Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Fallonator

It's a very long story, and one which for now will be without pictures, but my friend Terry Fallon has been developing an automatic reduction system for an electric kiln and it works very nicely. He got this idea a few years ago and I was able to be one of the 5 people that he bounced ideas off of which was wonderful for me because I know nothing about engineering -- though that was my first major in college. But I had fired reduction kilns and was very interested and so I was allowed to tag along.

Anyway, here is the scoop. Terry is beginning to build some systems that are add ons to existing electric kilns. The reduction is accomplished from a small propane bottle like you would hook up to a hand torch. There is an oxygen probe made from an oxygen sensor from a car, and you can program the amount of reduction that you want and it will do it. Terry has a special motherboard that allows you to say, in each segment of the firing, whether you want reduction or not. The kiln can be fitted so that it will send both temperature and reduction information wirelessly to a computer, and you can see the graphs in real time on the same chart. It's pretty neat. Very neat.

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