Electric Kiln Firing How do I get my L&L kiln to fire correctly?
Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:29 PM
Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:55 PM
This is not outside the window that electric kilns normally fire to, the one & two cone difference. "Soak, hold, and ramp down" is what the best advice is. That and find glazes with broader ranges, or ones that will still be nice slightly over-fired. You don't want under-fired. Try going a cone higher, say cone 7. Usually electric kilns because they fire so fast and have no thermal mass to speak of, as gas kilns with all those pots & shelving & soaps, etc. get a lot more maturing time for the glazes. Your approach is correct, just hang in there!! This happens to everybody
h a n s e n
Stone House Studio, Alexandria, Virginia
Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:32 PM
Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:18 PM
USE cone packs to monitor the heat. Try rearranging the ware. Dense here, sparse there. Stagger shelves arrangements.
Fire slow, soak at glazes temp. and soak again at 1800 F. or so. Make it work.
Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:02 PM
All the suggestions given so far are good ones.
The 8-sided, 18 inch tall, L&L Liberty Belle kiln is very simple in that it just has one thermocouple and all the elements are turned on and off at the same time.
With just one thermocouple there is no attempt by the digital controller to keep the temperature even from top to bottom in this kiln.
With that in mind, there remains only a couple variables that can have anything to do with the evenness in temperature top to bottom in this kiln. They are: Loading, Speed of Firing, Convection, and Heat Loss.
Loading and Speed of Firing go hand in hand. It is ok to load a lot of ware into a kiln, it will just need to be fired more slowly to keep the heat-work reasonably the same throughout the kiln . Always center your shelves and never load anything past the edge of the shelf. Loading ware too close to the elements will overheat them.
Convection, or air movement, is important. Most of the heat in the kiln is radiant heat not heated air, but pulling the heated air downward with the downdraft vent system helps to even out heat-work. If most of the air coming into the kiln is coming in around the lid it is possible to see the top shelf a little cooler, especially if it is close to the top of the kiln. The suggestion earlier of using a top shelf like a cap on top of the load is a good one. Also be sure the hinge is adjusted high enough so that the lid will sit flat when it gets hot.
Heat Loss through the firebrick is happening all over the kiln. More and more heat is lost the hotter the kiln gets. The sides of the kiln have elements producing heat, but the top and bottom have no elements. Ware on the very bottom and very top of the kiln will be cooler, compared to the center of the kiln because of the extra heat that is being lost through the top and bottom. The effects of heat loss on this little kiln are best combated by a lighter load, a slower firing, and the air movement.
Suby, feel free to call/ email me directly to discuss more.
Technical Sales and Support
L&L Kiln Mfg Inc.
800-259-1423 X 106
Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:02 PM
Are you certain that all the banks of elements are working?
Did you change some of the elements, but some other sets are older?
And a more general question.........
How long are you taking overall (I realize it is not linear climb) to get to cone 04 or to cone 6 in hours of total climb time?
That additional information could serve to help everyone debug this stuff for you. But Rob is "on target".
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art
Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:42 PM