I have a similar kiln but just got rid of all the switches and things as I couldn't understand how they worked. It was the same dial from 0 to full.
The kiln now has the option of on .. or off. I can't bisque in it but all I need to do for a glaze fire is turn it on for 7 hours which gets me to cone 10.
Bisque is going to be the hard one as you need that to be slow. Glaze I don't think you need to worry as mine works happily just being on full power for 7 hours.
The best way to find out how to fire it is to get some pots dry and put them in! Start a log of your firings and take it slow to start with. Maybe low for 3 hours, med for 3 hours and then high till you hit the bisque cone. Soon you will be wondering what you were worried about but it can be daunting to start with. If that fails, then slow down the firing even more, if it works too well then you could speed up the firing.
I have never fired a kiln like this so my advice can be taken with a pinch of salt.
I have been reading a bit about making my own IFB to start building my own little kilns. I know it is probably not cost effective but I just want to do it anyway for my own enjoyment.
I was working last night in some 3D software with a 9/4.5/3 brick shape trying to work out how to layout bricks and how many I will need. I then realised that I know nothing about brick laying There must be a good way to stack bricks and build up a wall.
Anybody got some links to kiln building / brick laying? Going to go to the library tomorrow to see if I can't find a good book on kiln building but thought I would ask here.
Any information is good even if it is only slightly related. " I want it all "
If you scroll up a little on the google books link it talks through what a clay body is and such and such. Couldn't get it to link to the right page... but go from page 139. It is worth a read as it goes on to talk about lots of different clays.
I love stoneware but I would go with what your kiln can cope with first, not sure what temps yours works with. Once you know that you can start looking at clay bodies and how they can work for you and be changed to suit your needs.
I have never had exposure to earthenware so just avoid it, and I like to go as hot as possible. Something about hitting cone 10 makes me happy. Maybe not as happy when it breaks and I sulk off to cone 6.
It took me many failed molds to get comfortable with mixing plaster. I found that it was more in the mixing as long as the water is saturated with plaster. The longer I mixed made it better and stronger. I am still no pro, but my advice is to work with the cheapest plaster until you understand the ratios and mixing process to get the best from the plaster then buy the harder more expensive ones.