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Soak?

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I have been seeing the term "soaking" flying around here. I know it means holding the kiln at the peak cone temp for a wee bit, but how would one do that with a manual sitter? I'm a bad rodent and have no pyrometer, too.

My Fred is an old Skutt 230 electric. Any ideas? What does that really do? :3

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it provides additional heat work and I think mostly used to even out your glazes. I think it's 15 minutes to a cone equivalent. We usually fire to cone 5 with a 15 minute hold in conjunction with a ramped cooling schedule.  

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Manual, it's a learning curve... You will have to reduce the energy input a tad to maintain  temp level at your desired temp. Log what you do so you can repeat though with different loads it may have to vary. Heat work will continue to act on your glaze and cone but with no rise to temp of kiln the glaze will settle and smooth out, any "bubbles" and wrinkles  etc formed at that temp will soften and smooth. Some one will describe this in ceramic scientific terms.

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Guinea;

To restart your manual kin.

1.You have to be there when the kiln sitter drops. Klonk

2.you flip the lever back up and press the silver button in the middle of the lever back in.The lever will not catch, so you gently let it drop back down.

3.Then you have to time your soak for 15 minutes, or you can over fire your glazes.

TJR.

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If you try a soak make sure it's pots that you don't really care about or plan to sell.  I have found that each glaze reacts differently and overfiring and having glazes run all over your shelves is possible.  I have a dual pryrometer set that I bought to use on my Skutt 1027,  I have a smaller paragon and a test kiln that are harder to do a soak on.  Denice

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Joy are you talking about candling prior to ramp up on bisque to make sure all is dry? I think a glaze soak for an hour on medium wouldn't really work since the temp would start dropping from the peak and if it did work a 1/2 hour to an hour soak would be too much heat work at those temps, right? 

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I agree with Stephen, dropping the EI to medium will not hold it at the required temp. 15-20 mins is the time I soak for. The EI thing I've got has the option of small increases/decreases so I just do as TJR says but I then drop the EI or the temp would continue to rise, and some glazes would remain unsettled.Glazes with a tendencey to run would not be in that firing either.

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Joy are you talking about candling prior to ramp up on bisque to make sure all is dry? I think a glaze soak for an hour on medium wouldn't really work since the temp would start dropping from the peak and if it did work a 1/2 hour to an hour soak would be too much heat work at those temps, right? 

I was referring to a glaze soak at the top end of the firing when the sitter drops. Some glazes such as Majolica need a bit of a soak. But there is a caution, as you could over-fire your glazes. i don't think 15 minutes would have your glazes running all over, but i don't know your glazes.

Tom.

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Maijolica is the devil. <_<

 

Well, not really.

 

I think I just had a bad recipe---ughhh the icky weird white marbly and spotty things it did to my colors...and it RAN! My work mutated into something that looked like it walked out of a Dali nightmare.

 

I have never abandoned my wonderful greenware underglazing ever since. ^_^

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I just finished a slow glaze firing to cone 6 and a soak of 19 minutes, Total time of firing 7hr 53 min. Witness cones were self supporting cone 7.  Cone 7 went down to 90 deg.  I wanted 7 down and the glaze came out perfect.  So the lesson here is be careful with the soak and use self supporting witness cones.  Also the thermocouples have to be in good condition and you need to be sure as to what the thermocouple offset is set to, if at all.

David

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Soaking is not required. If your glazes look great without it, then you don't need it. I don't soak. But if you just need a little more heat work to smooth out a glaze or get a little more melt, then go for it. It's a way to get more heat work without going all the way to the next cone.

 

The amount of time needed to soak from one cone to the next depends on which cones you're dealing with. I used to soak from 6 to 8, which took 40 minutes. I once tried a soak from 4 to 6, and that took a good hour. Not all glazes respond to soaking the same as firing up to a cone. Some need heat, not just heat work.

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