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Kilns For Dummies?


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#21 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:51 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.

 

It's call a feeder wire. Take a look at how it's connected to the element. Assuming your kiln is wired up like most kilns- if it's a crimp connection you can't replace the wire without replacing the element since you'll have to cut the end of the element (pigtail) to separate them, and then the pigtail will be too short to hook on a new wire. The other option in this situation is to cut the feeder wire near the element pigtail and splice the new feeder wire onto it. This is not recommended, since that splice will be a weak point that it likely to give out at some point.

 

On most kilns 10 cubic feet and under, feeder wires are 10 gauge. But since you have a custom kiln, I would verify with the builder. Make no asumptions or it could be a major safety problem.

 

Did the wire fry out? At either end (element or relay connection)? If it's at the relay end, then the relay is fried and should be replace. If it's just that the insulating sheathing is gone, then you can get just the sheathing and re-cover the wire.


Neil Estrick
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#22 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:53 PM

New elements should be bisque fired with an empty kiln to 'season' them. This builds up a layer of oxidation on the surface of the element to help protect it from the fumes that come out of the clay and glazes. Doing that to my new DaVinci elements today!


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#23 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

On one end it has a slip on connector that goes over the relays pin and the other it has a washer like connection that connect to the element with a bolt type thing joining the washer and element. I will be in the studio tomorrow so can upload some pictures if that explanation doesn't make sense. I don't know who built the kiln so I am flying without wings with this kiln.

 

The wire did fry out at the relay end which is why I replaced the relay, not realising it was the wire causing the problem. I did have an older thread with a nice picture of the singed relay. Installed the new relay and two firings down the line the relay gave up. I am not sure if the relay is broken as it works when installed onto the bottom elements. but it does have a nice singe mark on it. Probably worth my time getting myself a new one or using the old unbroken one when I replace the wire.

 

Anyway, I think it is the wire causing all my problems as it starts to glow when the relay is on. I still do not know if the wire ended up frying out because of some problem with the elements. The wire that went is on the exit from the elements to the relay.

 

Here is the older thread http://community.cer...ics/#entry45434


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#24 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:16 PM

Thanks- I didn't realize I could use a cone setting.  I thought I needed to make a schedule and program it in. (which is hard to know since I have always just relied on the kiln to heat at it's own rate 1 and a half hours cracked open, 1 hour on low, 2 hrs on medium, and turn to high till it shut off) I know I will eventually figure it out. Once I get the kiln figured out I plan to learn and start exploring my own glazes rather than amoco and Coyote 

 

 

Question… is there a setting for 5 1/2? I have been teetering between cone 5 and 6. I like all my glazes best at 6 other than 1 glaze that works better at 5.  

 

are hold temps programed specifically for specific glaze techniques etc ? That is the part that confuses me the most. 


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

#25 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:19 PM

Sorry for hijacking your thread rebbylicious  :unsure:


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#26 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:34 PM

Thanks- I didn't realize I could use a cone setting.  I thought I needed to make a schedule and program it in. (which is hard to know since I have always just relied on the kiln to heat at it's own rate 1 and a half hours cracked open, 1 hour on low, 2 hrs on medium, and turn to high till it shut off) I know I will eventually figure it out. Once I get the kiln figured out I plan to learn and start exploring my own glazes rather than amoco and Coyote 

 

 

Question… is there a setting for 5 1/2? I have been teetering between cone 5 and 6. I like all my glazes best at 6 other than 1 glaze that works better at 5.  

 

are hold temps programed specifically for specific glaze techniques etc ? That is the part that confuses me the most. 

 

This is my primary issue with commercial glazes. Some work well at 5, some work well at 6. And it's difficult to alter them to all work at the same cone without knowing the formula. So, to get to cone 5 1/2, fire to cone 5 and add a hold at the end. I'd start with 10 minutes and go from there. You'll need to put cones in the kiln to know for sure. The accuracy of your thermocouple will have some effect here, too. It may be that your computerized kiln set to cone 5 is the same as your manual kiln with cone 5 in the sitter. I'd put a new thermocouple in it first thing so you can start with as few variables as possible. Email me your address if you need one and I can get it out Monday morning. You'll have it Tuesday.


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www.neilestrickgallery.com

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#27 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:20 PM

Rebby,
Fire with witness cones to see how accurate the settings are on the controller. My one kiln is a little cooler that the cone setting requiring a higher cone designation when I fire. The other is right on.

Marcia

#28 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:56 PM

Neil - I would absolutely be grateful, I didn't even think of that. I don't even know if the elements are all in good shape yet. I will Facebook message you my address. I owe you, you have been so nice! 


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




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