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  1. Bill— It’s not a matter of turning it in the right direction, it was more a matter of the mechanism behind the knob not acting as it did prior to that last firing. All of a sudden where before it had a natural stopping point at each one of those settings, it no longer did; in fact it would actually click in areas that didn’t have a marked label on the face. It seemed that it was out of sync with where the settings were supposed to be. I couldn’t really tell where “on” really was.
  2. Apparently you are just as technical as me, and another cock-eyed optimist to boot! ;0) I think psychologists call this behavior, "equity rescuing". I just checked and yes, the arrow should be in line with the flat part of the --ahem-- thingy. That being said, I will mention that this dial was part of the drama I mentioned above. In the first several firings, the arrow coincided with the labels on the face of the control panel, and I got a satisfying click at the Off, Overglaze, Ceramic and Hi Fire positions. Somehow during the firing when the elements first went bad, it went wonky and has remained so ever since (somehow my kiln guy could make it work but I have no idea how. I will contact him to ask and get back to you on that if you like.) Now it clicks when the arrow is at the 10 o'clock position, the Hi Fire position and Off. So I'm missing a click, and there's no way to settle if the works behind the dial have offset by some regular interval, such that I could just relabel the dial. And now that I have rewired for the new kiln (different power load) I can't plug it in to test at what setting the elements actually turn on, so sorry, friend. Maybe it needs some new dial works ....thingies... Oops, there go the brakes.... =^x^=
  3. John, here's what I did on my last successful bisque firing, using Bill's recommendation of reimagining the dial. I used "clock settings" though. I started at 10 o' clock and sat there for two hours, increased to 8:30 for an hour and 50 minutes, then to 7 o' clock for an hour and 10 minutes, then moved to "Overglaze" setting for two hours, then to "Ceramic". It shut off after an additional 2 hours and 40 minutes. Everything seemed to come out nicely and gave me around a 9.5 hour burn. After this I invested in a pyrometer so I could dial things in more scientifically. Now for the rest of the story. I did a total of 5 bisque firings with that kiln, and in the last one a couple of elements failed. Barely made it to temp and took ages to get there. So I priced out new elements, which I posted about on another thread. Found a supplier in MI that would make some for about half the price (Not Euclids, regretably). Paid to have them installed because I am not that person. ;0) Did a break in firing, which took quite a bit longer than expected, but I was experimenting with the firing schedule, using my shiny new pyrometer to see if I could replicate a "preheat" phase like you can do with a digital controller, so I wrote it off to user error. (Call me the Queen of Overthink.) Next I did a glaze load--my very first! The kiln barely got to cone 04 after 19 hours; I had to shut it off manually. My repairman did some troubleshooting --replacing every. single. part. to determine where the problem was. He did a tweak that improved the firing, but still only got to cone 04. Turned out the elements weren't made to spec--supplier used the wrong gauge wire and too many wraps, ergo, high resistance and low firing temperature. A bit of back and forth between supplier and repairman before this was admitted. Still waiting on the replacement elements, but they did offer store credit for my trouble (after I asked). During that one and only glaze firing I also noticed the fiber lid began to flake and dust onto my glazeware. Began to feel like the person who buys a "bargain car" that always needs repairs and thinks, "once I take care of the radiator, it will be reliable" but then the brakes go out. After all this my husband made me an offer I could not refuse: just buy a new kiln, get what you want, and be done (he'd just gotten a substantial raise). So I got an L&L Easy fire kiln, adding 50% to my capacity, and got a digital controller to boot. In the meantime, I did find a rigidizer to treat the kiln lid, so I will sell it, with the replacement elements when they come, to any taker willing to install them on his/her own. After all, it's been fully refurbished after this drama, and has 4 full shelves and a half shelf, all new, a pyrometer with thermocouple already installed, and the lid and floor just treated to harden it. Hopefully I can recoup some of what I put into it. So there ya have it. My joy is in my new kiln. Best of luck to you with yours. This would have been a much better story over a pint in some dusty pub, but best I can do via distance!
