Use the type of crimping tool that leaves a small indent on the side of the wire connector.
How to Crimp a Wire Connector
Recent Q&As: Firing stoneware with lids in place; firing a partial load of ware; firing speed of a digital kiln
HOW TO CRIMP A WIRE CONNECTOR
Crimping a connector such as the push-on type to a wire is easy. However, the procedure used for kiln wiring is a little different than for other household projects.
First, do not use connectors or wire sold at a hardware store. Kilns require special high-temperature parts. Standard parts from a hardware store will burn out later. Obtain parts from your kiln manufacturer or dealer.
1) Cut about 1/4” (6.3 mm) of insulation from the end of the wire. (Examine the connector’s barrel to determine how much insulation to remove from the wire.) Try to avoid damaging the wire itself as you cut the insulation.
2) Twist the strands of wire in your fingers so they will all fit inside the connector barrel. Then slide on the connector. There should be no wire strands outside the connector.
3) Use the type of crimping tool that leaves a small indent on the wire connector. The indent goes on the side opposite the seam of the connector. (Please see the accompanying photo.) Squeeze tightly.
4) Hold the connector, and tug on the wire. If it comes out of the connector, start over using a new connector. The connection must be tight.
Note: Some kiln manufacturers use a crimped element connector. The instructions above are for wire connectors or terminals and not for a crimped element connector.
Q. Should stoneware pots be fired with the lid in place, or with the lid separated and next to the pots?
A. Generally, fire with the lid separated from the pot during the bisque firing; fire with the lid on the pots during the glaze firing. If the lid is fired on the pot during bisque, the organics in the clay may become trapped inside the pot and not burn off completely.
Fire the pot with the lid on during the glaze firing. The lid will help prevent the pot from warping, and the lid will fit better.
Q. I will fire at the end of the week, and I won't have more than one shelf's worth of ware. Do I put the pieces in the bottom of the kiln? Middle? Top?
A. Spread your partial load throughout the kiln with shelves and posts. Place a few items on each shelf so the ware is spaced evenly in the bottom, middle, and top of the kiln. This will assure that your kiln fires evenly.
Q. Does a small digital ceramic kiln fire in the same length of time as a large digital kiln?
A. Cone-Fire mode, which is included with Paragon’s ceramic digital controller, fires to a pyrometric cone in Slow, Medium, or Fast speed. Cone-Fire mode will fire kilns of different sizes to a given cone and speed in the same length of time. As long as the kilns can heat fast enough to maintain Cone-Fire's programmed rates, a small 120 volt test kiln will fire in the same time as a studio kiln, give or take several minutes.
A Ramp-Hold program will also fire in the same length of time when used with different kilns, provided the kilns can keep up with the programmed firing rates.
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