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electric kiln element holders - new design

updated thu 14 feb 08


Jesse Hull - Wiseman Ceramics on wed 13 feb 08

I've had to change the elements in MANY types of electric kilns. In
addition, by focusing on crystallines and other High-temperature glazes over
the last 10 years, I've had to change them OFTEN. I was never so happy to
get my first kiln with element holders, because changing them was simply so
much easier.

The main argument against a kiln with these refractory ceramic holders is
that they limit the length of the element that can be installed in the kiln.
This sometimes offered a less than desirable watt density.
However- last year, Steve Lewicki (L&L Kiln Mfg) and I designed a kiln based
on the JD18 model. To accommodate my requirements, L&L came up with the Quad
Element Holder Design. What this means is that instead of two rows of
element & holders per section, there are now four. This really opened the
door for a much greater element potential.

You can view the kiln that resulted at the URL below:

I've currently performed seventeen ^11-12 (cone eleven-twelve!) firings with
my new kiln, and the elements show no signs of getting tired. After my 15th
firing, I did a test run by programming a 450deg/hr. rise to Cone 9. The
kiln managed the programmed ramp to the calculated temperature, no problem.
*As a reference, with my older kiln using the standard run of holders, I was
averaging 25-30 high-temperature firings, and noticed signs of element
fatigue by my 15th firing. Keep in mind, that I'm doing some pretty harsh
firings, so others may get better life. But an extreme test is often the
best test.

Currently there are other ceramic artists out there using the Quad Element
Holder Design, and reports have been very positive.
There are certainly other great kiln manufacturers, making great kilns. So
research as much as you can to find the best kiln for you... but if your
interested in the benefits of element holders, give L&L a call.