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making your own elements

updated tue 4 nov 97


Brad Sondahl on mon 3 nov 97

>From my pottery tips webpage:
If you want to roll your own elements: Duralite still sells the bare
Kanthal A-1 wire. Duralite in
Connecticut custom rolls elements (860-379-3113). Current prices for 16
gauge wire are 19.50/lb.
There's a minimum 25.00 order, so I ordered two pounds. That will make,
as I recall, about 6
elements for my old Crucible kiln . If you send them all the pieces of
your old element, they will size
and price it for what they would make, or tell you what how long to make
yours. Then it's a question
of using a rod the right lenghth, and winding the wire on compactly.
Duralite has for the asking a
photocopy of info on resistance per foot per gauge of wire, etc. I've
used a simply welded crank and
steel rod (with a slot cut in the end to hook the wire in to start.
Lately I've used a variable speed drill
with rod stuck through a hole in mounted wood to stabilize it. It would
help to have one person run
the drill and another to guide the wire. The ends are fairly easy if you
use loop ends-- tougher if
they're supposed to be just tight twists.
Brad Sondahl
"I cook by dead reckoning--I reckon if it's dead I can cook it..."