Chris Corson device for lifting his lid off the kiln for loading sculpture

Here an image of the pulley system I rigged to lift my kiln’s lid out of the way.  The parts came from Home Depot and Tractor Supply.  My wife helps me with the rings.  I just use the pulley system for the lid — so it gets lifted up and suspended out of the way while I deal with the rings.

Lid lifter for pull-apart kiln

Sculpture in progress from Chris Corson

My work is figurative sculpture, mostly standing torsos and seated figures.  You can see them at www.chriscorsonsculpture.com.  My standing figures are why I bought the Pull-Apart.  I needed interior height and a safe way to get bone dry pieces in place.  The Pull-Apart system makes it easy.
I’ve attached an image of a piece I completed yesterday (28″ tall).  Still green, it will be the next thing to go in the kiln.
Christopher Corson

Unbalanced 3 Phase kilns and why the amperage can be odd

A distributor asks:

On 208V 3P, why does the e23S-3 pull 34.6 amps, but the e23T-3 only pulls 27.7 amps? Is that a typo, or does it have something to do with splitting 3 phase over 4 elements?

Answer: On an e23T-3 you have three balanced circuits. There is a total of 48 amps being split three ways. A simple way to calculate this is that each phase is taking 16 amps X the 3-phase factor of 1.732 to get 27.7 amps on each phase. On the e23S-3 the full amperage of 40 amps is split between two phases with one phase unused. So 20 X 1.732 = 34.64 per phase. You take the highest amperage on any phase to get the amperage of the device.

Customer Repairs Old Duncan Lid with our Phosphate Cement and Video Help

I just watched (for the second time!) your excellent video regarding the repair of a kiln lid.  Thank you so much for that; it is extremely helpful!  Now I just have to find a source for Greenset 94P.  Do you sell it?  Or can you recommend a supplier?  Thanks for your help!

Virginia, Artist.
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The Service Team, L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.
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Can I ask what you recommend for what quantity I might need for a badly cracked 28″ lid?  (Picture attached)

Virginia, Artist.
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I would get a quart. Looks like a Skutt lid?
The Service Team, L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.
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An old Duncan DK 1029-2, that I retrieved from a neighbor’s trash 25+ years ago, haha!
Virginia, Artist.
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Sorry to bother you AGAIN, but I am curious about the ingredients in the phosphate kiln cement.  Is it possible to get a MSDS as a pdf on it before ordering?
Virginia, Artist.
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The Service Team, L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.
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Hello again,
Attached is a photo of my kiln lid, after I went through the process outlined in that great video.  It is still drying, and I still need to re-attach the hinge and fire it, but it seems really rigid and strong, and I’m thrilled so far!  I do have a question.  The video recommends firing to cone 5.  I never fire to cone 5.  The highest I go is 04.  Is cone 5 absolutely necessary?  I don’t like the idea of firing an empty kiln to cone 5….seems like such a waste.  Any thoughts from you or your technicians there?
Thanks so much for your help.
20160424_151314-1
Virginia, Artist.
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Virginia – it is not necessary to go to cone 5 – just fire to whatever temperature you do normally. Let me know how it holds up – I really want to know if this works well for an old lid like that. Was it easy for you to do?
The Service Team, L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.
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L&L,
Thanks for your quick response.  That’s a big help, not having to fire all the way to cone 5.
As to the ease of execution, I would say that It wasn’t bad! I watched the video three times before doing the work, and took notes the last time.  I kept my notes close by while I was working. Before I started, I made sure the space on which I set the lid (my studio floor) was perfectly flat and covered it with plastic, which I made clean-up easy. The lid is now sitting in the same spot on a piece of cardboard; I plan to fire it tomorrow.
It is important to note that of course, the cement adds a little bit to the dimension of the lid — and with so many cracks in mine, the addition was significant (about 1/2″ to 3/4″ maybe).  I used almost the entire quart of cement!  There’s about 1/2″ left in the bottom of the jar, so your recommendation of a quart was spot-on.
I will check in after several firings to report how it works.
Thanks!
Virginia, Artist.
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Hello L&L,
Please accept my apologies for not getting back to you sooner about the performance of my repaired kiln lid.  Since April 27, I have fired the kiln at least twelve times.  The lid is perfect!  It is REALLY strong.  The only difference is that the repair has resulted in the lid being heavier than it was originally.  This has not affected its performance at all, except that now, with no cracks, it holds the heat in better!  I am ecstatic with this repair!  Thanks again for all your help.  The instructional video was extremely helpful as well.
I’m hoping to get another 20 years out of this thing.
Best,
Virginia

Issues with using a Skutt Envirovent on an L&L Easy-Fire Kiln

A Customer asks:
I recently purchased an E28S-3 kiln from Clay King as a replacement for my old Excel kiln. I have a Skutt EnviroVent system (Metal collection cup under the kiln feeds to an exhaust system – has 2 holes in the cup to mix in air from the room). I watched your vent installation video which gives instructions for drilling the holes in the bottom of the kiln.

