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How can I slow cool a non digital manual older kiln?

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At school, when firing down, if I had special items in the kiln, I would use a metal twisty tie around the setter prong hook and the drop tab. Easy. then do as Liam says on running your switches. Always use the timer back up to set the time you want to fire down. That way if you forget you are taken care of.




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Wow, thanks everyone for the great input! I will definitely do the Hammer prop and back down to medium. The twisty tie is a great idea in case I am not right there when it drops. I will get a digital pyrometer when I get some $$. I do cone packs inside so I am pretty in tune with how it fires but I know with the slow cool crystalline glazes sustained slow drop in temp really matters! 

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Get a used kiln, and put it's top above yours, I read someone successfully changed their capabilities with that bit of extra insulation. The bottom will help a bit more if your inclined.

I was thinking the saggers would have to be heated that slow, to cool slow, so other clay and glazes outside of saggers may not work. But simply having a full load will slow cooling some.


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You definitely want a digital pyrometer, without it chances of failure are imminent.

It helps to think of yourself as a computerized kiln controller.

Here what I used to do.

  1. Once the sitter dropped I would lift the hammer and push in the button then gently lower the hammer back down.
  2. My former ^8 kiln had settings of Low, Mid, High and Hi-Fire with Hi-Fire for ^6.
  3. Dial down the knob(s) to somewhere between Mid and High.
  4. I would babysit the kiln with a close eye on the pyrometer until the kiln reached the desired temp
  5. Now I would continually adjust the knobs higher or lower to closely stay at the needed temp for as long as needed.
  6. Keep detailed records of dial settings, time it took to reach a certain temp and anything else you think might be relevant. You would be surprised at what you may not think important today only to find it to become a valuable point of reference latter on in time. This will make it easier to replicate future firings

Good Luck

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I have been using a Skutt dual pyrometer  set up for twelve years,  I wanted something I could use in several different kilns.   You can't program it like a digital kiln  but you can do a hold or a slow cool very accurately.    I just finished a project of thick glass casting in molds,  I only had one out of eighty that didn't anneal properly,   it  cracked several weeks after the firing.    It took a lot of tests to get the firing schedule right,  once I figured that out I knew when I had to be watching the kiln and adjusting the temperature.     Denice

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