Jump to content

help please on how to use a used kiln with 6 dials


Recommended Posts

Those are what are known as infinite switches. Unlike switches that click to a specific position, e.g., on/off like a sideways light switch, or a rotary off/lo/med/high switch, these switches are akin to a dimmer that can be set anywhere (an infinite number of positions) from off through full on. When the pointer is at low, it turns the elements on for a short time (a few seconds) and then off for a longer period. When the pointer is closer to high, the elements are on for a longer time and then off for a shorter time. The numbers 0 through 100 are not exactly the percentage of time that the elements are on, but they are indicative of the relative range of off most of the time to on most of the time. At 100/high, it probably will be on continuously. Each of those switches controls one set of elements inside the kiln, so you have to turn them up in tandem for the kiln to heat evenly. At the same time, if you find that a particular area of the kiln tends to run hotter or cooler, you can change where you set the dial for that area to adjust the heat input.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, now can you tell me how to do a bisque fire.  There is no manufactures name on the kiln and when I bought it used there was no manual.  It has a cone sitter and from YouTube I have figured out how to use it.  I think I know that I need to start the bisque process by leaving the peep holes open and the top cracked and then every couple hours start closing up the peep holes and lowering the top and then waiting for the cone setter do it's thing.  Now my question is what should I set the dials at and then I am thinking PG&E is going to love me if I don't do it correctly.  I know PG&E is going to love me anyway. LOL.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have the basics from the UToobs. As for timing, I set the bottom switch only on low for as long as the ware is still damp. This warms it up from below. You can test the humidity coming out of the kiln by holding a small mirror or piece of glass by an open peep hole and any invisible steam coming out will condense on the colder glass. When no more humidity is coming out, you can start the bisque firing by turning all switches to low for an hour, then twist them all up to medium for an hour or so, and then up to high for the remainder of the firing. Be aware that the kiln sitter is designed as a safety cutoff device only. Good protocol uses witness cones on a shelf visible through a peep, and manually turn the kiln off when the appropriate cone is down. Some folks rely on the sitter to turn it off at the right time, but that requires careful calibration of the sitter for accuracy, and even then it can be off depending on the load.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  I am thinking you are saying to make a witness cone that is placed so I can see it through a peep hole.  I  guess that I should place a pyramidic cone is some clay and watch it until it bends.  Should I keep one of the peep holes open or should I close them all and just remove a stopper to check the witness cone after a few hours?  This is the first time I have bisque fired and everything  that I  will be firing has been drying for months but the witness cone clay will be the only thing that has moisture, I think .   I have pyramidic cones .06 and 6 .The kiln has three peep holes.  Which peep hole would be the best one to use for the witness cone?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have one in each peep, at least in the beginning while you are trying to figure out how to fire it evenly. Be certain you can see them well.

Most electrics are fired with one peep open, but I would always close it while opening others, as to not have a cross draft removing too much heat, or, as I found out this is a thing, having your eye up to the peep while opening another ....sizzle the eyeball!

Get UV glasses!

You can poke holes in the clay holding the cones to dry it faster. I have been adding silica sand to mine for lower shrink and letting them dry. Premake your whole box! 

It won't be a terrible idea to get 5's and 7's too to set up a proper conepack...."CONEPACK!" (That's to not forget, yell it!)

I wouldn't worry about having 05 and 07's.

Unless you need them for your sitter, depending on calibration, sometimes one cone higher in the sitter is best.

But yes, watch your cones fall near the end to actually shut the kiln off. 

Find out now how to restart it after the sitter falls. It's not something you want to learn hot, in the heat of the moment. I failed to turn mine back on once and it took like 4 more hours to fell cones. 

Sorce

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sorcery said:

You should have one in each peep, at least in the beginning while you are trying to figure out how to fire it evenly. Be certain you can see them well.

Most electrics are fired with one peep open, but I would always close it while opening others, as to not have a cross draft removing too much heat, or, as I found out this is a thing, having your eye up to the peep while opening another ....sizzle the eyeball!

Get UV glasses!

You can poke holes in the clay holding the cones to dry it faster. I have been adding silica sand to mine for lower shrink and letting them dry. Premake your whole box! 

It won't be a terrible idea to get 5's and 7's too to set up a proper conepack...."CONEPACK!" (That's to not forget, yell it!)

I wouldn't worry about having 05 and 07's.

Unless you need them for your sitter, depending on calibration, sometimes one cone higher in the sitter is best.

But yes, watch your cones fall near the end to actually shut the kiln off. 

Find out now how to restart it after the sitter falls. It's not something you want to learn hot, in the heat of the moment. I failed to turn mine back on once and it took like 4 more hours to fell cones. 

Sorce

 

I will get the 05 and 07 cones before I try the bisque fire.  Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

The cones I purchased  are Orton small cones about 1 1/4 long and I guess you need to separate them before using them.  

Should I buy bigger ones?  They seem terribly stuck together I tried pulling a pair apart and they  broke  in the middle.  Guess I need to pry them apart with a knife.  Are these what  you use in the sitter?  And can they be used in a cone pack? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Barbsbus 4 fun said:

The cones I purchased  are Orton small cones about 1 1/4 long and I guess you need to separate them before using them.  

Should I buy bigger ones?  They seem terribly stuck together I tried pulling a pair apart and they  broke  in the middle.  Guess I need to pry them apart with a knife.  Are these what  you use in the sitter?  And can they be used in a cone pack? 

Large ones are to big to see in a small peep, those are good.

Some dude was like, "you gotta grab em by the fat end and pull em apart", it worked so well I did a whole box!

Sorce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.