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Cracking elec kiln cover with wedge - ok or bad?


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#1 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

There are frequently comments about cracking the kiln lid. But one of the statements burned into my brain during at the first studio I worked in was NOT to leave the kiln lid open with the wedge. I was told that it would eventually damage it.

So, kiln people, do or don't?

#2 Wind n Wing

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:23 AM

Chris,
Are you referring to firing with the lid partially open or venting after firing. I usually wedge the lid open on my kiln (electric) after it has finished firing. But I give it a 12 hour cool down before doing that. I have been doing that for the past 20 years and haven't lost a load or partial load yet. I have two Duncan kilns and will even go so far as to open the bottom peep hole in addition to wedging the lid open. I am firing to a cone 6 and dont glaze. Dont think I would trust this process if I was glazing. To fast a cool down could ruin the load.
RJ

#3 Mark C.

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:27 AM

I have used a soft brick wedge for over 35 years on my bisques in electric . I did so today. I only do it when I need the stuff sooner like for x-mas sales NOW.
My lid has held up fine but I am very careful with it.
Mark
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#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:36 AM

I, too , use a soft brick wedge , ....the one that came with the kiln. I had one electric kiln that had a teal piece that would hold up the lid at different intervals like 1" or 2" instead of using a brick. That one was about 20 or more years ago. One my big oval kiln I sometimes use two posts to prop the lid. the Lid is over 42" wide.

Marcia

#5 DAY

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

If the kiln has a vent, no need to crack the lid. The purpose is to "get rid of" the moisture in the clay that is gone once 212 degrees is reached. (chemical water is a whole different animal)
You can prop the lid. I use a 1"square post, (-10" long, to distribute the stress.) You can also leave the peep holes open. TIP: hold a mirror above the peep hole- if it fogs, then there is still moisture in the ware.

#6 neilestrick

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

Propping the lid will not cause it to crack, but it can cause damage to the area where the prop is placed. So only use a soft brick wedge to prop, never a shelf post or anything hard, as it will abrade the brick.
Neil Estrick
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#7 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

Thanks Neil, Marcia, Mark, you understood my question about care of the hardware. sounds like I had an over cautious teacher. I do use the wedge that came with the kiln and use it carefully; just wanted to be sure.

#8 bigDave

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

Thanks Neil, Marcia, Mark, you understood my question about care of the hardware. sounds like I had an over cautious teacher. I do use the wedge that came with the kiln and use it carefully; just wanted to be sure.

you get an A

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:45 AM

Another way to go is if the instructor is a guy and does not like the wegie than give him a wegie-boxer trunks work good. You may convert him to the wegie way of thinking.
Mark
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