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Ray Bright

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  1. Hairline cracks in bottom of kiln

    I put a 1/2" layer of concrete "Hardy Backer" board under it. Hope for same effect.
  2. Candling?

    Candling is slow heating kept below the boiling point of water ... About 200F or the very lowest setting with the lid propped open to let moisture escape. Does candling work? I'm a little scared, as my last firing had one item blow up and ruin everything else in the kiln. Think that one item was wetter than the rest.
  3. Candling?

    I'm trying to run two batches of greenware, one weeks dry the other one week dry, and wonder if I can somehow dry them both a little more before 1-firing them? I've heard, only in passing, about "candling" which I assume means a slow low heat cooking of the greenware to dry it out. Is that what candling is? And, is that a good way to insure my greenware is sufficiently dry? Is there a way to 'know' the clay is dry enough for cone 05? R
  4. My last post, Hairline Cracks..., has generated a good deal of interest in fixing cracked kiln bottoms, and for GOOD REASON. So I hope to further this discussion, because there are unanswered questions, and a lot of dangerous kilns. Here's the last post @ my last post: If it's not impolite, I'll jump on this thread with a similar question. I am a self-taught potter that has never fired. I recently moved from Oregon back home to Costa Rica, and took an electric kiln with me (it was tested before I shipped it, and passed with plying colors). During the move the metal legs buckled and folded, resulting in some decent cracks in the bottom of the kiln. more than hairline, see the attached pictures. someone recommended using a kiln-repair paste on those bottom cracks, so I had a friend bring some down, but haven't had a chance to use it or test the kiln yet. My question to you guys, is for tips for a Newbie, on how to baby my kiln to compensate for those cracks. Being in Costa Rica, I can't easily order specialized items, and I can't easily replace that kiln, I need it to last me many years. I will need to come up with a different base since the metal one is busted. I had never considered that the base needed to be perfectly level. what other things should I consider for the base support? I'll need to MacGyver it, and I had originally thought that I could sit the kiln directly on some cement blocks. bad idea? thankfully I brought some extra kiln shelves with me, so I have both full and half shelves. should I just plop one on the bottom of the kiln? should I sit one under the kiln to help distribute the load? thank you all for the amazing resource, this is incredible support. Since this is such an important safety issue, Can we get a definitive answer? Just asking . . . Thanks, Ray
  5. Hairline cracks in bottom of kiln

    Thanks. I'm starting to think I should just go back to the Skutt stand. With those cracks in the bottom, I wonder if I shouldn't build a firebrick on concrete board 'table' to put on the Skutt stand and the kiln on top of that. I have little space in my shop, so the wheeled dolly (which I had sitting around) seemed perfect. But burning down my house is the risk for the benefit of a little comfort. R
  6. Hairline cracks in bottom of kiln

    Good! Also, I've taken this kiln off its rusty old factory issue stand and put it on a heavy duty steel roller dolly. Is this a bad idea?
  7. Got hairline crack. Is this catastrophic? Ray
  8. Orange Peel glaze

    Fired to cone 05. Using very old Skutt with bar type cone in Kiln sitter. Some things on the most problematic shelf came out perfect, but these had much more vertical surface. The orange peeling ones were 95% flat, and I think I put so much glaze on it pooled in the middle and couldn't finish properly. This was my 1st firing/test of this system, will no much more soon. Will use only 2 coats with same application method. R
  9. Orange Peel glaze

    I really laid it on. Next test this Friday, think thin.
  10. Orange Peel glaze

    No. AMACO LG-10. I think I laid it on too thick. Within the same piece, the glaze is good & bumpy. So it fired properly. Where it's bumpy, is where I glopped on a big dab of glaze (3 times) which I then spread out toward the edges, which are just fine. Three days ago I fired a kiln for the first time in my life. I'm making it up as I go along, knowing nothing. I'm a retired movie producer whose fallen in love with the ceramic process. (my father was bricklayer). I'm very used to winging it, with far more pressure than this calls for. But I'm in it to make the thing I want to make as good as it can be made. Thanks, Ray
  11. My 1st firing has produced a strange effect: the clear glaze on the edges of my pieces are smooth, but in the center they are bumpy, seem not totally fixed to the substrate, covered with a sort of orange peel. The glaze is still clear, not all pieces are like this, and I think I may have laid on way too much glaze in my zeal to make very shinny objects. Humm?
  12. Kiln Lid not tightly closed?

    . . . as Skutt recommends leaving the to plug out. You can try to find the high spot if you are concerned but in my opinion it is OK to run as is. Bruzbt I left the top plug out (since it only came with three). After raising the temp to med in the second hour and checking the moisture escaping from the top plug hole with a mirror, it seemed like I was getting a good amount of steam. I'm 'once firing' glazed greenware, so that is not a surprise. I propped the lid with a fire brick for 1/2 an hour, and the steam seemed to go out quickly. I shut the lid, for a 1/2 hour on med, then up to high for 2 hrs 14 min to cone 05.
  13. Kiln Lid not tightly closed?

    Thanks everyone. I was scared. This kiln is from the 60's and having never fired it, this glow ring thing was nerve wracking. But! it reached 05 in 5 hours and 14 minutes, so it must not have lost all that much heat. I ran it on low for one hour, med for 2 hours, then turned it up to high for the remaining 2 hrs 14 minute. 3/4 filled, test fire or Amaco Velvets. It's cooling down now, eager to look, but it's way to hot to handle. I'm going to check the hinge though, as that does look like it may be out of whack. Thanks again, I don't know what I'd do without this forum. Ray
  14. I am firing an old Skutt 231-18 for the first time I just bought. I am accordingly paranoid. I'm 5 hours in, going for 05, and Suddenly I can see around the entire lid about 1/16 of an inch gap between the lid and the body of the kiln. (see picture attached) It's glowing. The other points of contact, the bottom and the two rings are sealed just fine, cant' see any glow between them. IS THIS NORMAL? Fearfully, Ray
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