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  2. Most of my wood batts are MDF 5/8" thick, couple thoughts come to mind. The Batmate might be a bit too damp and / or wondering if your batts are new? Don't know if there could be some kind of finish on the MDF?
  3. Glasslike Crystals in Wet Glaze - What the...?

    Thanks, Sputty, for sharing this! In my dismay at discovering the issue I didn't exercise the most patience, and jumped straight to posting a new thread, rather than searching through the resources already available. Per the linked thread, I believe it's the lithium carb that has crystallized due to inactivity and temperature drop. I saved as many of the crystals as I could and will be microwaving them along with some of the now lithium-deficient glaze to get them back into solution. Neil, the recipe is as follows in case you have any other theories or can confirm that lithium is the culprit. Tin White Liner ^6 Ox Silica: 2.1 Custer: 64.4 Zinc Ox: 5.4 Gerstley: 14.5 Whiting: 3.0 Lithium Carb: 3.1 Tin Ox: 7.5 add Bento: 2
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  5. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    The maximum pugging rates (pounds/hour) seem kind of useless. If all you are doing is throwing in clay and spitting it out as fast as possible then what is the point? I use mine for mixing different clays, adding stuff to clays, remixing trimmings/reclaim, mixing up clay from dry ingredients... All of these require mixing time. I mix while doing other tasks, so no time lost.
  6. That sounds like a great idea! Think I've got to discuss this with another potter around here. Post pictures!
  7. It will work better with more absorbent bats. Plaster works very well, but I have not tried it with any wood bats.
  8. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    The deal with all Peter puggers is they are all alike in the build-they just are sized up from the 9 to the huge ones-The capacities and pug rates vary due to size of machine. The other differences are they make the barrel in stainless steel in two models the 9 and the 20 all other are cast aluminum.They all have the same basic layout and functions -you can order them with some speed options., The larger ones have wheels and are to big to sit on counters like the ( and the 20 series).The one I use was bought used and happened to fit my needs perfectly.(30VPM) I wish it where stainless but they have yet to offer this size in stainless. The barrel pitting issue will not be an issue as the machine will outlive me as I keep porcelain all the time in mine . All machines are made with the best materials and are extremely well thought out and they all have evolved from the basic one made in the later 70's. If you see a 9 next to a 30 they look the same only one is tiny-all the same functions all really well made.The history go these is interesting as he started only making a clay mixer along ago-he had the best one in the 80's-it also pugged clay but had no vacuum-it for me was miles better than a soldner as it extruded the mix at hip lever vs the Grueling bending over to dig the clay by hand from the soldier mixer. (Soldner mix great I must say). The draw back was it had no vacuum in the chamber. which meant wedging still. Also these 1st machines tended to spin porcelain in the barrel and worked better with stoneware. even today with a wet mix you can spin the mix in the barrel with any machine as Glazenerd has mentioned he has done. Brief history He started this company in Atascadero Cal in the late 70's if I recall. He moved North to Ukiah Cal with his wife later. Over time he has refined this machine into what I think is the best combo machine made. His focus was this combo machine that mixed and pugged clay and thats really what their focus is still on today. They branched out into the hobby market about 10-15years ago to stay alive and offered smaller machines (for decades they only made large machines).This couple broke up in the 80's and she moved to Willits and started the company called Pure and Simple which sell forms (heavy plastic) for making plaster molds like hump and drape molds(not slip cast). She is a potter as well. Its a small world. These two towns are about 30 minutes apart . I live about 3.5 hours north of these places.Small world again. While we are taking about machines the same story is true with JIM Bailey and slab rollers as he started with making just that the best slab roller and now after 40 years has a large company making lots of items-Peter Pugger is exactly the same except they only make Mixer/puggers
  9. Batmate arrived. I used it with 8" square MDF bats, thin ones. I was able to cone soft clay without issue, but on two separate pots something shifted as I was knuckling up. Not sure if it was the batmate or the bats. I can tell its got potential, but I might need to learn how to use it.
  10. Glasslike Crystals in Wet Glaze - What the...?

    There must be something soluble in there. Post the recipe.
  11. Glasslike Crystals in Wet Glaze - What the...?

    They are pretty, aren't they? It might be worth reading this old thread here, and trying what worked for @Tamas: Hard Crystals Developing In Glaze Slurry
  12. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    The literature from Peter Pugger states the VPM 20 has a capacity of 45 lbs and can pug at a rate of 600 lbs / hour and mix at 180 lbs/hour. VPM 9 has a capacity of 25 lbs and can pug at a rate of 500 lbs / hr and mix at 150 lbs/hr. If the quality of the pugged clay is comparable the mixing and pugging rate seems more relevant than the capacity. Just for comparison the Bailey MSV 25 with a capacity of 25 lbs pugs at a rate of 900 lbs / hr.
  13. After letting a big batch of my tin white liner glaze sit for about six week, I’ve just sieved it to start working with it again and found a pile of glass-like crystals sitting on my sieve’s screen. My glaze has been stored in a cold area (it our most recent cold snap the temperature inside my storage space probably got down to high 40s/low 50s) but it hasn’t been exposed to freezing temperatures. Some of the crystals look like snowflakes, while others are just chunks. Does anybody know what they are and why they developed in my glaze? My hope is that they are just debris, but my better sense tells me that they’re one of the glaze ingredients. Is it worth saving drying and weighing the crystals and then replacing an equivalent of the powdered ingredient into the wet glaze before using it? Or can I just toss them and move on using the glaze as normal?
  14. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    I guess but I would think it would just be a case of matching it to your needs. The whole line-up is pretty much the same and the 9 seems to built extremely well to me. Is the 20 supposed to be a better machine or just bigger? I am not particularly recommending one over the other and mainly chimed in because I have never had to fuss with my 9 at all so I wanted to let the OP know that whoever was having that issue was not experiencing something that is inherently wrong with the 9, at least not in my experience, I Just went to their site and they seem to be of similar quality. For what little reclaim I have the 9 is more than enough so just not sure why I would want to spend $500 more for the extra 20lbs capacity and a bigger machine to deal with unless the 20 is better. They didn't have the 7 back when I bought mine but likely would have gotten it if they did and it also would have been just fine and what I would recommend to any part timer. It is not hard to load whatever amount of soft reclaim and mix for 10-15 minutes and pug out the logs. Same amount of clay still has to be transferred, mixed and pugged so the time savings is a little marginal and having to stop, mix and pug a few extra times when processing a few months of reclaim is just no big deal. I kind of enjoy it once in the groove. BUT I am not production or anywhere near that at this point, just a part timer with maybe a 5 gallon bucket every month or so to pug. I love the pugger though and I am sure if the OP gets either one of them he will two. Actually I bet he will be happy with any de-airing mixer/pugger he buys. ...as far as re-sale, selling me pugger is not something I would ever, ever do. Had to go without for a bit last year and just threw the reclaim away. Wedging reclaim is just not worth it to me.
  15. adding grog


