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jothamhung

Problem With Cress Kiln, Help!

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Hi everyone!

 

I just recently bought a used Cress FX27P electric kiln so I can start firing work at home. So I just recently started my first bisque firing yesterday at 4pm. It was more of a test fire, so I didn't put a lot of work in there, about 15 wheel thrown pieces. There were a couple pieces in there that were not fully bone dry so I set the firing speed at E, the slowest speed. I also put a pyrometric cone (04) in the sitter, 1 peep hole open, and set the thumb wheel to 1, and I set the timer to 16 hours so it can shut off at that time in case anything goes wrong. Throughout the day and night I checked periodically, and the kiln did get red hot, so the elements seemed fine to me, but I didn't take a look at the thumbwheel. So this morning I went to go check on the kiln, and it fired the full 16 hours! and the kiln sitter didn't go off, so the the kiln didn't reach cone 04 temp. Also, the thumbwheel stayed at 1! It didn't move! So I'm thinking the thumbwheel is broken or needs repair, I didn't put the cone in right, or something is wrong with the elements. And even 16 plus hours later the kiln was still showing orange to red heat signatures inside the peep hole. So I talked to my friend who has experience firing kilns, and he said to just fire the thing until the kiln sitter shuts off and set the thumbwheel to 10 max temp as soon as possible so the kiln doesn't have to reheat back to 1000 for the sake of energy efficiency. If anyone has any ideas, input, advice, or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm hoping to bisque fire and glaze fire using this kiln in the near future, I already bought a couple pints of cone 6 glazes to test out. Thanks!

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The thumbwheel? That may be the timer or that may be the controller for the elements?

If you turned it on 1, that may be the lowest setting for the elements to be on. Not sure of your configuration. I had a crest kiln about 40 years ago. For manual kilns, I start on 2 for 2 hours. Close the lid and raise the input to 4. fire 2 more hours. Turn it on high, shut the lid and let it hit temperature.

What other numbers are on the thumbwheel?

Does it go to 6 and HI?

 

Marcia

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Also I just looked into a peep hole and a couple of pieces are cracked and some bottoms are cracked and broken. How is that possible when I had the lowest and slowest firing setting? Maybe it's the size of the load? Or the connection between the actual firing speed and dials are off?

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You can candle on “stop/manual” instead of E, for the slowest results. We were having the same problem with our Cress kiln - the temps climbed too quickly and explosions happened. 

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3 hours ago, Kita said:

You can candle on “stop/manual” instead of E, for the slowest results. We were having the same problem with our Cress kiln - the temps climbed too quickly and explosions happened. 

Call cress in Nevada and ask-I'm not sure about their controls

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I have had several of those cress kilns with the thumbwheels and I like the design.   Sounds like yours is stuck on one.... Try firing it at the top speed and see if the wheel moves at all,,,, you don't have to have anything in the kiln,,, you should know within an hour if it's progressing and can turn it off then.   I have one that sticks once it gets to the 4 setting, so some times they do break in that way.  You can still use it, you'll just need to manually turn the dial as you fire. 

I'm impatient and rush things too often, so I'm kind of an expert on cracked/blown up work, and im guessing those cracks have nothing to do with the kiln, but with putting the work in too wet.  Next time wait until your work is bone dry.   If you've been working in a community studio, maybe your lab tech has been letting your work dry more than you think before firing. 

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