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Sylvia Mondloch

Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

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I've had an Axner Oxyprobe about 20 years. It's always seemed rather finicky and fragile. I've replaced the platinum wire (ouch) a couple times. I've been firing without now for awhile but miss having one. The catalog description of the probe on the ( more pricey)Bailey sounds more sturdy. Wondering if anyone has experience with both.  

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About the same for both but the Bailey has a bracket attached-you have to make your own with a Axner-they cost about 300$ more for Bailey .

I have two Axners for past 30 years-replace the platinum wire a few times-I fire about 30  glaze fires and 30 bisques  a year on average on both meters

I have one mounter in two kilns-I made my own brackets from a aluminum sign .Bend-drill and mount. 

They last. long time. The wire and tubes are the same with both meters 

The axner has to be taped with high heat tape (ceramic tube to  metal) not sure about the bailey

These meters always no matter whose  you use need to be placed in a spot that is more still  with less flame and flow as that affects readings a lot.

I do not think there any difference between them other than the bracket and cost.They are sold buy the length -I use the 12 inch ones (the longest)

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Thanks for the reply. I'm firing a propane MFT car kiln. I often add a couple wood sticks with soda on them towards the end of a firing for added variation. I'm guessing that is adding to the deterioration of the platinum wire. I guess I have to decide if I can justify the ongoing cost for the added control.

 

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11 minutes ago, Sylvia Mondloch said:

I guess I have to decide if I can justify the ongoing cost for the added control.

Sounds like a philosophical question :rolleyes:, control being such an existential dilemma or Buddist delight or some such :)    Welcome to the forums.

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(couple wood sticks with soda on them towards the end of a firing)

The soda will shorten the wire life for sure-a little wood smoke I'm guessing is no big deal

I seem to get about 300-400 glaze fires as well as 300-400 bisque fires per wire change out-thats been an average-it actually may be a bit more.

Soda is hard on stuff-I would just pay the wire replacement cost-You could also custom make a shield for the soda to not land on wire(make it less of an opening) or move ceramic tube back into wall space at end of fire to lessen the fumes on wire. (do not take it out as rapid cooling will kill it fast)

 

Edited by Mark C.

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We have two from Axner, one permanently mounted and protected in our regular reduction kiln and one removeable for soda. Soda definitely will ruin the probe. Interestingly we hooked ours up to a PLC  controller which is much more pleasant to use than the  DMM sold with the thing. I think both are very similar in the science used so so really no difference likely there. My best advice protect from vibration and soda as practical.

The soda crew removes the O2 probe prior to soda application and there is a ceramic standoff holder to set it in so that it cools slowly and protected.. I think they have  100 firings on it with only one forgetful one where first soda app was done prior to probe removal.

just to add, both have protection tubes installed on them with the tip of the probe slightly exposed by a 45 degree cut. It is hard to snag the platinum wire with either probe.

256E3752-9BB6-480A-AF4C-2FB85A52234E.jpeg

57B89FB6-87B8-4654-8F83-29B1BE6113D2.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb

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Bill that probe looks very vulnerable without a support . The ceramic tube is pretty fragile.One bump and it can crack.

I have made supports for both of mine and they stay installed in the doors.They support the end of the probe 

Syliva-the wire is real fragile (brittle)so be carful moving it sliding it in and out. Since the wire is protected in the sleeve It should work fine.

 

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Both have protection tubes on them. Sturdy simple solution. I’ll get pictures later for you.

added pictures of the removeable for clarity. Protection tube is high  temp ceramic as is isolated holder for when they remove for soda. Insertion and imbed is predetermined by the tube stop and the platinum wire well protected. 

Works well so far 

CC3D8E15-0CC7-4B66-89AA-B99954461520.jpeg

AF2AD197-109F-4C71-8012-04A212AB218B.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb

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Door on this kiln is 6” so simply insert until stop. No need for bracket. We embedded this deeper in the kiln so they would be required to leave space in the kiln for it and it would seal at the door opening., and be less sensitive to any door leaks in general. Fixed install only penetrates the kiln by 1” and still has protection tube 

CB155D61-44F4-451E-88AD-1F4783C40D2F.jpeg

0EC0AD01-45DB-4EDE-A626-295B83D5137E.jpeg

28EAEC09-B07B-46FB-A21D-D184F75B578A.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb

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9 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

I'm sure it's plenty stable for use, but the concern is that if someone catches a foot or whatever on that cord, they're either going to snap the tube or rip it out of the door.

Yep, definitely important to excercise reasonable safety. 3/4” branded shell protects  it pretty well and positionally its very noticeable and reasonably out of th way.. Folks can trip  and fall though especially when injecting soda. No one is allowed to operate this without proper training of course since here are many more dangers.

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Hope and a prayer nobody will trip over that cord or snag the probe? (yes I noticed your toggle) Is it worth the risk, even with mandatory training? 

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Its not nearly in the way and training is way important including not dropping 2000 degree site port plugs on your toes or the other hazards of operating a gas kiln.

