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11 hours ago, neilestrick said:

@Pres You definitely didn't do any harm with your first firing. I'll talk to L&L about making it more clear what should be done with the first firing. I think the confusion comes with the Genesis controller being added in as a separate booklet.

I thin a large part of the confusion comes from the section in the ring binder marked OPERATION. First page shows the Genesis panel and dialogue boxes. Page 2 begins with DYNAIMIC ZONE CONTROL, then FIRST TEST FIRING OF THE KILN.  Text here is " See pages 5 and 6 of the Genesis Model LT3140 Controller Operation Manual for simple and detailed instructions on the process. This section is in the binder under CONTROL. 

If there is to be an edit change, it should be made in the Genesis Controller Operation Manual so that the slow bisque or glaze is chosen.  I have inspected the kiln thougougly and do not see anything amiss.

 

best,

Pres

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I sent an email to the owner of L&L this morning explaining the issue, and he responded: Thanks. I will take a look at that and make any corrections necessary. I've been a distributor for L&a

I have my TC's about 3/8" from the end of the tubes, and I haven't seen any flaking into the kiln yet after about 20 firings. Definitely some flakes visible inside the tubes, though. So far so good.

L&L has switched to an open-ended protection tube. There were issues with the closed-end tubes being inconsistent in thickness. The open-ended tubes do not need an offset. Default setting in the c

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The info about first firing  is in L&L's manual, its just difficult to navigate. See PDF 1,2 & 3

Also I remember one of your posts that you mentioned that you can read the color of the pots during a firing to determine when the kiln has reached your desired temp. Use that experience and observe your firing and when it reached the right color write down the temp(s) you see on the screen. from there you can adjust your firing on the go by pressing the [ADJ] button. (See PDF 4).  Then create a custom program to dial in your future firings based on your knowledge and observations.

 

1. First Firing.pdf 2. First Firing.pdf 3. First Firing.pdf 4. Adjustments.pdf

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@Pres, I have two L&L kilns, one is ten years younger than the other. Sometimes when I look things up in the newer kiln’s manual, I find paragraphs that hadn’t been updated. Meant for the older kiln, not the new kiln. Can’t think of a specific example off the top of my head, but they are there! 

@neilestrick, if you are going to mention this convo to L&L, maybe you could let them know the ENTIRE manual needs a thorough proofreading? 

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@Smokey2 Those are exactly the same pages I refer to in my post. I find it counter intuitive that the one page states follow the Genesis controller pages, while another page unde Dynatrol says to do the ^5 firing as a slow bisque. . . . but they were talking about the Dynatrol.

@neilestrickI think I will get in touch with L&L about the confusion of the manual set up. I have been waiting on electric set up for a little while, and have not wasted my time, but been reading the manual once and some places 2 and 3 times. Maintenance, repair, and operation areas I have covered well. I think that the section on the Dynatrol was not thought out when the Genesis was added in. That seems to be the biggest discrepancy that I could find.

Is there a person I should aim my discussion of the manuals misleading statements?

 

best,

Pres

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Yeah I agree that the manual needs updating and proof reading, but L&L still has the best of all the kiln manuals out there. I've seen more than a few

 

3 hours ago, Pres said:

@Smokey2 Those are exactly the same pages I refer to in my post. I find it counter intuitive that the one page states follow the Genesis controller pages, while another page unde Dynatrol says to do the ^5 firing as a slow bisque. . . . but they were talking about the Dynatrol.

If you think about it, the kiln doesn't really care which controller or sitter is hanging its the side, its gonna need the same first firing (breaking in firing) no matter what is powering the elements.

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One has to keep in mind that many part of L&L's manuals are sourced from multiple places such as Orton and Bartlett to name just two. Many of articles were written 10-20+ years ago by many different authors and is still valid today.

The fact of what L&L packs into that 1" binder (it really should go into a 1-1/2" binder) is impressive. To go through the expense just to compile, print, sort, add tabs and insert into a binder all this information and supply it with each new kiln is a credit to them.

But honestly, if you think about it, the cost of proofreading and rewriting that whole binder is impossible and never going to happen.

IMO, a new single page can be inserted at the very front of the manual with a header in large bold type  that reads:

THE FIRST FIRING OF YOUR NEW KILN

Your first test firing is done very slowly, about 16 to 19 hours total to minimize the inner and outer surface temperature differences in the kiln while it goes through its maiden firing. Also this will slowly steam off any moisture absorbed by the firebrick during construction, shipping, and storage.

