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Kilns For Dummies?


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#1 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:18 PM

is there any such dvd/video? Something that would be as basic and explain everything to me like I am a child? (for electric digital) 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:30 PM

Please give yourself some credit.You are no dummy. If you were a dummy, you should stay away from electrical equipment of such high temps.and amps.
The computer controllers come with good manuals and have support staff.
Kiln companies have the manuals.
Download a manual from Paragon. Arnold has been with Paragon for 25 years. The ladies at Paragon are very helpful as well. Great company. So are many other kiln manufacturers.
It is not rocket science. Earlier kilns were low, med. high.They need to be watched more closely when there is not automated controls. Use witness cones. See the recent post about "can't see the cones" If you want to fire down, get a pyrometer and stay
nearby to monitor the dropping temperature.

Marcia

#3 Pres

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:32 PM

Rebby,

I Googled this, and came up with the following link of listings.  It may help you out to look at some of these and see if there is anything you can use.  The new programmable kilns can be daunting at times, and even running one with a sitter is difficult if you have not really seen how to do things. Ditto on what Marcia says, I have read your posts, carefully, no dummy there. I believe you are just grappling with a steep learning curve, the top of the hill is in sight! Good luck, hope this helps.

 

 

https://www.google.c...-a&channel=fflb


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#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:35 PM

Rebby,
I Googled this, and came up with the following link of listings.  It may help you out to look at some of these and see if there is anything you can use.  The new programmable kilns can be daunting at times, and even running one with a sitter is difficult if you have not really seen how to do things. Ditto on what Marcia says, I have read your posts, carefully, no dummy there. I believe you are just grappling with a steep learning curve, the top of the hill is in sight! Good luck, hope this helps.

Pres, no links showed up.
Marcia

#5 Pres

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:54 PM

Thanks Marcia, link was not pasted in.xcxsf!@@# :unsure:


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

Thanks Marcia, link was not pasted in.xcxsf!@@# :unsure:

Great link!
Marcia

#7 Diane Puckett

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:15 PM

Using a kiln the first couple times is very intimidating. Remember it is just a big oven that gets hotter than the one in your kitchen. The digital controls are pretty easy to use. Things like adjusting the thermocouple offsets and entering your own programs can seem overwhelming, but the instruction manual gives plenty of information. I was initially terrified of firing my kiln, but none of the individually processes have been difficult. The only things I have not yet done are make electrical repairs or install new elements, but I will handle those when the time comes.

I have no doubt you will do fine. On the other hand, Kilns For Dummies might sell well!
Diane Puckett
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#8 Benzine

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:08 PM


I have no doubt you will do fine. On the other hand, Kilns For Dummies might sell well!

I don't know if society want "dummies" operating kilns....


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#9 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:13 PM

I have been using the vintage paragon with high medium and low cone use…  I have a digital skutt kiln being installed on sunday, I look at the display panel of all the buttons and I feel overwhelmed with so much to learn.  I wish it just had a high, medium, and low with cones.  


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#10 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:15 PM

 

I have no doubt you will do fine. On the other hand, Kilns For Dummies might sell well!

I don't know if society want "dummies" operating kilns....

 

I have to agree with you there 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#11 Pres

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:17 AM

I have been using the vintage paragon with high medium and low cone use…  I have a digital skutt kiln being installed on sunday, I look at the display panel of all the buttons and I feel overwhelmed with so much to learn.  I wish it just had a high, medium, and low with cones.  

In the long of it, you will find that the programmable kiln is in itself-made for those of less experience. The guess  work of kiln temp rise is pretty much done for you, It is also easier to fire up, an down with these newer kilns. I have a completely manual kiln with no setter, 4 switches each with 1-10 settings. I fire with cones only, and watch closely for the temp rise using the color of the heat in the kiln to estimate the temperature. None of this is needed with a programmable. You will love it!


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#12 Mart

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:22 AM

Here is a very simple 5 step path for success with small modern electric kilns:
1) Start with a regular toaster. If you can manage making toast with out burning it, move to microwave.
2) You have passed the test, if you can boil a cup of water for 2 minutes.
Hold on, there is more!
4) You need 5-25 minutes of uninterrupted time to RTFM. When done with that, use common sense and what you just read from the manual. Remember, you are wrong and manual is correct.
5) You are ready to fire modern electric kiln if solemnly swear you have understood what is written on your kiln manual and on the clay and glaze labels/instructions by manufacturer. You also swear that you know the difference between Fahrenheit (°F) and Celsius (°C) and you have understood that 06 and 6 are not the same cone numbers.

