Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
Finally got my kiln loaded ready for a bisque firing last night but then discovered that my vent motor had quit.. I probably have to buy a new one but don't want to spend the money to replace the whole venting system (L&L) since it is only the motor that has died. I am running the bisque firing without a vent system (just took out the top plug) but would prefer to have venting in place for the next firing - cone 6 glaze firing. Any advice from you more experienced types out there?
I found the same exact motor they use for the Sure Vent System on-line at Amazon. Dayton Motors The cost is $65 with free shipping. This is a bare motor so I had to add the 3" and 4" vent hookups and a pigtail. The vent collars were a bit tricky as I was not replacing a motor that had them on, (I was adding a 3rd kiln and didn't want to spend $200+ for just the motor.) You should be able to jury rig your old 3" and 4" hookups to the new motor. I went to Lowes and made some of the connectors work using tin snips and a collar ring I found there . You can get one of the hookups sold separately, if you look at The Ceramic Shop website theceramicshop.com, they have one listed.
Also a bit of a hint to keep the motor running longer... A friend who builds and rebuilds large specialized industrial motors told me that these motors don't come with the oil holes that they used to have. He had me drill a hole in the middle of the plate directly across from the 3" hookup. Just big enough to put one or two drops of oil from a 3in1 bottle. I did it to my 4 year old motor that was whining pretty bad, which he said were the ball barrings needing oil. Took three drops and no more noise or vibration since. I put one drop of oil in about every 20th firing. Be careful do not use more than a drop or two. (I only have ever used a drop.)
Hope this helps.
Thank you Catherine, that is great info to have. By vacuuming and just general fiddling I managed to get the old motor going again but I think the prudent thing to do is to order a replacement motor now when its not an emergency. That's a great price, particularly when one thinks of the cost of replacing the whole system.
Your welcome Joan...
Another vent tip: Keep a cheap inline fan for bathrooms tucked away, found at Lowes. If your motor quits and your in a pinch you can use it to push more than enough air to get you by. I saw a few blog posts of potters using them as their main fan. I would think that they would not have a long life, but they would work in a pinch.
Thanks for another good tip Catherine. I do think in my case just going for the Dayton Blower from Amazon is the way to go. My old blower, tho functioning now, is pretty old and sure to quit soon and at $67 it would be worthwhile to have the Dayton as a back up, all ready to hook up.
Happy Potting to you too (it is a happy activity, keeps me sane-ish)
Those motors will freeze up eventually, but you can often get them going again with a good cleaning. Lots of WD40 will usually loosen it up and get it going again. They can often run for a couple more years after cleaning.