The test firing is done to cone 5 (about 2167°F) to vitrify the special coating on the inside on the firebrick and to allow an “aluminum oxide” coating to form on the element’s surfaces. The coating on the brick helps to reflect the heat radiated from the elements, strengthen the surface of the firebrick, and help prevent dusting in the kiln.

The oxide layer on the elements helps to protect them from the many contaminants found in many materials fired in a kiln. This aluminum oxide layer will rejuvenate itself every time there is an oxygen rich firing to a high temperature.

Going to cone 5 may also point out any problems with your electrical service - like low or incorrect voltage or wrong supply line wire size. The elements will also seat themselves in the ceramic holders - and any springiness you see when you first get your kiln will be alleviated.

Notice, there is no mention of a controller.

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20 minutes ago, Smokey2 said:

 

THE FIRST FIRING OF YOUR NEW KILN

The directions on this page are to be followed if your kiln has the Dynatrol or the Genesis controllers. Use the sections in your manual as related to your controller to program your kiln but follow this program for your test firing.

Your first test firing is done very slowly, about 16 to 19 hours total to minimize the inner and outer surface temperature differences in the kiln while it goes through its maiden firing. Also this will slowly steam off any moisture absorbed by the firebrick during construction, shipping, and storage.

The test firing is done to cone 5 (about 2167°F) to vitrify the special coating on the inside on the firebrick and to allow an “aluminum oxide” coating to form on the element’s surfaces. The coating on the brick helps to reflect the heat radiated from the elements, strengthen the surface of the firebrick, and help prevent dusting in the kiln.

The oxide layer on the elements helps to protect them from the many contaminants found in many materials fired in a kiln. This aluminum oxide layer will rejuvenate itself every time there is an oxygen rich firing to a high temperature.

Going to cone 5 may also point out any problems with your electrical service - like low or incorrect voltage or wrong supply line wire size. The elements will also seat themselves in the ceramic holders - and any springiness you see when you first get your kiln will be alleviated.

 

best,

Pres

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I sent the following email to L & L. I hope they get the message and reply.

I have long been a fan of the L & L line of kilns, having used a J236 I purchased years ago with no controller or setter from you brand new. I served me for years with firing that were quite flawless, and I did all of the repairs/replacements and maintenance on my own. The firings were tiring towards the end, as watching a manually fired kiln through the night was tedious, but I fired the kiln up and down by watching heat color and cone packs. Alas, during the pandemic the kiln quit during a firing. Careful assessment indicated repairs would be excessive and that it was time to replace the kiln after about 36 years.

I have been an art teacher in central Pa until 2009, and became a moderator on Ceramics Daily.org for in the studio. I have become acquainted with Neil Estrick, who helped me decide on the e28m-3 considering my needs, the voltage and existing 70amp breaker set up.

I received my new e28m-3 a few weeks ago, and after having the electric line in I ran what I thought was the first firing. I ran a fast glaze firing with the Genesis controller. I posted my first firing after the fact, to find from several that I had run the wrong firing. 
Please see the following strand of discussion for information here:https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/24541-new-l-l-kiln/#comments
End result is that I would like to suggest an insert into your fabulous manual at the front.

THE FIRST FIRING OF YOUR NEW KILN

The directions on this page are to be followed if your kiln has the Dynatrol or the Genesis controllers. Use the sections in your manual as related to your controller to program your kiln but follow this program for your test firing.

Your first test firing is done very slowly, about 16 to 19 hours total to minimize the inner and outer surface temperature differences in the kiln while it goes through its maiden firing. Also this will slowly steam off any moisture absorbed by the firebrick during construction, shipping, and storage.

The test firing is done to cone 5 (about 2167°F) to vitrify the special coating on the inside on the firebrick and to allow an “aluminum oxide” coating to form on the element’s surfaces. The coating on the brick helps to reflect the heat radiated from the elements, strengthen the surface of the firebrick, and help prevent dusting in the kiln.

The oxide layer on the elements helps to protect them from the many contaminants found in many materials fired in a kiln. This aluminum oxide layer will rejuvenate itself every time there is an oxygen rich firing to a high temperature.