  4. I guess using this stuff is something I am likely to be doing as regular kiln maintenance? Do you find it necessary to use this on firebrick parts of kilns as well as the fiber parts? Just curious.
  5. Great suggestion! I immediately pulled up a lot of hits and found that Paragon makes one specifically for kilns for just under $14 a pint. This is a lifesaver--thanks!
  6. The notes on this say its a deflocculant for making slip; I guess the use as a rigidizer is insider knowledge! Am I supposed to use it as is, or am I supposed to mix it with water, and if so, what proportions? Same directions as stated for making slip?
  7. Any idea where I could find this stuff? It could at least make the kiln usable for low fire or glass work.
  8. I suspect the reason they price them so high is they would rather have you just buy one of their new kilns. Probably tired of people keeping their old Duncans running.
  9. Better to keep it here. John S won't get much help from me!
  10. Ye gods, man, that is the same jalopy I have!! With exactly the same heating problem. I just posted about it on another thread. But I just replaced my elements. Paragon wants around $75 per element. Mulitply by 8 and you are a fourth of the way to a new kiln. I tried to go cheaper and got custom elements from Krueger Pottery Supply at half the cost--they have to be stretched before installation--but I'm still not reaching anything above ^05-^04. That is with new relays, new switches, new sitter, the whole lot; not sure if my problem is that the elements are not spec (my kiln repair guy believes this) or if my flaking fiber lid is the problem--it is dusting everything in the chamber. So if you do decide to get new elements, I would humbly suggest not to go with anything other than the Paragon ones made specially for that kiln. I sure hope your lid is in good shape and that you didn't pay a lot for this one...
  11. Hi Peeps. I have a Duncan EA-820 that I just replaced the elements on, only to have the lid begin flaking and dusting all my glaze work; the kiln also misfired. Had to shut it off after 18 hours trying to reach ^6 when it leveled off below ^04. So. Much. Fun. I am wondering if the lid could be the cause of the kiln not reaching target temperature after just replacing the elements, or whether my kiln repair guy is correct in saying the elements are not up to spec. They were custom made by a reputable pottery supply place at half the cost of Paragon Kiln Company's parts, and came as coils which needed to be stretched before installation. They were broken in with a ^04 bisque firing before attempting that glaze firing. My kiln guy has been troubleshooting and all the parts other than elements, including sitter, switches, relays and the lot were tested out as a control to eliminate the chance they might be the problem. As of last two firings, it successfully reached ^04 but no higher. I could sell it as a low fire kiln to recoup some costs in good conscience and put it toward a shiny new L&L kiln if not for that flaky lid. I saw an archived thread that dealt with the question of ceramic fiber kiln lids and floors, and the suggestion to replace them with firebrick. How could that be done? And would it even be worth the cost and labor? Would love to hear some thoughts about this. Cat
  12. I have loads of bisqueware to glaze, and I'm wondering how long I have to wait after applying glaze to fire them? Is there a difference when I use a shino glaze as opposed to a celadon or an Amaco Potter's Choice glaze? I have a couple of pieces I need to have ready by Friday (two days away) that need a shino, so I'm hoping I have time to glaze and fire by Thursday.
  13. I've just put wash on my shelves, and read somewhere that I should bisque fire them first before doing a glaze firing with them. Is this really necessary? Wondering cuz I have tons of stuff to glaze and not so much greenware to bisque, and I'd rather not fire an empty (or almost empty) kiln.
  14. Okay, Bill, you nailed me! ;0) Yes, I finally accepted the need to invest in a pyrometer, and ordered a Skutt pyro a few days ago after reading all these posts. So in the meantime I've kiln-washed my shelves, and will be making a bunch of test tiles so when it arrives I can observe a bisque operation and prepare for a glaze test-firing.
  15. Is this true of any kiln that fires to ^6? Just wondering. My elements are new on my Duncan, rated to ^8. Just wondering how long I might expect them to last.
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