Seriously it is well placed and hard to snag now the other hazards, not so forgiving 

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I'm not sure why one would need a probe in a soda kiln (for example I do noy use my props in my salt kiln)

One can fire by the seat of their pants (my explanation to firing with your eye)

Anyway this is how my probes are mounted in my updraft and car kiln

 

 

probe1.jpg

probe 2.jpg

probe3.jpg

probe 4.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

I'm not sure why one would need a probe in a soda kiln (for example I do noy use my props in my salt kiln)

One can fire by the seat of their pants (my explanation to firing with your eye)

Anyway this is how my probes are mounted in my updraft and car kiln

 

 

probe1.jpg

probe 2.jpg

probe3.jpg

probe 4.jpg

Nice, looks like it is sturdy. They choose to use their probe to do soda with reduction. They are accustomed  to reducing by probe but certainly can do this by eyesight with less accuracy.

picture of their fixed probe kiln attached, they use a PLC to monitor both kilns so all the wiring is tied out of the way and thermally isolated. Current transducers on thermocouples are to transmit data over a distance to the monitor. This is a very tight area containing two kilns so available space is at a premium.

10E35F3B-015B-41C4-9E26-65174330E057.jpeg

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Bill my two probes do not penetrate as far as the one in you one photo-more like your last shot.Here are my two inside oxy probes.

I have found that they are so sensitive to flame/draft that they only need to sniff the atmosphere  so I keep them back. Also the are less likely to get bumped or crash into wares when door is closed (on my updraft)

 

IMG_0431.jpg

IMG_0428.jpg

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Our fixed probe is similar to yours with respect to the penetration in the kiln (See picture). We have little difficulty sensing the atmosphere and have come to the realization that during their initial reduction period (Body reduction, if you will) they need 4"-5" gas pressure to eliminate dead spots in the old updraft Alpine. As a result, they have no dead spots, period. If the probe is sensing wild swings in reduction it is because the kiln is not filled sufficiently. With respect to the removeable probe the imbed depth was intentional so folks would intentionally leave sufficient space for the probe and to minimize any effect due to door seal leaks, port leaks  etc...  and to provide the user with confidence that it is sensing the environment.

Interestingly both kilns are married to their respective high temperature ceramic protection tubes.  Mechanically with a clamp on the fixed kiln and cemented on the removeable probe. In each case the back end of this tube has fiber insulation inserted so there is no chance of the kiln environment leaking out. It appears you have tape which seems to be holding up ok. 

An interesting quirk with the probes is that the head of the probe must remain ungrounded as a result of how they utilized the feeds internally opting for three wire operation. This required that both probe housings be isolated from ground. Since both kilns are well grounded the isolating configurations you see were chosen. This issue does not surface during the use of the Digital meter as it has no reference to earth ground.

Their entire system and kilns are located indoors and designed and installed to last many many years so thermal isolation, rigid permanent mounting and serviceability  etc... all designed in with a monitor that has too many features to list and serves both kilns with concurrent firing capability.

You 02 probe looks brand new !

Edited by Bill Kielb

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Yes I seal them with high heat tape from a heating/furnace supply.It hold up for a decade. That newer probe has about 45 fires on it as it was replaced it last year. I tend to go thru one ever 10-15 years .I'm slowing down now and only fire the kilns about 22-24 glaze fires a year with the same amounts of bisque fires as well. It used to be 35 fires a year and that went thru them faster.

I'm a production potter not a school.so they fire a bit less.

My photos show two different probes and the new one has a longer inner tube and wire when it came back from Axner that the way they repaired it. Seems every time its bit different- maybe I have lived thru a few tech repair guys-well I know I have.Its a bit more out there but as its in the door of my 35 cubic car kiln . The stack is always about 4-5 inches away so it safe. And since I'm the only one loading its never an issue.One of the plus sides on not a school deal-more control on all fronts.

My kilns are not grounded and have zero wiring other than meters.Both are Natural draft with no power burners.

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 1:48 AM, Mark C. said:

Yes I seal them with high heat tape from a heating/furnace supply.It hold up for a decade. That newer probe has about 45 fires on it as it was replaced it last year. I tend to go thru one ever 10-15 years .I'm slowing down now and only fire the kilns about 22-24 glaze fires a year with the same amounts of bisque fires as well. It used to be 35 fires a year and that went thru them faster.

I'm a production potter not a school.so they fire a bit less.

My photos show two different probes and the new one has a longer inner tube and wire when it came back from Axner that the way they repaired it. Seems every time its bit different- maybe I have lived thru a few tech repair guys-well I know I have.Its a bit more out there but as its in the door of my 35 cubic car kiln . The stack is always about 4-5 inches away so it safe. And since I'm the only one loading its never an issue.One of the plus sides on not a school deal-more control on all fronts.

My kilns are not grounded and have zero wiring other than meters.Both are Natural draft with no power burners.

Just to add a couple of pictures of the removable Soda Kiln Probe. There were some complaints about a trip and fall hazard but as you can see the entire arrangement sticks out about the same amount as the port plugs whether in the door or stored during soda application. It is really a clean installation. We chose this method because pendant mounting would make the thing really dangerous when extracted and 2000 degrees during soda injection.  Regardless, this is their tight little space to fire and does illustrate the electrical isolation of this probe necessary when it is used with the PLC graphic equipment instead of the DMM provided.

Don 1.jpg

Don 2.jpg

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