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QotW:I'm curious about how you keep kiln logs.

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Rae Reich asked recently in the question pool: 

'm curious about how you keep kiln logs. Do you always enter what you do? Do you use a form? Have you tried to follow other's logs? Seen any unusual notations?

My favorite odd notation on Zeiner's logs looks like (P**p emoji), radiating aroma. When I asked what it meant he said "Reduce the dogs**t out of it." That was for the little old updraft -maybe a Denver? - at the Pottery Shack, Laguna. Flames 6" out the peepholes. That became our shorthand for Hard R. Wow! Zeiner's invented that emoji in the '70's!!

I will have to admit, that presently I do not use a log on my firings. I used to use one until two years ago, but decided I really did not need one as so much of what I do is intuitive anymore. My old log was quite different than a lot of folks would figure as it would list the time, then the color and the switch position on each switch as a %  in the kiln, up until cone 5 would go down, then cone 6 dropping then the drop to 30% on all switches til dull red interior for shut down. Seemed to work back then, and still does even though now I do not do the log, or the 30% . . . just shut down when ^6 goes down. I replaced my standard lid two years ago or so with a much thicker lid that causes cooling to be much slower.

 

So those of you with setters and pyrometers how do you set up your kiln chart? If firing with fuel, how is your chart organized? Finally if you use a controller, do you even bother?

 

best,

Pres

 

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With a pencil...:ph34r:

Actually, on one of the blank pages in the back of my Orton controller manual, I record the date, firing program, start & end times (length of firing), final temp and witness cone bend. Summer firings tend to be a little shorter because of the higher ambient start temperature...

JohnnyK

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Basically do what JohnnyK does. 

The kiln has a controller. I write down the ambient starting temp, the time of day, the firing number. When the firing is over, record the amount of time it took to fire. I only have 1 firing schedule. I do take a pic of each shelf before and after each firing. Also, keep the cones from each shelf for the next 2 firings to compare them.

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Thanks for the great topic.  Since I will be getting started firing by myself.   Got a Genesis controller....so I will be interesting as to what it actually will report.  I think that all of this will start to make sense when I actually fire for the first couple of times.  I have fired electric kilns under someone else's direction....but not as education, but as a production thing that I did.  (I should have asked questions).

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I fire with propane in a "makeshift" (modified Gregory flat pack downdraft) kiln so it's a very intimate process.  I use my phone to log times and temps (expected vs actual) but I have no pressure gauge on my burner so it doesn't really reveal a lot for retrospect.  The logging is more just to keep me sane while firing (shoot, what temperature was the next target again?)

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Copied the boilerplate log page that came with my Skutt manual. It doesn't really fit my uses all that well so I basically just write over the fields with whatever info seems relevant. When something goes wrong (I leave a waster propping open the kiln lid by mistake...), etc. Also I've started making an abbreviated list of 'major' pieces in the kiln I'm trying to fire so I'll remember what I was doing when something turned out well or failed. 

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I have never kept a kiln log since I started firing electric kilns. The controller tells me how long the firing took and how many firings I've done, and I keep up on maintenance so I know if the elements are wearing. I've just never found a good reason to keep a log. Nor do I ever use witness cones. If it under-fires or over-fires I 'll see it in my glazes. The only logging I do is that I put in my Google calendar when I change relays, elements, and thermocouples, with a note on how many firings the controller has logged at that point, so I can see how many firings I'm getting out of each.

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I keep a log book-well actually many-I have about 8-10 books filled up, and a current one going for my gas car kiln. I only keep about 4 lines per fire.

time started -partial reduction time -mid climb maybe? and shut of time and temp  and cone melt position as well as the oxygen meter reading.

One log book for the car kiln-they are all the same size smaller books from the University store on Campus. This may be my 10th log on that kiln ?

Also a thicker smaller log for the 12 cubic gas kiln.

I also have  a salt kiln log book-this book has more firing info per fire than any other

On my gas kilns I only log the glaze fires.No bisques which always happen before a glaze in car kiln.so I can just double the glaze numbers.

I keep a clip board near the electrics (manual kilns ) and log any bisques that happen(date only)-I'm on many many pages even though I only fire 4-8 of these a year over the past 45 years-I also write down element changes and maintenance

I have always kept records although very brief.

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