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Having A Kiln Outside ?


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#21 kennedy james

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:02 PM

all your posts are really helpful and I've decided to buy a small test kiln to use outside and store inside when not it use

 

thank you all !



#22 ekakidesu

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:00 PM

I got a new Skutt electric kiln recently (am excited!).  I am befuddled as to where to use it because Skutt told me not to have it outside, but I do not have an indoor place for it that has the ventilation.  One is not supposed to plug and unplug the kiln either.  So far I have rolled it outside when firing (since I have no indoor ventilation system for it.  That means I am plugging and unplugging.  I do not have a better answer yet.  My main reason for posting is that I can tell you that Skutt told me not to have it outside.



#23 neilestrick

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:07 PM

I got a new Skutt electric kiln recently (am excited!).  I am befuddled as to where to use it because Skutt told me not to have it outside, but I do not have an indoor place for it that has the ventilation.  One is not supposed to plug and unplug the kiln either.  So far I have rolled it outside when firing (since I have no indoor ventilation system for it.  That means I am plugging and unplugging.  I do not have a better answer yet.  My main reason for posting is that I can tell you that Skutt told me not to have it outside.

 

You can always do a home-made ventilation system if need be. Depending on the size of the kiln, it can be as simple as a box fan in a window above the kiln. It's not ideal, but may be good enough to do the job.

 

Unplugging the kiln is hard on the cord and plug, since you usually have to wiggle them a lot to get them apart. but you gotta do what you gotta do. It's also a good idea to shut off the power at the breaker before unplugging it.

 

My biggest concern about people moving kilns is damage to the kilns. If the roller system you have is not stable enough, you'll end up cracking the floor of the kiln as it rolls over uneven ground and the floor flexes. It's a less-than-ideal situation. Kilns are not meant to be mobile, and will probably void your warranty.


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#24 Norm Stuart

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

Living in Yorba Linda, your kiln will do just fine outdoors.  People who make Skutts live in a place where they have to dress up like Nanook of the North to stay warm and keep the snow out.

 

 

Ideally you want a tin roof built over the kiln to protect it from rain.  We couldn't do that in our West Hollywood location, so I hammered together a tin plated cap for the kiln lid with an extension to protect the electronics from the rain.

 

When you have the electrician put in the outlet, you can have them install a breaker switch right next to the outlet if you feel the need to turn the power on and off at the outlet.

 

This is a photo of our computerized kiln which has been outdoors for four years. They're having fun replacing the heating elements in this photo.  You can see they actually unplugged the kiln from the grey 50-amp outlet box to rewire it, which is probably a good idea.

 

In our previous location the kilns had been outdoor for 16 years, although with a corrugated tin sheet over the top of them.

 

In the upper right of the lid you can see the cap extension which sticks out over the electronics.

 

med_gallery_18533_676_811088.jpg

 

As the kiln ages, whether indoors or out, if it didn't have the stainless steel option, you will want to slowly replaced various screws with stainless steel.

 

People living in other locations can't visualize our studio looking like this in January with 72 F days.

med_gallery_18533_676_340476.jpg

 

I got a new Skutt electric kiln recently (am excited!).  I am befuddled as to where to use it because Skutt told me not to have it outside, but I do not have an indoor place for it that has the ventilation.  One is not supposed to plug and unplug the kiln either.  So far I have rolled it outside when firing (since I have no indoor ventilation system for it.  That means I am plugging and unplugging.  I do not have a better answer yet.  My main reason for posting is that I can tell you that Skutt told me not to have it outside.



#25 neilestrick

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:31 AM

When constructing a cover for your kiln, remember that rain doesn't always fall straight down.


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#26 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:48 AM

Hi, well first of all if you have ever smelled the fumes when firing either bisque or glaze you won't want to have a kiln inside anywhere without a vent. I bought 2 of the first electronic Evenheat cone 6 kilns in 1992/93, had them in the cement/milk house room of an unheated barn in Western New York for years, firing (cone 6) like crazy (all throughout the year and in all temperatures), then took time off from pottery until 2003, moved them to coastal Florida where they sat in an un-airconditioned storage building until 2009. At that time we placed them outside of our house under a aluminum roof on a cement pad. I started firing again in 2011, everything worked great, sure they have a little rust on the lid hinge and the bung hole covers, but we did not even have to replace any elements until after quite a few firings. A couple of months ago after firing about 200 times we finally replaced the thermocouples in both kilns. Sounds like you need a place to fire your pieces, a local studio or pottery group; or at least a covered patio with a fireproof floor. If the newer electronics in kilns are more sensitive to outside temperature changes I do not know.   I hope this helps you and anyone else that is worried about firing outside.


I am concerned about the air here because it is predominantly from Matamoros, Mx. If I leave a utility blade outside over night it is rusted. Rubber is also rotting. Had to replace the wheels on pug mill and ware carts. Last week I was wearing a pair of shoes and the soles disintegrated as I was walking. Had to leave a meeting to change shoes. These shoes had been in my bedroom closet for years.My husband's golf bag has rotted in the garage. Something is seriously not right.Hearing your rate of rust, convinces me more than ever that we have a huge problem.

Marcia

#27 neilestrick

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

Humidity kills electronics. I've worked on kilns in schools that aren't air conditioned or well vented and everything corrodes- the steel, the wiring connections, etc. I've even had a controller not work because it was too moist indoors.


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#28 LovesPurple

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:13 PM

My first two kilns were "manual", the second one had a Firemate controller - awesome!  Anyway, I had them outside on wheels under the eve of our garage.  They were plugged in inside the garage, so to fire them I just rolled them away from the garage wall a little.  The problem is, even when they are done firing they stay really hot for a long time.  So, what I did was build a big box out of melmaine (because is is mostly waterproof) and lined the inside with cement board, and added some wheels.  I left it open on one side so I could just push the kiln back close to the garage (stucco) and slide the box over it.  There was enough room between the box and the kiln that the air could circulate, but the kiln was protected from the rain.  On cold days I just fired a little slower to avoid thermal shock.  When I bought my brand spanking new kiln I built a metal shed :-)  






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