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QotW: When using your programmable kiln, do you use preset schedules or set your own custom schedules? 


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Hi folks, once again no questions in the pool.

All of you know that I have been firing a manual only kiln for over 35 years. Firing by cones and temperature color has been a learning curve, but the new kiln has made me jump into a whole new world of programmable firing. I have been using the fast bisque, and the fast glaze for my firings, but now that I have calibrated the cone offset to -40F. I yearn for a bit more depth in my color as I had achieved with the manual firings. The reading is interesting, and I am considering my own schedule. This brings me to wonder if others just use the available programs for firing or do they write their own.

QotW: When using your programmable kiln, do you use preset schedules or set your own custom schedules? 

 

best,

Pres

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I have an L&L EZ Fire and would be lost without the wonderful selection of pre-programs that are clearly described and explained in the manual. If I were doing more than I am or different items I would set custom schedules but I simply have no need to at this time. I've found the pre-sets to be accurate and consistent, and still with some flexibility (hold times, fast or slow glaze, for example). The computerization really makes my life easier and keeps things simple. 

 

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I use the automatic for most normal firing as I believe the default speeds are fine and special programmability for custom firings when there is a real reason to go a different speed. I must say I never use the fast schedules  as they are a bit on the edge for even firings and the mix of wares that might exist in many kilns.  Cone 5 with a fifteen minute hold is not really all that custom but I will use the combination when temperature sensitive glazes are present. I also never really use the fast schedules, too fast for me and tend to be uneven unless in the test kiln for which many of my glazes are just fine fast fired but it’s such a small kiln it fires even at high speed. I never really fast bisque as well, with the variety of clays, it’s just not worth being unsure everything is burned out. I will say a -40 degree offset seems very high to me though. It makes me wonder how much is due to the fast speed.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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I mostly use the programmed schedules that came with the L&L but I did come up with my own schedule for slumping bottles when I first got my kiln.  That took a lot of trial and error.  A lot.  The program that came with the kiln simply did not work to achieve a great product.  I never intended to slump bottles but the material was free, and I sold a lot of bottles for a few years while the fad was strong.  Now I just do one or two loads a year as a request from customers.  Also I was able to program a schedule for roasting Alberta slip and Ravenscrag.  #4 on the Vary fire!  But mostly I use the hold or not or preheat or not to get what I need. 

Roberta

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