Friday, August 15, 2014

Facebook soda group address correction and firing update

Here's the correct URL for the Soda and Salt firing group I started on Facebook:;

Seems the first group I started, was not a true group; but a community. Who knew there was a difference! This corrected one (a true group), now allows members posts to be in the main part of the page instead of off to the side. It also allows member to create albums to post photos of their kilns and work, and add files. Members also have the option of receiving emails whenever anyone posts or they can opt out of receiving those posts via email, and just check messages at their leisure on the Facebook, group home page. Ask to be invited if you are interested in soda or salt firing, or are planning to be involved in this type of firing in the future, or are just a fan of soda and salt firing.

Got my little, soda, test kiln loaded yesterday and candled overnight and then ran into the first problem around 700 and again at 900 degrees (kiln just shut off even though it was well protected with a wind screen). The second time I just shut it down and waited for Jim to get back with the car and then we headed to Lowes where I got a new pilot thermocouple, a 6 inch bar clamp and large C clamp just in case the problem is with the baso valve and not the thermocouple. One or both of those clamps may work to depress that starter button on the baso valve and thermocouple and just light the burners manually.   I thought the bar clamp was a better option at the moment.
I've decided to unload and re-load it tomorrow morning. Once empty, I'll drill a 1/4" hole in the one exposed brick, for one of the Fluke thermocouples. I've been removing the thermocouple during my spraying so this will be a time saver.  I'll still have to remove the other thermocouple when spraying but better one than two to have to deal with.

There was a great heat differential top to bottom early on which I didn't have in the last firing, so I'm going to change the spacing on the first couple of  half shelve,s as suggested by Olympic, and use the solid shelf as the last shelf. Other Olympic owners have reported these huge temperature differences and have come up with some
some interesting tweaks to try to get these kilns to fire evenly. Some have had some success and others have given up. Uneven kilns are a good reason to have glazes with a wide firing range, or adjust your glazes to fit the uneven temperatures, or have a lot of patience and be willing to do many firings to figure out your kiln's idiosyncrasies.

Since our son and family are in town and leave on Sunday, I'm going to put off this firing till Sunday and use the cool of the morning tomorrow to do those little adjustments, re-load, then candle overnight with that clamp depressing the baso valve button for insurance. This kiln should be cool enough to unload late Monday or early Tuesday, giving me enough time to clean, price and pack those few pots for Wednesday. Some kilns like some horses are just hard keepers!


  1. You sound so Home Depot type techy. I'm impressed!

  2. Not good at some parts. Got a deep gash from a large brick falling hard on my left pinkie and the bleeding hasn't stopped in a few hours.

    Nics dad looked at it and re-dressed it and told me to get stitches if the bleeding is still happening in another hour. It is, so we may be heading to the emergency room after dinner.