Good luck!
Warnings: Do not stick your head in to the kiln when it's hot.

#13 clay lover

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:38 AM

Your new kiln does had that . A man told me once, just push 'start' and go to the house". That can be it, really. Use the cone fire mode in slow, all else seems too fast to me. You have the option of a controlled cool. The instruction book makes pretty good sense.

If you want to do 'Ramp Hold method, where you decide and control everything, that is a difference process, I will walk you through it if you want. Once you get the concept of what it's about, it's not hard. I choose that so that I know what is going on in the kiln and where to modify, but many people use the 'Cone fire' mode always with good results. Start there, use massive amounts of witness cones and KEEP GOOD RECORDS. That is how you know what to tweek when you don't like your results.

Steep curve is right, I remember how anxious I was the first time I pushed start.

#14 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:31 AM

Rebby,
The manual for those is fairly good. If you run into something you don't understand, call the support team. That is why they give you their number and have techies on the other end.
You will love it. Some of the settings are very convenient -slow bisque, fast bisque etc.Key in the cone and start. Setting ramps is a little more challenging especially if you are changing them from firing to firing...BUT you can have them saved and reused.
Marcia

#15 JBaymore

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

TIPS:

 

Do not trust the controller to shut off the kiln all by itself. Always be around to visually make sure that the kiln has shut off properly.

 

Have the kiln electrical wiring installed by a highly experience electrician exactly to the manufacturers specifications. If someone says "I have a better/cheaper way",....... get someone else. (Years ago I did a "kiln disasters" research project. The problems people had mainly occured at the junction box where the kiln was plugged into the wall or in the wall structure due to improper original wiring. Prefereably use a hard wired connection, rather than a plug type setup.)

 

Find someone to "shadow" a few times in loading and firing such kilns. You'll find your confidence quickly increasing.

 

best,

 

.......................john


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#16 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:25 PM

A lot of people here on the forum use custom programs, but those are by no means necessary. There is nothing wrong with using the Cone Fire programs in your controller. That's why they're there. I use the Cone Fire programs for all of my firings. Fire everything on Medium and you'll be fine.

 

L&L puts out the most comprehensive manual. It comes in a 3 ring binder with about 350 pages of information, and covers everything from firing schedules to cones to electrical theory. Most of it will apply to your kiln, too, since the controllers are made by the same company. Go HERE to download a copy.

 

Feel free to call me if you need more help, or want to add cooling programs and stuff like that.


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#17 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:28 PM

Sorry for using you thread but I have a 'dummy' kiln question.

 

One of my wires has lost its outer coating and subsequently doesn't work. It looks like a special coating, does anybody know what it is made out of? Also where I could get a roll of the wire to replace the broken one and have some in stock? Thank you :D


                                                                                                                 1384226_215924051918490_1181728069_n.jpg


#18 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

I have been using the vintage paragon with high medium and low cone use…  I have a digital skutt kiln being installed on sunday, I look at the display panel of all the buttons and I feel overwhelmed with so much to learn.  I wish it just had a high, medium, and low with cones.  

 

Your new kiln has slow, medium and fast, with cone settings. Almost as simple. And the instructions for a cone firing are printed right on the front of the control box.


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#19 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

Sorry for using you thread but I have a 'dummy' kiln question.

 

One of my wires has lost its outer coating and subsequently doesn't work. It looks like a special coating, does anybody know what it is made out of? Also where I could get a roll of the wire to replace the broken one and have some in stock? Thank you :D

 

I assume you mean the element? Do they have ITC coating? Is the element broken?


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#20 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:41 PM

Sorry I should have put a bit more info, it is the wire coming from the elements to the relay. This kiln was a custom build so there is no manufacturer :(

 

Sounds like it is the Kevlar wire that I am after, thanks Norm. I am going to try contacting the guy who replaced my relays on Monday but always good to get as much info as possible. Is there any way to tell what gauge the wire is?

 

Never knew you should bisque the elements before use.


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