Author: Michelle

Firing Up the New Kiln for the First Time

Before the test firing

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I finally bought a new big kiln a few months ago and couldn’t wait to fire it for the first time. I was of course nervous because it is such a big kiln. We installed the kiln in the basement because it would have been a lot more money to have the 240 volt electric installed out in the garage. We had to install a vent to exhaust the fumes to the outside. The most difficult part was making the hole in the house going to the outside. Our house was built in 1938 so the wood was especially hard and it took a while to make that hole but we eventually figured it out.

The kiln pretty early in the firing

The day of the test fire

I did a lot of research and it is recommended that you do a test firing with nothing in the kiln the first time. The L&L youtube channel said to fire a slow bisque to cone 5 with a long preheat so that is what I did. The total time for the firing took 18 hours because of the long preheat. I did not stay in the basement with it all night but went down to check on it at random times. When it got near the end of the test firing the kiln looked pretty scary, but cool at the same time with the red showing through the seams. The kiln is at least 18 inches from any wall and I checked to make sure that nothing was getting too hot. The room did warm up a bit but I had a fan running to keep the room ventilated and the vent was running also.

The kiln near the end of the firing looking pretty hot

Firing your kiln for the first time
The control panel shows a graph of the firing

After the first firing

The kiln seemed to work fine during the firing and it said it got up to cone 5. I will not know for sure until I get some cones to test the temperatures it is reaching. After the first firing, I have already done a full bisque firing to cone 04 and it seemed to do everything okay. I am currently working through all of the bisque pots to glaze them so I can do the first glaze firing in this kiln. I can’t wait, nothing is better than opening up a glaze kiln when it is done.

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