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Well Taken Care Of Alpinehf24 Updraft


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#1 jrgpots

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 07:38 PM

There is an Alpine HF24 updraft gas kiln with controller for sale not too far from my area.  The serial Number is 95115,  I think it may mean that it was built in 1995. It is IFB 2800 with power burners.  There is no fiber blanket material.  Wals are 7-8 in thick.  see pics.  The furniture is not included.

 

What would be a good price on this model KIln?

 

 

Jed

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#2 neilestrick

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:12 PM

It looks to be in great condition. Check that the door bricks are solid. Check that the door jamb bricks are solid where the bag wall shelves notch into them. Get rid of those bag wall shelves and replace them with bricks if you buy it. The shelves will warp and break the door jambs. Check that the burner system is functioning, especially the FireEye modules. Those are not cheap. If you're doing this legit and getting a permit to install it, make sure the burner system meets current codes in your area for gas appliances. That kiln is not certified.Also make sure you can get the proper gas line installed to use it. For natural gas it requires a 2" line with 14 IWC (double normal household pressure). I don't remember the specs for propane. On that note, check if it's set up for gas or propane as you might have to change out the orifices, which is super easy. Does it have the Chromalox controller? That controller works, but it's a pain in the you-know-what. It's a general purpose heating controller that has way too many functions for the kiln, so at one point you have to press enter 24 times to get to the screen you need. But once you set it you shouldn't have to change it.

 

Price? Who knows. There will be a lot of costs to get it moved and hooked up, so I'd start with what you can afford, figure out your costs, then work backwards to a price.


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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:07 PM

Neil nailed it -all I can add is that is lot newer one than I used to fire in collage-(we had 3 of them)

Also of note is these babies are heavy and I mean really heavy so moving is an issue.

The orfice change will be easy for propane the 14 iches of watere coluem for natural gas will not be as easy.

I'm not an up draft fan but this blower kiln will fire fine as long as it all works-if not thereare some major costs.

I have seen a few of these a bit older go for next to free as they can be spendy to get fixed and are so heavy to move.

I have a friend with one and it just sitting outside now dead.

Hey I have the alpine pug mill that goes with this kiln .

Mark


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#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 05:48 AM

I fired this size Alpine in Grad school.We had several as well. There were refractory pieces for bag walls rather than kiln shelves. No controller.
The kiln looks good but check to see if the controller can translate to propane. I don't know how this controller works or what it controls. It will be tough to move. Make sure (if you decide to get it) to brace the interior well.

Marcia

#5 neilestrick

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:56 AM

I fired this size Alpine in Grad school.We had several as well. There were refractory pieces for bag walls rather than kiln shelves. No controller.
The kiln looks good but check to see if the controller can translate to propane. I don't know how this controller works or what it controls. It will be tough to move. Make sure (if you decide to get it) to brace the interior well.

Marcia

 

The bag walls have always been kiln shelves, but there were refractory pieces that rested on top of them designed to help disperse the flame. They were expensive and time consuming to make, and really didn't make much difference in the performance of the kiln, so I made the decision when I was Alpine manager to stop making them. At that time I also made the call to stop using kiln shelves for bag walls and switched to bricks since sometimes the shelves would warp so badly they would break out the door jambs where they were notched in. I also redesigned the burner system a bit by pulling the burners back from the kiln a couple of inches, getting rid of the cast ceramic burner tips and switching to a metal retention tip.

 

The controller will work regardless of the type of gas being used. Changing the orifice between natural gas and propane is super simple. The orifice is a piece of 1/4" pipe with three holes in it that goes through the burner pipe. You just unscrew it and put in the new one.

 

Alpine is now owned by Joe Catanzaro of Kiln-Ray in Warwick, NY. He was one of our best Alpine repair guys back when I worked for Alpine, and should be able to help you with anything you'd need for that kiln.

 

People rip on the old updraft kilns, but Alpine kilns last forever and fire well. I've seen Alpine kilns that had been in heavy service for 40 years. That one appears to be in really good condition, so you should be able to get many many years or service out of it. They are kind of touchy at first, but once you figure out how to fire it, it will fire consistently and give very good results.


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#6 jrgpots

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:20 AM

The owner said he had uneven heating with the top getting hotter than the bottom. Can that be overcome with packing and soaking or is it just the way these things fire?

The controller does not look like anything alpine now has. On the left of the controll box are about 12 buttons grouped in sets of two or three. Neil would you remember how this works? And are old instruction manuals available?

Today I have to see if I can pull a 2" tap with pressure at 14 WC.

Jed

#7 Mark C.

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:47 AM

I have found memories firing the older Alpines.They used to be way more manual operators as Marcia described

Great to have Neil aboard as he was there in manufacturing.

I was able to fire then very evenly but they did not have all the controls.

These kllns are the backbone of many a ceramic dept around the country back in the day-our local university switched to Giels some years back.

