work or have problems? Thanks. KM614-3 Handy for artists with limited space, and also a true precision device for jewelers, metal workers and dollmakers. The only kiln in the KM series that runs on common household 120-volt power (with a 30 amp breaker and outlet required). Reaches cone 6. Chamber size 11" x 13-1/2". Capacity 0.8 cubic feet. Uses 120-volt power with a 30 amp breaker. Georgies price does not include freight or delivery charges to your location. Shipping weight is 88 pounds. KM614-3 Skutt KM614-3 KilnMaster Electronic Ceramic Kiln Skutt KilnMaster KM-614-3 KM-614-3 Skutt KM614 electronic ceramic kiln fires to cone 6 with 0.8 cubic feet capacity. Chamber dimensions 11" wide by 13-1/2" deep. Skutt KM614-3 KilnMaster Electronic Ceramic Kiln
  11. Since day 1 I wanted to do wood firing. I started with an electric kiln and although it is possible to do interesting things I'm still focused on ultimately doing Anagama. I cant truly test Cone 10 glazes in my electric and want to get as close to possible to that environment, which means a way to do reduction, neutral and oxidation. So I got a broke down Duncan kiln donated to me and the burner came in today so I'm super excited!!! Stripping it down tonight and getting the elements out then will figure out how to cut the burner port and the top opening. Then I have to find a 40 - 50 gallon tank. Gaaaaaaah excited! df
  12. Hi, I'm still fairly inexperienced and used to always fire my pottery at a studio where I went to classes etc, so the adventure of firing in my own kiln is still pretty new to me. I was given an old electric kiln, which is now connected and running, any dangling heating coils were fixed, and the whole thing was given a once-over by a kiln engineer. The kiln has an electric controller and I've set a number of different programmes (biscuit, cone 6, cone 8, etc). I've done a few firings so far, 3 biscuit firings and one glaze firing to cone 8. While none of the firings have gone wrong and everything seems to be working fine, I noticed that despite the temp controller there seem to be fluctuations in the temperature. I was using orton cones to check the kiln was firing up to temp and I find that for a biscuit firing it consistently seems to fire to slightly below temp (so first cone will just start to dip rather than lying flat, the other two are not touched). For the higher glaze firing the opposite seemed to be true - when I checked all the cones had dipped - the first two had completely keeled over, the last one (for the highest temp) was about half-way. I realise that these are fairly minor temp fluctuations, but is this a normal thing? I imagine with glaze firings it could make all the difference? Could outside temp account for it? The kiln is in a shed so in winter it does get pretty cold.
  13. I'm using a 1227 skutt 1980 kiln with sitter..its always been quite slow to fire. But, this is a first.. it have been on high for 48 hours and still not reached temperature. First- is that safe for it to be on for so long? Second it is hitting cone 5 but not cone 6. Its very close. My cone is starting to bend but its just not there. -also all elements, relays, and wiring are 100%. Is it ok to keep letting it run and hope it hits cone 6 in the next few hours or should i shut the kiln off since its been cone 5 for over 24 hours...?
  14. Please delete or move if this is the wrong section. I searched and couldn't find a similar post. I recently moved to Austin, Texas and am looking for a local (or semi-local) wood or salt kiln that is communal. 90% of my work in college was woodfired using the college wood kiln, and now that I'm graduated I find myself in Austin with no idea how to continue atmospheric firings. I can't build a kiln in the back yard as I'm renting, so I'm looking for any community-accessible kilns I can fire in. Obviously, willing to trade labor and shifts for kiln space. I hope there is something available because I love the community aspect of firing with wood, and I want to continue my journey in that direction.
  15. Just setting up a little pottery studio at home and have bought a brand new kiln from Potclays. (I'm in UK.) The instructions are sadly inadequate and Potclays have not been very helpful so far. I wondered if someone here could help me more quickly as I'm keen to do my first test firing. They have sent me some 06 test cones. For the first test, they tell me to fire the kiln to take 5 hours to reach 750 degrees C. Once it reaches 700 (after 4 3/4 hours), they say I should check the cone at 15 minute intervals. They do not say what I am checking for. I have asked them but they have not given me a clear answer. For the second test, they say I should repeat the procedure but firing to 1000 degrees C. For this firing they say the cone should bend tip to base. What I don't understand is: if the cone bends right over at 1000 degrees C, what will the same cone do at 750 degrees C? I need to know what I'm checking for; otherwise there's no point in checking. Please help!
  16. tjbanjo

    how hot?

