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I Want To Wind My Own Kiln Wire For A Scutt 2327 And Olympic 2327


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I love your winding machine. I like that it just pulls itself along , keeping the windings tight. Ok I have 5 types of kiln , ones a glass kill. And I assume every  one has a different required Ohms number. So is this a major math excercize to get your wire lenth and diameter. Or are you suggestion using .049 diameter and just adjust to the kiln element ohms no matter what diameter of your wires are in your kiln. Now a chart with all elements for every kiln ever made would be nice actually one with just the most popular ones would make me happy. I'm probably asking to much.

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I know you don't want to read a book but The kiln book by Frederick L. Olsen has really good info about this. I have the fourth edition which cost me around £20. Very much a worth while investment if you are into anything kilns. It has all the maths in there you could ever need.

 

I will quote the book where it talks about wire thickness.

 

"The surface load of an element, or the watt density, is measured in watts per square inch. The wear or deterioration during a given period of time is related to the surface load on the element. A higher watt density means a smaller wire size, less material and lower initial cost, but also a higher deterioration rate, resulting in a shortened element life and higher operational costs. It is very important to use the proper surface loading for a particular wire operating at a given temperature in order to obtain maximum element life."

 

It is a balancing act between having the right thickness for the resistance and length of your elements but also having wire thick enough so they are not burning out too quick and also have enough power going through to get to top temps without a struggle.

 

Still I see no reason to get a normal element thickness wire and coil the right length to get your resistance needed and stretch it to the length needed. Maybe crude and not perfect but I don't see why they wouldn't work. Just make sure you add the double wire twists to the end for wiring into electrics.

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Euclids sells the wire by the pound. The first time we ordered it they  didn't put it on a spool and it kept tangling while we were winding and it was a royal pain to sort it out, so if you do order from them make sure they put it on a spool.We use 12 guage, elements last a lot longer but it is much harder to wind. The math does take some work to figure out, you will need to work out wire lengths for bottom, middle and top sections. Plus, take into account the diameter of the mandril you are winding onto plus the thickness of the wire so you don't land up with an element that is too fat for the grooves. http://www.psh.ca/index.php?cat_id=159

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I know people are going to go nuts but I've used the same size wire for all switches for a long time. It started with multiple brand of kilns and multiple size of kilns and ending up using what I had so I could fire, I kept the wire within the brand and size. but there was to many different kilns to keep a inventory and usually no time to wait for a shipped Wire or way to far to drive to get one.

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Having worked many years in the electricial and electronic business this seems initialy like a simple project.  However when i get downn to the bases of it there are loads of variables.

 

The resistance wire is not extremly expensive.  But there are hundreds of different ones out there.  You need to know the lenght of wire required for starters as well as the final resistance of the coil your winding.  Then you need to consider the top temperature that you expect the kilm to get.  Remember the in order to add heat to the kilm the wire needs to be able run at a higher temperature than the actual kiln air temperature.  Besides that you also have the buffering of the temperature change by the load in the kiln. 

With adding extra wattage you could get a kiln to reach extrem temperature in a very short time.  But the clay bodies may have a much lower temperature dependent on there thickness and while you might hit the temp normaly associated with a cone 12 in reality the clay itself at its thickest point may not even be at a cone 06. 

 

Sorry for going slightly off track but I had just been considering ways to shorten kiln time but came to the conclusion that it could bemore of a negative rather than a time savor.

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I know people are going to go nuts but I've used the same size wire for all switches for a long time. It started with multiple brand of kilns and multiple size of kilns and ending up using what I had so I could fire, I kept the wire within the brand and size. but there was to many different kilns to keep a inventory and usually no time to wait for a shipped Wire or way to far to drive to get one.

since you have already done this- with whatever you have what really are you asking about?

Are you wanting one wire for all kilns? The whole deal is its variable.Simple yes to some degree.

Neil said it best (You need to find out wire size, coil size, and ohms)

Mark

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I usumed 1 wire guage would work on all of them, thats what I wanted anyway, they all seem to be wrapped to the same diameter, I haven't checked exacly, But I will . I think euclid has the math needed on its page. I think I'll weigh one of my elements to see how far each Lb of kathal will go. I do see now what a big problem this could be , if I get a small amount somewhere there's probably going to be wasted length of wire.

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  • 3 years later...

Temco sells kanthal by the foot in smaller quantities for $.37/ft or less. I am going to order from them and try this. I am wondering if you got any done, what gauge wire you used, and if you were able to determine wire length per element based on size. We should compare notes, I have a tried and true coiling method.

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On 5/12/2015 at 8:53 PM, jbander said:

I usumed 1 wire guage would work on all of them, thats what I wanted anyway, they all seem to be wrapped to the same diameter, I haven't checked exacly, But I will . I think euclid has the math needed on its page. I think I'll weigh one of my elements to see how far each Lb of kathal will go. I do see now what a big problem this could be , if I get a small amount somewhere there's probably going to be wasted length of wire.

I just replied but forgot to quote. Am wondering how this went for you?

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@caracelles 

I sorta remember reading a book on building electric kilns written some years back.  Think the author was Zakin, book title maybe was "Electric kiln" or something like that.  The book had a chapter on making your own elements from a roll of element wire.  Checkout your library or used book stores.  Search for the first edition.  Later additions sorta skipped the idea of DIY building an electric kiln.  

