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Isculpt

Help Me Decide What To Do About A Cracked Kiln Lid

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Isculpt    96

When I purchased a large top-loading Olympic kiln last summer, it arrived with a crack in the lid where the handle's screw had been run in, apparently without pre-drilling.  The crack didn't go all the way through, and I was promised a new kiln lid if I would accept delivery of the kiln.  The lid has one of those hinges that goes all the way down the back of the kiln, which I am told is not easy to replace.  Before delivering the kiln, the merchant from whom I bought it repaired the crack with kiln mortar. It has been 8 months and the crack has not re-appeared.  I know the seller is hoping I'll forget about it, and truthfully, I'd like to.  I fear that things may go from (not-too) bad to worse if the lid is replaced.  Given that the crack hasn't reappeared, should I feel relatively confident that it won't?  Or am I being foolish not to replace it?

 

UPDATE:  I received a call from Bob Haugen, president of Olympic Kilns.  The delay of 8 months was not of his doing - or not doing, a fact I was well aware of.  He has promised to deliver and install the new kiln lid himself.  You can't ask for better than that. Thanks again to all of you who advised me to have it replaced.

Edited by Isculpt

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schmism    21

Hopefully you have a document that states you are due a replacement lid.    If all you have is a verbal promise,  I don't think you'll ever collect on your replacement lid 8 months later.

 

If you do have a document that states you are entitled a replacement,  have it replaced.

 

I assume the rod that acts as the pivot pin between the top hinge and the back hinge is removed, the lid lifted off and the new one set in place and the pin replaced.  I have a hard time believing it has anything to do with straps down the back of the kiln.

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Isculpt    96

Schmism, Emails about the lid were exchanged between Jinny, the owner of the ceramics supply business and myself, but the final resolution was communicated verbally.  I know, I know to get this stuff in writing but she's been in business a long time and I trust her.  She spoke with the owner of Olympic and was promised a replacement, but told that it would be delivered in several months at their convenience. She was emphatic that she didn't want her kiln installer to replace the kiln lid, but rather someone from Olympic, which makes things even more complicated for Olympic.  This lid came with the metal parts already attached but I'm guessing a replacement would not.(?)

 

To add more information, when I contacted her recently about the lid, she offered me $100 credit in lieu (no doubt to save some hassle with Olympic).  But my concern is that the crack could reappear and get much worse.

 

Mark, I've attached photos of the hinge and the location of the original crack which was at the front of the lid where the two left-hand screws are holding on the metal plate.  The crack was on top, didn't go all the way through and was clearly caused by the screw being driven into the brick.  (As a woodworker, I've seen that same thing happen when a hole isn't pre-drilled in hardwood before a screw is driven in.) The seller repaired it with kiln mortar before delivering it because it was understood that I'd be using it until the replacement came, so there is no trace of the original crack.  In one photo you can see a crack on the inside of the lid, but it doesn't originate at that screw, so I guess it's not related....

 

What I'm wondering is the likelihood of the crack reappearing after all these months, and how serious (costly) it could be.  I am assuming that a crack that went all the way through the brick, top to bottom would necessitate replacing the lid for someone like me who is light years away from being able to repair a kiln?

 

Thanks for any advice.....Jayne

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Benzine    610

Jayne,

 

There are kiln cracks, especially on the bottom, that generally don't get any worse, and create no issues.  However, lids can be a bigger issue, because of the movement.  The kiln, in my first classroom, had a lid that was a little beat.  The kiln itself was nice, but whether it was due to design, or prior improper use, the lid was not so much.  The metal skin was becoming very loose, both at the handle, and the hinge.

So that's why I'd be a little concerned, about a crack on your kiln lid, coming from the handle.  It's a point, where you will be adding pressure.  It looks like your kiln has an "Easy Lift" feature, is this correct?  The classroom kiln, I was referring to, did not.  I wanted to add one, but not in the budget.

 

John, Neil and others, who have been building and firing kilns longer than me, will be able to give you a better idea on issues with the crack repair.

 

So I can see it a couple different ways.  Regardless of whether the crack will get bigger, you paid for a NEW kiln, which includes every portion of it.  You did not receive that, and are being both understanding and flexible, by waiting this long.  Wanting a new lid, is not you being difficult, or demanding, it's what is right.

