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akin4843

Got Used Kiln for $100, now what?

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Hello everyone! I am an amateur potter (novice on the wheel, decent with hand-building) looking to start a home studio. I saw an ad in the paper for a Skutt KS 1027 for $100 bucks. At the time I thought, "this is probably the best deal I'll ever get so I better jump at it!" When I got to the sellers house, she told me it was her deceased sister's kiln and she really didn't know how to turn it on, much less if it worked. Well, me being a sucker for a good deal, I bought it. Now that I have it home, I don't know what to do with it. It had been sitting under a shed but the inside looks to be in tact (only a few cracked/crumbled bricks) and I did go ahead and order a new bottom slab from Skutt because the old one had huge cracks in it. I got my step-dad to put it in his warehouse that has a 220 hookup and its plugged in. I guess what I'm asking is, what should I look for to see if it works once I turn it on. I don't want to just turn it on and put a load in and cross my fingers. I live in a very small, southern town where there are no "kiln repairmen" or art community for a couple hundred miles. Can someone give me a few pointers. I have only ever loaded a kiln. I have a few youtube videos and I do have a .pdf skutt manual, so I can figure out how to operate it, once I know that it works.

 

thanks for any advice in advance

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Can someone give me a few pointers. I have only ever loaded a kiln. I have a few youtube videos and I do have a .pdf skutt manual, so I can figure out how to operate it, once I know that it works.

 

thanks for any advice in advance

 

 

If I bought a used kiln, I would do the following:

 

Install the kiln following the instruction manual. Make sure the stand is solid and the kiln is level.

 

Repair bulging elements, if any.

 

Coat the bottom with kiln wash.

 

Vacuum the kiln.

 

Adjust the Kiln Sitter with the firing gauge. Check the condition of the Kiln Sitter rod, and replace if necessary.

 

With the power disconnected, open the switch box. Clean out dust and cobwebs from the box. Check for disconnected wires or loose connections.

 

Read the kiln's instruction manual and take notes. Fire the kiln with only the shelves and posts in the firing chamber. Load the furniture as if it contained ware so that the shelves are distributed throughout the chamber.

 

Start a firing notebook, and record firing time, cone number, and firing results.

 

Good luck with your kiln! I hope you enjoy it. Let us know how it fires.

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

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Hello everyone! I am an amateur potter (novice on the wheel, decent with hand-building) looking to start a home studio. I saw an ad in the paper for a Skutt KS 1027 for $100 bucks. At the time I thought, "this is probably the best deal I'll ever get so I better jump at it!" When I got to the sellers house, she told me it was her deceased sister's kiln and she really didn't know how to turn it on, much less if it worked. Well, me being a sucker for a good deal, I bought it. Now that I have it home, I don't know what to do with it. It had been sitting under a shed but the inside looks to be in tact (only a few cracked/crumbled bricks) and I did go ahead and order a new bottom slab from Skutt because the old one had huge cracks in it. I got my step-dad to put it in his warehouse that has a 220 hookup and its plugged in. I guess what I'm asking is, what should I look for to see if it works once I turn it on. I don't want to just turn it on and put a load in and cross my fingers. I live in a very small, southern town where there are no "kiln repairmen" or art community for a couple hundred miles. Can someone give me a few pointers. I have only ever loaded a kiln. I have a few youtube videos and I do have a .pdf skutt manual, so I can figure out how to operate it, once I know that it works.

 

thanks for any advice in advance

 

 

Skutt also has fantastic customer service on the phone in my experience. They could probably help you with anything unclear.

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Check your kiln panel to see what the electrical rating is and the maximum firing temperature. Be sure your voltage and amperage matches the kiln requirements. Usually the rating is 240v or 208v and 40 or 50 amp fuse unless it was specially made for the previous owner. After you have this straightened out treat your kiln as if it were a new one. Be sure you have the proper kiln placement and ventilation. You can get a 1027 furniture kit from your supplier if you didn't get any with the kiln. You will need kiln wash for the shelves and junior pyrometric cones to put into the sitter. Buy the cones based upon the temperatures that you wish to fire.

Do what Skutt says in the manual about doing a 'ware empty' kiln cone 04 test fire. This firing is done with shelves in place so that you can also place witness cones on each shelf; this gives you information about the temperatures in different areas of the kiln. Also doing this first test firing will accomplish several things; you will find out if your kiln works, and it will give you an idea of how long it takes to reach temperature. There are a few other things you must know but you can get the information from the Skutt manual such as adjusting the sitter and setting the cones on the prongs. Go to the Skutt website and watch the videos there is a lot of good stuff there. Have a good time cause this is all fun!

Edited by Lucille Oka

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All good advice, above. Remember: A kiln is a very simple device. Just a container for wires (elements) that get hot when electricity is supplied- by switches or a computer. No bearings, motors, or moving parts. As Lucille says, "have fun!"

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