  16. There is a word used to describe clay properties, from the 40-80's: but since forgotten. "extensibility" was used to describe how far a clay body would extend without rupturing or collapsing. It is the physical properties of fireclay and ball clay, as compared to kaolin that give stoneware or porcelain their throwing properties. You can formulate porcelain to be firmer, or stoneware softer. now back to my coffee, I feel an information dump coming on. nerd
  17. Sorry I didn't mean to sound like you said that. I just meant that I have thrown some of my biggest pots with porcelain, I keep going back to the word difficult. I don't think it's the right word for the description. I think the right word is different to describe porcelain throwing. It isn't more difficult, it's just slightly different. I don't claim to know more about porcelain than you Mark that is for sure, you have thrown more clay than I will throw in my entire lifetime. Just wanted to inspire a little hope in Doc to give it a shot.
  18. I'm not saying you cannot throw porcelain big its just takes more skill at throwing. I just threw some stoneware after only working with Porcelain for many years and it practically threw itself. Those stoneware pots are for a salt fire next month.
  19. I'm not so sure. Some of the biggest pots I've ever made are with porcelain, I have a few pots that I made and realized they are too big for my kiln... So I think you should give it a try. I mean a bag of porcelain is what 15-25 dollars?
  20. Throwing Studio on 2nd Floor house?

    I gotta agree - there's just no way I would have clay inside my home. I wouldn't risk the airborne particles, never mind the mess.
  21. Doc You have it right about stoneware being easier to throw . Porcelain is denser tighter particle size. Its stronger but harder to work with. Coating with porcelain slip is a compromise as stated by others as the glaze is not exactly the same as a pure porcelain body (most likely offgassing). Porcelain has no iron in it . If you want large pots go ahead and coat them,I'm sure they will work good enough.
  22. I'll try to take some photos in coming weeks of my buttons and gaskets as I'm fibering a old oval electric at my workshop on Molokai before its killed with salt.
  23. Raku Rocket - Kiln #3 by Ian Gregory

    Talk to the good peeps at Ceramics Canada for either Kanthal or nichrome wire. I believe they sell it by the foot for projects such as this. And if you want a longer hose for your tiger torch, you might check any welding supply place like Praxair. They'll have good gloves and safety gear, too. Edit: a barbecue tank holds enough for a firing, depending on how cold it is out. And if you let your neighbour put a pinch pot or two in, he might think you're a bit less weird. At least let him know about the smoke from the reduction bins. People get jumpy when they see that much of it in the middle of the city.
  24. the geese are headed north in huge flocks but we still have a ton of snow and its -16 right now????

  25. Ok- this is all great info! Thank you! I have delivered my roughed out cage to a metal shop. They are going to straighten out my joins so they are all in a straight line and weld the top circle to the cage top and put on a couple of big oversized but lightweight handles. What I did myself would have worked fine but I wanted it to look a little less rough. I actually bent the wire to 90 deg. by using a 5 lb sledge on a hard brick, then after putting the wire into a round barrel shape, I finished the hammering to "flat" on the inside. I cut the round shape for the top with a dremel tool. I can't start on the pad outside because of the snow but I can work inside. I am making the base myself-( I can hide my unsightly joins). I have a few books-(& you all!) Another book warned me about leaving a certain amount of space around the shelves ( of course) and building a baffle made out of sliced up soft brick arranged in a circle around the bottom shelf over the burner & leaning on the sides. My burner is a tiger torch that runs on propane. I think I need a longer hose- one of the books said the tank has to be 8 ft away from the kiln. The fiber gasket is a good idea- I've heard that the Ni-Chrome wire is expensive. I have to take a good look at your button design Marcia! My hand is healing- used lots of topical antibiotic & bandaids. Think a regular barbecue propane tank holds enough gas for a firing? My neighbour made fun of my smoking barrel - he thinks I'm a "hick"! Everyone else around here has beautiful patios and fire pits. Wonder what he'll think of the raku kiln?
  26. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    I get what you are saying but I do exactly that with the Bailey Mixer Pugger with vacuum. Put hard chunks of bone dry, slop, leatherhard and use the mix function until it resembles dryish sand then add water, let it slake for 5 minutes or so then blend and pug. It's good to throw right from the machine without letting it sit. Yes, if I let the pugs sit for a day or two they do stiffen up a bit from the clay absorbing more of the water but my experience with using it for quite a few years is the clay is perfectly throwable straight away.
  27. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    The cost between the VMSS 9 and the VMSS 20 is about 500$ and the capacity is so much larger . Its resale will fit more users as well.
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