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Old 01-23-2004, 02:14 PM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Hi! As you probably have noticed, I'm new here. After days of searching the internet and driving around town (only to come up w/more questions!), I thought it can't hurt to post my question(s) here. Everyone seems so knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

I've been doing stained glass for years and decided I wanted to try working w/warm glass (another great site!) I'm not loaded w/dough so had to buy an OLD used kiln I found on Ebay. It was manufactured by Fire*Brite (Fort Worth, TX); I've been able to find NOTHING about them. Whatever ... that's not my question (unless someone happens to have any info!)

The seller said the pyrometer worked when it was shipped (and I don't doubt that it did), but it doesn't any more. The wires in the thermocouple are not connected at the tip and I did TRY to weld them back, but the wire is pretty much toasted (brittle) from what I can see. Matter of fact, I found a piece on the bottom of the kiln. Probably happened during packing and/or shipping. Is there a way I can INEXPENSIVELY repair/replace it? I've been all over town and everyone keeps sending me elsewhere; no one has any answers (except $200 ones...sheez!)

Question #2 ... (now don't laugh!) The kiln only has a simple on/off switch; not even an infinite switch. I've seen much reference to making your own temp controllers here and Mark Wilson's much accalaimed "tutorial", but don't know if that's still available? I've seen bits and pieces of it only. (The kiln is 12 amps, 1300 watts and 110 volt ... told you it was old!!)

I'm including pics of the kiln, the thermocouple and the piece I found to better describe my problems. (You can see by the piece I found, the thermocouple wire is pretty fried.)

Thanks in advance for any info! I REALLY DO appreciate it.
Sherry
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:18 PM
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AlexM AlexM is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Sherry,

The thermocouple is gone, don't even try to fix it. They inexpensive to replace though.

The on/off switch can be replaced with a new infinite switch, that's also an inexpensive fix.

Maybe the guys will chime in here and give you some suggestions where you can get these parts.
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Old 01-23-2004, 03:02 PM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Thanks for the encouragement Alex!

I sure do hope someone has some info for me; I'm fairly handy and am willing to try about anything! I'm so anxious to try my new kiln out (besides turning it on!); hope it's not a total waste.

Sherry
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:11 PM
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

I'm bumping this up in hopes that somebody more knowledgeable about repairing kilns can help Sherry out.
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Old 01-23-2004, 08:45 PM
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexM
I'm bumping this up in hopes that somebody more knowledgeable about repairing kilns can help Sherry out.
Hi,

Try Arrow Springs for the information you are after. They have a cataloge on line that has every thing and they have parts also. They have support that they can tell you what you might need. Also the temp at which you need to anneal your beads. I didn't buy a kiln from them but they sure did help me with questions. Here is there number (800-899-0689) This is pacific time so they might still be open.
Rose
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Old 01-23-2004, 09:40 PM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Thank you Rose. Checked out the Arrow Springs website and looks like they have a wealth of info and supplies. But I'm still looking for something a little less expensive ... more of a do-it-yourself type thing. I was hoping to maybe just replace the thermocouple on the pyrometer and make my own temp controller (or at least get an infinite switch). I don't think the kiln is worth dumping too much $$ into.

Sherry
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:57 PM
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Dale_M Dale_M is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Most likely the thermocouple is a "K" type and it probably should cost between $20 or $30 to replace.

http://www.omega.com/toc_asp/section...ture&section=a

http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?r...NTS&Nav=tema02

These can be custom made to your speciifications.

You will need to know some information about METER though. Looking at pyrometer (meter) face there should be some manufacturers names and numbers near bottom of meter face. Mine says (TYPE K TC 0.5 ohms) this is a factor you need to know what TC ( thermocouple) you will need to get. For my kiln it is a type "K" and measure 1/2 ohm at a given temperature (probably 70deg). Type K thermocouples range from 0 deg to about 2300f. and is the most popular for kilns.

As for controller, you can add a infinite controller to kiln. Its the same type controller used for electric ovens and toaster ovens so if you have a "stove" repair or a appliance repair shop near you they probably can help you. Just be aware that infinite switch has to be rated to take current that kiln requires to operate. This information should be on manufacturers plaque on kiln. It will probably read 14amps at 120v ac which is pretty typical of the size kiln in your picture.

Also check with "ceramics" stores and suppliers. Most kiln like yours were uses for either "enameling", "ceramics". or "wax burnout" for lost wax casting processes.

While digital controllers are the best, building one can be a real challenge if you are not electrically knowledgeable and do not have some fabrication and technical skills.

Also "FireBright" was a brand/product name of a manufacturer of enamels for enamels on copper shapes for jewelry making.

Dale

Last edited by Dale_M : 01-24-2004 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:14 AM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Hi Dale and thanks so much!!!

The pyrometer too says Fire*Brite on it. It says C/A thermocouple and EXT RES 10 OHM ... does this mean anything to YOU?! And it's funny you referred Omega ... I sent them an email asking them but haven't heard back. (I did check a local ceramic supplier who referred me to them. They must be good!)

As for the temp controller, that's not an immediate problem. (No pyrometer is!) I've only "dabbled" w/electronic things so maybe making my own isn't an option. (But I bet I can sweet talk my Dad .. hehe) And thanks for the info about an "infinite switch" ... that sounds like a good deal and could tie me over until I can get a "real" temp controller.

So how long ago was Fire*Brite around?

Sherry
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Old 01-24-2004, 02:37 AM
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

yukkkkk call john at aim kiln 541-758-8133 tell him you need a 1/4 inch ceramic tube 4 inchs long type k tc with 12 inch leads

mike
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Old 01-24-2004, 02:48 AM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Thank you Mike!

I'll call in the morning ... hope they're open on the weekend. I'm anxious to get started here!

From the info Dale gave me, I kinda figured I needed the Type K. And BTW Dale, I'm not THAT young, but I AM listening!!

I LOVE this place already! So glad I stumbled upon it ... you folks are THE BEST!!!

Sherry
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:44 PM
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry M.
Thank you Mike!

I'll call in the morning ... hope they're open on the weekend. I'm anxious to get started here!

From the info Dale gave me, I kinda figured I needed the Type K. And BTW Dale, I'm not THAT young, but I AM listening!!

I LOVE this place already! So glad I stumbled upon it ... you folks are THE BEST!!!

Sherry

your very welcome. sorry i dont think he is there on the weekend but you might get lucky. make sure you put the red wire where the old red wire is.

mike
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Old 01-24-2004, 04:24 PM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

You're right Mike ... got the answering machine. But I'll try Monday.

Do you know if he would also have any inexpensive infinite control switches or just the digital temp. controllers?

Thanks again

Sher
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:27 PM
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry M.
You're right Mike ... got the answering machine. But I'll try Monday.

Do you know if he would also have any inexpensive infinite control switches or just the digital temp. controllers?

Thanks again

Sher

he will any kiln part you need.

mike
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Old 01-28-2004, 07:39 AM
mollyr mollyr is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

My advice would be to get an infinite switch. I got a GREAT deal on one from www.ekmillerco.com. They are on closeout for just $40.00 plus shipping, and i just LOVE mine. I hooked mine up to my small kiln too, and it has been a godsend! best of luck......
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Old 01-30-2004, 12:32 AM
Sherry M. Sherry M. is offline
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Re: HELP! Yes, I too have a kiln question... or 2!

I ordered one too molly ... hope I'm as happy as you when I get mine!! Hey, and thanks for that site!

Sherry
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