Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 2 Issue 4 • May/June 1996 - Page 23

through the hole, lay the coil into the groove proceeding around the kiln, feed the other end through the kiln wall, and connect the ends to their appropriate posts. It sounds easy, and it is if you pay attention to the details of what everything is supposed to look like—that is, where the element tails connect, how the element end is bent (if it is bent), etc. Be sure all of the connections are tight. Clip off any excess length of element and close up shop. While we’re on the subject of coils, here’s a creative solution to the repair of a broken coil. Sometimes a coil will break not because it is old and worn out, but because a glaze drip has eaten through it or it has been subjected to some other careless treatment. You can effectively “repair” a broken coil. Take a 1 1/2”- to 2”-section of a scrap coil and while everything is cold, overlap the severed ends of the broken coil with it. Press the scrap section over the ends like interlocking fingers. Be sure that any foreign matter is clipped off before effecting this repair. I have had repairs like this last for 20 or more firings! The next most common failures in electric kilns are switches, plugs, and receptacles. These are simple to replace and require only the removal of the old component and replacement with the new. Again, be sure to make careful note of the exact, correct wire connections. “Do I have to get a new switch, plug, or receptacle from the kiln manufacturer?” No, but it may be the easiest and safest supply source. Electrical switches of the type that are used in electric kilns are extremely common. Everyday electrical appliances such as ranges, ovens, toasters, and hot plates use them. With this in mind, it may be tempting to stop by the local electrical supply or appliance parts and repair outlet and get yourself some switches. When you delve deeper into the switch maze, you