[Clayart] old kilns a story

William Schran wschran at twc.com
Sat Oct 15 10:45:30 UTC 2022

Contact Arnold Howard, kiln guy, formally of Paragon. Paragon bought
Duncan and continues to supply parts. You can find Arnold on Facebook.

William Schranwschran at twc.com703-505-1617

	-----------------------------------------From: "David Lyons" 
To: "Clayart international pottery discussion forum"
Sent: Friday October 14 2022 8:40:47PM
Subject: Re: [Clayart] old kilns a story

 I have a Duncan kiln that I am turning off and on like Mel describes.
Otherwise it fires way too fast. Is this the same situation in Mel’s
kiln with springs and is there an adjustment to slow the firing down?
 Dave Lyons

 Sent from my iPhone

 > On Oct 14, 2022, at 5:54 PM, mel jacobson  wrote:
 > there are many old kilns out there that can be used
 > for years to come. knowing basic specs like "phase" etc
 > are critical, and knowing the amperage. it all has to match
 > distance as Bill has mentioned is critical. if you can, keep the
 > kiln near the breaker box.
 > I do not patch in electrical systems for folks. far to dangerous.
 > I do it for me, but not others.
 > we got an old electric kiln a few years back for the farm. 40 amp,
 > fine with a dryer cord and plug. just a few feet from our garage
breaker box.
 > it is a "blue diamond", from florida some place. runs with springs
to auto
 > fire the kiln. the springs are too tight and the kiln gets far too
hot, too fast.
 > I start the kiln, then turn it off, start again, then again. when
it hits 500 I
 > just let it go. we only bisque fire in it.
 > I did not change coils, just cleaned it, polished all the
connections and let her
 > rip. the entire project of install and firing cost us nothing.
about 20 years ago
 > I bought of box of about 50 kiln coils. all new. left over from a
college program.
 > 50 bucks donated to their clay fund. in a pinch, any one of those
coils could be
 > added to this kiln. it will get hot, I just don't worry about the
specs. one coil.
 > I bend coils using a bernzomatic gas torch. turn red, bend. a small
set of pliers
 > and away we go. polish all connections, make a tight connection.
works great.
 > I even tie coils together when they break in the kiln. all one has
to do is heat
 > the break to red hot, grab the ends and pull them out. sand paper
each end, or as I do,
 > use a tiny power grinder. make them clean and bright...grab both
ends, heat to red
 > and twist the two wires together. and then push them into the
groove. (yes, use pliers, not
 > your fingers.)
 > I did the twist together coils with an old L&L kiln I got at the
dump. After the twist
 > fix, I got 38 firings to bisque temp in that kiln. The control box
finally rotted out
 > and was falling off. I sent a picture to Steve Lewicky the owner of
L&L and demanded
 > a new kiln as mine was falling apart. he sure laughed. that kiln
was build by his
 > dad in 1968.
 > the big issue is, if you only bisque fire in an electric kiln, take
your time and do it
 > right..it will last for years without new coils. cone 9 in an
electric kiln will be
 > a quick murder of the kiln. WHY DO WE LOVE RON AND JOHN.? CONE 6,
 > GLAZES. think of the kilns they have saved.
 > just remember what carol marions has taught us. down fire it works
for you too. cone 6,
 > turn off kiln, then back on for two hours, let it cool, turn it
back on at 1700 for
 > for more hours see what happens. of course she is a world class
expert in silica
 > and melt, but you can take her system and make it work for you.
down firing is not
 > expensive, one switch on, hold temp. or program it like bill schran
does for crystal
 > glazes. it works. carol shows you the way...follow her, it is why
she does it for
 > clayart....shared knowledge. she wants you to grow and learn. then
it becomes your own voice.
 > I will give you any recipe I have...but you cannot have my pots
without using my clay and
 > my firing timing. that is the hard part. anyone can copy a
recipe...but, can you make
 > great pots.???? clay body may be the most important part of making
"clay" objects fired
 > in a kiln.
 > mel
 > website: www.melpots.com
 > www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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