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Stephen

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  • Birthday 10/02/1960

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  1. I would not try to deal with the lips of your mugs after they are trimmed and handled. Even if you do not notice it is likely you will cause issues by bumping, jaring the attached handles while you mess with that. Not sure about your 'settled theory' but I occasionally miss a step if I needle the top. As my pulls became more consistent I needle the top only occasionally and thus more prone to forget to go back fix that. I would just sand them after bisque when they are more durable.
  2. Stephen

    Kilns - new or second hand?

    yeah its easy to get side tracked with equipment. My 2 cents is just put together what you can afford now and start making pots. We prob have 20k in equipment and tools at this point and with $500 and some ingenuity (old kiln, used wheel, bucket of water, rolling pin, credit card and fishing line) you can make as good or better pots than I (or anyone here) ever have.
  3. ya know you might suggest that they could revise the policy to allow a 'buddy' system of 2, 3 or even a small group working together during one eight hour shift and frame it as being to broaden participation. I assume the whole point of having the wood kiln and the firing is to promote and enrich the pottery experience. There are many, many health situations that are not immediately visible that would make it impossible to 'work' an entire 8 hour strenuous shift. COPD, back issues etc etc. The other question that comes to mind is if the Guild is truly about mission when it come to this kiln or if some members see this wood kiln as some sort of personal domain or perc and thus inclusiveness is not really part of the agenda to begin with.
  4. Just thought I would add a plug for considering a centering tool to help if needed. I had a screw put in my shoulder when I was 18 to fix a constantly recurring shoulder dislocations stemming from an injury. A big shot sports doctor did it and I remember him telling me it was a success and I didn't need to worry about it for 30-35 years. Seemed like forever. Now 38 years later not so much. I for the most part don't worry about it and have few issues over the years but excessive centering was causing that shoulder to suddenly have soreness/pain and that gave me pause. I tried to change how I center so I didn't flex my shoulder but it just didn't seem to help. Added a https://www.strongarmpotterytools.com/ for big batches of throwing and it went away so love this sucker. I still always center and open several of any batch to make sure I maintain the ability to center. I don't have arthritis but it might also be helpful for that.
  5. Stephen

    Teaching Wheels on a Budget

    The whispers will be quiet and that might be a plus in a teaching environment. At a grand plus I think they are not used much because of cost.
  6. Stephen

    How To Improve?

    8 years? I bet you are much better than you are giving yourself credit for. If you've been throwing for that long you are centering something. I get the feeling that people are thinking you are talking about a local class, is that what you mean? I read ur post as thinking of going somewhere for a 8-12 workshop and I would absolutely do that if you can afford it, sounds like a blast and I have no doubt you would come back after 2-3 months living and breathing pottery with lots of issues solved and new things learned. If you did however just mean a weekly class that meets 8-12 times then sure, can't hurt and might be great. At the very least you will meet some interesting people and explore some of your issues with the potter in charge.
  7. Stephen

    relocating kiln

    are you planning to put it back together (I mean just the sections). I would. We've moved ours around a bit but always in one piece when stored and they have held up well. They always seem to pick up a chip here and there no matter how hard you try. One thing I would say though is that folks that don't know anything about kilns will not get it and slam something on top not even thinking about it, They also will just try to shove it out of the way like its a solid one piece shelf, i would make sure none of the workers are around the kiln or you might walk into some guys hanging around your kiln and using it like a break-room table.
  8. Stephen

    Kilns - new or second hand?

    i wouldn't wait a year yo have new. Maybe just try and find one that hasn't been fired much so it won't need elements too soon. I do see electronic controllers pop up just go quick.
  9. Stephen

    Is this old kiln worth restoring?

