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spiffypix

Skutt model 181 kiln?

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1 minute ago, Stephen said:

Mark I think she means if she orders a new Skutt cone 10 for mid fire electric at cone 6. If I'm right then 2.5 brick is fine.

Actually, Mark is correct.  I wanted to be able to fire ^10 porcelain, but was hoping 2.5 would be enough.    :(

Thanks to both for the info!

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1 hour ago, Stephen said:

yeah but you are right back with the issue of firing to cone 10 with a cone 10 kiln.  But I guess you could fore to 8 with long hold? 

Cone 10 kilns are built to fire to cone 10

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There's very little reason to fire to cone 10 in an electric kiln. Your glazes won't look the same as pots fired in a gas kiln to cone 10, because you can't do reduction in an electric. You might as well fire to cone 6 and save the wear and tear on your kiln. There are really nice vitrified, translucent, cone 6 porcelain bodies available from most clay suppliers.

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Just now, neilestrick said:

There's very little reason to fire to cone 10 in an electric kiln. Your glazes won't look the same as pots fired in a gas kiln to cone 10, because you can't do reduction in an electric. You might as well fire to cone 6 and save the wear and tear on your kiln. There are really nice vitrified, translucent, cone 6 porcelain bodies available from most clay suppliers.

I cant think of a single reason, any savings in material would be offset in energy cost

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I love this forum.  Thanks so much, guys.  I had no idea that doing ^10 porcelain needed to be done in a reduction atmosphere.  I currently use ^6 Coleman porcelain and love it, but I was looking to have the capacity to do ^10.  Maybe one day i’ll Get a nice ^10 gas. ;)

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3 inch brick  is the way to go with all firing as far as I am concerened as it s better insulated and does not use as much energy.I even no\tived this in bisquing in electrics.

If I was going to cone 6 all the time it would be in a 3 inch wall with elements made for higher temps than cone 6 . You will get more life from them if they are cone 10 elements fired to cone 6. 

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1 hour ago, liambesaw said:

Cone 10 kilns are built to fire to cone 10

ha ha, had this debate on this forum years ago. It defies logic but everyone has always been pretty adamant about this in previous threads, a cone 10 electric kiln will only fire to cone 10 when elements are brand new so it is recommended that you fire 2 full cones below max. I have no direct experience. All three of our kilns are cone 10 and all are fired to cone 5 with 20 minute hold and we use mid-range porcelain 4-6. I would think the way around that is to fire lower and use a hold for heat work or just replace the elements a lot I guess.  

Our largest kiln has 2.5" brick and is a 9cf oval from Seattle Pottery and we have a Skutt 1027 with 3" brick. The energy cost are about the same per cf (cheap) but the Skutt takes forever to cool down and by going with 3" brick we lost half a cf interior so I would never do a 3" again for these small kilns. I guess I just see electric as really cheap and at the end of the day it must be pennies on a per pot basis.   

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THanks, Mark and Steven.  You’re both using great logic here, for sure.  I’m super impatient, so I want my kiln to cool faster!  Lol.    If I get the standard Skutt 818, that fires to ^10 but is 2.5”.   So i’ll Just use it to fire to ^6, 99% of the time.  

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I didn't see marks post. I would certainly listen to him over me. He builds large gas kilns. I might be exaggerating the cool down a bit but it does seem to take longer or at least as long as the 50% larger one with smaller brick. They both ramp down to 1200 and shut off.  The smaller space inside though I think is a serious thing to consider as the Skutt 1027 already is small at 7.5cf and becomes a 7 with bigger brick.

One issue with trying to fire at different temps is that your studio is all one thing and it gets tricky to have other stuff. The clay and glaze can't get mixed up with each other and that includes scrap. Have never tried it though so don't know if its worth the effort.

