[Clayart] old cones

John Post johnpost89a at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 19:33:31 UTC 2021

Hey Mel,

In my past life as an elementary art teacher I replaced many kiln sitter
sensing rod mechanisms.

I don't like that little silver colored calibration disc they give you with

I used to calibrate the dropping mechanism with a perfectly fired cone from
a previous firing. That way I would be setting the lever up to drop when it
had a cone fired the way I wanted it to fire in the sitter.

When I first started teaching, I would attempt to repair the existing kiln
sitter mechanism by figuring out what was causing it to malfunction.

After having repeat issues with some kiln sitters I decided they were
cursed and it was more prudent and gave me more peace of mind to just
replace the entire sensing rod mechanism from the get go.

Since the goal here is to stop having misfiring I would buy a new box of
cones because they so inexpensive - not because I think they are the

Another random thought I have about those sensing rods is that they take an
awful lot of abuse from corrosive fumes.

Sometimes a bent or sticking sensing rod is the problem and not the little
prong set up that holds the cone.

On Fri, Sep 24, 2021, 11:36 AM mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com> wrote:

> We have been experiencing some sticky cones and some
> over fires on one electric kiln.  I will probably
> exchange the entire norton kiln sitter...I have all
> new parts...But, one of our vendors asked colleen.."are your
> cones really old?"  yes, like 25 year old boxes.
> Arnold and I have no reason to believe cones can get old.
> It seems to be getting crazy.  Arnold likes to advise folks
> to keep a small bottle with thick kiln wash to dab on the
> cone holders.  I have used itc in the past. but, not on this
> kiln.
> I know, I know...what is the recipe for kiln wash for
> this sort of application.  ?
> what have veteran potters experienced with this issue.?
> (colleen is now using a new box of cone 08 bars, and she
> is experiencing kiln firing fear.)
> We had the cone packs blow up in the baby stoneware and
> i fired it with two pyrometers and color.  hit cone 11 perfect.
> Had one pyrometer stick at 1900...threw that one out...hit it with
> a brick.
> I am sick of this issue.
> Mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML
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