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Help With AIM Automatic Kiln Switch


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Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased a small kiln which came with a Kiln Sitter Model K and an  Automatic AIM Kiln Switch. I'm having a hard time understanding how to use the switch to control the heat of the kiln.

I was looking at an AIM manual and the manual says to fire with the steps below. So what I did was set the knob to set, waited 10 seconds then set the knob to 2, then eventually 4 but I don't think it is doing what I think its doing. 

#2 for 1 hour
#2 another hour
#4 another 2 hours
and #6> after that 

Can anyone point me in the right direction to use this switch? For one I need a pyrometer but I also want to learn how to handle the heat of this kiln. For example if I wanted to candle for 5 hours then gradually move the heat up. I was looking at a Fire Right Kiln Switch since it looked similar to this and it seems like I need for this I need to move it to set, let it run for 20 seconds (so it can be at 20% power) then move to hold? 

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Edited by birdlaw
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I believe that is the precursor to the  fire right so to speak so I would try that methodology. Page 13 here is an ok explanation if you already don’t have it. http://www.fireright.com/docs/frx/Frx2SystemsBooklet.pdf

Maybe with an empty kiln I would see where 20% or 30% gets you in say one hour, two hours ,,,, etc… just to confirm. You will need a pyrometer though.

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52 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

I believe that is the precursor to the  fire right so to speak so I would try that methodology. Page 13 here is an ok explanation if you already don’t have it. http://www.fireright.com/docs/frx/Frx2SystemsBooklet.pdf

Maybe with an empty kiln I would see where 20% or 30% gets you in say one hour, two hours ,,,, etc… just to confirm. You will need a pyrometer though.

I’ve seen that manual but maybe it’s because I’m pretty new to this I don’t understand what it means by turn up time. I understand kilns have low med high settings but how does turn up time translate? 

Say I want to Bisque fire, I put my 04 cone in them set the turn up time to 2? For 2 hours of turn up time? The turn up time concept is what is getting me confused. Any guidance would be appreciated.  

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I fire with a fire right controller all the time and that switch looks exactly the same as theres.I think Aim used their switch back in the day.

On my kiln there are three sections with three other switches -you set them to high and leave them alone forever(never touched them in 25 years-left on high)

now the expanation

that knob with the numbers-1-10 is when in approx hours the kiln will be on high-so set up the cone setter with whatever cone you are firing to-for this lets says its a bisque to cone 08 (thats my to go bisque temp with porcelain. In your case cone 04. Put that cone bar (I prefer bars over cones) set up the claw and  set the dial to set -push the on button (hole in claw) to turn on kiln

let the cycle make two clicks takes a about 10-30 seconds-you should hear the clicks. After that turn the knob to say 4 and that means in 4 hours the kiln (all the elements will be on high/full on.

The Numbers roughly correspond to hours and that is when its on full so if you set the dial for two then in two hours elements are on full (to hot  to fast for a bisque) I dial 3-4 hours with most bisques and the pots are dry pots-longer for wet pots-if they are wet crack the lid and drop it after 800 degrees if dry a but less.

Your kiln will now fire to cone 04 and the sitter will turn it off.

On my kiln I also have a timer which ios another safety to shut it off. Since yours does not I would make sure yours goes off and never trust 100% the sitter-always check tio see its off .

Try this and see if it works like i have discribed if not tell us.

Mark

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mark C. said:

I fire with a fire right controller all the time and that switch looks exactly the same as theres.I think Aim used their switch back in the day.

On my kiln there are three sections with three other switches -you set them to high and leave them alone forever(never touched them in 25 years-left on high)

now the expanation

that knob with the numbers-1-10 is when in approx hours the kiln will be on high-so set up the cone setter with whatever cone you are firing to-for this lets says its a bisque to cone 08 (thats my to go bisque temp with porcelain. In your case cone 04. Put that cone bar (I prefer bars over cones) set up the claw and  set the dial to set -push the on button (hole in claw) to turn on kiln

let the cycle make two clicks takes a about 10-30 seconds-you should hear the clicks. After that turn the knob to say 4 and that means in 4 hours the kiln (all the elements will be on high/full on.