The lid was cracked by the manufacturer correct?  I understand that this is probably a pain, for the supplier as well, and you don't want to strain that relationship.  But that is part of their job, to deal with the manufacturer.  They are the "Middleman".  A one hundred dollar credit, is a nice gesture, but it won't guarantee the lid won't crack further.  A lid with zero cracks, is less likely to crack, than one with a repaired crack.

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Pres    896

I go with Ben & Schism here. If you have a written promise to replace the lid, get it replaced. Is the crack major, repaired or unrepaired? I don't think so. However, as Ben says you never know what stresses are being put on the lid in firing and movement. The last thing you need is to have bits and pieces of lid coming down in glaze firings. The lid gets stressed from heating and cooling, movement up and down, and even the environment in the kiln room. A hairline crack might last for years, but a sudden cooling, or fast firing, or another type of accident could compromise the lid integrity whether cracked or not. However, a cracked lid will be damaged easier than not.

 

Best,

Pres

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Mark C.    1,807

If they said a new lid I would go with the new lid-Even if its a pain to install-(which its not)

I would get this taken care of while its still in everyones memory.

Mark

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neilestrick    1,381

I'm having a hard time seeing the crack in the photo. It looks like there's one that runs from the center hole to the edge? The screw in the brick probably had nothing to do with the actual crack starting, it was just a good place for it to go. IFB are so soft that a screw won't split them. Hairline cracks are normal, and not an issue unless they go all the way through.

 

Using mortar to repair a lid crack is pretty worthless in my opinion. It's going to be a weak spot. If they promised a new lid, then they should send a new lid. If you agreed to install it, then you will have to do that. It won't be all that difficult to do, just time consuming with a lot of screws to put in.

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Isculpt    96

I'm having a hard time seeing the crack in the photo. It looks like there's one that runs from the center hole to the edge? The screw in the brick probably had nothing to do with the actual crack starting, it was just a good place for it to go. IFB are so soft that a screw won't split them. Hairline cracks are normal, and not an issue unless they go all the way through.

 

Using mortar to repair a lid crack is pretty worthless in my opinion. It's going to be a weak spot. If they promised a new lid, then they should send a new lid. If you agreed to install it, then you will have to do that. It won't be all that difficult to do, just time consuming with a lot of screws to put in.

Neil, thanks for weighing in. You won't be able to see the crack that was the original issue because it was repaired with mortar which totally masked it.  The original large crack actually radiated from the screw.  The  hairline crack now running front to back on the lid has nothing to do with the original crack. It seems unanimous that I need to replace the lid. I'll share this consensus with the seller in an email right away. I don't expect any trouble, but we will see.   Jayne

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Isculpt    96

Thanks to all of you who weighed in. I really appreciate the advice.  I want to make life easy for others, but it sounds like in this case it would be a foolish sacrifice on my part just to save the seller inconvenience.

Jayne

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JLowes    28

If you look at Olympic's website http://www.greatkilns.com/media/pdf/catalogs/2012X_REPLACEMENT_PARTS_PRICE_LIST.pdf , you can see what they charge for a lid in the replacement parts page.  That would give you an idea about the $100 credit offer, which sounds low to me, especially when you consider shipping from Georgia to South Carolina.  But, that's just for your information.  I also recommend getting the lid replacement.

 

John

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Isculpt    96

If you look at Olympic's website http://www.greatkilns.com/media/pdf/catalogs/2012X_REPLACEMENT_PARTS_PRICE_LIST.pdf , you can see what they charge for a lid in the replacement parts page.  That would give you an idea about the $100 credit offer, which sounds low to me, especially when you consider shipping from Georgia to South Carolina.  But, that's just for your information.  I also recommend getting the lid replacement.

 

John

Thanks for that link.  It looks like I'd pay nearly $400 for a lid plus shipping on 120 lbs AND I'd have to install it.  I agree; not a good deal.   Jayne

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Isculpt    96

UPDATE:  I received a call from Bob Haugen, president of Olympic Kilns.  The delay of 8 months was not of his doing - or not doing, a fact I was well aware of.  He has promised to deliver and install the new kiln lid himself.  You can't ask for better than that. Thanks again to all of you who advised me to have it replaced.

Jayne

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