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how to attach kiln elements ?

updated tue 28 oct 97


Jon Pettyjohn on mon 27 oct 97


Thanks for all the advice on replacing elements in my old
Skutt. Received so many great suggestions from Clayarters
on doing this with the limited materials I have on hand.
Shouldn't be a problem now.

A few of you mentioned that Skutt supplies the connectors
with the replacement coils. I never got them because my 2
ancient Skutt's and the coils were left behind by the U.S.
Air Force at Clark Field (which no longer exists) in the

A little story:

Back in 91 after a long and controversial debate about whether
the Philippines should extend the treaty to maintain U.S.
bases, Mt. Pinatubo spoke up and ended the discussion.
Clark was located about 20K from the volcano. The entire base was
evacuated, about 10,000 people in less than a day (leaving all
non-essential equipment behind) and incredibly the huge explosion,
called the biggest of the century followed the next day.

When the mountain settled down a few months later the looting
began. I happened to know where these kilns were located
because I had friends who were art teachers in a high school
there. I rushed up there in pick up and talked to some
of the local military authorities. After explaining that I
was a potter and hated to see good equipment go to waste I
contributed 40$ to their "retirement fund" and they agreed to
let me pick up the kilns "as is", with the stipulation that I
could only take as much stuff as would fit in the pick up.

By the time I got there the looting was almost complete.
Huge machinery like central air conditioning and radar systems
had been ripped apart for scrap. Fortunately my kilns were tucked
away in a sort of closet that no one found yet. One was in good
condition the other only good for spare parts.

As I drove away I could see pieces of some Brent wheels scattered
far across the field, wish I had arrived sooner.

I've had some great luck with Pinatubo ash too, always felt a
little guilty profiting so much from such a huge disaster.

Jon Pettyjohn Manila