Use a propane torch to quickly dry repair cement.
Speed-Drying Firebrick Cement
Recent Q&As: Digital controllers
You can patch broken firebricks with kiln repair cement, which is sold as liquid or powder. Mix the powder with water or buy the same liquid formula that we use here at the factory.
Sometimes it is necessary to dry the cement quickly so the patched firebrick piece doesn’t fall out of place. This technique allows you to patch difficult areas such as a lid or roof. Without speed-drying the cement, you would have to hold a prop against the repaired lid with C-clamps.
After you have cemented the brick patch, heat the cement seam with a propane torch. Hold the torch 5 – 6 inches away from the firebrick surface for about 10 seconds. Let the patch dry overnight before firing the kiln.
You can purchase a propane torch from a home improvement center. Buy the type that has a push-button igniter. When you press the button, a blue flame appears. When you release the button, the flame goes out.
For kiln maintenance, do not use the older manual propane torches. Turning them on and off is awkward. You first turn a knob to start the flow of propane and then hold a match under the nozzle. The push-button type is much safer and worth the extra expense.
Q. Does the HTDE error message on the Sentry controllers have an audible alarm?
A. Yes. The audible alarm sounds for one minute after HTDE appears. This applies to the 3-key and 12-key controllers.
Q. The top section of my 3-zone kiln is 200 degrees F hotter than the middle and bottom. I am firing at a FULL rate with the Sentry 12-key controller. Why is there such a large difference in temperature?
A. At FULL rate, the zone control system is turned off. This is because the controller assumes that when you program a FULL rate, you want to fire as fast as possible without slowing down the kiln to even out the temperature in 3-zone mode. Fire at a slower rate to turn the zone control back on.
By the way, a difference of 200 degrees F between the zones of a kiln is normal below around 1100 degrees F. As the temperature rises, the heat distribution will become much more even.
Last weekend, tornado sirens here in Mesquite woke me from a rare afternoon nap. The eerie wail came from sirens in different directions and reminded me of a war movie. Wind-driven rain pelted the roof and windows.
I went outside and looked for tornadoes. The light had a yellowish cast, and gray clouds sped by overhead. The sky was exquisite, something out of a painting.
With best wishes,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com
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