The Numbers roughly correspond to hours and that is when its on full so if you set the dial for two then in two hours elements are on full (to hot  to fast for a bisque) I dial 3-4 hours with most bisques and the pots are dry pots-longer for wet pots-if they are wet crack the lid and drop it after 800 degrees if dry a but less.

Your kiln will now fire to cone 04 and the sitter will turn it off.

On my kiln I also have a timer which ios another safety to shut it off. Since yours does not I would make sure yours goes off and never trust 100% the sitter-always check tio see its off .

Try this and see if it works like i have discribed if not tell us.

Mark

 

Ok, trying that now with an empty kiln. Going to see how long it takes for the kiln sitter to drop. The previous way I did it, the kiln sitter dropped after about 4ish hours so I am expecting longer this time. I did bisque my ceramics using the previous method I did and I guess they were ok? I can't tell a good fire from a bad fire yet but they were intact.

What is the purpose of waiting for it 2 clicks twice rather then say 0 clicks or 6 clicks then moving the knob to a number of hours?

Thanks for taking your time to write that up, it was very helpful.

 

 

Edited by birdlaw
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The two clicks is what my intructions say before setting dial to hours  . I know it works becuse I have been doing it for 30 years. 3 times in past few weeks as well.

 

Edited by Mark C.
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4 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The two clicks is what my intructions say before setting dial to hours  . I know it works becuse I have been doing it for 30 years. 3 times in past few weeks as well.

 

Thanks. For glaze firing would I do the same 2 clicks but change the knob to say 2 hours for faster turn up?

 

i tested your method yesterday on an empty kiln,  tint kiln too, the inside is only 8” x 8” and the kiln sitter switched off after about 4 hours. I think I made to calibrate the kiln sitter since it might be dropping to early. I don’t have witness cones but I am going to purchase some to help with the testing as well. 

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Yes two click on every firing-get the witness cones and calibrate sitter-4 hours will kill bisque ware so slow that downon the dial 

Glazes will look better in a longer fire as well 

The size of space means it heats faster so slow is the key =longer dial number like 4-5 or 6 or 7.

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43 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

Yes two click on every firing-get the witness cones and calibrate sitter-4 hours will kill bisque ware so slow that downon the dial 

Glazes will look better in a longer fire as well 

The size of space means it heats faster so slow is the key =longer dial number like 4-5 or 6 or 7.

Ok, I’m going to run another test with 2 clicks and on number 6 instead of 4. I am pretty sure it fired to fast since it stopped after 4 hours. 
 

If my bisque fire works with 2 clicks and 6 hours should I do 2 clicks and like 8 hours for a glaze?

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the two clicks is when it is on set then turn to whaterver hours you want it to be on full. No matter if its a 8 hour bisque fire or a 8 hour glaze fire. Turn the nob to set push the kiln setter button to on and listen for two clicks then turn hour dial to whatever number you want. The two clicks is the set up to turn the hour dial.

You want an 8 hour bisque and maybe a 8-9 hour glaze-since the kiln is so small you need to see how long you need -my guess is bisque maybe set dial for 6 hours and glaze maybe 5 hours . Testing will be needed-get some cones in fire as well as the sitter cone.

Edited by Mark C.
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36 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

the two clicks is when it is on set then turn to whaterver hours you want it to be on full. No matter if its a 8 hour bisque fore or a 8 hour glaze fire. Turn the nob to set push the kiln setter button to on and listen fopr two clicks then turn hour dial to whatever muber you want. The two clicks is tghe set up to turn the hour dial.

You want an 8 hour bisque and maybe a 8-9 hour glaze-since the kiln is so small yoiu need to see how long you need -my guess is bisque maybe set dial for 6 hours and glaze mabe 5 hours . Testing will be needed-get some cones in fire as well as the sitter cone.

Thanks for bearing with all my questions. I have a better understanding now. 
 

Im going to purchase a pyrometer and witness cones this weekend and do some more experimenting. 

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