Going to cone 5 may also point out any problems with your electrical service - like low or incorrect voltage or wrong supply line wire size. The elements will also seat themselves in the ceramic holders - and any springiness you see when you first get your kiln will be alleviated.

 
best,

Pres

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1 hour ago, Smokey2 said:

But honestly, if you think about it, the cost of proofreading and rewriting that whole binder is impossible and never going to happen.

From somebody who worked in publishing for 20 years, this is a normal thing to do and isn’t very hard. Not even for a 1 inch thick manual.

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I am running a slow glaze right now, Found that the kiln is larger than the old one as it will hold 3 patens to a shelf layer without bridging gaps. I was able to put all of the pieces from the glaze load in the old kiln in, and add a paten that did not get into the old load. I had lots of space yet that I could fill with small pieces, and if I had a few more shelves I could have gotten more in. I will be getting at least two more 1/2 shelves maybe 4  and a few more pieces of furniture to augment my present supply. Firing is great, but I can't stop myself from checking on it often, though not as often as I used to. The phone app is fabulous even though it seems to be hung up on updating right now. May have to restart it.

 

best,

Pres

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It wouldn’t be expensive, and not difficult at all.If they had to hire an outside editor/proofreader (which they probably don’t), it would cost them way less than the cost of one kiln. The entire manual is printed on a laser printer, not through a printing press. They wouldn’t have to edit the sections supplied by third parties, just the part that they wrote, which is what i was talking about. 

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26 minutes ago, GEP said:

It wouldn’t be expensive, and not difficult at all.If they had to hire an outside editor/proofreader (which they probably don’t), it would cost them way less than the cost of one kiln. The entire manual is printed on a laser printer, not through a printing press. They wouldn’t have to edit the sections supplied by third parties, just the part that they wrote, which is what i was talking about. 

Or L&L could just publish a pdf document on their website with "corrections".  This is what the Oxford (and others majors) textbook press does.   errors are encouraged to be sent to the editors of the books. The feedback is evidence that readers actually read and use the info in the books!    
LT

 

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I sent an email to the owner of L&L this morning explaining the issue, and he responded: Thanks. I will take a look at that and make any corrections necessary.

I've been a distributor for L&L for 17 years, and have seen them make many changes to their manuals over that time. Sometimes they just put a flyer in the front pocket of the binder until they can make more permanent changes to the manual.

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Not sure if this belongs here but speaking of docs and manuals (and this may be more of a bartlett issue) is my new kiln seemed to be firing a bit high on cone 6 slow with cooling, almost a cone over, 6.5-7. So I decided to do a cone offset and most of the literature is pretty confusing on how to use positive and negative numbers on the Genesis 2.0 touch screen. The non touch screens ask you to use the 9020 type number (I forget the exact number but something like this) to fire 20 degrees cooler but the new screens simply ask for a number 0-99 degrees. All of the manuals I looked at including ones included with the kiln say positive numbers for both cone and TC offsets LOWER the temp...well after some back and forth with L&L and them clarifying with Bartlett (even L&L was confused and agreed to possibly update it or make more clear) the cone offset needs a NEGATIVE number to lower the temp and the TC offset a positive number to lower the temp. I have no idea why they both do not follow the same process but alas thought I would share. 

Neil can correct me on any of this but just throwing this out there as I almost did a positive number for the cone offset per L&L's advice which could have ruined and entire load.

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@Morgan Okay, when firing to cone 6, the controller's default is 2232F. You put in a negative number for the cone offset to lower the target temp. If you put in -10, then it fires 10 degrees lower to 2222F for cone 6. With a thermocouple offset, when you lower the thermocouple temp, the controller must then go that much hotter in order to get to the target temp. Again for cone 6, imagine the kiln is holding temp at 2232F. If you then do a thermocouple offset of -10F, the thermocouple is going to read 2222F, and the controller is going to heat up that section of the kiln 10 degrees to get it back to reading 2232F. So the negative offset makes the kiln go hotter. Conversely, if you set a positive TC offset of 10 degrees, the TC is going to read 2242F, and the kiln is going to have to cool that section 10 degrees in order to meet the target temp of 2232F.