    got it. ya know if you think he's better off sinking money into this kiln instead of waiting for a better cared for one then I concede to your expertise. Ya know I think I am probably biased toward starting new and then wearing out stuff myself. When I was going broke trying to launch a full time pottery business on the cheap I looked at a bunch of these old kilns and it just seemed (without any real knowledge on my part) not worth it to spend the time and money on old kilns when I wanted/needed to make pots. I do get that many of you do this and get years of great service. I read other threads where folks have to buy new parts for the sitter and this and that. You talked about in one thread bricks wearing out quickly if the kiln was fired to close to rating. He also mentioned bottom metal gone, chunks of brick missing, lots of cracks and that the bricks were crumbling that hold the elements, etc One thing that stood out to me when I was looking at them is that once in a few hundred you just have to keep going until you are finished and that made me back away and just buy a new kiln. I will point out that from the OP I didn't get the impression he knows anything about repairing kilns.
  10. Stephen

    Is this old kiln worth restoring?

    I'm seriously not arguing here I am just curious how much money and time do you guys estimate it will take to put this kiln back into service? I answered the way I did because the OP specifically asked if it was worth fixing this kiln, not if it could be fixed. Any kiln can be fixed. I see pristine looking old kilns with sitters pop up all the time for less than the cost of a set of elements.
  11. Stephen

    New and confused

    bummer on the bottom element. We just leave the bottom kiln shelves on the short post in all the time. I would think that weight distribution would be a factor as well so I wouldn't ever put pots directly on the bottom kiln bricks. Also when you add kiln wash only do it on the top and don't over do it. Just an even coat. if you blob it on it will flake off and ruin your pots. oh as a side note its not uncommon to see small hairline cracks form, particularly on the bottom. Just keep an eye on them and if they start to widen then it may be more serious but even fairly new kilns get them. They make a patch you can use if you ever feel one is troublesome.
  12. Stephen

    Is this old kiln worth restoring?

    me I wouldn't mess with something like that unless you just want the project. I mean yes new 7cf kilns cost a couple grand but they also have electronic controlers, lifts, stands and everything is brand new. You could end up a grand in this ol beast and you will still have an old kiln that has been banged around. If ya need a $500 kiln just wait until one pops up that can be fired as is. Sure you might need a set of elements sooner than new but a set of elements last a couple hundred firings and they are lots of people that buy and install kilns that don't fire that often so the elements are fine. If you are willing to use a kiln sitter plenty pop up all the time on CL (at least in my area) and also the public auction boards have them. The going rate seems to be a couple hundred for old beat up ones and $400-$500 for ones that have been taken care of. Do yourself a favor and buy one that has been taken care of. kilns look solid but they are not and when people start moving them around or worst leaving them outside in the rain and possibly snow they get trashed.
  13. what are you trying to buy exactly in bulk
  14. Stephen

    New and confused

    Ya know I'm not sure your loading the kiln correctly. I usually use my one inch post for my bottom shelf. Since you mention glaze running ruining your kiln I am reading it as you view the absolute bottom of the kiln as an option. I could be mis-reading, since what you say is correct about ruining it on glaze melts, but want to make sure you aren't using normal post and leaving some huge empty gap at bottom. If I were you I would stop and do 2 more test firings with all empty shelves and a cone pack on each shelf. The pack should be one cone lower, desired cone and then one cone higher. The lower cone should bend all the way over, the desired half to full and the one cone higher should not bend at all. Make a log and record the results or both bisque and glaze on each shelf and note exact time that kiln sitter cone dropped and as an added I would note time to cool (although all of these times will change with full/half full load). Then at least you have the times and cone temps reached on each shelf. Using that information along with size of kiln I think people here can help determine if you have a problem and you will also know if there is a variance between shelves that may or may not need to be addressed. Elements supposedly last about 150 combined firings so that's about 75 bisque and 75 glaze if you do one of each each time. As elements age it takes longer to fire and eventually they will not reach temperature. if you start keeping a log then you can see where they are at now and as they age you can see the progression and make a decision at some point on if its time for new elements. I think the main thing right now is be methodical, take notes, make sure your shelves have kiln wash for glazing. have fun!
  15. Stephen

    Glazing on already glazed tiles

    check out china paint and overglaze https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_painting
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