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Cracks in the bottom of brand new kiln


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I recently received my brand new Skutt KM-1027, touch screen included, and set it up. It is on level concrete, placed perfectly centered on the stand.

I fired it once empty, and once to cone 6, 3/4 full.

I took all the shelves out to flip them for a bisque run, and saw that there are hairline cracks on the bottom of the kiln. It was in perfect condition upon arrival.

According to the internet, it is just settling. But this is UNsettling, given how much I paid for it. I’ll attach images.

Is this normal or should I be making repairs (I do have liquid brick repair)?

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Perfectly normal. There's a lot of stress on that slab as it expands and contracts very unevenly during firings. Something's gotta give, so you get hairline cracks. Check every few months to make sure they're not getting bigger or cracking all the way through, but it's not likely that will happen if everything is set up properly. Make sure the kiln can't rock at all. If it does, put some sheet metal shims under the feet to get it sitting evenly. If it rocks at all, that means the floor slab can flex, which causes bigger cracks.

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tumbleweed, it looks as though you use half shelves.   you do not need 3 posts for each half.   the pointy ends fit nicely on a single post at each end.  of course, there is one at the widest point of the arc.   saves space on the shelves and you are not heating something extra.  

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55 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

If they made a more all supportive stand this would take some stress off-instead they hang the outer walls off onto the bottom slab. I alway put a better support under bottom slab myself.

But as Neil says its normal with the type of setup.

Even with really good support underneath, you'll get hairline cracks from the expansion of the slab. The mortar joints are stronger than the bricks, so the stress is relieved with the bricks cracking. They're not a problem as long as they don't go all the way through.

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I just have never liked the small stand with all the wall weight on unsupported overhung bricks.Maybe another $5to9$ piece if metal or a bit larger stand would also cure this.Poor engineering for the cheapest cost. . Manufactures get to pick and choose  where to spend a few dollars more as L$L did on the element holders for example . Heck Skutt now uses stainless steel screws after decades of not using them-70s -80s. I know every nickel counts but really. Let the stand support the walls like a house foundation . We know that works well with any building . I was going to build a house and  have the foundation be 2 feet smaller that the walls to save  a few $$$. good idea well no the wall needs the support?? Same situation really.Its my pet peeve 

Edited by Mark C.
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Maybe consider buying the Skutt stand that goes with the 1027. That thing I think could hold a tank. The nearly $400 price tag seemed a bit high at the time but don't regret it at all. It fits the kiln perfectly and the wheels are great. If you do get it don't get confused about the wheels. You really can't just roll it around because of the venting BUT you can roll it out of the way or change location really easily without disassembly and reassembly and that is really nice.

I get it. After shelling out almost three grand it seems like something broke. We have a big stand underneath but I don't flip over bottom shelf between bisque and glaze firing so don't know if it has cracks or not with big stand but I assume it does, the other three with the cheapo kiln stands all do/did (sold one) and as mentioned by others has never caused a problem. 

 

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Even with a really, really , really solid stand, the floor will get hairline cracks. Even with when everything is sitting solid with no rocking, the slab will still crack due to expansion and contraction during the firings. The regular stands work just fine, and will hold your kiln safely for many, many years.

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So what I am hearing from Neil and other experts is:  
A new kiln must make its own new cracks and, 
as the kiln becomes older, those new cracks become old cracks, and can be ignored.  Sort of like cracks in a new road.  
So it is the cracks that grow with age that need to be watched.

LT
 

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6 minutes ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

So what I am hearing from Neil and other experts is:  
A new kiln must make its own new cracks and, 
as the kiln becomes older, those new cracks become old cracks, and can be ignored.  Sort of like cracks in a new road.  
So it is the cracks that grow with age that need to be watched.

LT
 

Exactly! As long as the cracks don't go all the way through, resulting in a slab that is cracked into pieces, it's nothing to worry about.

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5 hours ago, neilestrick said:

Even with a really, really , really solid stand, the floor will get hairline cracks. Even with when everything is sitting solid with no rocking, the slab will still crack due to expansion and contraction during the firings. The regular stands work just fine, and will hold your kiln safely for many, many years.

yep, as I said the others are on regular stands and they have all been fine. The larger oval has spent well over 10 years on one and they all have the hairline cracks from the bricks heating and cooling BUT the Skutt stand on wheels is very convenient since I can easily move it around and I have to agree with Mark, because its so solid and wraps around the whole kiln it just feels better have that big one under there and it will hold that kiln forever B).

but it do cost close to $400 so there is that.

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