My EnviroVent instructions recommend that for a 12 sided, 18” deep kiln, I should drill one hole in the slab and two holes in the lid using a ¼” drill bit. Your video does not address drilling holes in the top of the kiln. I spoke with your representative on the phone who said you do not have top holes for your vented kilns. How does air enter the kiln?

Please advise me on this issue. I am not going to drill any holes (top or bottom) until I hear from you. In the meantime, I will run the initial test fire without the vent system and will just vent the air from the kiln room to the outside.

Thanks

Nancy

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The air comes in mostly through the holes where the elements enter the kiln which provides a nice even distribution. Slightly different philosophy than Skutt.

L&L

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Thanks for your response. I will not drill any top holes and check to see how the kiln draws when I fire it. Do you think I should drill 1 or 2 holes in the bottom slab?

Nancy

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Nancy – we recommend two 1/4″ holes for that kiln.

L&L

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I ran the first firing for my E28S-3 kiln. Everything seemed fine while it was firing. About 15 minutes after it was complete I pressed the Stop button and the kiln started visibly rocking. The same when I pressed the Review button to see the final temp (2158). Everything was installed level and the kiln stand remained stable. But if I barely touched the kiln handle or controller the kiln rocked front to back, like the bottom slab had slightly rounded. Now that it is completely cooled, it is once again sitting flat. I’m afraid to load pots in the kiln for fear that this will happen every time the kiln reaches high temps.

What’s happening?

Nancy

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Nancy –

I have never heard of anything like this.

I am wondering if it has to do with some issue with how the Skutt Envirovent mates with our kiln. They have a very different way of making sure the collection cup mates to the underside to the kiln and our stand if very different. Try firing the kiln without the vent attached and see what you find out.

If this is the problem I am not sure how to fix it but I am happy to work through it with you.

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Ok, I’ll try that and let you know. What do you think about loosening the metal skin on the bottom slab just a little bit to give the brick more room to expand?

Nancy

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No problem with that if you want to try it but I do not think that is the issue

L&L

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I just wanted to give you a follow up to my “rocking” kiln problem. The problem did seem to be the EnviroVent, but, for the life of me, I can’t comprehend the physics of why. I disconnected the collection cup under the kiln, ran a fast cone 5 glaze cycle and the kiln didn’t rock.

I want to use my vent, so I decided to experiment with a different installation. The collection cup sits on a metal post with a strong spring to hold it up against the bottom of the kiln. I removed the post and spring, used a piece of thick kiln insulation blanket to cut a new gasket for the top of the cup that would have some give to it, and braced the cup up against the bottom of the kiln stand with some old kiln brick and a piece of broken kiln shelf. I entered my favorite cone 5 with a hold program and the kiln fired beautifully!!

Thanks for your help. Hopefully, I won’t have any more problems, but it’s nice to know that L & L has such great support!! I’ve been firing electric kilns for over 20 years now and this is my first “brand new” kiln. I’m really looking forward to glazing all the bisqueware that has accumulated in my studio while I dealt with my old temperamental kiln.

Thanks again,

Nancy

DaVinci Bell Lift Packing

We just shipped a TB3436 Bell-Lift kiln to Kohler this past week.

Here it is before it is taken apart:

davinci-bell-lift-tb3436-kohler

DaVinci Bell-Lift Kiln

Here it is packed ready for shipment:

davinci-bell-lift-packed-kohler

DaVinci Bell-Lift Kiln packed and ready for shipment

How to fix a DaVinci Counterbalance Tube

A customer writes:

I have an X3227 DaVinci kiln that I bought in 2000.  It has been sitting unused in my studio for about 8 years and I am looking to sell it.  While I was looking it over I noticed that the counterbalance cables were slack and no longer supported the lid.  I also noticed some of the hardware on the kiln had rusted.  I can’t see where the cables hook up to the weights because they are enclosed in the tube, but I’m thinking that perhaps the connection rusted out so that the weights dropped off. Does that make sense?  I’m wondering if you could give me some directions as to how I can fix this problem.

The only visible area on the counter balance system is the steel cable that attaches to the eyescrews at the front of the lid and run upward to the tubes at the back of the kiln. Those cables should be taut but they are slack. If I try to lift the lid it is very difficult because it is not assisted by the counterbalance system and I am lifting the full weight of the lid. Maybe if you could explain how the system works, it would help me understand what has happened. The cables run through the top of the steel tubes on the rear of the kiln along a pulley which I can see at the top of the tube. I’m assuming that the cables are attached to some sort of weights inside the tubes but maybe I’m mistaken. How does the system work? The cables appear to be disengaged from whatever created tension in them.