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My first glaze firing was different. Two cone packs near top and bottom sections, top one near the thermocouple, bottom in the back. Both cone packs were shot. Cone 7 looked like what I expect of cone 5. 6 and 7 had pimples. Not good. Ware was overfired, but was not ruined. No bloating, SC 630 held up well. Glazes were OK.  Temp at Zone 1 was 2223,  Zone 2-2223, Zone  3-2216.

i am researching where to go from here as I work towards filling a bisque load.

 

best,

Pres

ConePacksFirstFiringNewKiln.JPG

Chalice1stGlazeLLoadNewKiln.JPG

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@neilestrickSince we are on the topic of offsets and Morgan mentioned cone offset, could you expand on your experience with individual cone offsets vs universal TC offset? I get how the offset allows one to calibrate the controller's expectation of precision to the reality of the thermocouple's relative imprecision. But why would one adjust the offset in just one cone-fire value? If the TC is off by the 10 degrees in your example for Morgan, wouldn't it be off by 10 degrees, more or less, everywhere in the usual firing range? That would mean setting a cone offset for every cone in the controller. If I set 10 degrees in the offset for cone 6 because that's what fire my glazes to, cone 5 and 7, etc. are still whack should I decide to do a load of some different glaze at something other than cone 6? Or, is the TC offset variable across the firing range and some cone settings need more or less offset? That could be a challenge to test and dial in all of them.

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1 hour ago, Dick White said:

If the TC is off by the 10 degrees in your example for Morgan, wouldn't it be off by 10 degrees, more or less, everywhere in the usual firing range?

Unfortunately, not always. In my new kiln I'm finding that it's closer to accurate at cone 04 than at cone 6, which is not entirely surprising since accuracy often declines at higher temps. But it's not a huge difference so I'll probably do a TC offset based on the cone 6 numbers and let the bisque be off a bit since it won't affect much. The basic rule is that if they're off by about the same at both temps then you do a TC offset. If it's not acceptably close then you do a cone offset. That's why they give you both options. Most people only fire at two cones- one for bisque and one for glaze- so it's not difficult to figure it out. But if you do a cone offset and decide to fire at cone 5 instead of 6, I would expect the offsets to be very similar since they are so close in temp.

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8 hours ago, Pres said:

Temp at Zone 1 was 2223,  Zone 2-2223, Zone  3-2216.

i am researching where to go from here as I work towards filling a bisque load.

I wonder if your base offsets for the thermocouples (covers) were entered correctly? This may or may not be something L&L would do but rather specify to Bartlett to be preprogrammed. Definitely worth checking what they are and what they ought to be. Sorta matches your problem with the whole kiln over firing.

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Sorry to say @Bill Kielb, but you are speaking in a foreign language at this time. I guess what you are saying is that L&L uses a certain type of Thermocouple cover that has an insulation value that is programmed into the controller. If so there should be a file/program that has the entered values for that  T cover.  Where would I find these values, and the values that should be entered?

 

On another note, I have been thinking that when running a bisque firing that I would use a lower cone value maybe 08 or 07 to see how my 06 witness cones are affected. If it is as @neilestrickhas said, that the differences at lower temp are nearer to standard, I might even try running the glaze load at ^4 to see how close that comes to my ^5-7 cone pack. I am currently reluctant to physically change any of the settings with offsets even though I believe I would know what I am doing.  I really don't know how far the kiln overfired other than it was above cone 8 in all probability considering the pimples on the cones 6 & 7.

Thank you for you input, more to look into.

best,

Pres

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@Pres, when protection tubes are placed over the tc's it cools down how they read. I believe for L&L protection tubes they say it's 18F. Looking at those cones I would guess you got well over 18F hotter than cone 7.

Is putting a cone pack in front of a peep an option? I wouldn't risk an entire load without being able to see the cones during the end of the firing for a new kiln, shut it down when your target cone is down, record the temperature and go from there. I'ld do this for both a bisque load and a glaze load. Just checking, you didn't have a soak at the end of the firing?

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12 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

I wonder if your base offsets for the thermocouples (covers) were entered correctly? This may or may not be something L&L would do but rather specify to Bartlett to be preprogrammed. Definitely worth checking what they are and what they ought to be. Sorta matches your problem with the whole kiln over firing.

L&L has switched to an open-ended protection tube. There were issues with the closed-end tubes being inconsistent in thickness. The open-ended tubes do not need an offset. Default setting in the controller is 0 offset.

@Pres Make sure your thermocouples are all the same distance from the end of the proctection tubes, about 3/8 in from the end.

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