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Digital Kiln

A digital kiln or sometimes called a computerized kiln is not that complicated.
To a lot of people anything called computerized is scary.
When you understand how it works, you may find that you don't have anything to fear when firing the kiln.
Knowing how it works will also simplify the maintenance on your kiln.
This information applies to basically any brand of kiln.


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How a Pit Kiln Works
Digital Kilns, How They Work
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Digital kiln from ParagonThe first item in the digital circuit is a 1/2 amp fuse, which helps protect the controller from power surges.
This fuse is usually located on the side of the kiln’s switch box.
If the controller display ever stops working, the first thing to check is the 1/2 amp fuse.

The next item in the circuit is the transformer, which converts the power to 24 volts AC. The transformer is easy to recognize.
It is a square block wired between the power cord and the controller.
The transformer is needed because the controller operates on 24 volts.

Wired to the controller is a heat sensor which is a small rod that protrudes into the firing chamber.
We call this sensor a thermocouple.
It is made of two wires of different metals joined together in the thermocouple tip. When heated, the thermocouple actually produces a small voltage.
The controller is a computer that converts that voltage to a temperature.

There is a key pad on the front of a digital kiln and this is where the operator types in the codes sending a message to the controller for the type of firing that is needed. There is always a manual that will guide you through the process of setting your kiln up to fire the load of pottery at the proper temperature.

The controller is a switch that turns on the heating elements to maintain the correct temperature inside the kiln.
But the controller cannot turn on the elements directly.
It uses an electromagnet called a relay.
When the controller needs to raise the heat, it sends a 12 volt signal to the relay.
That energizes an electromagnet inside the relay, which pulls electrical contacts together.
This, in turn, sends power to the heating elements.
When the controller senses that the heat is about to rise too far, it shuts off power to the relay.
Some kilns have more than one relay, but work basically the same.

Digital Kiln from Sundance Art Glass

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

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The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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