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Cress Kilns Main Page Manual Kilns Automatic Kilns Glass Kilns

Manual Ceramic Kilns are kilns that use a Dawson Kiln Sitter and switches to control the heating of the kiln. When firing ceramic pieces with glaze on them, for example, one would insert onto the two prongs of the kiln sitter a small clay cone that is meant to bend at a certain temperature. The switches would be set to low for an hour, medium for an hour, and then high. When the kiln gets up to the temperature that will bend the cone, the kiln will shut off. We have used the manual kilns exclusively in our business because they are less expensive, not a bother because we are always around when a kiln is firing for safety reasons, and because switches are much less expensive to replace than a computer module. Manual Kilns can be used for a variety of purposes including ceramics, glass and metal anealing.

Automatic Kilns are controlled by either a computerized control module or a ramping switch. The computerized models allow you to select precise temperature build up and hold times to closely control your firings. The non-cumputerized ramping switch models allow you to also control these factors, but not as accurately as the computerized modules. Computerized kilns usually cost at least $200 more than the manual models, whereas the ramping switch kilns typically cost only $50-$75 more. The computerized kilns are substantially more expensive to repair if the computer module goes bad. Since most computerized kilns have their curcuitry right next to the kiln, they heat up and can have a shorter life than if the circuitry were away from the kiln in a cool environment. Ramping switches are made for the hot environment and usually do very well. As with the other kilns, automatic kilns can be used for a variety of purposes including ceramics, glass and metal anealing.

Glass Kilns can be either Manual or Automatic. Manual Glass Kilns use a pyrometer and temperature meter to indicate the inside temperature of the kiln. It is up to the person firing the glass to monitor the temperature and time the piece being fired. Automatic Glass Kilns use a computer module to adjust and monitor the kiln temperature and to shut it off according to a program. Other than the above mentioned differences, Glass Kilns are normally smaller than ceramic kilns and have an extra heating element in their lids. Glass Kilns are not only used for glass but also ceramics and anealing metal. Automatic kilns are more expensive to own and maintain than manual kilns.

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Cress Kilns Main Page Manual Kilns Automatic Kilns Glass Kilns

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This page last updated on 11/17/2014