Saturday, January 22, 2011

File Me Frigid

Ha! Today I had a very very cold learning experience. I'm helping a local school start up some raku firings, and we assembled and test fired their purchased raku kiln by Olympic today. Its a cool little getup that came welded onto a little rolling cart so it can roll in and out of the building. It was a really cool, make that cold, getup today as we were out in the near freezing windy courtyard for an inaugural firing.
So we get it all connected and in place out doors and try to fire it up, and there is just no gas at all coming of the pilot orifice. We try everything we can think of but this simple setup with a Baso safety valve is not giving us gas.
Troubleshooting 101: take everything apart then put it all back together. I get back to where the regulator plugs into the propane tank back it out, then screw it back in and it feels a little looser and screws in a little further and we hear a little whoosh of escaping gas but I can't screw the plug in any further to seal it. Bust out the wrenches and tighten it a couple turns and we are ready to roll. Kiln lights up perfectly just like you'd expect.
At this point we're a little too chilly to hang around outside and futz with it more, but I bet that if I screwed it in and backed it out a couple times with the wrenches, then I could tighten it by hand like I've done in the past with every other propane tank I've ever used. I think maybe since it was a brand new tank and brand new fitting on the regulator, they were just a little too sticky for the hand tightening to work until they'd been worn in a bit.
Go figure, and while you are at it....file me under Frigid! It was a fun learning experience but I wish it had happened in Cancun and not lying on cold concrete all morning!