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So I got another kiln....


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The cart and the horse in the wrong order but, picked up a Skutt 1227 today for $150, couldn't pass it up. Bricks and elements are in decent shape, whoever moved it last knocked a few good thumb sized chunks out and there are a few hairline cracks but otherwise solid except for the floor, it's kinda ugly, very bottom is in good shape though so I could flip it or swap the lid. It has 2 floor sections, is that normal or did they add one for support?

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has ever used kilnparts.com. Looks like I could pick up an entire modern control box for $600.  Then add thermocouples and feeder wires. I assume I would need to replace the elements if I did that, not sure the old ones were different like newer ones are for the middle/ top bottom. That'd be pretty sweet though if I could upgrade it and only be out 1500 or so.

 

 

Edited by shawnhar
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The lid on this kiln was probably replaced and it was put underneath the floor for mass.  I have this same model of Skutt and the bottom is cool,  I recently bought a new kiln that would replace my smaller Paragon.  I threw  everything away  but the lid and I put it under the floor.  You can always toss the cracked up floor and just have one layer.  My Skutt is thirty years old and I am on my third lid,  the Paragon was 45 years old and too crumbly to repair.    Denice

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Element resistance for both the KM and KS models for 240V 1P is approximately 13 ohms for the top and bottom sections, 16 ohms for the middle. The extra floor slab is probably for support. If you don't like the added height, remove one of them and put a steel plate for support.

If I were you, I'd go all out and build myself an external control box with 3 zones.

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Thanks! - I do hope to upgrade it. I had looked at the wall mounted controller but it doesn't look like it works the way I thought it would, and it does NOT have zone control. I'd rather have the complete functionality without dealing with the dials and timer and kiln sitter, was hoping to remove all that and add thermocouples and a control box so it works the way my little km818 does.

Maybe I'm missing something about that control box or maybe I need to buy an Arduino, lol.

That's good to know about the bottom, the lid on it looks better than the other sections so they must have put the old one on the bottom.

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Any broken piece that is above the element does not need to be repaired. Just remove the broken section and carry on. For breaks that are below the element, as Bill said be very careful that you do not get it on the element. I usually just pin the broken sections in place and then replace the brick when I change the elements. I don't usually even deal with broken sections under 2 inches wide, just pin the element in place so it can't flop out.

Build your own external box with zones if you're handy enough. Remove the sitter  and switches, and connect each section of the kiln to the box with jumper cords, like an L&L Jupiter. Otherwise, you can buy a complete KM control box and mount it to your kiln. 

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IMG_20190504_163144.jpg.833ecce5f3ea0e7a6acaee347ef5ae7b.jpgShawn, this is alittle different, but along the same lines. The kiln body was an old skutt ks model, the control box was salvaged from a modern skutt kiln that had to be scrapped. I took Neal's external box idea to heart a couple years ago (he loves external boxes) and wired it accordingly. The control box has no modifications other than the feed wires coming from the kiln, (which are normally covered).

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If you are interested in the type of wire that normally gets used for this kind of setup, and know someone that has a commercially manufactured wall mount style controller, you can ask them what type of wire it uses.  Most  wire will have information printed on or stamped into the jacket that would include a part number that can be looked up online to determine the temperature rating. It might even have the temperature rating printed directly on the jacket.   Common wire you might find at a home store is usually rated to around 90C or just under 200F.  Various high temperature wire is available in the range of 200C to 250C, or about 400 to 500F. And there are some more exotic types that go even hotter. 

The exact way that the wire is used may affect the temperature ratings a bit. The fact that the wire is exposed to open air and not in a conduit shared with other wires helps a bit with temperature concerns. But the fact that this wire powers a kiln, which is a high current device with an automatic controller, can hurt.  However, the biggest concern that jumps out is what appears to be a lack of electrical insulation at the connection points.  I sure hope that you are being very careful. You probably should have someone knowledgeable in electrical wiring look over your setup to evaluate the safety.  

