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  1. Today
  2. Mehmet, if I had $1000 and wanted a kiln, I would do something like Boris is suggesting. You can always change later, but this will definitely get you going - and maybe for less than $1000 if you find good deals on used equipment.
  3. Like a lot of potters I have large hands, my right hand has gotten huge over the last 40 years since I started working with clay. If the handle feels good to me when the mug is wet I can count on it shrinking enough that a average person will like it. People with very small hands might have a problem with them. Denice
  4. I probably bought my Bailey slab roller 20 years ago. I just bought the unit and my husband built the bi-level table for it. Bailey included the plans. It has not needed any any maintenance since we installed it. No maintenance is a big deal for me, my husband has enough things to fix around the house. My big Skutt didn't fire right last week so he needs to check out the wiring, another thing for him to fix. Denice
  5. The Bailey has chain drive on one side only-large 1/2 to 5/8th inch wide chain.I did not remove chain guard so I could see was only a peek I would favor steel rollers over soft aluminum which is super soft. I know a potter who built an electric one with cables-its always going thru cables.
  6. I have a simple slab roller my husband and I cobbled together many years ago. We had scrap steel and most of the other bits lying around, it's rough and crude but it works well so we’ve never upgraded. Heavy table, shelf underneath, arborite top. Because we used scrap and all sorts of odd bits the total cost was probably under $60- If you look closely you can see parts of a rowing machine, weight lifting set, garden hose... For the gears, we used #40 chain sprockets and an idler sprocket to tension (on a pivot arm with a simple coil spring), bought new from a discount auto supply place, not much cost. We did consider bike gears but this was way easier. As in picture, we made a 2 roller slab roller. Height is adjustable on the upper roller, I honestly don’t change the height very often at all. I have a couple thicknesses of boards that I use to run the clay through with, if I want a thinner slab I use a thicker board. A piece of redi-rod mounted to the upper bearing is what adjusts the upper roller height. This allows us to adjust the rollers to parallel. Old steering wheel, more than enough torque to feed the clay through. Re your plan on using aluminium irrigation pipe, that’s great if you can do it. If you can knurl then I’m assuming you have a metal lathe? As you can see on ours, the cylinders aren’t knurled but I’ve never had an issue with it, probably because of the diameter of the pipes.
  7. After more research I decided to order the USG #1 Potters Plaster instead. I don’t know what expanded metal is but I will google it. I am also going to search on this forum for tips on building a (small) wedging table.
  8. I don't do porcelain, so if it's different than stone ware in that respect, I wouldn't know. The spin factor with stoneware is that the pug mill isn't full enough. You need the friction of the clay on the inside of the chamber to hold the mass in place. I've never reached the too soft limit on pugging clay.
  9. Not sure I belive that story. I have seen Brents sit for decades then work for more decades.An 8 year old shimpo is a NEW wheel still. You sure its not the hamster inside is aged out and cannot spin the running cage fast anymore??I think thats a better story if they are making this stuff up. Or maybe the electricity is old electricity and has lost it pep. I learned long ago that some stories do not hold water.
  10. Hydrocal doesn't have the water absorbing property of plaster. If you want to use the wedging table for drying clay, definitely plaster. Use expanded metal as a reinforcement in the plaster.
  11. I did some rough math on how many mugs a year that leave the studio. Its over 3,000 per year. I acuattly think that number may be low. You do that for few decades and handles just flow. Mugs are one of my best sellers. Thats why I make handles and sizes for all users. I will add only the small 3/4# may be one finger mugs.Like small expresso ones. I sell mugs at all my outlets and some really move product and a fast clip.Most potters my age have long ago given up on making lots of mugs.
  12. Interesting, never heard that one for any capacitor other than a super capacitor used to backup onboard memory instead of a battery. I think this is a bit incorrect so am too interested in the final explanation. For now it appears to be fiction to me. Just my first thought though.
  13. I translated your link to English -that shelve with the holes does not say what temperature it goes to? Always decide what shelve size you want and build the kiln around those dimensions. What temperature do you plan on firing to?