We always do the same things that have settled in as working to avoid pissing off the kiln gods. Paid 75 cents a pound to have a pallet of  porcelain shipped from the  PNW to Texas to avoid changing clay after using other one now for almost 10 years. We have a kitchen full of pottery we use daily that marks years of use without issues and have never had anything returned by a customer and we want to keep it that way. . 

Edited by Stephen

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Thinner brick use slightly more electricity, but they cool faster. The other potential issue is that they radiate more heat because they aren't insulated as well. Depending on your space and how it is vented, that may or may not be an issue.

If a kiln is rated to cone 10, it will get to cone 10, regardless of the brick thickness. I rarely sell new kilns that aren't 3" brick, but 2.5" brick is not a deal breaker with a used kiln at a good price IMO.

L&L's most powerful kilns, the JH crystalline series, are rated for cone 12, but are built with 2.5" brick. The thinner brick allow for faster cooling times, and more precise temperature control.

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19 hours ago, spiffypix said:

I love this forum.  Thanks so much, guys.  I had no idea that doing ^10 porcelain needed to be done in a reduction atmosphere.  I currently use ^6 Coleman porcelain and love it, but I was looking to have the capacity to do ^10.  Maybe one day i’ll Get a nice ^10 gas. ;)

Cone 10 porcelain does not have to be fired in reduction, but 99% of people who fire in a gas kiln do so in reduction.

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Big, big question, before I forget:

The Skutt 181 has a NEMA 14-30 plug and I have a 14-30  receptacle.  
I’m looking to eventually upgrade to a new KM-818 kiln, which has a NEMA 6-50 plug.  Can I safely use an adapter to allow me to plug in a 6-50 plug to a 14-30 receptacle?

It’s a 50 amp breaker, if that makes a difference.  
 

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Edited by spiffypix

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In my opinion

The adapter success is  not  likely. The wiring needs to be rated at least 50 amps as well as the breaker and all connecting wiring. Best to let a qualified person review this and  make everything safe and per code for your new kiln. The adapter is a no go in my opinion.

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Good advice, Bill.  I had them install 6-gauge wiring with the 50 amp breaker.    So the issue should only be the receptacle.   Hoping I can do an easy switch out myself when the time comes.

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The Skutt 181 needs a 30 amp breaker. A 50 amp breaker would not be within code, which says the breaker should be 25% greater than the draw of the kiln, but not more than 50% greater. If I remember correctly the 181 only pulls 22-24 amps, so at 150% a 40 amp breaker would be the largest. The KM818 pulls 27.8 amps, so at 25% greater you'd need a 40 amp breaker. At 50% greater, that gets you to 42 amps, which technically allows for the use of a 50 amp breaker, but I'd stick with the 40 for that, too.

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40 minutes ago, spiffypix said:

Yikes, Neil.  didn’t realize I could have too large of a breaker.  even though it’s not within code, can I have a serious issue if I use the 50amp?  

It may fail to trip and you could have an issue.  

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I'm new to this forum, and have a Skutt 181 kiln as well.  Does anyone know if you can upgrade the manual controls to digital?  And if so, is there an option other than the Skutt KilnMaster?  My husband is an IT professional, so he's convinced there's a way to do it.

Any suggestions?

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27 minutes ago, Kammymckenna said:

I'm new to this forum, and have a Skutt 181 kiln as well.  Does anyone know if you can upgrade the manual controls to digital?  And if so, is there an option other than the Skutt KilnMaster?  My husband is an IT professional, so he's convinced there's a way to do it.

Any suggestions?

You can buy a Bartlett v6cf, a thermocouple, a transformer and some relays and convert it.  It's a bit more involved than buying a kilnmaster.  Well a lot more involved.  But you'll be have a lot more intimate knowledge about how a kiln and controller work afterwards.  It just will take some research.

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The Skutt 181 usually has the old, old, old style kiln sitter, which does not have the large black cover plate. The box is much narrower than models with the modern Sitter. There may not be room to fit a controller, and the relays and controls will be subject to a lot of heat.

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