[Clayart] old kilns a story

ronroy at ca.inter.net ronroy at ca.inter.net
Sat Oct 15 18:40:50 UTC 2022

And don't forget - a vent keeps everything oxidized in an electric  
kiln so your elements last longer and so do your lungs. If the vent  
you use draws air downwards it also helps your kiln fire more evenly.

Depending on the number of firings in a year a vent will pay for  
itself. Think about it. All clay has carbon in it and it has to burn  
out. If there is enough oxygen (vents bring in fresh oxygen) present  
elements do better. They sure don't like reduction.


Quoting mel jacobson <melpots at mail.com>:

> 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, worked
> 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

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

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