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Firing a lighter load

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#1 clay lover

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

Of course, poor planning, but....I need some pieces to get throught the system soon, and don't have a full load for either bisque or glaze. I know a lighter load fires hotter, so any advice on what adjustments to make?

A friend with the same kiln as mine bisqued a light load with the same schedule I use and he got a cone hotter, and had trouble getting glaze thickness to stick.

#2 bciskepottery


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

You can always stack empty shelves on posts to add some weight to the firing.

#3 Idaho Potter

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

I have run into this problem, so I use all extra shelf supports and have learned to keep a half-dozen hard bricks on hand to fill in and help hold heat. It sometimes takes longer to get to temp, but if you have a digital kiln and work your firing schedule by temp, not time, you shouldn't have any problems.


#4 neilestrick


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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

Heatwork is heatwork. If you are using a digital kiln, it will heat at the same rate in a particular program whether you are firing empty or full. It's not like a manual kiln where it will fire faster or slower depending on how full it is. It will ramp up at a specific rate no matter how many pots are in it. The problem you may have is if your kiln only has one thermocouple, your load will fire more unevenly because it is not as full. Make sure you distribute your work throughout the kiln, but tighter in the middle.

Neil Estrick
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L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC


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