Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Seapea

Skutt Ks 1027 Firing Help!

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

I am a new middle school art teacher and am interested in having my kids work with clay. I throw and handbuild but have never fired a kiln myself before. I've only loaded/unloaded them. The art room that I inherited in August has a Skutt electric kiln and its model is KS 1027. My predecessor left me a note prior to the start of school saying:

 

"The kiln works fine but during construction a few years ago there was some damage on the side that resulted in a lost knob. I just use one of the other knobs to turn the kiln up or down. It is a makeshift way of doing it but it works fine. You just have to keep track of how you turn the knob."

 

I accessed the PDF manual for this specific kiln and only felt even more confused. Below, you'll find a photo of the red box that is on the front of the kiln.

 

http://oi58.tinypic.com/2n6avj5.jpg

 

The kiln says it fires to cone 6 which is perfect and I intended to bisque fire at cone 06. I'm just not sure how to proceed as I have never even attempted to fire a kiln! Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

C

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums.

 

What exactly are you confused about?  The whole firing process?

 

What you have there, is a cone sitter, with a back up timer.  Did your predecessor leave you any other notes, like a firing schedule?  Do you have some pyrometric cones/ bars for the sitter?

 

A quick description of the process:

 

1:  Load the kiln, which you said you have done before.

2.: Put a cone/ bar on the kiln sitter.  There will a couple bottom prongs on the sitter, and a top prong, that runs through to the outside.  This it what moves, to allow the shut off switch to drop.  You lift up the top prong, set the cone/ bar on the bottom to, and allow the top prong to rest on the cone.  One the outside, you should lift the shut off switch up, and put it under the tab, that is connected to the top prong on the sitter.  Sorry if that doesn't make sense, it's tough to explain.

3:  Since you are bisquing, you want to go slow, especially with student projects.  Candling is recommended.  If you are not familiar with the term, it is heating the kiln and included wares, to a point just below water's boiling point, so they are well dried.  One of my classrooms had a kiln very similar to yours.  To candle with it, I would leave the top open, remove all the peeps and turn the bottom element on low, all day, or over night.  Some just crack the lid, instead of opening it all the way, but you do want it at least cracked.  

4:  The day you are ready to fire, close the lid, and leave the peeps out.  Turn each ring on low for two hours.  Then go to medium for two hours.  Finally go to high, until the sitter shuts the kiln off.  Now, your kiln has the back up timer.  Make sure you use it.  After you shut the lid, and begin the actual firing, set the timer.  I would say eight hours would be enough.  This way though, if something goes wrong with the sitter, the timer, will shut the kiln off, and prevent over firing.

5:  Let the kiln cool for between 12-15 hours, depending on the size of the load.

 

That's about it.  If you have any other questions, post away.  There are many knowledgeable posters here, who are more than willing to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will help with the above step two

lift up rod in cone setter from the outside lever while holding shut off lever up-put cone across prongs with rod resting on top in middle of cone-the lever catches the swinging wieght. You really should look at the Skutt photos of this process. push in the the button in middle of this swinging lever to turn on kiln. You should set timer 1st before doing any of this -dial up 10 -12 hours or so -that way in whatever hours you set dial it will turns off kiln if it fails to shut off with the cone sitter.

I own the same kiln and controller on my smaller kiln.These work fine and yours looks in great shape.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

popular kiln sitter, hard to beat them..  your firing instructions are above your sitter on the panel...   i can take some pictures of what it should look like with a cone in it... im firing a glaze load rite now, ill take one tomorrow ... been a busy topic.. 

 

~Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much to add to the excellent advice above. Be sure to use witness cones on every shelf you can so that you will learn what the kiln is really doing. I might bisque to hotter that 06, at least 05, to have fewer glaze burn out issues from clay contaminants. If you will be dipping glazes, they might go on easier with the clay a bit tighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can find the little plate for setting the sitter, I would check it first. If it is out of whack, it is easy to set. the plate slides over the supports and rod inside the kiln so you can set the lever (weight) on the outside of the kiln. If the lever isn't set properly, the kiln could over or under fire. I would use witness cones to see how the setter and the kiln match.You just need a small flathead screwdriver to loosen the weight and adjust the setting, then retighten the weight into position.

