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  1. So weird that the pics I embedded didn't show... The kiln is a single phase, 30 amp, 240 volt 4600 watts machine -should fire to 2250 F/cone 6. There is a black dial on the side of the kiln sitter but no markings to tell what it dials to. I DO want to have the capacity to fire to cone 6. The digital/computer kiln control/conversion would definitely add to the fix it costs...and make me more inclined to just look for a newer kiln. I'll paste a link to an online album of pics I took of the kiln interior-let me know if it works. https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.murphykeith/media_set?set=a.3502149176462842&type=1
  2. So... I bought a used Skutt 181 manual kiln (manufactured in 1975 FYI) for $170 and I am now at a point where if not regretting the buy, I am considering whether putting in the repairs needed for it are worth the money, OR, if I should just cut my losses and look for a newer/better condition kiln. I'll list the conditions and potential repairs, and pictures if possible. So, to start, there was no power cord/plug so I had to buy one, not too much of a biggie-was able to find a proper plug/cord for $20. For the time being I can't afford the re-wiring for a new (240) outlet so I'll be using a heavy duty proper amp/temp rated extension cord to reach our dryer outlet; that's another $90. The plug for the kiln is 4 prong, outlet is 3 prong - the proper converter cost $40. So that's an additional $150 and I don't even know if it works yet. AND there was no furniture included - lowest price for a couple shelves and stilts is around $250...sigh. And need 4 peep hole plugs. Now on to the potential issues. One, the porcelain tube around the kiln sitter is broken though the (thermocoupler) rod inside seems fine. So that will need to be replaced. Not sure of $ for that. Two, it seems that some bees had used it as a hive? As I was doing some inspection-cleaning of the elements and grooves in the brick I got out a bunch of debris from it-only mention this because some of the bee combs are inside the coils. I expect that those will smoke like crazy if the elements work when turned on. For the elements themselves, the top set looks good-all silver no apparent corrosion. The bottom set though is quite brown and likely need to be replaced. Pricing the replacements it's about $44 per set and I think this model needs 2 (maybe 3?). So, $132. Three-the brick had some scoring/brown on it but it wasn't til I started cleaning that I saw how deteriorated all 8 sides of the bottom section are. As in, the brick for the whole bottom (kiln sitter) layer is crumbling like crazy. So those are about $14 a piece, add a couple more than the 8 I know are needed to make 10, is $140. So- just to get the kiln up and running I'm looking at $422 and that's not even including the furniture.... I have seen newer/better condition kilns (with furniture and plug/cord) listed for $500... Is it better to cut my losses and get a different kiln OR put the $ into repairing this one? One additional question re the leads from the cord- comes with 4 colors, green, black, white, red. My understanding is that I don't attach the green, and don't need to use/ attach the red or white-which only leaves the black. Am I correct? I want to be able to get power to it so I can determine what needs to be fixed (whether I keep it or not). Thanks in advance for your insights!
  3. Perfect. Yeah I was looking at the wiring diagram and have taken off the sitter cover-can see where the hots go. Where the wires connect to the crimp connectors (and not covered by the white) looks iffy to me-the porcelain plugs that the elements come from are looking kinda brown/old. Once I get the plug connected I'll check the functionality of the elements to see if they need to be replaced (my guess is they will). Good to know about being able to get a new wiring harness. About venting-suggestions on this? It is in the garage which also has a side door-was planing to keep both open when firing-will this be good enough? I'm divided between being excited about all the potential projects and totally intimidated by all that needs to be doe to get the kiln going.... It's sort of like learning how to drive a car...
  4. IHello fellow newbies! see that I'm in good company with others who've picked up a 181. The odd thing with mine is it HAS no plug. Found and ordered the cord/plug combo...feeling more than a wee bit anxious about attaching it properly and whether any of the other wirings in the sitter need to/ can be replaced. Any advice on getting things going?
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