Friday, 27 July 2012

The Kiln Sitter Issue


The bisc firing seemed to all go ok. The kiln i was given obviously works just fine, pheww! Nothing exploded and died, but then i think we did take it slowly. next time I will fire it a bit quicker. The main issue is this second dial on my kiln sitter. I just can't quite get my head around it. I've done a lot of online searches and yet I've never seen a Dawson kiln sitter with this on! It's an LT-3KR... it's the 'R' that seems to be the rarity! ...obviously the model with this Heating dial thing. If any of you guys understand it let me know... or if you know someone that will. I think what we did was right, but I like to REALLY understand these things. Anyway, I'm very happy to have achieved this first firing, now things can really move forward. Now I need to get that glaze mixed... just need to go grab some more ball clay first. Happy, happy, happy. Never thought I'd ever see that thing get fired!!


13 comments:

  1. When we still had manually fired Skutts at my old coop with Dawson sitters, the lower dial was a timer. Set it to the approximate time the kiln will fire and it will turn off automatically if the sitter goes. You have to know how long it takes to get to temp, obviously. Could the different labels be the difference in labeling between our countries?

    P.S. Like your Olympic style celebration in your last post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like you've been busy too, can't believe you've wanted for the hottest week of the year to start up a kiln! What next- moving in to a greenhouse?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Scott! I'm not sure what that bottom dial is for. I think the top dial does what Smartcat is talking about. I emailed that photo to a potter friend who I thought could help but he didn't know either. Well, whatever it is, you got your pots fired and that's all that matters!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Andy, that's funny. I'm just glad i didn't need to be in the room working on pots!

    Thanks for trying Ron and Smartcat! The top dial is estimated hours of firing, which we knew. We set it higher so we could see how many hours were left once the kiln shut off and so figure out how long the firing was. The bottom dial is something totally different, more to do with the turn-up time, but i can't get my head around it. I think i may just start to be having a clue. I need to let it swish around my brain a bit more. I think it enables me to hold the rate of climb and hold that for low over-night soaks etc.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Scott, I've got one of those have a look at this it doesn't explain it at all but I think the pennies just dropped today!

    http://www.fireright.com/documents/kilnsitter/lt3kr.pdf

    I think that is the rate of the firing ramp. It would seem that I've been firing my kiln incorrectly for the last 6 months!

    That little knob corresponds to the firing ramp of the kiln. 1 hour means a slow ramp of the temperature & then full heat after 1 hour. 9 means 9 hours of slow heating & then full power after 9 hours. I've been wondering why my kiln keeps exploding bisque ware & I think I've just sussed it out!

    Anyway have a look at my blog & see what you think. If I'm right about this then you can expect a rather large article on my blog!

    http://mortonsfunkished.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim. I left a comment on your most recent post, but I'll get back to you properly next week. I've been getting my head around it a bit more recently. Thanks for the comment and links.

      Delete
  6. Hi Scott, it is the firing ramp. I'm doing a bisque today with a slow ramp of 5 hours. After 5 hours the kiln has switched onto full heat & is now happy chugging away. This model is a lot better then the LT-3Ks as it lets you slowly bisque & steam off all the moisture. Just after Xmas I was really struggling with getting my pots dry enough but this little controller has sorted it, happy days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey jim. I kinda get what it does now, but can't figure out how i can get that to help me! I just set it on the 9 hrs for my 09 cone bisc. It's getting the right mini-bar for the temperature that is holding me back. Firing for glaze with an 03 minibar, but wanting my temp nearer the low end of that temp range. I've read that if it's a mini cone, rather than bar, you can position the cone a little towards the thinner end so it will shut off sooner. If you think you can get me over my 'hump' just email me through my website and we can continue to share any notes! Glad it's helping you now.

      Delete
  7. I too have an older kiln that has two dials and am trying to master what the dial that's not for "hours" really does. I wish there was a guide that told what temp each number "allowed" as a max or something similar. I'm at a loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've replied in general comments, sorry for missing it!

      Delete
  8. I have a small Chromartie kiln with an lt3kr sitter. The little knob sets the ramp time.. I use earthenware low fire clay and cone 04 ish glazes.. If it's any help, I have had decent results by bisque firing to cone 1 with ramp knob set to 9 hrs and timer to 10, glaze 4.5 or 5 hrs timer set to 6.5. I am hand building but only to maybe a cm thick.. Give or take. I am still learning though.. Hope this helps.. I would always be grateful for any info on how to get this thing to soak !! Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just replied in general comments.

      Delete
  9. Acorn + Archer, sorry only just seen your comment on this old post. I hope Mudpies comment helps you. I know you can somehow control the temp more by turning the dial to set and counting the flashing light, each flash is 10degrees an hour.. then you turn the dial to hold, for a time period, then back to set and count and hold again. I never gave it a shot though. Mudpies is pretty much the approach i took. I just had what i've discovered was a bad glaze, i think it was a poor batch of lead bisilicate.
    My problems have been solved though by a new kiln and new glaze. I have passed my old kiln on though, so shall be trying to help them get the best firing they can from it.
    Mudpies, i've still no idea how to get a soak! An old pottery teacher told me i didn't need one as the minibar is measuring heatwork and not just pure temperature... i'd still like to have soaked... but the sitter is just going to turn off isn't it! Gah!! so over that kiln sitter ;-)

    ReplyDelete