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new (to me) electric kiln firing advise sought

updated fri 8 feb 02


Maid O'Mud on thu 7 feb 02

I purchased a used Skutt C181 from a man divorced from his wife who used =
to "play with ceramics". He thinks she only fired the kiln a few times.

The elements swiftly passed the matchstick test, so they are intact, and =
seem to be in excellent condition. As a matter of fact, except for the =
kiln shelves, the kiln is in remarkable condition. The kiln looks to be =
1/2 the size of my 6.8 cube. It has 2 bottom elements, a non-element =
middle and 2 elements at the top. The sections plug into each other, =
allowing the blank to be removed as needed. The kiln sitter cylinder is =
broken, but since I fire by witness cones anyway, this is of little =
concern. It is rated to "max cone 6"; my other kiln is rated ^10 so my =
questions are:

1) Can the kiln be fired to an even cone 6 throughout if I leave the =
blank installed or do I only use the blank for bisque firing?

2) How long can I expect this kiln to take to fire to ^6 doing: =
overnight candling at low, medium for 4 hours then to high?

3) I'm used to using infinite heat switches. Are there any problems =
inherent with using low/medium/high switching system? Any benefits?

I put a kiln shelf on the floor with one pot and 5/6/7 cone pack then =
stilts and a middle shelf loaded the same; ditto with a top shelf - =
basically dividing the kiln into 3 equal sections.

I look forward to reading any advise out there.

Many thanks

Sam - Maid O'Mud Pottery
Melbourne, Ontario CANADA

"First, the clay told me what to do.
Then, I told the clay what to do.
Now, we co-operate."
sam 1994