Pottery kiln interest in repairing and possibility of electrical connection

ISSUE or REQUEST:

Affected Tool or Resource: [pottery kiln]

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Details of ISSUE or REQUEST (Please be as specific as possible):
[REPLACEME]

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We have a pottery kiln that I was told needs some repair and of course it would need to have electrical connected . I would be happy to try and figure out what it needs and take a stab at repairing it if we have a chance of getting it wired in. I have been itching to give pottery a try but don’t have a kiln and can’t really afford to buy one. I was thinking if we had that working I would buy a cheap pottery wheel on Amazon for the space. Just a thought please let me know what you all think. One other thing - some pottery firing takes many hours. how would that work as far as the space - would it need to be under constant observation?Thanks.

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I would be interested in a wheel and kiln. My grandmother had a kiln but never watched it. Also, if there is a wheel and kiln, would there be a slip sink?

I would love to do pottery! You dont have to watch it if it has timed heating

We’re waiting for electrical hookup, last I knew, before we could test the kiln.

As far as the kiln, I was told that it heats up and continues to heat beyond whatever temperature it was set to. I have downloaded the user manual. Where should I share it?

specifically there is a spring loaded switch on the control box that is supposed to click into position and then release when it hits a target temp and shut off. The switch currently will not stay in the on position. The one time we ran the kiln that im aware of we stuck the switch in the on position with a piece of duct tape and monitored it. when it reached the target temp i removed the tape and let the switch fall, shutting off the kiln.

Isn’t there a consumable cone you stick in there and it melts when it hits the proper temperature? I just vaguely remember that from a craft class at camp when I was 10.

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Orton small pyrometric bars for the kiln sitter cone 04 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BW4FCZ6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_KMD4XEMGYPGGY2CHNDTQ. I

I believe these bars melt and shut the kiln off when it gets up to temp. Yes I would be interested is seeing the manual Evelyn. Maybe Sunday we can talk about it. Thanks.

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@CBennett
Yes, there are cones that do that, or were, not sure about the current state of things.

Let’s chat about this the next time we’re both in the space!

Ok, I will be coming in to observe the blacksmithing this afternoon if your around.

I dropped in today to look at the kiln. I did a similar setup at another shop I use. I should have taken a few pic’s so if someone has the user manual can they reply with it attached? anyway. We all know its a 240v. but I believe its a 50 amp plug. Not common but available at home depot for 10$ for the socket. If not it’s easy enough to replace it with a better more modern 50 amp plug and socket. The 50am breaker is 30$.Of course we dont need to set it up to draw that much current my other setup draws 30amps and does great.
as to the control. If we are planing on getting this up and running I suggest a solid state PID controler instead of cones.

by the way yes I realize that box listed say’s 100v. It was just the first example I found. there are 240v available fore the same price/ish
is a very well reviewed setup and goes up to 2300F. more than what your average hobbyist needs. 42$ Its a lot more reliable than cones which are a consumable item.
I’m happy to help set this up but it will be about a month before I can dedicate some time to this. I might have march 6th/7th where I can do some work if the Space admins sign off. Is there a detailed plan or proposal I need to set up. as a quick test I might be able to unplug my rig and plug it into the one at the shop for testing.
I’m happy to donate materials, time and help write a SOP. I"m no pottery expert as I use my kiln for metal heat treating. If others are planing on trying to get this up and running before the 7th let me know otherwise if the makerspace admins want to chime in and give me the go-ahead let me know. oh
/James

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Here’s a link to the manual EvenHeat sent me


Just in case you needed the amp draw or model number.

Then I would suggest we upgrade the plug to conform to the shop’s other 30 amp 240v plugs. I can do that also. I’d like to state I’m happy to take on this project but I just cant really get to it until March. Does anyone else want to take this on earlier? if not I’ll plan on popping in maybe this weekend for some prep work. if anyone wants to meet up to discuss we can set a time.

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Update: Today Feb20th, I took a deep dive to check everything out. I removed the control box, cleaned it out and removed a lot of dust and dirt. I also replaced one of the broken switches, and checked connectivity of switches and heating elements. all seemed good, except for element 4(4th down from top). it’s conductivity seemed iffy to me.
Other than that It seems it should work
Next steps: Sunday March 7th is the next day I can work on this. I will have the PID controller, relays ready to hook up. I may still have to replace the plug on the kiln to adapt to a modern plug if I cant find one to match. This control box will be a detachable item that we can check out for use or not. It is never advisable to leave a kiln like this unattended so I’ll leave it up to the board as to how they want to handle the SOP on this.
If anyone who is interested to help or observe is welcome to join me around 12 on Sunday March 7th.

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I will come in and give you a hand with that. I would be interested in seeing how it’s done. I will dig around my supplies and see if I have anything to replace that cord.

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No luck finding a matching outlet. I will take a look at it Sunday . It would be nice to be able to plug it in when your done installing the controller .

We can always snip off the old plug and add a more convenient 220v. not that difficult. I do it all the time.

Update: Last Sunday we wired the Pid and power and tested. But I still need to mount everything into a control box. I know that’s going to take me a least another week. then we will need to write an SOP and do some training for anyone who wants to use.

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Kiln update: I got everything wired up and tested the PID controller and the Kiln. The small success is that the controller works, set the temp and the kiln will turn off and on at the desired temp. The bad news. This kiln is extreamly old. It has 5 heating elements and only element only #1 and #5 are are operational. It may be the individual switch or it may be the element. Usually its the element. Cost for a new element is about 90$ each. that I could find on internet specificly for the evenheat model. there are other generic heating elements for about 80% less. but I’m not sure how they would respond. The PID Controller will will with another kiln if the makerspace gets one. it would just need to be updated with a matching plug. I’ll keep an eye out on this space if the admins want more info or I can do more. I’m happy to spring for new generic elements but I cant afford 3 new elements at 90$. I’ll know later if its the switches or the elements next week unless someone else wants to take a look at them.

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