JD18-JH Update: Kiln is too cold to fire.

admin | Kilns | Thursday, January 24th, 2008

It’s so cold, that I thought I got the coolest crystalline glaze ever… until it thawed.
It’s so cold that i don’t want to joke about how cold it is. Seriously, it’s not funny - it’s really too damn cold.
-How cold?:
I have to warm up my thermocouples with a lighter and set the first ramp to hold at 75°F for 5 hours (instead of setting a delay). Otherwise I get an “Error Code-6“, because the controller can’t read something SO COLD!!!

I’ve tried hanging a “warming bulb” inside the kiln, and also used a small space heater when I was in more of a hurry. But you can’t program a delayed early morning start (when it’s going to be the coldest yet) with any one of those in there –it might smell bad. So I heat the TC’s with a lighter and then program the first ramp with a hold at 60-90°F for “X” number of hours.
The nice thing is that whether I do a delay or a preheat ramp/hold, the new kiln doesn’t lag like other kilns I’ve fired. So my rate of rise is always within a few degrees/hour of what I set (even the -20F night we had here last week didn’t slow it down), and I can pretty much calculate when it will hit peak … I’ve never been off by more than 5 minutes.

This year I’m going to build an actual kiln room (rather than just a walled off area) with a low ceiling and door. I’ve been waiting on the Geil to arrive before I do this…
Once a room is up, I’ll be able to use the space heater the way it’s supposed to be used… I’d only need to keep the room above zero, and I could even warm up the room more prior to when I would be in there loading. Oh, oh… the JOY!!!
Did I mention Wisco gets a little chilly?

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