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Kiln Power Switch Is A Dial? Instruction Manual Is No Help


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#1 Stellaria

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:48 PM

I have loan of a friend's small Olympic electric kiln (Model 1214A) equipped with a Kiln Sitter Model K-10. Said friend has never used the kiln, as it was given to her by her mother and she never had an opportunity to use it.

 

Rather than the typical bank of breaker-type switches, this kiln only has a dial. The dial has an OFF setting, LO, numbers 1-6, and then HI. Just like an electric stove burner control.

 

I have NO CLUE how I'm supposed to fire this kiln. The kiln sitter manual doesn't have any instructions for the actual electrical controls used, and the kiln manual only covers manual switch ramping and electronic control programming. The only thing it says that could pertain to my model is that if the kiln is equipped with a kiln sitter, refer to the kiln sitter manual for operation.

 

(I should tell you that I have never fired anything at all by myself, as I'm only a beginner and have all of my work fired at the Community Arts Center by someone who knows what they're doing. Quite frankly, I'm terrified of firing, but I want to do my own so I'm doing my best to get over it. The instructor at the Arts Center has never heard of a kiln with a dial switch before.)

 

So....does anyone here have a kiln like this? How do I use it?



#2 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:06 PM

I think it is going to be a bit of trial and error but something like this? and just exchange what says 2 knobs for 1.

 

http://pottery.about...ln-question.htm



#3 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:08 PM

This is an infinite switch, which is pretty much identical to the knobs on your oven. Start it low and increase power after your temperature climb over a chosen interval is no longer on par. The kiln sitter will kick the power off once the sitter cone drops, and you'll know you've hit temperature.



#4 Stellaria

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:29 PM

How do you tell if your temperature climb isn't on par? Also, will the size of the kiln affect the length of time I should leave it at a particular setting? It's a tiny kiln - 11.25" diameter and only about 18" or so deep.



#5 bciskepottery

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:53 PM

This thread/discussion might be of help. http://community.cer...xperience-help/

You might try contacting Olympic kilns for a manual. The model kiln sitter was originally made by Dawson.

Also check your community arts center or other pottery groups in your area; there may be a potter who fires a manual kiln and who would be willing to walk you through a firing or two, or let you watch while he/she does a firing.

#6 Stellaria

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:58 PM

I have the correct manual from Olympic kilns. It tells me to consult my Kiln Sitter manual :)

I probably will get my pottery instructor to come watch over my shoulder when I fire this thing up finally. Or I may just get brave and do the necessary experimentation....ya know, like normal people do....



#7 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 08:18 PM

I have a similar kiln but just got rid of all the switches and things as I couldn't understand how they worked. It was the same dial from 0 to full.

 

The kiln now has the option of on .. or off. I can't bisque in it but all I need to do for a glaze fire is turn it on for 7 hours which gets me to cone 10.

 

Bisque is going to be the hard one as you need that to be slow. Glaze I don't think you need to worry as mine works happily just being on full power for 7 hours.

 

The best way to find out how to fire it is to get some pots dry and put them in! Start a log of your firings and take it slow to start with. Maybe low for 3 hours, med for 3 hours and then high till you hit the bisque cone. Soon you will be wondering what you were worried about but it can be daunting to start with. If that fails, then slow down the firing even more, if it works too well then you could speed up the firing.

 

I have never fired a kiln like this so my advice can be taken with a pinch of salt.



#8 Stellaria

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 08:21 PM

Thanks :) You've helped a lot!



#9 Chilly

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:29 AM

Almost all the "older" books on pottery will tell you how to fire this little kiln.  Very few books that I have seen even mention "programmers", let alone tell you how to use one with a kiln.

 

As High Bridge says, start on low for a few hours, then med, then high.  My kiln had something similar but with two settings, one low/med/high, the other was temp as there was no kiln sitter.  Got fed up getting up in the middle of the night to adjust, so bought a programmer.  Considering the kiln cost £25, it was worth the upgrade cost.


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