I had no idea there were so many wires entangled inside the nearly invisible inner compartment that holds the computer and the relays and such on my Skutt KM1027. I should have, of course, but I'd always rather just let those things work than look into them. But when the electric kiln I use for bisquing pots began blowing them up with rapid temp rises, it was either do it myself or get in someone who knew what he/she was doing.
Always unwilling to admit that I don't know how to do something, I got in touch with the tech people at Skutt, described the problem and ordered what they said to order, which was three relays (WTF is a "relay"????) and an envelope of what looked like a sample of everything made by some Midwest wire factory. I downloaded a couple of pages on Skutt's website which purported to describe how to put all these new wires inside the box and take out the old ones. Right.
I do a lot of staring when I have one of these projects. And I did a lot of staring this time. Mostly, I stare because that at least will not do any damage. It's hard to make a mistake when you're just looking at something. But action had to be taken, so I carefully replaced each of the three relays ("relays"???), taking off an old wire and immediately replacing it with a new wire. None of this business of dismantling everything and then wondering where all the new stuff goes.
So, got the relays in and started staring at the wires. I can't possibly need all those wires; the ones still in there look just fine. So I e-mailed Perry Peterson at Skutt (God bless Perry ... ) and basically asked him exactly that. "Just replace the black wires with the new white wires," he said. So, carefully and one at a time, I did. Then reassembled the computer/controller box, screwed in the baffle, screwed in the hinges, screwed the whole damn thing to the kiln wall, squeezed behind my gas kiln to plug in the Skutt.
No smoke, no fire, no big noises ... programmed the kiln as I usually do, and over a period of a couple of hours, the temp was raised to 160. And there it sits, at least for now. Which is what it's supposed to do for 20 hours. Halleluiah.
I've got a couple of loads of pots to bisque before I start glazing for next week's reduction firing, which will include not just my pots but the pots of four other local potters.
So, many thanks to Perry Peterson at Skutt, and to Andrea York of Cataumet and Suzanne Wadoski of Falmouth, both of whom today offered to let me use their kilns for bisque-firing if things didn't work out. Stay tuned.