L&L:

Inside the tube there is a spring. Attached to the top of the spring and the bottom of the spring is a metal clip. This is screwed into the spring . Wrapped around the top clip is a wire rope which has a wire clamp on it. Perhaps this has come undone. To get to the assembly you would need to grind off the welds on the bar that holds the spring clip to the bottom of the tube. After you fix the interior assembly you will need to reweld the bar that holds the clip at the bottom of the tube.

davinci-counterbalance-clips-700 davinci-counterbalance-clips-weld-700

Size of Vent Duct for two kilns

We just installed a new L&L kiln (Model e23T-208, Serial # 050916-B-CWK) and L&L Vent-Sure Downdraft Kiln Vent System with the Vent Doubler System so we could also vent our existing Skutt KM1023.

My question involves the size of the central duct (which I understand to be the flue that exits the room).

If I understand correctly, on page 6, the kiln vent manual states that for 2 kilns the central duct should be 6”. PLEASE KEEP READING!

Our central duct is 4”, BUT we will ONLY BE CAPABLE OF FIRING ONE KILN AT A TIME. With the idle kiln dampered off, will the 4” central duct be adequate/acceptable for this situation?

 

Beth

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The volume of air to be moved is actually for one kiln at a time only in this scenario so a 4″ duct is perfectly acceptable.

Some general thoughts:

The table on page six of our instructions is meant as a general guideline in any case. The larger size of the duct reduces the static pressure which allows a higher volume of air to flow assuming the same input (our fan in this case).

L&L

My new LLutt Kiln

So I’ve had a Skutt KM818 that I bought used a few years back that wasn’t in too bad of shape, but after changing the elements in it a few times, the bricks were getting so hammered & I had had a few mishaps in it & I was tired of using element pins and it was needing some TLC, so when this J18 appeared on our local want ads, I snagged it up.  The top was the only part that looks used.  Inside it looks brand new!  I took the controller & S-tc out of the Skutt, took the manual controls off the J18 and voila!, you have a LLutt!  Fires like a champ!  Just thought I would share and I am so glad to not have to change the elements in that Skutt again!  I might use it for Raku!!!  Sincerely, one of your faithful L&L followers!!  Jeff

Do new thermocouples need to “broken in”?

I expect to receive delivery tomorrow evening of 3 new thermocouples for my JD-2927-HD kiln (originally purchased in 2007). Should I plan a “run-in” firing, say to Cone 5, when these new thermocouples are installed? (Note: I installed new elements last October and performed a “run-in” firing for the new elements.)

— Thomas

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No need to “break in” your new thermocouples. On the other hand, elements need to be “broken in” to eliminate the stretch springiness and oxidize them for protection. None of this applied to thermocouples.
One thing to watch out for, however, is that your old thermocouples may have drifted in accuracy over time. If you changed your thermocouple offset you may want to reset it to the original value – which would have have been +18 Deg F if you have our ceramic protection tubes.
L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.

Fixing a Fan Motor on the Vent-Sure

Oh My Gosh you guys…I am not able to fire and orders are stacking up!!!  HELP!!!!
my fan that was fairly new has just  quit working…..

Please help me and tell me what to do
I would like to fix it if at all possible. but do need to do it fast…
or if that fails I will have to buy another fan …which is troublesome since this one has not been fired a lot!

I have an easy fire kiln
Model number: e28s-3-240
serial Number 042512-c-checer
Voltage: 240
Phase :1
Amps:47.9
Watts : 11500
Max temp 2350

Thank you for your quick response!!!!

Gayle B

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Hello Gayle,

We are here to help to make sure you get those orders out. Now, have you identified the problem to be just with the fan or is the kiln experiencing problems as well? First check for leaks in the aluminum duct. You might have to replace it if necessary. Also, check for corrosion (caused by clays with high amounts of sulfur, phosporous, or flourine) and check for wax or carbon buildup if you are using a wax resist process or a high carbon content clay. Please clean it out if this is the case.

If the discharge duct to the vent is facing up you may get water into it which would rust the motor. If this is the case try taking it apart and spraying with WB-40.

If all else fails I think it is most probable to replace the vent all together.

Please let me know if this helps with the fan, if you have further questions, and if the kiln is having particular problems too.

Service Team, L&L KIln Mfg., Inc.

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Thank you for your quick response
I will check on what you said

How Much is a new fan for that model?
Thank you so much

Gayle B
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It all depends on what needs to be replaced or fixed. If it is just a problem with the motor not working then you just need a new motor which is $230 dollars. The flexible duct could be the problem and that is $33. It could also be that the motor and the inlet/outlet ducts are corroded and an assembled motor is $370. The entire system is $480, but I do not think you will need to replace the whole system. Here is the link to all the vent fan parts: http://hotkilns.com/parts?field_parts_kiln_series_nid=All&field_parts_obsolete_series_nid=All&title=&PN=&field_parts_category_value_many_to_one%5B27%5D=27

Service Team, L&L KIln Mfg., Inc.

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With your help my husband fixed it!

Gayle B.

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Glad to hear it, Gayle. Was it just a buildup?

Service Team, L&L KIln Mfg., Inc.

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That is exactly what happened…thanks for your help!

Gayle B.