[Clayart] digital controller for old kiln. sawdust instead of straw in small kiln

David Woof woofpots at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 5 20:59:09 UTC 2022


Hi Paul, Vince and All,
 Wouldn't you agree that a kiln equipped with sitter alone has less control of e-energy for duration of amounts where needed in the kiln, and thus duration of electrical energy to the elements, and with no controlled variance between the zones.
This will definitely affect life of elements in contrast to the Digital Controlled Kiln.

The Digital control which if properly programed reads sensors that supply information from each zone and the Digital control then acts to balance the e-energy active at any given moment in each zone. And, of utmost importance to us, balance the load.
I still always work near kiln during firing, and "Babysit" my dear sweet digital controlled L&L during expected ramp changes and always manually initiate ramp down and shut down as witness cones indicate.

P.S. The Digital controls on any Kiln will make ease of firing for "Dummies" also.
B'B'But then over the long haul one must expect "Dumb" results!!!@#%@@%

"Another P.S." With my "new fangled" L&L I can set one zone to fire a cone to a cone and one half lower for a different glaze/body maturation during the same firing........ for various reasons.

Misneach.
Woof..................and my Muse. with a demonstrative Irish Jig and excited hand clapping sez: "OOOOH Woof ya got it goin on!!!!"............................................To be continued................back at the ranch.......er studio...
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From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> on behalf of paul gerhold <gerholdclay at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 8:52 AM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] digital controller for old kiln. sawdust instead of straw in small kiln

Why would a digital kiln get longer element life since element life should be determined by nothing more than the amount of current that flows through the element?

Paul

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 5, 2022, at 10:23 AM, vpitelka at dtccom.net wrote:
>
> I don't remember when it was that L&L switched over to digital controllers.  Seems to me that it was around 2000.  Early in the millennium we bought new digital L&L kilns at the Appalachian Center for Craft, and the old L&Ls we got rid of were all Kiln-Sitter kilns.  One of the new kilns was an L&L 30-cubic-foot frontloader electric, and the other three were the e23T toploaders.  We kept one old Skutt in good condition so that all of the students would learn about Kiln Sitters.  I must admit that I was skeptical of the digital controllers at first, but I quickly grew to love them.  In terms of maintenance, they were far more reliable than even a well-maintained Kiln Sitter, and elements lasted much longer in the digital kilns.  In the fifteen years or so that we were using the digital kilns before I retired, we occasionally had to replace thermocouples or relays, as you would expect, but those are easy fixes.  In that time, we never had a single failure of the digital motherboard/keyboard.
>
> Regarding firing accuracy, the one advantage of a Kiln Sitter kiln is that the softening of the cone corresponds to the actual maturation of the clay and/or glazes, whereas the shutoff protocol of a digital kiln is responding only to temperature and not to duration of the firing.
> - Vince
>
> Vince Pitelka
> Potter, Writer, Teacher
> Chapel Hill, NC
> vpitelka at dtccom.net
> www.vincepitelka.com<http://www.vincepitelka.com>
> https://chathamartistsguild.org/
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of paul gerhold
> Sent: Friday, April 1, 2022 11:16 AM
> To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] digital controller for old kiln. sawdust instead of straw in small kiln
>
> My guess would be a properly maintained kiln setter is a lot more reliable than a computerized controller and a lot less expensive to maintain.
>
> That said if you are doing glazes and crystals either macro or micro a computer makes it a whole lot easier.
>
> Paul
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
>> On Apr 1, 2022, at 11:03 AM, Carolyn Curran <cncpots2 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On the kiln sitter  perhaps I was just too used to using cones and
>> was reticent to rely on the kiln sitter.  If I can have use of a kiln
>> in my facility,  I sure as heck would work with the kiln sitter. or else use
>> cones to make sure all is OK>    On the other hand,  if a computerized
>> controller is feasible and practical,  then I'd go with that.   I like to
>> check on a kiln when it's near end of firing..just in case the
>> controller doesn't shut off kiln at proper time, even if that is rare these days.
>> But does anyone -know if the computerized controllers are compatible
>> with older kilns?  I'd like some feedback before  kiln technie comes
>> here so that staff here knows about a possible option to old kiln sitter.
>>    On using sawdust for a primitive kiln:  the last little kiln I
>> built I never actually fired beforehand but  charcoal fired  it the
>> first time in the green state, and it worked fine,so maybe it would be worth a try with
>> that  using sawdust.    Thanks for idea. I usually use heavily grogged clay
>> and added vermiculite  or perlite..)   Chopping up straw with any tool
>> available took a long time.  I had not thought of tree leaves. or pine
>> needles, though.     My middle name has been experimentation for 50 years
>> as a potter, but at this point I appreciate help from others  since I
>> never know how much time I have left for playing in clay.  Tempus fugit.
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