Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark C.

Skutt 1227 Band Snaps Loose During Recent Bisque-Gerrrr

Recommended Posts

OK bashing brands is not what I'm known for but.
On my 1227 the band which is now a rusting mess as well as all the steel parts (handle-snap latches and bands) came apart on last bisque. This kiln has only been used for bisque and on a good year maybe 6 bisques total ( I use my gas kilns for most bisquing).Its from the mid 90's
This year I have a whopping 7 fires on it so far and the middle band came apart on the spot wields on the tensioning bands-exactly like my one of my smaller skutts did a decade ago. The only difference is my two older skutts have no rust on the stainless steel bands-it appears the new bands are really a very poor grade of stainless. Spot wields just are the wrong thing to do on kiln jackets..I should mention that the older skutts I own have spotless bands as the stainless is a much better quality 
I have only gone to cone 08 in this kiln and have little use on it over the two decades. I live 7 miles from the sea so its not that either.
I'm going to screw this together with quality stainless marine screws before next fire (holiday season is NOW)-just another nail in my reason to buy another brand of kiln for me.
If you are in the kiln market check for spot wields and ask about how stainless is the stainless.
Rant over-
I'm dreaming of an L&L
one last note -have you noticed it always all happens at once
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy...crap.

 

That is freaking dangerous. I mean...I have an ancient Skutt 231 electric, and the only issue I've had with rust was on those stupid rings they used to put around the screws that held the power box in place. My kiln is over twenty years old, though, so I guess a lil' rust is to be expected...

 

...BUT A YEAR?!

 

Uhhh...

 

I think someone needs to be gettin' on the horn with Skutt tomorrow and having a chat. That is inexcusable for the price we fork out for those things. Good heavens... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some kilns rust faster than others. In addition to the quality of the stainless steel used, a lot depends on the environment they sit in, and whether or not they are vented. Downdraft-vented kilns last longer because the water vapor is pulled out during firings rather than seeping out the cracks in the kiln and corroding the jacket. Kilns in humid environments tend to corrode much faster than in dry environments, and that can very from studio to studio. I work on a couple of kilns in a local studio where the kiln closet it always really humid, and it's slowly killing the kilns. While I generally don't see problems like popping bands like you had, Mark, I do see a lot of badly corroded electrical connections, and have to replace a lot of wiring every time a do the elements.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if many of the kiln companies have switched to lower grade and/or thinner stainless to keep prices down. Screw those clamps back on and they'll be fine, and maybe throw a couple of screws into all the other clamps, too, as a preventative measure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan on doing them all with screws at the same time-the main issue is access. I may have to take it apart to reach the back with my drill.

Its another job right at the wrong moment for me just now as my 16 days of retail is vewry soon. I will address it when I get back from my big show 2,200 miles from here.Right now I'm moving two tons a clay a day as my 10 ton shipment arived on Tuesday for the next year.Also another wrong time moment(trucking was held up 3 weeks).I will add thank god I mainly use gas kilns as they keep on ticking like a solid watch-that is until the big quake hits.

If I can just make it until Dec.25th my 1st day off-the light is at the end of that tunnel-

Humidity in a redwoood rain forest?? its only 99% most of the rainy season.The drought did dry it out for 7 months buts its raining again big time.

Thank Neil

Hey does L&L use better stainless???

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say for certain that they do, since I don't know exactly what each company uses. My L&L E18T-3 has some slight corrosion at the edges of the body bands after 950 firings in my non-air-conditioned studio, which is what I would expect from any kiln. There are some brands that use really thin cheap stainless (but I won't mention names here). In general, you get what you pay for in a kiln.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A simple test for the Stainless steel is a magnet test. If the steel is magnetic, it usually doesn't contain the needed nickel (which resists corrosion). Corrosion resistant stainless steel is usually a combo of chromium and nickel. Called 304 and is not magnetic.

There are some newer stainless steels that contain titanium along with the chromium. They are magnetic and don't corrode. They also are resistant to heat expansion. Called, 443 and used by the Japanese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all this rusty talk made me go check the back of my skutt 1027. To my pleasant surprise, it has virtually NO RUST. bought it in 1996 and it lived in Florida 3 blocks off a bay for nearly 10 yrs! It is now in Georgia where summer humidity is crazy high; in an un airconditiioned and unheated (except when in use) metal building. I have not purposefully done anything to keep in such good shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karen-I know about the magnet as I have a stainless pile-two of my kiln chimneys are made of high quality stainless-I also have a few tons of brass in the yard.

The skutt kilns all use magnetic stainless but my older kiln from the 70's has zero rust and is right next to this kiln-this newer 90's model looks like this.The truth is there is not one part that is in good shape due to rust.

notice the middle bad is loose on left side of photo.

Mark

post-8914-0-75766700-1416681617_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-75766700-1416681617_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya like I said I usually am not a complainer but this is ridiculous-4-6 fires a year-kilns in a huge 24 x35 covered area.

I will not buy another Skutt. I can get rust from other sources easier.I got a mirror to look behind and I had screwed already all the sections except this one that jumped apart. Just bought some 40 cent stainless screws to finish the job.

Lets see if skutt spent an extra 5$ I would not have to do this to each of thier kilns..

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update

I built a paltform to get behind the kiln (tight space)and crawled into the hole. I punched a dent in tighting bands and used a hardened drill bit to drill the hole. Turns out I had drilled and screwed 95% of all bands back in the 90's but missed the center band which all spot wields gave up last week. After screwing it together I lubed the tightners and tightened them up.Kiln is ready again for last mintute bisques.

I hope anyone who is asking about what brand of kiln to buy reads this post-I own 3 skutts ( I gave one away)and dream they are all L&Ls

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The update on the update is after checking my kiln log this kiln was new about 2001-I bought it in 2004 and have fired it 65 times to cone 08.It was fired less than 12 times before My use -and all to cone 06-total firings less than 75 all t low temps.

The elements after turning them all on full seem to glow at different rates-hotest on the bottom and top. Each sections(3 total section on this manual 1227)

Each section has two seperate elements-it appears one may be close to dead as its not very hot .

Maybe Niel can suggest my next move on this color discrepancy?? I have a feeling I'm going to be digging further into this skutt after x-mas.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The top and bottom elements are made to run hotter than the center elements, to compensate for heat loss out the lid and floor and prevent cold spots in those areas. This is what they mean by 'graded' elements. Very common in many brands. I've seen some (Cress maybe?) that have 3 or 4 different elements in them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×