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Found 6 results

  1. 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!
  2. Hi, is there a way to slow cool an older non digital kiln where I manually change temps and has a kiln sitter? I want to try some of the Coyote Cone 6 crystalline glazes but I only have an older Electric paragon kiln. Any ideas would be appreciated!
  3. I have an old manual L&L kiln that has an analog pyrometer, 3 thermocouples attached to a central gauge, which recently pooped out on me. I came to realize that I don't need to have them in at all times, since I only need to check the temperatures occasionally in order to turn the switches up or down. They were never really accurate anyway, since I could fiddle with the dial and the needle would fluctuate wildly, but gave me a general sense of where the kiln was. At first I looked for a digital version of the thing I was using, but then since I couldn't find one, I thought that I may not even need that. From what I'm reading, they shouldn't stay in all the time anyway if they're not connected to the control panel, right? And then I won't have little piles of flaky black crust landing on my shelves. So in looking for a pyrometer that I could just insert into the 3 zones, get the readings and remove it, I saw an infrared thermometer that goes well beyond the temperature I'd need. Does anyone use something like this to measure inside your kiln up to cone 6? Is a regular digital pyrometer with a thermocouple better? I just want to have a way to see where I am with my firing, to know when to turn up the settings and watch for cones to start dropping. I'm not doing anything fancy at all with my glazing, and with bisque I pretty much turn the dials at set times and then let the kiln sitter drop on its own. I plan to get a new kiln at some point in the future, and relegate this to bisque only, so this doesn't need to be an expensive or high tech option! https://www.amazon.com/Infrared-Thermometer-Non-Contact-Flashlight-Temperature/dp/B079HHSHLQ/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=digital%2Bceramic%2Bpyrometer&qid=1584029731&s=hi&sr=1-4&th=1
  4. Hi all! I just finished converting an old electric kiln to gas. The firing will be totally manual, no kiln sitter involved. Having never fired a gas kiln, I know my learning curve will be steep! But I need a few pointers to get started. I want to start out with a glaze firing, ^5, mainly because I don’t have any greenware to bisque right now. I have a few “sacrificial pieces” that I am willing to use to start the learning process. I have a pyrometer and witness cones ready to go. So, my main question has to do with ramping at this point. How fast do I want the kiln to increase in temperature on the way up to ^5? The pieces I have are made from Laguna 52 Buff, and glazed with Spectrum underglaze and/or Spectrum ^5 glaze. Idk if that makes a difference, or not. I am a wheel thrower, and I typically throw thin. Don’t know if that matters, or not, either! I realize that glaze firing in particular can vary based on the desired effect, but I’m looking for a basic framework to start from. Based on my small test fire (only brought the kiln up to about 900-1000*, empty, to decide if I need one burner or two) my biggest fear is that the temperature will rise too quickly, and the heat stress will cause issues-up to and including cracking/exploding. Thanks! Amy
  5. Hi I have been sculpting for years, but just getting into firing with no training. I have a Gare 1820A and kiln sitter LT 3KS, and I understand (kinda) most of the instruction manual, though I'm finding it contradicting itself, and thus I am confused. i understand the kiln sitter part, that that controls the max temp with the cone inserted. As for the kiln instructions... It says "For routine firings, simply turn the Fire-Right Automatic kiln switch on, set the desired turn up time, and let it do its job automatically. The numbers on the dial are approximate hours. A setting of "5" will turn up the kiln from off to full within about 5 hours....... When it is desired to set the kiln manually, use the "SET" position of the control knob to turn the kiln at a rate of 1% per second. For example, to set the kiln on "low" overnight (approximately 30%on), move the knob to "set" for 30 seconds... three operations of the "heating" light.... then return the knob to the "hold" position. When ready to complete the firing, move the knob to the desired turn up time". Then later it says in recommended settings; "Ceramic Fire (bisque and glazes) all peepholes closed 1. set FireRight- 30% power (3 flashes on heat indicator light) 2.move dial to #4 3. kiln will continue to fire until Kiln sitter shuts off" I assumed that the gradual turn up means you don't need a "candling", so you could just use the automatic function. But it is suggesting to set on 30% power, but it does not say for how long. Is that overnight candling, or how long? Or is this just meaning that a bisque firing only requires 30% of power for the whole cycle? Previously it said just use the auto turn up, so why here recommend the set function?.... confusion!! Another question, I have seen a youtube video of an earlier model and others who recommend to keep the lid ajar for a couple of hours, is that necessary with this graduated increase in power/temp? Thanks SO much, if you can shed any light on this
  6. Hello all. I am new to this forum and pottery. I recently purchased my first new-used kiln. A Cress B23-H. I think I finally have it set up and am ready to fire. However, I do not have a pyrometer yet and the kiln-sitter does not have a timer. I have been doing extensive reading about kilns and firing. All schedules and firing guides and info speak in terms of degrees/hour. I know I need to get a pyrometer but I’ve spent lots of money getting the critical stuff set up so I’m out of funds at the moment. But I am anxious to get firing! So my question is: does anyone have any tips on firing without a pyrometer? And my kiln sitter does not have a timer. I ,of course, use cones and I can fire and see how long it takes for the cone to bend, but that doesn’t quite giving me a rate of heating up when there are multiple phases before the target cone bends and the temp increase is reached. I would appreciate any of your expertise’s!
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