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  2. 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
  3. 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?
  4. Maybe take a look at some handles on some mugs she likes, specifically the negative space they form. Yours is a tilted D shape. As the shape works towards that of the number 7 it provides greater leverage for more hand sizes to resist the twisting of the mug. Now as to the 7 look, some just don’t like it. My hands are relatively large (can palm a basketball reasonably) I definitely have a functional preference but it likely is never gonna be something my wife prefers.
  5. Today
  6. I have only been at this for a year but I feel like I can make a "decent" mug now. I try to do the 1/3 of the diameter guideline and far enough out that there is a gap from my fingers to the wall. I still fight to achieve the form I think looks good vs the handle that actually works in my hand. I attach the top and put my fingers in it to decide the size, leaving a little room for shrinkage. The mug below fits my hand perfect but the handle needs to be smaller to visually match the shape better. My wife hates the way the handle feels though, lol.
  7. My handles are evolving; feel good/right ahead of looks right, but just barely - some'm can be viewed under mah two posts under what's on your workbench. ...the evolution has split - proportional to mug, oversize and high, undersized and low - based on feedback from users; likely I'll continue with more than one style, time will tell.
  8. I say just switch the thermo couple from one valve to the other don’t move the valves
  9. Robin Hopper suggests leaving a 1/4 inch gap, at handle attachment time, between the fingers and the body of the mug so as not to burn the fingers from touching the mug.
  10. Terri- You mention the desire for a clear shiny finish. I used to use Future Floor Polish on some pieces that were pit fired or raku. That was a long while back though. I did a quick internet search on it and came up with the following web article among others: http://www.finescale.com/online-extras/how-to/2017/11/in-the-past-it-was-future I realize that this article refers to using it ( or its new brand name, but read through it, especially the parts about using it on clear plastic parts, and then do some testing for yourself utilizing your clay body and effects on some “non-precious “ samples to evaluate the results. If you choose to explore this and/or other suggestions, please post your results. Others may find them useful. Regards, Fred
  11. Thanks Neil! - I will try a couple and see how they turn out, if it works out then I would just do a few in a load vs filling the kiln with them.
  12. It's not great for the elements, but just how bad it is will depend on a lot of factors, so you'd have to try it and see if it affects your element life enough to make it a deal breaker. The paper will burn early in the firing, so by the time the bisque is done, everything will be burned out completely. Small amounts of combustible won't be a problem, but a kiln full of pieces that are full of paper will overload a downdraft vent. I've had many call from schools claiming that their vent is broken, only to find that every piece in the kiln is built on a paper armature.
  13. I've always just used #1 Pottery Plaster. The reason to use Hydrocal is for greater durability, so I'd go for the high strength formula.
  14. Anyone know of a good brand or type of polish for smoked pottery that is non-yellowing? Closest I've found so far is Pledge but it doesn't produce a high shine. Beeswax is really yellow (surprise, surprise) and floor paste wax causes the white parts of the terrasig to go yellow too
  15. Nice save for this salvaged pot! Do see a little warpage or is that camera angle? Oatmeal glaze?
  16. My 8 year old Shimpo was getting slower and slower. I called Shimpo after trying to adjust the potentiometer. That’s when I learned that it needed a new control board for $317.00. I mostly handbuild so the wheel was not used daily. I did not know that the capacitors on the control board are like a battery and the wheel needs to run to keep them charged. Sitting idle decreases their life span. Am I the only one not aware of this? Is this so with all the newer wheels? My 40 year old year old Brent has been repaired once. I bought the Shimpo for the quiet Thanks to all. Ruth
  17. I am making a plaster wedging table, I’ve read here that hydrocal is the plaster to use. Can I use the lightweight formula? Or should I stick with the high-strength formula? The lightweight is slightly cheaper and is on amazon prime so I’d have it by Monday versus waiting longer for it to arrive and paying slightly more for the high-strength formula. TIA!
  18. I love the grolleg slip I have been using. This is kind of an interesting problem that is expanding my knowledge so I'm kind of enjoying it even as I am struggling with it. The slip is about 1 1/2 weeks old now. I think today I will measure the specific gravity again and perhaps add some grolleg to bring it up if it is low (two days after mixing it was 1.6) and then maybe add some Darvan if needed. Thanks, tinbucket!
  19. I have seen a technique involving embedding paper and cloth to create textured surfaces and curious if it is harmful to do this in an electric kiln. I have a vent but not sure how much smoke it will create or bad for the elements or if it might gum up the soft brick or something?
  20. Yeah, I've got some older textbooks, which I've inherited, that definitely use some outdated terminology... Yeah, no issues with folding, while kneading bread. If you trap air, it will just add to the texture you are generally trying to achieve. Also, sourdough is delicious!
  21. Heh heh. Wendy ordered a new thermocouple from the local distributor -- she'll pick that up on Monday. So we will try again on Tuesday. Re-arranging the order of the valves in the valve train seems like a big job, and if we are going to go to those lengths, I would probably just get a new valve to replace the troublesome one -- if a new thermocouple doesn't resolve the trouble....
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