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New kiln owner with questions


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I am now the owner of a Skutt 10-27 kiln.  I hadn't expected to get one but it's in fine shape, the elements are less than a year old and the price was right, so, here I am.
I've been firing gas ^10R but am happy to use this for bisque and possibly some ^6 experimentation.  Soon I'll have an electrician come to install single phase 220 for it.  

As I've no experience with it my questions are many but I'll start with these:

It's an old manual model and uses the LT 3K kiln sitter. Is there a way to convert it to a more automated controller and it such a conversion worthwhile?

Until such a conversion,  is the kiln sitter fairly trustworthy? When firing, I'll be hovering near by. For the duration I suspect.

The designated location is outside on a covered patio that's enclosed on 3 sides. Is there still a need for a ventilation kit?  The kiln was free but didn't include that.

The inside is virtually spotless and the brick is as solid, or as solid as that sort of brick can be.   No gouges or chips and very few hairline cracks.

I entrust myself to your knowledge and experience.  There is a deep well of kiln lore here.

skutt 10-27.jpg

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I have same model in my studio/bike shop/workshop, started out watching cones through the peeps (with appropriate glasses), watching pyrometer readings, and taking notes. Now I'm watching the pyrometer and taking notes, but not watching the cones, although I'm still placing cones on each level to check afterward. The top and bottom run cool - the top more so; this can be mitigated via load variation/arrangement and using the three switches...

There are certainly automation options; the more straightforward/simple being stand alone controller box that your kiln and pyrometer plug into. At this point, I'm holding out on a new kiln with integrated control, however, if I changed course toward adding control to my 1027, I'd give zone (three zones, matching the switches) control a very (very!) serious look.

Good find! May I suggest beefing up your kiln stand - increase the contact area. I bolted 2x2" angle to the supplied stand. Be careful with the lid! Check that the hinge is sound, an' don't bang that lid about... 

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I own the same kiln only it a 1227 about 10 cubic feet whereas yours is 6.3 cubic feet.

I wired mine up to a fire right controller which is before computer kilns came along . In my case you set the 3 switches to high and the fire right  controller has a dial which is 1-10-that is when the kiln is full on. So this morning I set it to 3 as I;'m doing a bisque today-in 3 hours that kiln will be full on.(these pots are BONE dry) The difinite purpose contactor (75 amp) clicks on and offgiving power to all elements slowly at first until three hours then it stays on. It a bit noisy at first then when on no more clicking. I love this simple system (I bought a spare on ebay 90$years ago when this control board dies)

My model has a timer as well as a sitter and the sitter turns the kiln off and the timer is a sefty backup-today the timer is on 9 hours and the kiln will shut off in 7.5 to 8 hours

These days for around 600-700$ you can buy a wall mount digital controller and plug the kiln it to that for all the functions-but really for just bisquing it overkill

does your sitter have a timer dial on it? if yes then you are covered with two shut offs which is best

 

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Sounds like I'm in excellent company in this regard.  It was a lucky find as the fellow I received it from is also a serious potter and relocating and leaving behind some wonderful gear.  Sadly, I couldn't find room for the home made pugmill he offered me. Just wouldn't fit in the Prius.  He did fabricate a sturdy stand (shown below), and the kiln sitter does indeed have a timer, also shown below.

Many thanks for the informative replies.  New confidence added now.

 

kiln sitter.jpg

kiln stand.jpg

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Couple ways to digitize a kiln sitter kiln:  Skutt Wall Mount controller is great but not cheap ($1000+), but the Olympic Electrositter is great too and close to half money: You can get it with 3 key, 12 key or even the Genesis touch Kiln controller. pretty easy too: take off kiln sitter and replace with the Electrositter: just a couple wires; . Electric Kiln Controller | Digital Kiln Controller (sheffield-pottery.com)

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Thanks for the helpful info and you're right, a grand is not cheap.  Like Mark said, it's also a bit overkill.  I do like the idea of the Olympic Electrositter.  Something I may look into when I've spent some more time firing this unit.

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On 5/16/2021 at 8:58 AM, blackthorn said:

The designated location is outside on a covered patio that's enclosed on 3 sides. Is there still a need for a ventilation kit? 

After reading the lively posts on thiamant's vent topic I'm thinking I don't need any venting on mine since it's located outside on a 3 sided patio. 

Right?

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3 hours ago, blackthorn said:

After reading the lively posts on thiamant's vent topic I'm thinking I don't need any venting on mine since it's located outside on a 3 sided patio. 

Right?

My electric is outside under a huge tin roof with no vent. Great for bisquing in

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