    How hot does a ^5.5 Orton pyrometric cone have to get to melt? I fired the kiln, I thought, to 1201 Celsius. This is a problem. Anybody know where to find a kiln tech in China?
  17. tjbanjo

    firebrick crack

    Does this crack in the firebrick in the lid of my kiln need some kind of attention? I've been told both yes and no. It's a Shimpo DUA-15 kiln. Bob
  18. hello I have just purchased a second hand cromartie hobbytech 40 kiln with an lt3k kiln sitter, having never fired my own work (I have always had a technician do it) I was wondering about the ramping speed to fire stoneware. The kiln has a dial on the side from 1 to 4 and then full, I was wondering how long I should leave between each increase in power. as I understand it too quick an increase in temperature could cause the clay to break due to the steam. here is a picture of the kiln dial. also the Kiln has a peep hole in the side and a vent hole on top, should I leave both open during firing? regards Liam
  19. I have a question regarding some theory I read in the text The Kiln Book. On page 78 of the 4th Edition, it states that: "At the point where the exit flues enter the chimney, they should be restricted so that the chimney cross section is larger than this flue area" In the diagram (3-11) beneath this, it shows decreasing the point of entry to the chimney by 25% (from 4 bricks to 3), coming from the kiln exit flue. What's the thought behind this? I'm happy to trust my elders, but I'd also like to know what the theory is. I'm curious how this decrease affects the firing, vs keeping the same area of flow in the inlet flue>exit flue>chimney entry>chimney. As I'm building a chimney coming up in the next couple weeks, I'd love to figure this out. I can taper in the walls of the exit flue to the entry point of the chimney, which would accelerate flow heading into the chimney (while also creating slight backpressure?), which would then open back up to the full area of the chimney as it rises. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
  20. Howdy Y'all I have the opportunity to potentially build a wood fired kiln here in Colorado. The space is figured out and there are kiln shelves to be used. Now all I need to do is figure out to where to get firebrick for free or very cheap and design a kiln! easy peasy..... I was wondering if anyone could point me towards good places to search for used firebrick. I know firebrick is used in many industrial applications to line furnaces etc but I am unsure exactly what type of businesses would use these. Does anyone have experience sourcing free firebrick? My second question is if anyone is familiar with any good computer software that can be used to design kilns? Mainly I would like it to just play around with simple designs so it doesn't need to be terribly complex. If anyone knows of a program like this I would love to hear about it! Thanks! -Adam
  21. potterpat

    Olsen Kiln Kit

    I am considering purchasing an Olsen kiln kit. I have scoured the internet and found no negative reports on them. I have fired a small updraft to cone 10 for years, so feel that I have solid experience in firing an updraft, and buying a kit means that the design and calculations have already been done, so it should be a slam dunk. Buy it, put it together and fire pots...right? Anyone care to weigh in on this? Thank you!! Pat
  22. aperhapshand

