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Kiln mystery


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#1 DBCurley

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:11 PM

Afternoon everyone. I come to you all with a story, and a question in the hopes that someone might be able to help me with a mystery kiln I just purchased. Now, I'm planning on constructing a studio to house this beast, but I'm going to clean it up a bit before I place it in it's final home. Now, according to the nice lady I purchased this kiln from, it was constructed by some University of Illinois grad students. It's labeled as a 'Quantum cycler Kilnn' It's a gas fired, down draft kiln and has a DTC 600C control unit. The story goes that they were going to get into the kiln building business, and I assume found that it was hard to profit, and sold just a few. Anyway, the kiln has been moved from illinois to georgia where it's going to reside.

My big question to the community is, does anyone have any other insight to this thing, or the folks who may have constructed it? I would love to know a little bit more about it. I figured at the price, even with the work it needs, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase it! I'm including a few pics of the kiln in question. Any help is greatly appreciated!!:)

Posted ImagePosted Image
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"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,balance accounts,build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying,take orders,giveorders,cooperate,act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert Heinlein

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#2 JBaymore

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 05:43 PM

If I remember correctly these units utilize what are known as high velocity burners....... a standard in industry but not used much, if at all, in the studio ceramics field. The HVBs cause great turbulence in the effluent strream and exceptional penetration into the ware load, and therefore very even and efficient firings. They are low mass linings (fiber) too, I think. Down-fired from the top corner.... correct?

Those were pretty expensive kilns at the time..........and with techniology well ahead of their time for studio potters to be ready for any of it. If I'm remmbering correctly, the units came on the tail end of the LAST "energy crisis" (the Carter era one). About the era of the Regis Brodie book on fiber kilns. I think they are in fact listed in there.

If you got it cheap and it still works... you likely got a "keeper " there. But you might have difficulties in replacing parts if they go bad. Industrial suppliers will likely be the place to go for any replacement parts, I think.

best,

......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#3 DBCurley

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

Correct, the kiln fires from a top corner. I knew going into it that it was a total gamble. However, it had been kept in a shed and it looked great for sitting idle for a while. Turns out, she wanted to donate the kiln to a school, but nobody would take it simply because they had no idea where to put it(rather beefy isn't it?) So she was willing to part with it for a mere 500 bucks. Looking at similar sized kilns, I realized that something this size isn't exactly cheap, so I jumped at the offer(plus bought another l&l for a cool 700).

Until tonight, I had not tried to turn it on...however, I'm happy to report that it turned right on! It needs some new lines, and probably a new spark plug(yeah...that threw me off when I saw that), but I think its totally doable. First step I think I need to replace the fiber in the bottom. It has seen better days for sure, but the lady threw in a new blanket with the deal as well. I appreciate the info on the high velocity burner term...it makes a whole lot of sense after seeing to gigantic blower that it uses!

I would still like to find out who made this thing though. If anyone else has any leads, I'm all ears!
My gallery. please visit!

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,balance accounts,build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying,take orders,giveorders,cooperate,act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert Heinlein

'....and throw a mug!' -- Brandon Curley

#4 JBaymore

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:08 PM

I think that was something like a $15,000 (or more) unit even back in the day (in Dollars instead of today's "dollarettes"). You got a steal at $500. The combustion equipment and monitoring (if you have the full package) is a very expensive set of hardware.

best,

.....................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#5 TJR

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:23 AM

I seem to recall that Alfred has one. The firing from one corner tipped me off. Does it have one burner? I think the idea was a high efficiency kiln for little cost in gas. The problem was that they were too technical for most potters.I haven't been back to Alfred since 1982, so don't know if theirs is still in operation. The technical guy there is "Freddie Fredricksn".Give him a call.
TJR.
[The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred] is the Alfred I am referring to.

#6 DBCurley

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

Well, I got ahold of Mr. Fredrickson and he didn't have any idea who made it, or what it was. I dunno, the search goes on I suppose!
My gallery. please visit!

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,balance accounts,build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying,take orders,giveorders,cooperate,act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert Heinlein

'....and throw a mug!' -- Brandon Curley

#7 JBaymore

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:21 PM

Us old kiln designers and builder types will see what we can do for ya'. Stand by.

best,

...............john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#8 DBCurley

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 02:35 PM

10-4. I appreciate it!
My gallery. please visit!

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,balance accounts,build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying,take orders,giveorders,cooperate,act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert Heinlein

'....and throw a mug!' -- Brandon Curley

#9 DBCurley

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:14 AM

Random update. While I'm afraid I may never find who built this kiln, I did find a friend of the lady who owned it who helped set it up a couple of times. He said only about 40 kilns were ever produced, and this was the largest one they made at the time. He assured me that all the parts are easily obtainable since it was made with fairly common components. He also praised its efficiency and its ability to produce consistently. This is a major weight off my shoulders...I was hoping this didn't turn into a 500 dollar paper weight! :P
My gallery. please visit!

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,balance accounts,build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying,take orders,giveorders,cooperate,act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert Heinlein

'....and throw a mug!' -- Brandon Curley

#10 RickC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:24 PM

Random update. While I'm afraid I may never find who built this kiln, I did find a friend of the lady who owned it who helped set it up a couple of times. He said only about 40 kilns were ever produced, and this was the largest one they made at the time. He assured me that all the parts are easily obtainable since it was made with fairly common components. He also praised its efficiency and its ability to produce consistently. This is a major weight off my shoulders...I was hoping this didn't turn into a 500 dollar paper weight! Posted Image



It is made by Therma-Cycle Corporation.

If you want to see pictures and a write up about it get the book;

The energy efficient potter, by Regis Brodie, on page 109 and 110.

He actually loves this design so much it is the one he describes in detail how to make yourself, in the book.




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