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first kiln, repair help, kiln sitter, and brick


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#1 natz803

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:22 PM

I just bought my first kiln, used off craigslist. It is a Knight model 82. I have a few questions I hope to find answers for. First I should state that I am on a extreme budget. My first question, The kiln sitter is missing one of the cone holders. I know that they are less than $10 for a replacement but when I said extreme I meant it. I will buy it if I have to but if it isn't anything more than a metal rod why would I? Any idea what these are made of? I was thinking or taking a plug apart and using the metal prong. It is the exact same size as far as width and thickness. Thoughts? My second question is in regards to kiln furniture. I got a nice supply of shelves with the kiln but no stilts. Any thoughts of getting these second hand or making them? The brick is chipped in a few places but no where is it chipped deeper than the element channel. I would say there are 3 major chips that are a few inches across. Are these ok to just leave? Thanks for any help.

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

Dear Natz,
First, replace the metal kiln cone holders with the real deal. They are well worth $6,50 or what ever they are now. second, I use broken kiln shelves chopped into bits for the shorter 1/2" dimensions and stack them for more.
Look on ebay or check sales for old kilns to find posts. Or save up to buy several sets. They will last a lifetime.
The brick chips shouldn't be a big problem.
Sometimes you can cut corners and sometimes it isn't a wise way to go. If you are using a computer you already have invested in equipment more expensive than such things as posts.
Good luck.
Marcia

#3 Lucille Oka

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:18 AM

Please heed Marcia's words and seek out a kiln parts supplier and purchase the proper parts.



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#4 Pres

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:35 AM

I just bought my first kiln, used off craigslist. It is a Knight model 82. I have a few questions I hope to find answers for. First I should state that I am on a extreme budget. My first question, The kiln sitter is missing one of the cone holders. I know that they are less than $10 for a replacement but when I said extreme I meant it. I will buy it if I have to but if it isn't anything more than a metal rod why would I? Any idea what these are made of? I was thinking or taking a plug apart and using the metal prong. It is the exact same size as far as width and thickness. Thoughts? My second question is in regards to kiln furniture. I got a nice supply of shelves with the kiln but no stilts. Any thoughts of getting these second hand or making them? The brick is chipped in a few places but no where is it chipped deeper than the element channel. I would say there are 3 major chips that are a few inches across. Are these ok to just leave? Thanks for any help.


The advice you have received here is right on. The kiln setter is too sensitive to mess around with-use correct parts. If you have no problems with clay, you can find threads on here about making your own shelf stilts, that should help a bit. From what I have seen of pictures, your kiln should be very useful-not real small, and not so big that you will have to wait months to fill it. Watch Craigs list for kiln furniture even though you are on budget as they will make your firing experiences much easier. Good luck with the new kiln.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#5 Arnold Howard

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

The brick is chipped in a few places but no where is it chipped deeper than the element channel. I would say there are 3 major chips that are a few inches across. Are these ok to just leave? Thanks for any help.


I agree with the advice about cone supports. Do not make your own.

Here is a video that will help you to evaluate firebrick damage:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Ztwu_kPnq60

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#6 natz803

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:29 PM

Thanks, that was a very helpful video.

The brick is chipped in a few places but no where is it chipped deeper than the element channel. I would say there are 3 major chips that are a few inches across. Are these ok to just leave? Thanks for any help.


I agree with the advice about cone supports. Do not make your own.

Here is a video that will help you to evaluate firebrick damage:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Ztwu_kPnq60

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#7 TJR

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:04 PM

I just got my Cone Art kiln repaired yesterday. The guy I use is also the major clay supplier for our area, and he knows kilns. He shocked himself with 220 volts. Kilns are not to be cutting corners on.The kiln sitter is a sensitive although simple piece of equipment. As Marchia said, probably less than $10.00. Stilts can be made from firebrick soaps, but really, you should be able to pick up used stilts. Many people have hobby kilns sitting in their basements.Put an add in your local craft store.
TJr.

#8 anagama

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:06 PM

I recently was in the same predicament, fortunately I have a lot of kiln repair experience and was able to repair a far-gone kiln that I got for free for relatively cheap (compared to a new kiln). First thing I would do is to locate an operator's manual for your specific type of kiln. Locate the company site online and request a copy of the manual (most of them will do this for free), that way you will know exactly what parts you need or type of brick (often made to fit). I won't lie, firebrick (soft brick for most electric kilns can be expensive as much as $7-11 a piece depending on grooves or inserts... like on L&L kilns). The damage you described sounds workable, and you could even use kao-wool to insulate any gaps that may hinder reaching temperature.

Kiln sitters are independently made by a completely separate company. The part you describe sells for $7.50 each at Clay-King.com, or $14.00 for the pair (you might want to get a pair, that way you have an extra one)... and if the kiln sitter seems to be in disrepair they also sell entire kiln sitter units at a reasonable cost compared to other sites. They also have posts for around $3.00 depending on their size, and if you only have a few shelves and tri-post them, you probably won't need more than 12 of varying sizes.

Good luck, sounds like you find a kiln in decent condition... usually they require a lot more TLC and money than what you've described. You could get everything you need for only $30-40 (without repairing the brick).

Of course, getting the necessary plug installed by an electrician for a 220v kiln or having the kiln hard-wired is going to cost between $300-400.




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