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Kiln Controller and thermocouple


Hi all, I recently purchased a kiln controller (Autofire Express, I
hope this is a good brand) for my Neycraft furnace, but I’m uncertain
of where I should be sticking the thermocouple. The only accessible
area is the vent in the top of the oven, and I’m guessing I should
block that. So my question is, should I attempt to drill a hole for
the thermocouple?



Congratulation on the purchase of your burn out oven controller. You
casting life will be a bunch easier.

I drilled a hole for my controller thermocouple in the back of my
oven about 2/3 up from the base. The coils are exposed and not
embedded in the insulation. If you coils are not visible it will next
to impossible to drill a hole as there is no way to know where the
coils are.

The hole being in the back keeps the wiring out of the way.

It will be easier to drill from the inside to the outside. If you
prefer to drill from the outside to the inside be sure you don’t run
into a coil.

Lee Epperson


Hi Vera

Normally, the hole for the thermocouple is in the center back wall
of the oven. The sensor is wired on the inside of the oven case, and
it is a bit of a job to change it. I once had a thermocouple go bad,
and I just inserted the new one in the top hole on my oven for a time
until I got to tearing my oven apart. It worked just fine with no ill
effects on the oven or thermocouple. I bent the sensor wire right
where it came out of the hole to get it out of the hot air coming
directly upward from the oven. It worked perfectly like that for
several months.

Dave Mereski


Between Dave and Lee I think you got your answer, but I wanted to
add one thing, don’t, as you put it, “block” the top vent hole. As
the carbon burns out from your wax you want the smoke to have a place
to go, hence the vent hole. Now the thermocouple going down that hole
won’t cause enough of an obstruction to be a problem, but the venting
will help with better burnout results.

Thank you,
Eric McCafferty


Thanks for the responses (and the congrats) I could see the
controller was going to be a necessity because I don’t hav ethe
leisure time to babysit a kiln for hour on end.

Unfortunately my coils are embedded, so I guess that cancels out any
possibiliy of drilling. I will us the suggeston of placing the
thermalcouple in the vent but I’m concerned that it won’t be a long
term sollution and that blocking the vent may pose a danger to the
kiln, is there a possibility of this?



Try contacting the kiln manufacture. They may be able help you
identify a safe spot to drill thru for the thermocouple.

Norman Buck
Howling Studios


How about drilling another hole in the top? Do the coils run in the
top? You could contact the manufacturer for info.

You might want to install the thermocouple through the door of the
burn out oven. Its a pain having the cable sticking out the front
door but is better than installing it in the top vent hole of the
oven. You will have to pull the TC out enough to clear the flasks
each time you open the door.

Lee Epperson


Depending on the type of oven you have and what they use on the
inside you can turn on the oven and see the coils very plainly when
they heat up. Mark a spot and drill your hole. Worked fine on my

Good luck
Bill Wismar