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New kiln care

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#1 moonvine



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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:11 AM

I just bought my first "New Kiln". I've tried to research what things to avoid so I can get as much life out of my new baby as possible. Found very little info. A couple comments found were: Don't use kiln wash
Don't use wax resist
Several warnings about toxic glaze components i.e. lead...I use all pre-made store bought glaze if they are dinner-ware safe do I still have to take a chemistry class to learn to read those labels? I saved a very long time for this kiln and want to do the right thing. Manual doesn't give any info to go by, beyond common sense warnings like don't fire plastic...

#2 Lucille Oka

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:32 PM

How did you determine which kiln to buy? How high does it fire? Since your kiln manufacturer did not supply you with comprehensive and detailed information, go the Skutt website. They have videos and lots of on line manuals that can help you fire and maintain your kiln. There is information there for KilnSitter kilns and automatic controller operated kilns http://www.skutt.com
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#3 neilestrick


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

Nothing wrong with kiln wash. Just keep it on the shelves, not the bricks or elements. Nothing wrong with wax resist, either.

Kiln life and element life are two different subjects. Your element life will be fine as long as you're not burning a lot of combustible materials in it. For instance, if you have newspaper armatures in your pieces, Don't burn them out in the kiln. Try to pull them out before firing.

The wiring in your kiln will last longer if the kiln is kept in a relatively dry area. Moist areas tend to speed up corrosion of the connections. But replacing wiring is a pretty cheap endeavor.

The one thing that will make your kiln last a good long time is taking care of the bricks. Make sure the floor sits level on the stand and doesn't rock. Don't use hard posts to prop the lid. Don't bang into the walls when loading and unloading. In general, just be gentle and use common sense. It really is that simple.

Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC

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