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  1. Hi all! I have recently inhereted a kiln that needs some love. I'm a little unsure of how much or what type exactly. There is glaze on the heating elements in spots and some damage to fire brick. What would you recommend? Images of kiln
  2. Hello and thanks in advance for the help and advice! I just got a Duncan Ea820-2 Kiln for my home studio. It already has a center peep hole in the lid. I am installing an ENVIRO-VENT 2 Kiln Vent (the kiln will be in my garage). Do I need to fill in the center peep hole and drill the 2 holes near the edge as directed in the instructions? Or will it function the same? If I do need to fill it, what is the best way to go about doing that? Also, it has some interior bricks that have some dings in them, what is the best product to fix those with? The elements all look good and I will "Kleenex" test them before I do my first (practice) firing. Anything else I should know before I start using it? I taught ceramics for years, but only used the industrial kilns at school so the home kiln ownership is new to me!
  3. Hey! our larger cone 10 kiln recently suffered some damage where two arch bricks shot through the top and now we are left with a gaping hole. Luckily the keystone was not damaged and every other brick seems to be in the correct spot and undamaged. Though some are sagging and some are pushed up, nothing else happened. I constructed a support for the inside of the kiln so nothing else would shift out of place, but my question is- what is the easiest way to fit those two bricks back into place. I did order a few new arch bricks in case something goes wrong, but it seems like I should just be able to add the new bricks in the existing hole via the top of the kiln, and then shift the sagging bricks back up and all will be good. Am I under thinking this rebuild? I cannot find any videos or tutorials about how to just add one or two bricks back into an arch. Everything is seems to show the initial build, or small repairs, nothing like what I am about to undertake.
  4. 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!
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