  14. Yesterday
  15. I too used Future in the past for my saggar, horsehair, and naked raku work, but now I use Pledge Floor Care Finish. yah yah yah, I know, it's the same old stuff/new name in the North American market... (Note, despite the similar branding, this is not the spray furniture wax.) It's hard to find in stores now because nobody has linoleum floors that need weekly waxing, so I order it online from that big river in South America. I prefer it over spray acrylic varnishes because I'm a lousy sprayer. See how it runs. And runs. And runs - when I do it. So having a wipe-on product is my savior. Others in my circle of raku bums have said they prefer paste wax because it buffs up to a softer shine, but you've already found its color problem. I generally thin it half and half with water so the finish isn't a deep thick glassy layer over the ceramic surface, although others might want that.
  16. Hello Mehmet, I recently posted that I had a downdraft kiln conversion that worked very well and it is not too expensive. Below is the link. If possible, you'd need to find an old electric kiln, even an old oval one. Cheers, Boris http://www.sebastianmarkblog.com/2018/07/gas-kiln-conversion-downdraft.html
  17. I started using clear acrylic spray paint on my Raku pieces 1 1/2 years ago with great success. I tried waxing a horsehair raku pot as an experiment and found that the process yellowed the pottery but also wiped away some of the burned areas of the horsehair. I sprayed a couple of pieces with clear matte acrylic and the white areas darkened a little but the acrylic really set the horsehair burns...
  18. The one I posted above is 3 finger for my big hands, my wife holds mugs weird though, I think it's a Japanese thing. I don't think I've ever seen her use the handle.
  19. Some two and three finger handles, over and over over sized; no examples of one finger ring in this pic - current handling is similar, mostly like the two in front
  20. Form of the mug determines too. Mine have a low belly and the rim is pulled out to match the belly, it adds more room at the top of the handle for fingers. I marked it in red on the photo, it's not much, but on this form it allows me to make a smaller handle without making it uncomfortable for me to use.
  21. If you have the time to take on a project like that, then go for it, but I would consider money spent on a Bailey or North Star slab roller to be well spent. You can just buy the roller mechanism and mount it to your own table.
  22. Some random thoughts: There is a sweet spot with handles where they’re long enough to fit 3-4 fingers in, but they’re not sprung out too far from the body of the mug. For a mug with more fingers in the handle, think about making a more oval shape than round, or more like a D than a C. A mug handle will typically loose 1 finger’s room in between handle attachment and finished product, ie if I can get 3 fingers in while it’s fresh, it’ll be a 2 finger mug when it’s done. Someone will always complain to your face about your handles being too big or too small. Someone else will love it and think it’s perfect. Men and women hold mugs differently. It’s how we’re socialized. Play around with other kinds of mug to find what you like and don’t like.
  23. My electric Bailey is chain driven-very reliable . Cables stretch over time.Just design a chain tensioner and it will be trouble free. Never spent time looking at how its made-it works I'll take a look at it today and report back
  24. Laguna has WC953 Maxs White Porcelain Clay you might for try a bag of if and see is it works for your baskets before you start mixing. Potter
  25. I have had some success lately building an extruder and some custom dies for my daughter, so now I want to move on to the more ambitious project of a slab roller. I want to build something better than the do it yourself cable driven single roller type. Those are quite clever in design, but also seem to have many drawbacks. My daughter does mostly hand built work from slabs, so if I build one, I really want something with a wide two roller design similar to the North Star. I plan on using surplus thick wall aluminum irrigation pipe for the rollers. Knurling the rollers will take some effort, but I think I am up to it, and the tensionizing adjustment does not seem too difficult. But driving the rollers will be the real challenge. I do not have the ability to machine custom gears, and purchasing them can really run up the cost. Also, gears are much more fussy about precision alignment and engagement. But bicycle chains and gears are readily available and produced at an economy of scale such that they are very affordable. They also do not require as much precision, and by selecting the correct gears I think I can get a 4 to 1 reduction ratio similar to the high end machines.. But are they strong enough, and are there any unseen issues? I have seen some moving table style slab rollers that use cables or chains. Other than the known disadvantages of the moving table design over a dual roller design, how do they hold up? Do the chains wear quickly or break under heavy use? Has anyone ever tried driving a dual roller setup with chains, and discovered it is a dead end? Does anyone know how much force is needed to drive a roller on a system like this? And, am I crazy to consider trying this approach? The chain path will need a bit of thought to get the rollers to both move in the correct direction, and to also maintain proper tension as roller spacing changes. But am I missing something else that will be very important? Eventually I may just give up on the idea and just help her buy what she really wants. But like I said. I know that I can build the rollers and the tensionizer. It would really just be a matter of designing and fabricating the correct drive mechanism. What types of issues are seen on these dual roller units?
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