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Operating a Sierra Evenheat Kiln (models built after November 2004)

 The Evenheat built Sierra kilns have a controller with a black cover and black buttons.  If your kiln has a blue cover with green, red, and blue buttons it is one of the older models and you should read the direcitons here

GETTING STARTED:

The kiln should be set up at least 6” to 1 foot away from the wall in a well ventilated room, preferably on a non-flammable surface—use a cookie sheet or a 12” ceramic tile.  The bottom does not get hot, so this is for extra safety.   You really want to have a non flammable surface in front and to the side of the kiln where hot items might fall if you take things out while the kiln is hot.  Never open the kiln door while firing objects with a significant amount of flammable materials in them (e.g., cork clay, leaves, pods, or other burnable forms) as this might start a flash fire in the kiln.  Never put flammable pieces  (e.g., cork clay, & etc.) into a hot kiln for the same reason.

Make sure nothing is directly over the kiln as the hole in the top vents the heat--no low overhaning shelves or cabinets.

 The window in the door is for examining your work while firing.  It is most valuable for those doing enameling and glass fusing so you can tell what stage your pieces are at.  You should wear infrared eye protection if you are going to spend much time looking into the kiln while it is hot.   The Didymium glasses used by lampworkers are not sufficient.  Purchase welder's glasses (Brad Walker recommends #2 or #3) or consult your glass fusing supplier.

You need a three prong grounded outlet to run the kiln.  If you are in an older building please confirm that the outlet is actually grounded.  In many older buildings people have retrofitted two prong outlets with the three prong kind, but have not connected the ground.  You can take off the cover plate and see (don't touch unless you have turned off the power!) if there is a green wire attached to the ground screw or purchase a tesing device at your local hardware store for about $5.00.   What you don't want is to take a chance of a power surge ruining your expensive kiln, starting a house fire, or whatever.

Plug the kiln in and flip the switch to the on position.  The kiln will beep at you.

After a moment, it will alternately flash  IDLE and a number.   The number is the temperature in the firing chamber.  If it is flashing something other than idle, don’t worry, just press the left hand (Program Start/Stop)  button until you get back to IDLE.

 

Program Name Ramp Speed Temperature F Time
Stnd  (Standard PMC) Full 1650 2 hours
P  F     (PMC+ Fast Firing) Full 1650 10 minutes
P3 F (PMC3 Fast Firing) Full 1290 10 minutes
P3 S (PMC3 Slow Firing) 1500 1110 45 minutes
GOLd (for PMC Gold Clay) Full 1830 2 hours
USEr [you set] [you set] [you set]

The ramp speed refers to how fast the kiln will heat up.  If your piece is not completely dry, if you are firing glass, or if you are using cork clay, you should use a slower ramp speed.

USEr is the fully programmable mode for the kiln.  Use this one if you are firing glass or doing something special.  You can set up to 8 ramp segments in USEr mode.  This means that you can tell the kiln to heat, cool, and hold particualr temperatures in up to 8 steps.

 

TO OPERATE THE KILN:

After turning the kiln on, Press the LEFT (Program Start/Stop) button until you reach the IDLE setting.

Press the LEFT button once.  It will display either STNd or the last program setting you used.

Use the CENTER button to change the program.   For example to run a PMC3 FAST program,  press the CENTER button twice or until the display shows P3 F.

Press the LEFT button again. It will display Strt (start)

Optional:   At this point you can set a delay if you want the kiln to start firing later.   Press the RIGHT (decrease/Review) button .  It will flash dELA and 00.00.  use the center (up arrow) and right (down arrow) buttons to set the delay time.  This is expressed in hours.minutes-- 1.00 means 1 hour, 1.15 means 1 hour 15 minutes.   Most people don't use this feature, but it can be handy if your power is cheaper at night or it is a California "flex your power" day.

Press the LEFT button again.  It will display   -On- and, after a moment, you will hear a click and the temperature will begin to rise.

The display will show the current temperature until it reaches the programmed in temperature.  Once it reaches the firing temperature, it will alternate flashing the temperature and the amount of firing time left.

When it is finished the kiln will beep for 30 seconds.  The display will flash COMPLETE alternating with the amount of time the program took to run and the current temperature inside the kiln.

 

You cannot alter the pre-programmed settings.   If you want something different you will go into the USEr programmable mode.

 

A SAMPLE CUSTOM PROGRAM

For Example, say I have a PMC piece that is not very dry, but I want to set it going now.  I can tell the kiln to heat up slowly to make sure it is very dry and minimize any warping that might happen.  I want to heat the kiln up to 250 and hold it there for 30 minutes before continuing up  as fast as it can to the PMC firing temperature of 1650 and holding it there for 10 minutes.

Press the LEFT button until the display reads IdLE.

Press the LEFT button once.  Press the CENTER button until USEr is displayed.

