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Biglou13

Another Kiln Issue

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Ok so I've recently been getting involved at "guild" studio firings

I'm super new to kiln workings

I'm really not so anal but I have been getting technical trying to fine tune kiln.

We recently changed thermocouple.

And will need elements soon.

 

So for testing purposes I placed a Orton self supporting witness cone 6 on a few shelves this time 3/4 up and top shelf lower shelf was slightly fired , top shelf, maybe cone 5.5 at best. On previous firings bottom of kiln was close to cone 7.

 

Is there away to even this out.

 

There Is only one thermocouple. Can the skutt 1227 run on. Multiple thermocouples for more even firings?

 

Suggestions ?

 

Sorry if this has been already beat to death.

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I'm new is it an option to run multiple thermocouples?

 

 

I have a Feeling I'm going to burying my nose in skutt and paragon websites this weekend.......

 

As always in pottery the more I learn the more I realize what I don't know......

Roberta12 likes this

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Going from one zone to multiple zones is likely a big undertaking . . . if it can be done. Likely involve replacing controller, possibly replacing elements (if the current ones are manufactured to account for temperature variances), etc. It is not just a matter of adding more thermocouples; all they do is read temperature. You'd need a controller and relays to balance temp across multiple zones.

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Skutt uses a Bartlett controller, and can do zone firings. In order to put in more thermocouples you'll have to make the holes in the kiln, get a bigger terminal block where the wires go through the insulated baffle, reprogram the controller and add additional control wires. It's not all that complicated, but might eat up a few hours. This is assuming Skutt will just sell you the needed parts and not a whole new panel assembly.

 

This is the biggest issue with a single zone kiln. You really have to watch how you load the kiln in order to keep it even. With zone control you can load the kiln however you want and not have to worry. L&L and a couple others make it standard equipment.

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I'm with BigLou - my logic says that if you fill that cool area with more ware then what heat there is has to be shared more thinly.  If you fill the hot area, then that gets shared out and the ware gets properly fired.

 

Not a "technical" opinion, just the way my logic works ............

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Choice of how to stack it depends on what is causing the unevenness.  Both answers could be correct in different situations.

 

Really important concept:  Don't treat the symptoms, treat the disease.  Do you prescribe aspirin for that headache....... or is it brain surgery that is called for?  Both can cause headaches.......... treatments are different based on the underlying cause.

 

best,

 

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

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Sensei,

It's often your answers leave me scratching my head. But in a good way.

More often than not I get that aha moment sometimes months later where the message finally seeps through the noise and make it to my brain.

 

Fact of the mater it's an old well used kiln in need of brick replacement and (underlying cause) elements, not just the recently replaced thermocouple, and yes skutt tech support confirms time to change elements and relays, as indicated by extended firing times. So yes the disease will be treated eventually. It's a non profit org. So progress is slow So funds are always an issue. (Inspite of my many donations) Maybe I'll start an adopt a kiln brick, floor, relay, element, program. Save our 1227! Or even better adopt a brick for woodfire kiln program.

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