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  1. Phylosilicates

    Sodium Silicate For Majic Water?

    From a chemistry standpoint, don't mix up too much magic water in advance. The sodium silicate reacts with the sodium carbonate and is rendered ...not sodium silicate. It will still have its firing value of a stronger bond, but it won't really have the same characteristics of fresh vs. 8hrs (if you have that long). Sodium silicate will absorb carbon dioxide out of the air fairly quickly and form a glass skim. The gunk in the bottom of the silicate chemical bottle is reacted silicate. This is the same process I (will) use for blow molding. I prepare the two halves of the sand casting mold with sand wetted with silicate, and vent CO2 through the mold. They are instantly hard. My old mentor (Elmo Spriggs) put me onto that one. I haven't used it yet, but the process is described in the metal casting handbook. The reaction path for silicate and CO2 was not included, and more like if I did the numbers, they'd be off. On paper here it looks like a hydrate of silicon carbide but I won't commit to that. Suffice to say, it just goes bad after a while. Even sodium carbonate, something you'd think would be beyond worry, has a few quirks. It also absorbs carbon dioxide out of the air and converts to sodium bicarbonate. Fortunately the reaction is slow unless the air is humid. This bond is easily broken though... nevermind, not pertinent. To the few who mentioned Egg Keep - yep, old time trick. Dip the eggs in the solution, dry, and you could keep the eggs on the counter for up to a year! Bottom line is, don't make a whole lot. It goes bad, capped or not.
  2. From your description, you need all new elements. If you have infinite switches, leave them alone until you make the element swap. They don't go bad that often. Never ever trim an element. It is a measured length. If ordering elements for a defunct kiln, best to order from either Euclid or the fabrication shop of another kiln manufacturer (if you know how many amps your kiln draws, how many elements, and what the voltage is at YOUR mains.). It makes a difference in the element between 208, 210,220,240 volts. (not so much the 208). If you know exactly how long the element tray is (where the element rests in your kiln), then they can stretch it properly. I order mine un-stretched from Vulcan Kilns and stretch them just before assembly. Makes for a much nicer storage package, rather than have those messy spiral coils I have to be careful with. If you have mercury relays, do not replace them. Short of a direct short or a lightning strike, they will probably outlive the kiln - and your grandkids. Plus, they're kind of expensive. The external coil could go bad, but is easy to diagnose and cheap to replace. Dennis, Earthen Fire Studios, Fairborn, Ohio

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