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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2014-08-26, 8:45am
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jwhicks jwhicks is offline
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Default Kiln question...

I have a question about my kiln. It is a small Jen Ken bead box I bought used. The inside is about 6 X 6 X 4. It has an infinity switch for temperature control. My problem is that once it gets heated up, I can't get it to cool down at a proper rate. Even on the lowest setting the temperature stays around 900 degrees. So I order to cool down slowly I have been turning it off and on manually every few minutes in an effort to keep things from cooling down too fast. Not very fun. Has anyone had this issue? I realize the best solution is probably to purchase a digital controller but that will cost me around $250. I will buy it if I have to but I wanted to get some input from some members here before I do.
Thanks!
Jason
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  #2  
Old 2014-08-26, 9:14am
2xMI 2xMI is offline
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A fire brick kiln will stay heated for a long time once it's been at a holding/garaging temperature while you're making beads. And the more you have in the kiln, the longer it will take to cool down. You could try a test by running it empty, and hold at your garaging temp for at least an hour, then turn it off. See how long it takes to cool down naturally. That will give you a starting point of how long it stays at the critical temperatures. Unfortunately, with an infinite switch, you're left with a lot of guessing and kiln-sitting.

If you're making small beads, you could probably just turn it off when you're finished with your session and the heat retention would take care of it. The larger the beads, the more you need a controlled cycle.

Good luck!

Mimi
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  #3  
Old 2014-08-26, 9:22am
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I vote for
you need to get the controller.
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Old 2014-08-26, 11:43am
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My small kiln has a lid that I open very gradually to decrease the temperature as needed. It does require a level of babysitting that my larger digitally controlled kiln doesn't, but so far, it works for me.
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Old 2014-08-26, 4:29pm
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I will try to watch and see exactly the speed in which it actually cools down. Cracking the lid seems like a good idea too. I will just have to limp by until I get up off my wallet and buy the controller
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  #6  
Old 2014-08-28, 12:29pm
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there is a small screw on the infinite switch, back it out a turn, it will allow it to go lower in temp
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Old 2014-08-28, 6:35pm
28676bhe 28676bhe is offline
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I wouldn't invest in a digital controller for this little hot box style. Save your money and get a true annealer or a kiln that can do double duty for beads and for fusing, maybe even one that runs on 220.
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Old 2014-08-31, 4:09pm
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Thanks for the input everyone! I also received some great advice from a couple of private messages. I have acquired a digital temperature controller and an SSR from some scrapped equipment at my job. I am going to use these to control my kiln. The only issue is that the controller is not programmable. I am OK with that for now as I will at least be able to set the kiln to an exact temperature. Will still require a level of babysitting but at least it isn't going to cost me any money right now. Later on I will likely upgrade to a bigger and better kiln. Thanks again!
Jason
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Old 2014-08-31, 7:38pm
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  #10  
Old 2014-09-09, 6:37am
Arnold Howard Arnold Howard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhicks View Post
I have a question about my kiln. It is a small Jen Ken bead box I bought used. The inside is about 6 X 6 X 4. It has an infinity switch for temperature control. My problem is that once it gets heated up, I can't get it to cool down at a proper rate. Even on the lowest setting the temperature stays around 900 degrees. So I order to cool down slowly I have been turning it off and on manually every few minutes in an effort to keep things from cooling down too fast.
Can you hear the infinite control switch cycle on and off when the switch is in the low position?

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com
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  #11  
Old 2014-09-09, 10:13am
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Yes, I could hear the switch cycle on and off while on low. I never really timed the cycle periods, however. I adjusted the screw as suggested by GLASSFREEK and that helped. But I have since hooked up a digital controller and an SSR. This arrangement seems to be working pretty good for me.
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