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About JohnnyK

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    Advanced member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Citrus Heights, CA
  • Interests
    Ceramics, glazing techniques, photography, farming, reading all kinds of stuff but primarily thrillers

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  1. Considering that ^10 is just under 2400 degrees F and ^6 is about 2232 degrees F and carbon steel melts between 2600 & 2800 degrees F, you might just try a small package of welding rods. They are cheap and if they last for just a few firings you will still be waayyy ahead of the game cost wise. If you want to be a big spender, stainless steel melts at 2750* F, which is still way above cone 10. The rods are about 36" long. You can get 4 @ 8.5 " pieces per rod at a cost of about $10 for about 10 rods of carbon steel. Here is a chart of metals and their melting points... JohnnyK
  2. JohnnyK

    Struggling with my mini kiln

    I agree with Benzine...Your pieces are probably not dry enough for the rapid firing. You said that your first kiln took 24 hours to reach temp which is what saved the pieces. The slow rise probably had a candling effect and helped the pieces dry thoroughly so that they didn't explode. Either let your pieces dry longer in the open air, run them in the kiln at a low temp (around 190*)for a couple of hours, or put them in an oven at around 190* for a couple of hours before subjecting them to the rapid fire. Do the tests on a few pieces rather than a full run. Again, what kind of control do you have on the kiln and the firing program? JohnnyK
  3. JohnnyK

    Glazing Tools

    This is a home made banding wheel made from an old ceiling fan (thrift store $5) and a scrap of 3/4" plywood.
  4. I found a photo of a vase in the book "500 Vases* that I liked and had one of those "I wonder if I could make that" moments. I was taking Ceramics 1 at Sierra College and had chosen the vase as one of my class projects. I had made an almost exact replica of the piece . I was working on it at home and had a lot of fun handbuilding and was handling it with impunity... until it was bone dry. The morning of the day I was taking it back to class, I picked it up in the same manner as when it was damp and it literally exploded in my hands leaving me with a pile of bone dry shards. Wondering what I may have done wrong, I had found the original artist's website and started a correspondence with him, telling him my situation and asking him for pointers. He sent me his exact process for making the vase wishing me luck in my class project. The way I constructed the piece was almost exactly the same as his with a couple of slight variations. I then proceeded to successfully complete the project making an almost exact replica of his vase with a surprising outcome in the glazing process. His vase was red with black accents. While I had painted my piece with what was supposed to be a Christmas Red commercial glaze with black accents, it had come out of the kiln a dirty white with black accents. I asked my prof what had happened and after consulting the head of the dept, she said there may have been other pieces in the kiln with a high manganese content next to my piece which may have affected my glaze. I learned a lot with that project and was able to use the principles involved to produce variations of the original vase... So I feel that copying someone else's work can provide valuable insight into amterials and methods which can be incorporated into future endeavors. Just saying... JohnnyK
  5. JohnnyK

    Brand new to pottery

    Beginner's classes are relatively inexpensive and the knowledge you gain in a short period of time can be priceless. Where do expect to obtain the knowledge you need to be successful? Do you have unlimited funds to spend on the equipment you will need to be successful in your endeavor? Just asking? JohnnyK
  6. I, too, like the idea of the upside down orbital sander since it allows you to use both hands during your sanding operation, and there is a wonderful selection of sanding media available for use with these sanders. The belt sander will remove too much material too quickly with a lot less control. JohnnyK
  7. Like DH I had bone to bone contact in both thumbs which was the result of abuse during my career as a remodeling contractor. The pain had gotten to be pretty bad. I had consulted with an orthopedic surgeon who suggested hand surgery. I had my right thumb done first and had the trapezius bone removed from the thumb. The joint was pinned and put in a cast for six weeks. Then the pins were removed and I underwent physical therapy once a week for another six weeks to regain the normal function of the thumb. It took about 10 months from the time of the surgery to get my thumb back to 100% at which time I had the left thumb done. Same process. It took about 4-5 months from the time of each surgery before I could work the clay on the wheel. Since then the hands have been working perfectly without pain. I could not recommend this particular surgery more highly because of my experience. Here's a shot of the x-ray with the pins in place and the bone removed:
  8. JohnnyK

    Expiration date

    The jars are probably 2 oz. I got a bunch of them from a friend and they were all dried out, I did what LT suggested and reconstituted them and haven't had a problem. Most of them were half full and colors that I would not normally use but they were fun to play around with on miscellaneous pieces like cat food bowls, spoon rests, pinch pots, etc. JohnnyK
  9. JohnnyK

    Logo mugs: how to glaze?

    As suggested before, test your idea on a scrap before you do your production. Your idea should work, but I would do some testing first. Depending on the effect you want to achieve you can go with or without the clear...
  10. JohnnyK

    Logo mugs: how to glaze?

    From my experience here is what happened when I used a clear over Red Iron Oxide. The gremlin on the right has no clear while the on the left has a clear over the RIO. They were both fired to ^06 at the same time. As Callie suggested, do some testing to find out what the effect might be.
  11. That comes out to about fifteen cents per pot...not a bad return on investment, Mea!
  12. JohnnyK

    Wheel Quit Working

    Can you provide photos of the piece? If you can't get the part from Kemper, you have 2 choices: have the part remade by someone handy enough to do it or try a foot pedal from a different manufacturer... JohnnyK
  13. If you use Denice's method, you might make the defects a little larger by gouging them to make them deeper and wetting the area before you add the new plaster. Also keep in mind that the plaster patching material hardens chemically. It "sets-up" to harden and eventually will dry. You should also use the same plaster that your molds are made of. Give it a shot and if it doesn't work, make new molds. JohnnyK
  14. OK, Kelsayy, I used to own the same Cress as you and have a copy of the old manual and fired it manually a couple of times and found it difficult, at best, to do an accurate firing for my taste, so I invested in a digital kiln controller. Problems solved! You could put the same type of plug on each kiln and use the controller for both (at different times, obviously). You would just have to develop firing schedules for each of the kilns for accuracy, but the controller would eliminate the problems you may have in firing each kiln. The main thing you would have to remember is to turn the control knobs to maximum, put an appropriate cone (^10) in the kiln sitter (I actually use a high tensile concrete screw in the sitter), press the button in the sitter and set the timer at maximum EACH time you use the kiln and all will be well... JohnnyK
  15. JohnnyK

    Metal mold and clay casts

    You might try spraying the mold with WD40 as a mold release. You might also try using a fan over the pots to help dry and shrink them a little faster than what you get now. Keep an eye on the drying process so they don't dry too much and possibly crack... JohnnyK

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