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old Dawson Kiln sitter help needed understanding how to bisque


HelenL
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Hi,

I have bought an old kiln and the instructions say:- " 1.Set #1 (top) indicator knob to 5 1/2.       2. Set FireRight _30% power (3 flashes on heat indicator light)        3. Move dial to #2. 4. kiln will continue to fire until kiln sitter shuts off.

None of this makes sense to me. At the top of the kiln I have the fire Right which I set to 51/2. I have set the cone sitter up. But at the bottom of the kiln there is another knob with no.s from 1 to 7.

I would like to do a bisque fire cone 4.

 

Thanks 

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3 hours ago, HelenL said:

I would like to do a bisque fire cone 4.

I am thinking you want to Bisque to 04 not 4. Can you post make and model of kiln? The sitter is made by Dawson, the maker of the kiln and model no. will  be on a plate likely near the power cord or side of the control box. The sitter simply will shutoff your kiln at 04. or whatever cone you place in it.  This model sitter also has a countdown timer as a redundant safety to shut off the kiln.  For bisque you need to go relatively slow so this amounts to some combination of reduced power. Make and model probably gets me a manual or wiring diagram which would allow me to understand what each dial will do.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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helen, if you are new to this website, you might look around to see that questions are usually posted to areas where questions can be answered by topic.   your question belongs in the section dealing with equipment.  look for Equipment Use and Repair.  

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The FireRight top knob is an early version of automating the ramp up in temperature. The numbers on the dial approximate the number of hours it will use ramping up from cold to full heat, so you don't have to go back every hour and turn up another regular switch. I'm not exactly sure what the bottom knob does or why it should be set to a particular number. Need to know the make and model, as Bill suggests, to find a manual for it. I have recollection of an old kiln that used the second knob to set a final power level dependent on what is being fired. The kiln sitter, of course, is a final shutoff.

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12 hours ago, HelenL said:

I have bought an old kiln and the instructions say:- " 1.Set #1 (top) indicator knob to 5 1/2.       2. Set FireRight _30% power (3 flashes on heat indicator light)        3. Move dial to #2. 4. kiln will continue to fire until kiln sitter shuts off.

Typical fire right instructions here http://www.fireright.com/docs/frx/Frx2InstSheet.pdf

It sounds as if for bisque they are suggesting this to be 30% power for the early part of the firing. For bisque fires, you should likely end up in the nine to twelve hour range for cone 04. It’s mostly about going slow and for how long at temperature actually to burn out organics etc.... 

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Helen I use the fire right controller all the time-its an older controller and some here are not familiar with it due to its age.It was state of the art before digital controllers came along. I still love them as they are 100% dependable. They are also long out of business. ( I bought a spare on ebay as I use mine every fire)

Here is how it works so you can undersatnd it-its the top knob

When you set this its turns the kiln on and off in approx hours-so the 5.5 is five and half hours and at that time the controller will be on all the time -this is the key point. Whatever this klnob is set to is when the kiln will be on full time.

So in my skutt kiln I turn all the switches to high(there are 3 of them and I leave them always on high) and then use the fire right to turn up the kiln. In your kiln you have one at bottom of kiln.

For a bisgue to cone 04 ( I assume you meant cone 04) put a cone 04 in kiln sitter dial the knob on kiln sitter to say 10 hours (this saftey switch will turn off kiln if cone setter fails)

push in the button on sitter to on (the button in the hole of sitter)

Turn the power  switch (this is your main temp. switch to high or 7)

Now turn the fire right knob all the way to the right and wait until the red light flashes 3 times then set the dial to 5.5 (hours) and you are done. Waiting for the the three flashes  then adjust the dial are also a key point as this sets the time as you set that time after the 3rd flash.

What will now happen is the fire right will click the kiln on and off for 5.5 hours and at that time the kiln will be on all the time on high. Since in the begining the kiln will cycle slowly and increase the on off until its always on at 5.5 hours you get a slow heat rise. I crack the lid until 800 degrees if the wares are wet and close lid then. You do not have to but it slows the fire down just a liitle if the pottery is wet.

This controller is a joy to use. I never turn the main power knob at all during the firing as its always on full (yours is on bottom of kiln) just leave it on high always

You will have a better experience with a digital pyrometer and they are cheap to buy and easy to install. That way you can see whats going on temp wise during a fire.

 

Edited by Mark C.
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