Jump to content

Is occasionally firing an empty kiln good practice?


Recommended Posts

That controller looks really restrictive.  My kiln came with fully manual controls.  I researched long and hard before buying my Stafford controller.  Not an electrician, so don't know if you can swap to a different brand.  With mine it was just a case of unwire one box, and wire up new box.  Really worthwhile if you can.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/7/2021 at 10:02 PM, neilestrick said:

Silly that they won't sell it. What voltage does your controller run on, and what are the dimensions? You may be able to swap out for a different brand without much modification. If you can't get one the same size, it's easier to go to a smaller controller, by making a sheet metal panel to make it fit.

Apologies for the slow response, busy few days.

Know very little about electrics, but having looked at my controller now perhaps it actually cannot be changed and that is why they won't sell the upgrade unless with a kiln as it must be made together...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/8/2021 at 8:26 AM, Chilly said:

That controller looks really restrictive.  My kiln came with fully manual controls.  I researched long and hard before buying my Stafford controller.  Not an electrician, so don't know if you can swap to a different brand.  With mine it was just a case of unwire one box, and wire up new box.  Really worthwhile if you can.

 

Yeah if ever changing kiln in the future I will be more diligent and research into the controller like you, not just the size and amperage as I did with this one...

Not sure if ny controller can actually be changed upon further examination. However I know very little about electrics. Thinking that if this is the case, it may be why the upgraded controller cannot be bought separately though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, F Crow said:

Not sure if ny controller can actually be changed upon further examination. However I know very little about electrics. Thinking that if this is the case, it may be why the upgraded controller cannot be bought separately though.

According to their web site, the better controller is available as an option, and according to the catalog photos all 3 of their controllers are the exact same thing from the outside. From seeing all that you should be able to swap them out easily. I can't think of why it wouldn't be possible, nor can I understand why they would have the limited functionality of your controller when the better one is the same interface, other than $$$, of course.

 

Nabertherm Controllers.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, neilestrick said:

According to their web site, the better controller is available as an option, and according to the catalog photos all 3 of their controllers are the exact same thing from the outside. From seeing all that you should be able to swap them out easily. I can't think of why it wouldn't be possible, nor can I understand why they would have the limited functionality of your controller when the better one is the same interface, other than $$$, of course.

I am not sure either to be honest. Would guess that maybe it is the programming of the controllers that differ and allow for more programmes and more segments... But again, I know almost nothing about electronics.

There is a USB port in the controller that allows programmes to be created externally on computer and imported, so maybe I could upgrade the controller from a B400 to C440 via that port... I will actually email Nabertherm and find out if that is a possibility. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Thanks again for the help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, F Crow said:

There is a USB port in the controller that allows programmes to be created externally on computer and imported, so maybe I could upgrade the controller from a B400 to C440 via that port...

That's a great idea. Definitely worth the ask!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE

Tried a firing of; 

-150oC/h to 1000oC

-60oC/h to 1200oC

-15min soak 

Had a good result with the dark glaze. The surface still isn't completely smooth, but a massive improvement!

Unfortunately there was no difference with the light blue glaze though. I actually bought a new batch and tested both the new and existing glaze in case the one I had was contaminated, but both turned out the same... Riddled with pits!

Will try another firing soon and go to 1220oC to see what happens there. If that doesn't help then the manufactures have asked to send them some bisqueware to test the glaze themselves.

Have also emailed Nabertherm about updating the controller so awaiting their response.

161551789423720210312_025517.jpg

161551789371720210312_025547.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

Just curious, it appears you fired cone 5-1/2 and the soak at top temp likely got you to cone six. Was that the intention of the soak?

Hi Bill,

I added the soak with the thought that it would insure that the entire chamber had reached 1200oC. Feared that without it some pieces (perhaps towards the bottom of the kiln) may be slightly underfired as the temperature range of the clay is 1200oC-1290oC.

I do intend on firing without a soak as you recommended when firing to 1220oC though as this shouldn't be an issue.

Hope my logic isn't too flawed in this thought...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, F Crow said:

Hope my logic isn't too flawed in this thought...

Nope, some thing to try. At 60c per hour though things should be pretty even in the chamber and give a decent approximation at ending on your desired cone value.. My experience, soaks at the top often troublesome. Just my experience though.  I would be very interested if you ever do the test tiles which might reveal something indirectly about the glaze.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

Nope, some thing to try. At 60c per hour though things should be pretty even in the chamber and give a decent approximation at ending on your desired cone value.. My experience, soaks at the top often troublesome. Just my experience though.  I would be very interested if you ever do the test tiles which might reveal something indirectly about the glaze.

That's very interesting to hear as so often soaks are mentioned in firing schedules I've come across. No harm in trying it though, so will give a go at firing to 1200oC without the soak in a firing soon too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, F Crow said:

That's very interesting to hear as so often soaks are mentioned in firing schedules I've come across.

Yes, I agree it is even taught in some circumstances but seems to defy the essence of heatwork and radiation. If it works, it definitely is the schedule for you, regardless of why.

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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