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I Got My Brand New Kiln Controller!


graybeard

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Hi all

 

Well, I have my new kiln controller! Hooked it up Saturday night and fired my

first load of ^5 bisque Monday evening. Everything worked like a

Charm,I can't even begin to tell you how cool it was not to have to run out to the garage (in the rain) every hour to flip switches, I really like this thing.

 

Along about 1 am it occurred to me that I had (without really thinking about it) closed the kiln lid. So the question is:

 

How do people that program their kiln controllers, then start firing a load

(bisque or glaze) and come back 10 hours later, deal with the lid? Do they leaveit closed the entire time? Do they leave it cracked open the entire time??

 

Enquiring minds like to know!!!

 

Again, thanks fer all yer help.

 

Graybeard

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congratulations, you are in for a treat!  you have not said whether you have a vent or not.  i do not so this is what i have always done.  

 

peepholes are open and i prop my lid about half an inch.  i have some broken kiln bricks and some bits are very flat and about 1/2 inch high.  since i fire the same way each time, i have figured out approximately when the water vapor will be gone and nothing fogs the glass or mirror that i hold above the open lid.  so i leave it alone until i figure it has been long enough and  once the vapor is gone, i gently close the lid, put the plugs into the peepholes and go to sleep.  or whatever.

 

since you are an organized person and keep track of your firings, try to keep an eye on a normal firing and determine how long it takes to remove the vapors.  after a few firings, you will know when to close it totally.  you may have already discovered this.

 

leaving a way for the vapor to get outside the kiln helps the electrical parts that the vapor would otherwise hurt on its way out.  the reason i was told to prop it is that the vapors contain harmful stuff that will wreck the controls in the box since the only escape openings other than the peepholes are through the electrical controls.  NATURALLY, it is better to have a kiln vent.

 

closing the hot lid is interesting.  i have one side of an old broken channel lock which i use to lift the lid a tiny bit and a mirror on a stick to push the piece of brick aside onto the control box top.  from there it goes onto a spare kiln post to cool.

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You do not need to crack the lid. Just keep the top spy hole open durning the entire firing if you don't have a downdraft vent. If you do have a downdraft vent, keep the lid and all the spy holes closed for the entire firing. Having the lid cracked can cause an error code in the controller if too much heat is escaping, or at the very least waste a lot of electricity and put a lot of wear on the relays as the controller keeps turning on the elements to maintain temperature.

 

Like Min said, I hope you meant cone 05 bisque or cone 5 glaze, not cone 5 bisque.

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I close the lid about 5 hours after I hit the start button. +/-   I always run a 2 hr. high candle at 190F, regardless of how dry I think the pieces are. Then ramp at 160F an hour: so in five hours it is around 700F +/- .. I keep the lid propped open about 3/4" of inch up until then. Double check with a mirror (habit). I save my vent for the high end; when I want to cool it down to my soak temps. (crystalline). I have four roof top exhaust fans that draw 36,000 CFM... :)...if needed.

 

Nerd

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Pretty much all clay should be bisque fired to cone 06-04. Cone 03 max. You want it to be porous for glazing. At cone 5 you've completely vitrified the clay and you'll have a hard time getting glaze to stick since it's no longer porous. If you're using brushing glazes you may be able to get some glaze on them, but it'll be tough.

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Sounds to me like I have it all bass-ackwards. I was hoping I would be able to

use my low fire glazes to glaze the pieces at ^05. guess Im outa business until

I can make a trip to Chicago ceramic supply.

 

Ill try to glaze & fire to ^05 fer S&Grinns Ill let you know how it works Saturday

 

Thanks Guys

 

graybeard

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I personal think it mentally easier to start over and make new stuff. You will find you can if you really work on it get glaze to stick but when it's all said and done you will have spent more time than just making new stuff.

When I overtired a load in my electric (10 cubic feet) I just threw it out and started over. I posted about this at the time a few years ago. I moved on as soon as I opened the kiln. It was not an electronic  controller issue but a sitter issue and the timer shut it down but it got hot. You will find cone 5 is very hard to get anything other than paint (maybe spray paint) to stick

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Sorry graybeard we have all been in a similar situation.  Hang on to a few of your favorite pieces and try glazing them later when you are firing a glaze load. In college I spent most of my time throwing, cutting it in half, throwing,cutting in half and throwing, cutting in half. You just completed part of your ceramics education.   Denice

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@graybeard, no point in hanging your head in shame, all that will get you is a stiff neck and maybe a closer look at your belly button. With ceramics things are always screwing up, either from our own mistakes or any number of a myriad of things. 

 

 

Try glaze those pots or not, you will learn something either way. I think it’s much easier for those of us who make lots and lots of work to just say toss it out but harder for beginning potters who haven’t.

 

Sorry it wasn't just a typo.

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How do people that program their kiln controllers, then start firing a load

(bisque or glaze) and come back 10 hours later, deal with the lid? Do they leaveit closed the entire time? Do they leave it cracked open the entire time??

 

 

 

I started off with a small and quite old kiln that I acquired very cheaply (but it only fired to 1200°C max) and have since moved on to something a little larger and hotter and much younger.

 

Neither of them will work if the lid is open - I find it hard to believe that so many other electric kilns will - it can't be 100% safe.

 

I close the lid (obviously) and put all the bungs in at about 400°C.

 

My tutors, between them, managed a 5 day hold on a bisque fire a couple of years ago - that was all toast, fortunately none of my stuff was in there.

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How do people that program their kiln controllers, then start firing a load

(bisque or glaze) and come back 10 hours later, deal with the lid? Do they leave it closed the entire time? Do they leave it cracked open the entire time??

 

 

Neither of them will work if the lid is open - I find it hard to believe that so many other electric kilns will - it can't be 100% safe.

 

I close the lid (obviously) and put all the bungs in at about 400°C.

 

 

 

 

The kiln at the centre will not switch on with the door (front-opening) open.  It amazes me too when I read "propped the lid......."

 

With both the centre kiln and my own, no bungs, no lid open, set to fire, go back 7 days (centre) / 18 hours (my kiln) later.

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Just getting around to poking at this thread mainly because I just did my first bisque firing the other day. Now I have my Kiln down draft vented so no need for me to prop the lid or pull a peep hole, but I wonder why you would need to do those regardless of the kiln being vented? I understand the thought process behind it, but that assumes that Kilns are Air tight, which they are not. So gas and steam vapor will escape regardless of lid and peep holes being closed. Am I wrong, and If I am? why aren't their posting of peoples  kilns being damaged from blow outs do to forgetting to prop the lid and such?

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If your kiln isn't vented you should leave the top peep open to allow gasses out. Kilns are not air tight, but are too tight to vent well without a peep open. I think propping the lid came from the days when kilns just had on-off switches on each section or element, so the lid needed to be propped to keep the kiln from heating too quickly. I had an old Evenheat like that, and if you didn't prop the lid you'd blow things up. But with low-med-high or infinite switches or digital controllers it's not necessary.

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If your kiln isn't vented you should leave the top peep open to allow gasses out. Kilns are not air tight, but are too tight to vent well without a peep open. I think propping the lid came from the days when kilns just had on-off switches on each section or element, so the lid needed to be propped to keep the kiln from heating too quickly. I had an old Evenheat like that, and if you didn't prop the lid you'd blow things up. But with low-med-high or infinite switches or digital controllers it's not necessary.

Makes sense! Thanks Neil

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