 

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  • 10 months later...

I`m working on a similar project of trying to make the cheapest kiln possible, Beyond mining my own kaolin and converting it over to mullite to caste your own insulated firebrick. I`m still trying to work out the math on cost efficiency of buying insulated firebrick vs. making your own from raw material and in the "waiting for my test blocks to dry" stage and started the preliminary phase of heating elements. What I mean "by making my own kiln" is inaccurate. What Im attempting is to take my paragon firefly, de engineer it, and build a copy to load into it as a section, utilizing the roof and floor, to modify the kiln to double the height of the firing chamber. To do that I'd need bricks, elements, an infinite switch,some porcelain insulators etc. That's the back story.

So thinking about winding my own heating elements I've discovered China is dropping heating elements pre wound for what looks to be an unbeatable price. Problem is the ratings are specific and no where near what Im looking for and too little details are provided such as the wire gauge to assume anything there. Reading this thread leads me to the assumption one should concern themselves with winding size wire gauge and length to resistance to make the exact fit. I might be way off base here, but my limited understanding so far leads me to believe the major concern is length = resistance.  Thus you could modify the chinese special to work for my needs by controlling the length to get the proper resistance and almost ignore the wire gauge and coil width.

Here's my thought process:  Gauge seems most important if you under size the gauge and send more current through it than that gauge is rated for and the heating element thus melts and blows out. Over sizing the gauge means the same amount of current gets translated into heat over a larger mass, which becomes a non issue, since the same amount of heat is generated over the same time frame as far as the pottery is concerned. This idea is the most concerning for me whether this works or not. 

Coil width, considering once the element is pulled to a proper length this will most likely shrink down the coil width and possibly create the proper coil width by default and 2 In my situation I will be cutting my own heating element channels anyway.  The major concern hear is my kiln wall is 2.5 inches thick with a coil channel of 1 inch depth. Which leads me to believe 1.5 inch wall thickness is minimum for insulation here. A coil with a coil width any bigger that 1 inch would penetrate into the kiln or cause a channel to be cut to a depth leading to a low insulation issue. So thus coil width with a maximum of 1 inch is the ceiling if there is any fudge room available for wire gauge and coil thickness.

IF correct and there's fudge room for both coil width and wire gauge and playing in the same ballpark area of heating elements sizes will get you close enough. Then wire gauge becomes the variable to proper length to achieve proper ohms rating and once that is solved I assume to pray that creates a coil width below the 1 inch maximum, otherwise you`re playing too far outside of the ball park. In this manner concerning yourself almost exclusively with reaching your target ohms through length with some concern on the factors of coil width and gauge but not over concern.

Considering this, for the price of the chinese special coils I`ll be digging deeper into them, attempting to determine their specs to determine if they can in fact be tailor fit to various applications including my own. For the price I think it's worth a gamble here, since if I am correct on the logic train Im presenting, it avoids winding your own coils for a similar price, considering one would have to be proficient at these math variables to achieve any result of success with winding your own.

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I would stay away from the Chinese elements. I can't imagine them lasting for any amount of time. As for rolling your own, just copy what you've already got in the Paragon. Measure the coil diameter and wire gauge and go from there. Or better yet, just buy some coils from Paragon. There is little benefit or savings to rolling your own.

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I'd have to assume kanthal wiring manufacture occurs primarily overseas. From my experience looking into the engineering processes the Chinese usually strive to create a similar enough product to be competitive, if not taking over production entirely and having their manufacturing rebranded within US as a supposedly superior product. According to the reviews of the chinesium elements I get a suspicion they are good to go as far as quality.  As far as savings, from a brief preliminary, I`m getting a price of around $90 after shipping to order a direct fit vs. the $2 for the chinese model. Perhaps 2 elements could be cut from a single $2 length. That's a savings of a possible $88, having to put my thinking cap on, considering I value my time as almost worthless. Right now I`m think it's worth a dice roll considering 1. no matter the quality of kanthal wire it should be considered a consumable and 2. I'd have to replace the chinese elements more than either 22 or 45 times in the span of what a standard paragon element would last to make them financially inefficient, provided you could make them work.

Here's a pic of some kiln porcelain insulator green bodies. The clay I mixed for this has a history of use in DIY kiln furniture including cone 10 so I assume these should be good to go, since their purpose is just to prevent the heating elements electric wire or heating element from shorting to a metal kiln body. Looking over the prices I've found them from $10 to 0.75 cents. If they work they have payed for whatever clay ingredients I've purchased for the casting of insulated bricks either way and I`ll have lots of clay left over for high resistance to thermal shock, cone 10 clay bodies. My first endeavor into clay was inspired by a youtuber named primitive technology to get an idea of where my heads at. I could argue I could buy anything made out of clay so no need to work pottery but the truth is you can't and there's also lower amounts of fun involved in my opinion.

20191114_150316.jpg

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Kanthal wiring is a trademark for a priopietary alloy (from Sweden I think).  You're not getting 2 dollar kanthal from China.  It's likely a nickel chromium alloy which is a lot like kanthal but a lot more brittle. So you might have to take into account the effort and labor for replacing the elements multiple times in the span of that time as well, not just the 2 dollars vs. 90.  Euclids can coil custom lengths, and they also sell element wire and instructions for coiling your own as well.  It's a good resource for that.

Edited by liambesaw
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