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Total Newbie Struggling With Gare 1820A With Kiln Sitter Lt 3Ks

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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$_1.JPG

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I use that fire right control-I wired it into my skutt kiln.


Heres the deal. put your final cone in sitter.


push in kiln start/power button on setter.

after two clicks on controller (light on fire light will light) then dial the dial to whatever hours tou want the kiln to be FULL on . Like you said 5 means in about 5 hours the kiln will be on full on all elements. then it takes whatever time to fire. So think of the contoller as a soak time or candeling time. I set it to 4 when all my work is bone dry and leave the lid cracked until 3 hours goes by then drop the lid.

If you have sculpture thats thick set the dial to 6-8 so it candles longer.

I hope this is clear.

I bought a spare one of these from E-bay as they are cheap and the instructions are in the box. I could send you a copy if you PM me your address

This unit is the pre computer controller that allows you to ramp up a kiln and have it shut off whitout doing it yourself.I only bisque with this kiln and tend to use 4 and 5 on dial depending how dry my work is.



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thanks so much for replying Mark. Yes my work is thick, so I shall go to dial 6-8 hours, and shall leave the lid cracked for a few hours. Yes please to emailing me the instructions, they may be the same as those I have  but worth a shot for more clarity on using the SET function in the recommended fire as above. My address is jane@janewelshart.com.au  thanks again, the electrician is coming today to finalise, and I'm hoping to do an empty test fire today... yippee!

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  • 3 years later...

I know this conversation is 4 years old but I have the same Kiln in my new school and am trying to figure out what settings on the dial I need to glaze my 06 pieces. 

Here's what I think I know....

Set the kiln sitter to a 9 hr fire time

Put a cone 06 in the sitter.

What I don't know is where to put the FireRight dial?

There is an old note on the wall that says "Glaze: #9-10 hrs". So, I set the FireRight to 9 yesterday but came in today to my cone not being melted and my pieces semi glazed. 

When I bisqued fired I set the FireRight to #1 and my Kiln Sitter to 13 hrs and they came out just fine (cone 04 clay)....

ALSO- can I refire this batch? and if so, should I pretend like they haven't been fired at all?

ANY advice is welcomed! I'm just going to be using 04 clay and 06 glazes with my students so I just need a consistant program.


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Hi Mhm!

I don't depend on my sitter for shut down at target temp - the cone mounted in the sitter, and timer ( I have an older model Skutt) are backups, imo. I'm watching the thermocouple readout and cone packs visible from the peep holes (wear appropriate eye protection!!). Should something happen, the sitter should shut down the kiln at about the right temp, and the timer should catch an overfire before total disaster, given we know about how long it takes to reach target temp - then add some time to that...

That said, your clay matures at cone 04, what cone are you bisquing to? 

Perhaps another forum member is familiar with your model's controls...

Refiring the pieces with partially melted glaze might be tricky; on t'other hand, likely they are not much good in current shape?

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I don't have one of these, so I may be wrong. What I am reading into all the comments from a few years ago is that there are two different meanings of the notion of time with this model.

First, the timer dial on the kiln sitter is for the maximum time that the kiln will be allowed to be on. If you set, for example, 9 hours on the sitter timer dial, the kiln will shut of at the sooner of a) the cone inside bends and the weight drops, or b)  the timer runs out. Having set 9 hours on the sitter timer, if the cone bends 8 hours in, the kiln will shut off and the timer will stop with 1 hour still on the dial. If the cone doesn't bend, the kiln will just shut off at 9 hours, what happened inside be damned. 

Second, the timer dial on the FireRight dial is the number of hours you want the kiln to be ramping up from cold to full on high. Typically, once a kiln has been turned up to high, it will still take several more hours at full heat until the target cone is reached. The technical question to consider each firing is how soon do you want this load to reach full on high? Some loads (damp greenware, thick sculptures) need to warm up slowly, while other loads (glazed and dry ware) can be heated faster. Set the FireRight set to the length of time desired to turn up to full power and set the sitter timer to that number of hours PLUS the additional length of time you expect the kiln to run on high until it is done (plus a further small amount of time so the timer doesn't inadvertently kick everything off should the total firing run a little bit longer because of a heavy load). 

What happened with your failed glaze load is the previous teacher left a note saying 9-10 hours. That's not an unreasonable length of total time for a cone 06 glaze firing. That's what the sitter timer should be set to. Then you set the FireRight timer to the same 9 hours, and it spent the entire 9 hours warming up. It had just reached high when the sitter kicked off. The ware was underfired as it never got hot enough. Instead, you should set the FireRight to 3-4 hours and it will cook on high for another 4-6 hours until the cone bends.

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