It is simple, but the first time can be intimidating. It will become routine once you get started.

 

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doh, forgot about pressing the button, thanks Mark.

 

That's what I get for using a digital controller for the last few years. I'm spoiled, by not having to do much of anything. Maybe someday I'll get even more high tech and get that smart phone app set up....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you leave ALL of the peeps out during the entire firing?

 

Can the peeps be used to adjust internal temp to make it more even?

I always leave all my peeps in no matter what I'm doing and No they will not regulate Temps to even it.

You can crack the lid at first on a bisque fire to let out moisture for a few hours at start up then keep it shut up during firing

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving all the peeps out ... as I once accidentally did ... means a VERY long firing in a toasty warm garage!

If I was worried about something being damp I would crack the lid until a mirror held up to it did not have any fog forming on it.

There are a thousand ways to complicate a firing and we potters find them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard and fast rules, what is this science?!!!

 

The amount of peeps left out, depends on how wet the wares are, when candling.  If they are pretty "cool" I'd leave all the peeps out.  If they are drier, then maybe just the top, and one towards the bottom.

Once the kiln really gets going, definitely put them back in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha Ha, Benzine and his peeps.. Dayum Mark that was funny... ok ill upload a few pix to help out... the site has been down early a.m. when i get home from work.. i must say, i missed my muddy buddies...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picture 1 -  pull the trip up and push the kiln sitter rod down- dont let go just yet, hold it..

Picture 2- gently slide the cone in under the rod , its ok to let go now... 

Picture 3 - Yours should be about 1/8 of a inch or under to start.. meaning, how deep the top piece lays over the trip.. the reason mine is so deep is i thought i ordered cone 6 cones but i guess i hit the cone 5 button, so i had to adjust to compensate..., The ^6 came in last week so i need to readjust ... a properly fired cone when sitting on the base should be bent 90 degrees, if its under 90 and the tip is pointing upward = under fired / if its past 90 and pointing more downward at the tip= over fired  / 

 

i would like to add that i have been doing really good at a ^04 bisque... i tried ^06 and on my glaze firing i blew the bottom out of 3 nice pots and that is the last time i tried ^06 and wont do it again... not saying it wont work, just saying it didnt work for me and the kiln gods didnt like me trying... 

 

if your kiln has a vent on it, just turn it on and dont worry about the peeps.. if you dont have one its probably best to leave the top peep out the entire firing.. you do not want gasses building up in the kiln , you want more oxygen in a electric kiln... 

 

good luck to ya,

 

nice n slow is the trick.. 

 

_ooops the pictures are numbered, start at far right pic_...

post-64659-0-43718600-1421146039_thumb.jpg

post-64659-0-56879800-1421146053_thumb.jpg

post-64659-0-56990600-1421146076_thumb.jpg

post-64659-0-43718600-1421146039_thumb.jpg

post-64659-0-56879800-1421146053_thumb.jpg

post-64659-0-56990600-1421146076_thumb.jpg

Edited by Crusty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Benzine just like his peeps out more than most. In some states people go to jail for this peeping.Not sure about Hawkeye state-I thought I know my states but that one is a new one.

Mark

 

We're that easy going around here.  If you want to cool things down, just let the peeps out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Student work can be tricky and often thick. I can't leave the kiln on overnight so I have been turning the bottom switch on low for two hours and turning it all off (using the timer). I then check it the next day, everything is usually dry and you can start the firing process as if everything was dry and ready to fire. When in doubt I often extend the low and medium settings.

I also do this at home in my somewhat moist basement studio. It helps to make sure things are dry. I do have a kiln vent that also helps with the drying at school and at home. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.