If it still works I would make an offer after you see if you can get a larger meter for the 2 inch supply with a larger reguilator that can do the 14 inch water column inches.

I have said meter and inches here but its much harder these days in many places.

good luck.


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#8 neilestrick

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:19 AM

The owner said he had uneven heating with the top getting hotter than the bottom. Can that be overcome with packing and soaking or is it just the way these things fire?

The controller does not look like anything alpine now has. On the left of the controll box are about 12 buttons grouped in sets of two or three. Neil would you remember how this works? And are old instruction manuals available?

Today I have to see if I can pull a 2" tap with pressure at 14 WC.

Jed

 

Like I said, they are touchy. If you try to fire them too fast in the beginning they will fire unevenly. You should be able to get an even cone 10 in 9-10 hours with just a little practice.

 

A friend of mine has two 20 cu/ft Alpine updrafts that were built and delivered at the same time. Identical kilns. But one fires an hour faster than the other one.


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#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:34 AM

Wow, Neil, I didn't know you were at Alpine. Yes, those refractory parts were delicate and not needed as you said. I didn't remember them on Kiln shelves. This was back in 1970 when I started Grad school. I fired home made kilns and helped to build them when I was in Undergrad school. Most were downdrafts except for a very old home made up draft that was so old the floor level had changed since it had been built, and had to be loaded from a ladder.
I could fire the 2 Alpines fairly even after getting to know them. They are workhorses.

Marcia

#10 jrgpots

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:34 AM

Here is the controller....

#11 jrgpots

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:01 PM

Here is the controller....

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#12 neilestrick

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 12:07 PM

The important part of the controller is the little black box. That's the brains of it all. The rest is just relays and indicator lights. Is there a model number on it? I can't tell from the photo. It doesn't look like a Chromalox, and I can't remember what was used before that.


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#13 Mark C.

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:48 PM

Back in the day when my gas service to shop went (1973) they where very touchy about higher pressures.The main office said no way. The crew who put the regulator showed me how to adjust it and gave me a manometer to read it.  I bet its a whole lot more touchy today (2014)

see your PM box Jed.


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#14 neilestrick

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:13 PM

Back in the day when my gas service to shop went (1973) they where very touchy about higher pressures.The main office said no way. The crew who put the regulator showed me how to adjust it and gave me a manometer to read it.  I bet its a whole lot more touchy today (2014)

see your PM box Jed.

 

If they won't give you the pressure, call Joe at Alpine and see if he's got ideas. It may be that with an orifice change or something like that you could run it at lower pressure. I'm just going off what I remember. It's all about the volume of gas delivery. The Alpine web site shows that you need 525 CFH gas to run that kiln. You can probably get it with a smaller pipe, but 2" is always what Alpine always recommended to have the volume for future expansion, which is inevitable once you start building a studio.

 

If I remember right, when I hooked up my gas kiln 10 years ago my gas guy said I could have run it with 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" pipe, but the price difference wasn't huge to go to 2". Plus the 2" came in handy because soon after I had to hook up a furnace to the line, and with the 2" I had enough capacity to do so.


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#15 Mark C.

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:23 PM

Always go with 2 inch as Neil said the price is small betwwen the two.

You will need a large volume meter like a sprague 1000 or similair-I'll go shoot mine and post it.

I have had two or three meters over the years as they replace them every so often

this ones a smart meter

Mark

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#16 jrgpots

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 06:28 PM

The gas guy is coming to house Fri. He said the pressure at the tap is 45 psi. I will ask about Sprague large volume meters...

Thanks guys, you are great.

Jed

#17 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:34 PM

Neil, Now I remember how I dealt with the bottom being cool. I raised those shelf gadwalls onto a couple of shelf cookies to let some heat into the bottom from the burner. I put them back when I was done unloading.
marcia

#18 Mark C.

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:16 PM

The gas guy is coming to house Fri. He said the pressure at the tap is 45 psi. I will ask about Sprague large volume meters...

Thanks guys, you are great.

Jed

Any brand of of large gas meters will work-mine is the size you would see outside a fast food resurant or large food business

Sprague was just one brand-mine is another barnd.

The street pressure is always very high-the regulator steps it down at your house-everyones house with natural gas.

Mark


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#19 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:12 AM

Neil,
Thinking back I do remember the kiln shelf bag walls in the Alpines. I use to raise them up on chunks of broken kiln shelves to help get the heat to the bottom of the updraft. Had not thought about them in decades.

Marcia

#20 neilestrick

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:34 AM

Neil,
Thinking back I do remember the kiln shelf bag walls in the Alpines. I use to raise them up on chunks of broken kiln shelves to help get the heat to the bottom of the updraft. Had not thought about them in decades.

Marcia

 

My memory is a little fuzzy about all this, but I think we actually stopped putting any sort of bag wall in the updraft kilns when we switched to brick bag walls in the downdrafts, or maybe just one row of bricks to keep the flame off the pots or something like that. They don't really need a bag wall for evenness.


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