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About Kleipots

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    South Africa, Cape Town
  1. Best Table for the Studio?

    We have oregan pine and teak tables in the studio. We soak it once a year with woodoc liquid polish. 2x plaster of paris boards for wedging that I've made 30 years ago, one for red and and one for white clay. For this I've used a beer box that holds 4x 6packs of beer as a mould. You simply throw mixed plaster of paris in the box and let it dry. This is also used for drying out recycled clay. I keep canvas and linen folded up in the drawer just to handle and move slabs to and from slabroller. OKPotter, I like your idea of using slate, I will look into that. Thanks to all of your for great ideas.
  2. whats everyone been up to?

    I bought a kick wheel recently. What a pleasure listening to my own breathing in the absence of the constant humming of the electric wheel! But it took a while to get used to again, especially centering the clay. I miss the speed while centering before relaxing into pulling the clay up. Maybe I must install an electric motor to it just for centering. Thank you for the feedback on today's Potters Market, Diana. I could not be there, but hope to join you in November.
  3. My mountain's clay has got no elasticity at all. I use a space to chip rocks from the slope, soak it in water for a day or so. It then just melts away into a nice sloppy mixture. Then I hang it in a pillow case from a tree branch outside (nice tip I got from this forum) until it feels good. I have to wedge in clay from the local clay supplier just to add elasticity -about 50/50. Firing is done at earthenware temperature. Thanks again for all the ideas on this forum, I should explore it more.
  4. Thanks for all the input! I guess I am being a little too optimistic. The kiln has never been fired to cone 10. So if more than 4.8 Kw is required I suppose it can't. I have, however left out a small but probably very important detail. It is a top loader and the lid does lift about a 1/4 inch and even more at the higher temperatures. The gap is much less on the side where the hinge is, so the lid does not "float" evenly. I have tried to lessen the gap on one side by putting strips of kaolin wool on the rim to try keep some of the heat in. It is not really effective -I am not even sure if the gap is reduced . Is it normal for the lid to lift like that? would it help to put some kind of latch on the kiln too keep the lid from rising? When I do a glaze firing I insert bungs in front and on top when the temperature reading is about 800 C.
  5. Kleipots 1

  6. Have you tested the kiln with an ammeter to determine whether the kiln is pulling the amperage listed on its electrical data plate? Especially common in the summertime, low voltage can lower the firing capacity of electric kilns. Firing the kiln for long periods at the stalling temperature is very hard on the elements, by the way. That struggle causes more wear than firing at lower temperatures. Sincerely, Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com I have not checked with a meter but we have prepaid electricity and we can check how many Kilowatts is being used at any given time, with all other appliances off it does show 4.8 Kw when the kiln is on which is what the data plate on the kiln says. But I will do as you say as soon as I get hold of an ammeter. Thanks!
  7. Hello everyone This is my very first post. I have a problem with my kiln and my hopes flared up as I read all the responses and advice given about Ruti's problem. My kiln is electric though, not gas. I have a quite an old Harrison Meyer Limited electrical toploader kiln (2.63 Cu ft.), single phase with a CAHO SR-T901 temperature controller. Being in South Africa our electricity pushes through 220/240 volts I had an electrician from the city council over at my workshop who confirmed that , that is indeed what they are supplying. The specs on the kiln says maximum temperature of 1300 C/cone10 (4.8kw). The dial on the Controller also shows a maximum of 1300 C. When the kiln is switched on we switch everything else off;pool pump, geyser (water cylinder), etc. Just a good habit according to our electrician. It runs off an 10 meter electrical cable that is connected straight into the DB board which is a very thick industrial cable installed by a qualified electrician and also got the approval of the city official mentioned earlier. For 17 years it has fired to cone 04 (1060 C) with no problems at all. A normal glaze firing takes about 6 hours, cools down overnight and ready to unpack the following morning. Perfect. My problem is that I want to fire to 1240 C, but the kiln only reaches 1146 C and then goes no further. We switch on the kiln with the automatic controller set to switch off at 1240 C. It takes 8 hours to reach about 1120 C and then another 2 hours just to reach 1146 C. Then it goes no further. Once when I left it on for another hour. It just stayed on at 1148 C after which it started to drop slightly but just one or two degrees, that is when I switched it off. Our local potter supplier's electrician has checked out the cabling, replaced the elements and thermocouple with absolutely no luck. There are no cracks in the kiln bricks. I have contacted the temperature controller suppliers to find out if there is any way to verify that the temp controller is working properly. They say that if the controller hasn't switched off by itself at 1148, the problem is with the kiln and not the controller. There is a tiny "reset " dial on the face with a +- maximum and minimum setting, does anyone know what is it for? Could it help to turn that up or down? It is at "11 o'clock " at the moment. I am happy with the bisque and earthernware glaze firings and the kiln does pull 4.8 kilowatt and I checked that all the elements are working. I have been battling with this problem for a few months now and as I mentioned I have replaced just about everything except for the kiln itself and the temp controller, Any ideas?

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