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Everything posted by Stuart

  1. As others have said it would cost a lot in petrol or diesel compared to utility supplied electricity. Have you considered converting the kiln to gas operation - I haven't done this myself, but have seen online and in books where people have converted an electric kiln to gas. Obviously you'd need to make sure any conversion was carried out to proper standards for gas fitting and ventilation. I guess a place to start would be to get some data on generators, get some figures on efficency, and work out how often you'd fire the kiln. A quote from Wikipedia on Diesel generators: Fuel consumption is the major portion of diesel plant owning and operating cost for power applications, whereas capital cost is the primary concern for backup generators. Specific consumption varies, but a modern diesel plant will consume between 0.28 and 0.4 litres of fuel per kilowatt hour at the generator terminals. So, if your 63 amp at 220v kiln takes about 8 hours to fire at 75% load on average, then you'll use (63a * 220v * 8 * .75) = 83.2kWh. So using the worst case from the quote above, it would be (83.2 * 0.4) = 33.3 litres of fuel. That is about 8.8 US gallons. I expect the Wikipedia article I quoted refers to large generators like building site plant etc, and of course with any generator you have the maintenance to attend to including oil changes etc.
  2. Having done a firing today, I tried it with a normal incandescent torch, as I could not find my LED torch, and it didn't do that much to enhance the cone. I will look for my LED torch for next time! What did work somewhat was blowing through the spyhole (to cool down the cone, which was directly in front) - this enhanced the contrast enough to see the cone. It could have also been that my eyes had adjusted by that time. The kiln was approaching cone 9 at that stage - in case you're wondering, it's electric. Cheers, Stuart.
  3. As most have said compression does help a lot. Also keep any water out of the bottom. Starting out I got a few S cracks but following those rules and gradually drying out pieces I haven't had any. I dry pieces either on a bat loosely covered in a plastic bag or on a wire rack with a plastic bag over the top, leaving the bottom exposed through the rack.
  4. That looks like an excellent way to see them - I will try this at my next firing! Does it make a difference to the light (in your experience) if it's a reduction or oxidation firing? Cheers...
  5. Some excellent suggestions there guys - thank you very much for your replies!!
  6. Perhaps a pair of needlenose pliers? Or if you just need to hold the nut to mate it with the bolt, perhaps wedge a matchstick or similar in there to hold it enough before friction can take over?
  7. Hi, My first post on this forum! Do others have problems seeing cones through the peephole of a kiln when the kiln is at 1200degC / 2100degF? The problem I have is that the inside of the kiln provides very little contrast to see the cones. At that temperature it is so bright inside that if there isn't sufficient contrast between the cones and the kiln interior they are simply invisible. Has anyone else had this problem? My guess is to make a small slab of clay and coat it in dark underglaze to put behind the cones, but I'm not sure if that will work. Thank you, Stuart.
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