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Olympic Electric Lid Question

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I have an 18 series Olympic electric. Since I bought this second hand, I was monitoring the temperature with a pyrometer in case for some reason the kiln sitter did not work right.  It did. But when I was sitting there testing, I noticed that the lid had lifted up about an eighth of an inch. I could actually see inside the kiln. Is this normal?  I also read something about adjusting the screws on the straps in the manual I really didn't understand.  The electric I used in the past was a Skutt. 

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The kiln materials do expand and contract, when firing, so this is likely normal.  Most kilns I've ever used have a gap, between the lid and body, when firing, where you can see glowing.

In my classroom, I warn students about it, as a reason to keep a respectful distance, when it is firing.

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You can use some self supporting cones, or cone packs, to monitor the heatwork on each layer.  But I would imagine the heat loss, due to the lid gap, is fairly minimal.

If it does seem to be an issue, you could do any empty "layer" , very close to the lid.  This would help keep your actual top layer insulated.  

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Thanks Neil. Read the post. Makes sense about the lid changing during the firing. I noticed some small cracks in the mortar two places in the middle. So that is what is happening. Benzine suggesting an empty top shelf sounds like a good idea. My next phase is glaze testing. I am going to place regular cones on the shelves as well. 

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Good to know....but this little guy is ancient.....like 20 years old. It still has the stove type dials on the individual sections. When I was looking at replacement elements, they appeared to be all the same for this model.   It does not appear to have been fired much beyond cone 04, but the underside of the lid is curiously discolored. 

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When a new kiln ,fibre mind, developed a biggish gap I rang the builder. His reply gave me a different slant on life...Put a rock on it. So I did every firing for the next.....years.

Can solve a few of life's problems that advice.

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1 hour ago, Babs said:

When a new kiln ,fibre mind, developed a biggish gap I rang the builder. His reply gave me a different slant on life...Put a rock on it. So I did every firing for the next.....years.

Can solve a few of life's problems that advice.

A spare shelf or two would distribute the weight evenly. 

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point taken.....maybe just over the handle....I will see if I can get to cone 6.....that's what I am worried about....that's a huge leak.....remember....I am used to 9 inches of soft brick.....I sat there thinking that surely the little beast would melt!  I could put my hand on the outside of my downdraft. 

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48 minutes ago, MFP said:

point taken.....maybe just over the handle....I will see if I can get to cone 6.....that's what I am worried about....that's a huge leak.....remember....I am used to 9 inches of soft brick.....I sat there thinking that surely the little beast would melt!  I could put my hand on the outside of my downdraft. 

Isn't it amazing how efficient little electric kilns are compared to gas?  Only need 2.5 inches of brick for cone 8, 3 inch brick for cone 10, amazing to me!

When I first got my electric I was amazed at how fast it could power through to cone 6 on a fast firing, and then be cold the next day.  I love it though, I can bisque friday, glaze Saturday, and Sunday can glaze again if I still have bisque leftover or I can run a luster fire! Try that in a 9 inch brick downdraft :lol:

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I had a Skutt I used for bisque. I stupidly let someone talk me into selling it to them a few years ago when I was despairing of ever getting things going again.  We didn't have all the bells and whistles that exist today.  This little guy is supposed to be cone 10 but since there are not any good cone 10 electric glazes....looks like it's gas for cone 10 for me.  I still have all my glazes. Now If I could ever find my glaze book, I could convert them. I still have a partial bag of Kingman

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Strategically placed rocks where the lid rests on the wall will be ok.

Want to be able to lessen the gap or remove it but still allow the lid to expand/move or you may damage the lid and hinges

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Thanks Babs.....with the wall to support it, it should be fine. Will let you know.  I am in the tedious process of making up glazes samples. 

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20 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Isn't it amazing how efficient little electric kilns are compared to gas?  Only need 2.5 inches of brick for cone 8, 3 inch brick for cone 10, amazing to me!

3 inch brick is not necessary to get to cone 10. If it's rated to cone 10 with 3 inch brick, it's most likely rated to cone 10 with 2.5 inch brick. It's more about the wattage than the brick thickness. The most common exceptions I've run into are the little 120 volt baby kilns, which are so underpowered that they require additional insulation to get the higher rating.

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3 hours ago, neilestrick said:

3 inch brick is not necessary to get to cone 10. If it's rated to cone 10 with 3 inch brick, it's most likely rated to cone 10 with 2.5 inch brick. It's more about the wattage than the brick thickness. The most common exceptions I've run into are the little 120 volt baby kilns, which are so underpowered that they require additional insulation to get the higher rating.

Olympics kilns are either cone 8 or cone 10, same wattage, voltage, amperage, only difference is 2.5" brick vs. 3" brick.  Could just be clever marketing or whatever but that's how they do things.

I know 3 inch brick isnt required for cone 10, I went to cone 10 with 2 inch fiber, but there is less wasted energy!

Edited by liambesaw

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I confirmed with Olympic directly that it is a cone 10 kiln.  But since there are very few decent cone 10 oxidation glazes, I will do 10 in the gas beast with my glazes I already have.  I cannot imagine firing this little guy to 6 much less 10.   I did discover something interesting....the shelves I bought are smaller than the original shelves.....and the next size larger would be too big. This actually turns out to be good. The original shelves fit really tight....so I can put that tight shelf on the top and that will help keep the heat in.

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