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Hi all,

I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada.  I have historically been a spring/summer/fall potter but I have been hand building this winter in my basement.  I have a medium sized paragon electric kiln in my un-heated garage.  I was thinking I might fire it up the coming Friday, with the weather expected to be -10C.  Is this safe from a cracking perspective.  The work is in my basement and not cold, but would be transferred to a cold kiln.  I use a kiln sitter.  I could lengthen the warming stage, but I am more concerned with the cool down (am I being rational)?

thanks for the input

 

~Mal

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You shouldn't have any real problems as long as you don't open the kiln too soon. Let it cool down all the way if you have time, or at least down to 150F. If it's digital kiln, you'll need to warm up the thermocouple to above freezing or the controller won't be happy. Also, make sure the pots are totally dry before taking them out in the cold.

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Hey Neighbour!

You'll be fine.  You mentioned having a kiln sitter, which won't require heating up, so you're golden.  I'm going to load a bisque myself this weekend. I've never had cracking problems and my kiln is outside in a garden shed. Like Neil said, as long as you let things cool off enough, there are no problems. If you do wind up pulling your pots out a bit warm, just set them on a wooden surface, or something else that won't transfer too much cold to the pots.

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In my experience with a kiln in my shed in a Canadian winter, the worst part is trying to not freeze to death while you load the kiln.  I blast my little space heater to bring the room up to 1 degree or so before I start. 

Also the cold helps a little in reducing the amount of times I sneak out to check on the temperature while it cools...

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Hi,  I also live in Canada , my kiln is in an unheated garage.  I normally don’t fire when the temp is below -20s but I fire when the temp comes up I warm the kiln for about an hour until I feel that the pots will not get a chill as I load a board at a time.  The garage is attached so not to bad running out to turn it up & check.  When the timer trips the kiln off I turn the dials from high to medium and timer to 30 mins. & switch it back on to soak.  I check again to be sure all worked as planned  then leave it to cool overnight.

Joy

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