Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Thoughts about electric kilns
Yesterday we did make it out to the studio.
There were pots to be made and that pesky electric kiln to fix.
It turned out to be two lose connections.
Mark had lent our kiln repair box of connectors and such to a fellow potter up the raod.
With ice on both ends of the quarter mile driveway it was to tricky to have him drive in or Mark drive out.
So Mark walked out to meet him while I finished up some plates.
Later, we both spent some time looking over new electric kilns on line.
They are not that expensive when you look at the whole picture.
Yet, in February it is not wise to spend 2 to 3 thousand dollars.
I was happy to have the fix it guy fix this one yet again.
We have bought 4 electric kilns since 1982.
We sold the first one off years ago.
The second one has been running like a top with only one change of elements, but it is 7 cubic feet and runs a bit slow now.We figure this kiln to be at least 25 years old.
The other two, one of which is the one with age problems, has been a good sound reliable kiln.
No computers, just a kiln sitter, which we now bypass.
We have replaced the kiln sitter 3 times on this kiln.
It has issues on when it likes to pop off.
So one day I thought I would just use the pyrometer and forgo any cones.
We have done that ever since.
But this does mean a lot of back and forth checking the kiln as it gets close to target temperture.
We did buy a short round electric computer kiln for the tiles.
Punch in the numbers and leave it alone.
So here is the thoughts and weight in on this.
Keep in mind we are only useing these kilns for bisque .
Do we buy, sometime this year, a programmable kiln?
Or just stick with a cone sitter style?
Any pros and cons?
Some better then others?
What about repair cost if something goes wrong.
And Tracey- there might be an old kiln in your future to turn into a Raku kiln after we get this all figured out.