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On 5/4/2019 at 4:23 PM, Johnmicheal said:

IMG_20190504_163144.jpg.833ecce5f3ea0e7a6acaee347ef5ae7b.jpgShawn, this is alittle different, but along the same lines. The kiln body was an old skutt ks model, the control box was salvaged from a modern skutt kiln that had to be scrapped. I took Neal's external box idea to heart a couple years ago (he loves external boxes) and wired it accordingly. The control box has no modifications other than the feed wires coming from the kiln, (which are normally covered).

Nice setup-just needs a littlke sheet metal for protection from touching the loose wires.Just guard-maybe an L shaped piece so the wires are still cooled well.

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On 5/4/2019 at 6:23 PM, Johnmicheal said:

this is alittle different, but along the same lines. The kiln body was an old skutt ks model, the control box was salvaged from a modern skutt kiln that had to be scrapped. I took Neal's external box idea to heart a couple years ago (he loves external boxes) and wired it accordingly. The control box has no modifications other than the feed wires coming from the kiln, (which are normally covered).

I just took a closer look at your picture- why are there only two jumper cords feeding the elements? If I'm seeing it correctly, it looks like you took two 3-wire cords and used them as the 6 feeder wires? Where's the ground wire? You have to ground each section, or you've got a dangerous situation on your hands. Each section of the kiln should have its own 3 wire jumper cord to the control box, with 2 hots and a ground. The jumpers should be secured to the cover boxes on the kiln with cord grips.

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23 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

Nice setup-just needs a littlke sheet metal for protection from touching the loose wires.Just guard-maybe an L shaped piece so the wires are still cooled well.

Agreed  looks pretty nice.

No bulkhead connectors makes me wonder about a cover since these appear crimped in place. I am assuming 3#10 cord is split between 3 circuits which 1-1/2 circuits per cord which  is a little non conventional. Equipment ground, should be to you cover and thoroughly fastened to kiln.

For the bulkhead connector a decent cord grip is easy.  As to wire temp I use Mg (mica glass) which is overkill but still find the ends burn and degrade over time at the element connectors so when you cover this it may degrade at these points or the nearby thermoplastic depending on how cool it stays. Kiln manufactures are smart in that they often bring in the main wiring in a cool spot at or near the bottom and provide a terminal block to run the higher temp wire from that point. 

Overall neat looking - stay safe

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Ideally, you want to be using 105C rated wire, not 90C like they sell at the hardware store. McMaster Carr sells SEOOW cord that works well. I would also cover the ends of the jumper wires  with insulation sleeves inside the cover boxes. There's a good change they'll burn up if you don't.

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Just now, neilestrick said:

Ideally, you want to be using 105C rated wire, not 90C like they sell at the hardware store. McMaster Carr sells SEOOW cord that works well. I would also cover the ends of the jumper wires  with insulation sleeves inside the cover boxes. There's a good change they'll burn up if you don't.

Never seen them covered, maybe ceramic wire nuts?

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4 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

Ideally, you want to be using 105C rated wire, not 90C like they sell at the hardware store. McMaster Carr sells SEOOW cord that works well. I would also cover the ends of the jumper wires  with insulation sleeves inside the cover boxes. There's a good change they'll burn up if you don't.

You are referring to the fiber sleeve insulation I assume?

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7 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

Never seen them covered, maybe ceramic wire nuts?

Not the ends where they are stripped back to bare wire and connected to the elements. The length that is inside the control box. On a setup where the system isn't external, the power cord and all other non-insulated wires are behind an insulating baffle. Everything on the other side of the baffle (feeder wires) are high temp insulated wire. So when you have non-high temp wires going directly to the elements, like in this case or on the L&L Jupiter or DaVinci models, you have to insulate those wires with sleeving. Otherwise the plastic coating will melt and the exposed wires will overheat or even contact each other or the metal jacket and short out. Insulated sleeving is cheap. Get the coated stuff so it won't unravel when you cut it.

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