Press the LEFT button again.  rA   1 and a number will flash.  This is the first RAMP speed (how fast the kiln will heat up).   The maximum is FULL (just after 1798 per hour).  Use the up and down   arrow buttons to increase or decrease how fast the kiln will heat up.  For the above example, I will set the Ramp speed to 1000.

Press the LEFT button again.  F 1 and a number will flash.  This is the first temperature you want to reach.  Use the red and blue buttons to set the temperature.  I set this temperature to 250

Press the LEFT button again.  HLd1 and a number will flash.  This is how long I want the first temperature to be maintained.  I set this to 30 minutes.

Thus far:  we have told the kiln to heat up at 1000 degrees per hour to 250 degrees and hold it there for 30 minutes.

Press the LEFT button again.  rA   2 and a number will flash  This is the second segment of the program.  The second ramp speed will be the FULL speed (1798).  I hold down the center/up arrow button  until the desired setting is reached.  Alternately, if rA 2 is starting at zero, I can press the right/down arrow button and it will go to FULL (plus my finger won’t get tired).

Press the LEFT button again.  F 2 and a number will flash.  Set this second temperature to the desired setting using the up and down arrow buttons.  In this case, 1650.

Press the LEFT button again. HLd2 will flash with a number.  Set the second hold time to the desired number using the up and down arrow buttons.   In this case 10 minutes.

Press the LEFT button twice to cycle through Strt  and On–.

You can set up to Eight Ramp, Temperature, and Hold times.

If a later temperature is lower than a previous one, the kiln will RAMP DOWN to that temperature.

 

A SAMPLE GLASS FUSING PROGRAM:

This is a typical program you might use to fuse small glass cabachons.  Heat the kiln slowly to 1450F, hold that temperature for 30 minutes, cool rapidly to 950F, hold at 950f for 15 minutes, then cool slowly to 300F.

Turn the kiln on and press the Left button, if necessary until the display flashes IDLE.

Press the Left button once, then press the Center (up arrow) button until the display reads USEr.

Press the Left button once.  The display should be alternating rA 1 (ramp #1) with the ramp speed.  If this is your first program, the ramp speed will be zero.  Use the up and down arrows to set the ramp speed to 1500F.  Note that the longer you press the up/down keys, the faster it will go.  This means that the kiln will take nearly an hour to reach 1450F.

Press the Left button once.  The display will alternate F 1   (temprature #1) and the temperature you are going to.  If this is your first program, the temperature will be zero.  use the up and down arrows to set the temperature to 1450F.  This is the temperature the kiln will heat up to.

Press the Left button once.  This display wil alternate HLd1 (hold time #1) and the amount of time you will hold the kiln at 1450F.  Use the up and down arrows to set the hold time to 00.30 (30 minutes).

Press the Left button once.  The display should be alternating rA 2 (ramp #2) with the ramp speed.     Use the up and down arrows to set the ramp speed to FULL.  This means that the kiln will cool as rapidly as it can.

Press the Left button once.  The display will alternate F 2   (temprature #2) and the temperature you are going to.  Use the up and down arrows to set the temperature to 950F.   This is the temperature the kiln will cool down to.  Since the last setting was higher than this one, the kiln knows it should be cooling rather than heating.

Press the Left button once.  This display wil alternate HLd2 (hold time #2) and the amount of time you will hold the kiln at 950F.  Use the up and down arrows to set the hold time to 00.15 (15 minutes).  Holding 90COE Bullseye glass at this temperature anneals the glass and helps to ensure that the glass will not crack later on.

Press the Left button once.  The display should be alternating rA 3 (ramp #3) with the ramp speed.     Use the up and down arrows to set the ramp speed to 1000F.  This means that the kiln will cool at the rate of 1000F per hour.

Press the Left button once.  The display will alternate F 3   (temprature #3) and the temperature you are going to.  Use the up and down arrows to set the temperature to 300F.   This is the temperature the kiln will cool down to. 

Press the Left button once.  This display wil alternate HLd3 (hold time #3) and the amount of time you will hold the kiln at 300F.  Since this is the end of our program,  we can set this to zero minutes. 

Press the Left button once.  The display will alteranate rA 4 (ramp #4) with the ramp speed.  Since we are done with the program, leave this at zero or use the up and down arrows to set it to zero.  The controller will know that this means the end of the program.

Press the Left button once.  The display will read Strt

Press the Left button once.  The display will read --On---  And the kiln will begin to heat.

Once the kiln has reached the completion of the program, it will beep for about 30 seconds and then you can crack the door open or leave the kiln until it reaches room temperature.  Remember that you don't want to thermal shock glass or it will crack.

At any point during firing, if you press the Left button, it will stop the program and you can start over.  Anytime you get confused, you can press the Left button repeatedly until it comes back to IDLE.

 

For the official Sierra kiln manual call (toll free) 866-762-2529.

   MED'A Creations
San Pablo, CA 94806
Phone / fax: 510-236-2313 
www.medacreations.com