[Clayart] Old Kilns

Mahaffey, Rick rmahaffey at tacomacc.edu
Thu Oct 14 22:04:00 UTC 2021

When I was a student at San Jose State U. there were 4 Globar kilns with those large diiameter silicon carbide tubes that were about 2 or 3 inches in diameter the small kilns had three on each side totaling 6 Globars.  I helped replace the Globars in one kiln.  The Globars were connected to the power by a woven strap that was about 3" wide and 1/4-3/8" thick.  There were high temperature clamps that held the strap around the end of the Globar tube.

Dr Herbert Sanders used to fire his crystalline glazed work in the big one with 8 Globars.  They all had 3 position switches.  Dr. Sanders would watch the analog pyrometer and toggle the switch handle between 2 and 3 (Medium and High).  The kiln was slow to respond so he had to predict the kiln temperature rise and fall.  I was always amazed as I watched him get up and flip the switch and then see that the pyrometer only moved a little bit.

If I had one of those now I would not hesitate to use it.  I have no idea the voltage that they operated on.

We also had 2 30 cu ft Alpine gas kilns and one 20 cc ft Alpine updraft kilns.   All of that was inside on the second floor of the building.   Thank God for the freight elevator used to bring in clay and glaze materials.

Rick Mahaffey
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