    Old Damaged Kiln

    HI All, I am currently helping with a just starting out Art Gallery and Community art center. I have worked in community studios for quite a few years and have helped a similar style studio start their ceramics room/department. My concern is that The Owners were gifted a kiln that is a VERY OLD manual electric Duncan - I heard somewhere that the year is in the serial number; if true the kiln is from 1964 . The kiln is in pretty bad shape. The electrical and the heating elements don't look too bad, but the floor and the lid are in really bad shape. The floor is crumbling, the edges of on the outside are rusted, the brick/board on the lid is cracked, and it just looks rough. I have told the owner, his wife, the Gallery Director; anyone, that will listen, that I am not comfortable firing it with how rough this kiln looks to be. The Owner had his friend, who seems to know a great deal about kilns, to look at it. The friend is suggesting repairing it by pouring, a concrete-like, floor and just tightening the lid. He said he could rerun the heating elements as well. This is beyond my knowledge, and if it was my center I would just buy a new kiln. They have invested a great deal of money into the space. I have offered a huge amount of free knowledge and experience to help get this up and running but am not financially contributing. The Owner doesn't seem to be interested in investing in a new kiln. My gut is telling me not to fire the kiln. . . but I am a very cautious person naturally . . . Am I worried about nothing? How old and how damaged is too damaged? Thank you for any help or insight you have.
  23. I was asked about the pros and cons of buying a Cone 10 Skutt, (6.4 cu ft) vs a Cone 8 Skutt (9.9 cu ft) for firing at cone 6. I'd suspect one might run into element wear sooner with the larger kiln, but since I really don't know, I'm hoping someone might have some insights. Thank you.
  24. My gas kiln is powered by two venturi burners, of uncertain specification and unknown origin. I have a feeling that they are more than a little inefficient, and in any case are sometimes very finicky to use. I also suspect that they are over-powered for the size of kiln I have. It may be that they could be re-jetted, or something, but to be honest I'd rather just get some modern burners. So, before I buy some new burners, I'd like to be sure I'm getting the correct specification. The kiln is a traditionally designed down-draft, more or less cubic in shape, with a sprung arch. The overall interior volume is 20 cubic feet. The burners fire horizontally into minimally bag-walled fireboxes, from diametrically opposite corners. Gas is bottled propane. The walls of the kiln are 4-inch thick soft IFBs, with a further 2 inch layer of ceramic fibre on the outside. Chimney is a little over 12 feet. The maximum performance required from the kiln is to fire to cone 6 in 8 hours (less would be good). Often, I'm only firing earthenware to cone 03. According to what I can find, the kiln theoretically requires 200,000 Btu per hour, so 2 x 100,000 Btu burners should be about right. Any kiln gurus out there who can tell me if I'm about right in my findings? I'd like to get it right! Many thanks!
  25. Well folks! I've been off and on here for a while now and I thought I would ask the community what they thought of my 5 year plan (now 4 years). I've never in my life been so motivated to create something like this. If anyone has stories they want to share or advice about making the jump from one career to another it would be greatly appreciated. First a little background on my situation - I work a full time job and am compensated fairly well. Its just not something I want to do the rest of my life. We have debt that we need to pay off that should be done in 2 years if all goes well. I have accepted that this venture might fail, or that we might not make enough for us to survive on. But that is not stopping me from going full steam ahead and will not be used as an excuse to let things slide or for any type of failure. Accepting that things don't always work out frees up mental energy so I can focus on the things that need to be done. I have to work my day gig 40+ hours a week. Nights and weekends are dedicated to improving my throwing, building some standard shapes and pieces and general scheming and dreaming. We've procured and LLC and a CPA (have not gotten a Sales Tax ID or a Tax Exempt ID because we are not officially selling as a business yet) A business loan and credit cards are pretty much out of the picture. My wife is working full time and is currently on course for a degree in business administration so that is helping out a lot too! We have a business plan in place and are researching our customers and demographic and where and when to sell (this is a continual investigation but Etsy will probably be our first sales platform as we have used it before) I know a lot of that depends on what we are making as a studio - Functional Ware / Cups / bowls / Plates / Serving Dishes / Vases / Lidded Vessels / all in various sizes to create my own line (while like every other potter - experimenting and improving along the way) We are building our social network presence slowly but surely. We are calculating our current personal expenses, time, operating expenses, capital, etc... (again since it's an ever changing thing its ongoing and we'll get dialed in the more data the further we move along) Currently we are working out of the garage with two wheels and an electric Kiln which is being used as a bisque kiln and a test fire kiln. I have a spot where I can woodfire twice a year. This is my sticking point. I am not interested in mid-fire at all. Woodfiring twice a year does not give me enough feedback or testing or experience to line up within this timeframe. Woodfiring is a 10 year goal. Getting up and running in my own studio is my 5 year goal so high fire with gas makes sense. I will be investing in some large propane tanks and I already have a burner and a converted electric kiln so I can do experiments and small amounts of work fired in that for the time being. A decent size gas kiln will be a considerable investment and the heart of the studio. I don't think it is possible to run a good size gas kiln in my garage studio. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I think renting a building and installing a gas kiln does not make sense at this point but at some point I will have to get up and going at full scale. For those of you that own studios when did you consider renting and installing a kiln? Thanks for any input / experience you want to share.
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