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

vpitelka at dtccom.net vpitelka at dtccom.net
Wed Apr 6 18:39:19 UTC 2022


Hi Ron - 
All the electric kilns at the Appalachian Center for Craft were under a wide
and very efficient exhaust hood, so we did not have vent systems on the
individual kilns. 
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Potter, Writer, Teacher
Chapel Hill, NC
vpitelka at dtccom.net
www.vincepitelka.com 
https://chathamartistsguild.org/ 

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of
ronroy at ca.inter.net
Sent: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 10:59 AM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum
<clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>; paul gerhold <gerholdclay at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] digital controller for old kiln. sawdust instead of
straw in small kiln

Perhaps vents were installed at the same time - vents have a very real
affect on extending element life.

RR



Quoting paul gerhold <gerholdclay at gmail.com>:

> 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
>> 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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>>
>



Ron Roy
ronroy at ca.inter.net
Web page ronroy.net




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