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Dick White

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  1. Dick White

    Wax for horse hair pottery.

    I too use the Future acrylic floor wax, now branded as Pledge Floor Care Finish. As nobody has linoleum floors that need to be waxed anymore, most stores selling household care products don't carry it, so I now order it online from the big river in South America. I apply 2 light coats with a foam sponge, and you can handle it very soon after applying the wax. Straight from the bottle, it will be pretty glossy, but I've found I can reduce the gloss somewhat by cutting the wax half and half with water.
  2. Dick White

    Bisque at 4 vs. 04

    We bisque fire to the lower cone so that the wares will be strong enough to handle while glazing and still porous enough that the water in the glaze slurry will be drawn in and the glaze will stick to the surface. When a piece is mistakenly fired to glaze temperature, the surface is now nearly vitrified, no longer porous, and it will be much harder for the glaze slurry to stick to the piece. The second glaze firing will still be the same as usual so the same glazes can be used - if you can find a way to make them stick. If you are using premixed brush-on commercial glazes, they contain an organic brushing agent and binder to make them easy to use. That binder will also help it stick to the nonporous overfired bisque ware. It will take longer for each coat to dry, so be patient. If you are using dipping glazes, then you must resort to special tricks to make it stick. Heating the piece before dipping will help the glaze dry faster. Some use cheap hairspray or laundry starch to create an artificially sticky surface. I've mixed some brushing agent (a CMC gum mixture) into a small amount of the dipping glaze for a rough approximation of a brushing glaze, and I've even heard of mixing white glue (e.g. Elmers is a common brand name) in the glaze to make it stick.
  3. Dick White

    Olympic Kilns

    And if it comes with shelves and posts, it is an excellent deal. (Assuming it's in good shape. If not, then it's $200 wasted...)
  4. Dick White

    Speedball Wheel Voltage

    Andrea, Happy Christmas to you and your family also. Typically when an appliance is manufactured for multiple international markets, the literature is generic and avoids country-specific data. Two ways you can ascertain the exact specification of that wheel: 1) look for an electrical rating tag somewhere on the control box that indicates the voltage and amperage drawn by the device; and 2) is the plug on the end of the power wire consistent with your local wall receptacle? If that unit was intended for the US 120V market, the plug would have American-style prongs, or if intended for sale in another country, it will have a plug compatible with that country's electrical system.
  5. Dick White

    Clay fatigue?

    Ok, thanks Tom. Another brilliant scheme from my overactive imagination shot down in flames by someone who knows the facts better than I do. I was saving the Oreo cookies for Santa next week, but I think I'll dunk one right now...
  6. Dick White

    Clay fatigue?

    Interesting. Tom, if the plasticity is degraded by a loss of negative charge as fines are washed out during throwing, do you think it can be restored by throwing with slightly alkaline water?
  7. Dick White

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Bill, can you tell me more about the controller program. The picture appears to show it running on a Windows computer. Thanks dw
  8. Dick White

    brushing and dipping

    That can be done. The glazes should be of compatible firing range. The exact outcome of the combination will be unknown until you test it.
  9. Dick White

    Electric Reduction Firing

    Terry Fallon is a wonderful fellow crystallier who was a gas plumber in his day job. He had some serious health issues, and so is not active anymore. His Fallonator was a ConeArt kiln with a standard Bartlett controller that used controller #4 to trigger solenoids to start a flow from a small propane bottle together with a compressor to inject air, all kept in proper balance by an automotive O2 sensor. The objective was to fire to peak in oxidation so the zinc in the crystalline glaze would not volatize, and then start reduction during the the crystal growing phase at lower temperatures. He did not make many of them before his health failed.
  10. Dick White

    Crystalline Glaze Chemstry

    I will add to Tom's second sentence - there is a wide variance from potter to potter for many aspects of the tumble down this particular rabbit hole. I don't use bentonite as a suspension agent, I use a mix of CMC gum in the water - for suspension, as a brushing agent, and to harden the surface of the glaze as I add more coats. The CMC gum mix is about the consistency of heavy cream, and I mix the glaze slurry to the consistency of honey or well-stirred Greek yogurt. And yes, sieving is imperative. I mix my crystalline glazes in small batches in quart mason jars using an old blender. Hamilton Beach and Oster blender jugs screw onto their respective blade/base with the same thread size as a common mason canning jar. Waring has a different thread size so you can't use a Waring blender; Hamilton Beach or Oster only. Also get a cheap plastic funnel for canning to aid in getting the glaze materials into the jar (the bottom of the funnel fits exactly in the top of the jar). dw
  11. Dick White

    What kind of mask do you wear?

    I have the double whammy of beard and spectacles (and sometimes I do make a spectacle of myself). The specs don't fit well on the nose area of the mask, and then I can't see or breathe...
  12. Dick White

    What kind of mask do you wear?

    Liambesaw, as a fellow beardo weirdo, how do you find the seal of that mask around the whiskers? dw
  13. Dick White

    Advice on Kiln I Found

    It looks to be in reasonably good shape. The cone supports for the kiln sitter are missing, but easily replaced. There is a chunk missing from the bottom edge of the bricks, but that's not the end of the world either. While the stated dimensions may be correct for overall size, the interior dimensions are 18" wide *meaning the widest diameter piece you can fire is about 15" on the top shelf with no obstructing posts, or 10" on a lower shelf allowing for the space taken up by the posts. The total inside height is about 23", but the center ring is an unpowered blank ring just to create a bit more height inside. However, that means the heating power of the kiln is diluted a bit, so it might have some trouble reaching a full cone 10 despite the official maximum rating. Mid-fire should be okay. It is a manually controlled kiln with a kiln sitter safety shutoff device. You will need to manually turn up the heating controls periodically during a firing, and personally shut it off when the cone packs inside (and visible through a peephole) indicate it is done. The electrical wattage (6400W) means you will need to install a 40 amp circuit for it. (Theoretically, it draws less than 30 amps, but the electric code requires a circuit with a 25% safety margin, for which the next size up is 40A). If the kiln comes with the shelves shown in the picture (and hopefully a selection of posts too), $200 is a very good price, if you are willing to learn how to fire a kiln without an electronic controller.
  14. Dick White

    Fixing a plaster mold?

    Well, actually, Cascamite in the EU is a synthetic plastic resin glue (urea formaldehyde), similar to Weldwood Plastic Resin glue in the US. It is a powder that is mixed with water, but when cured is water resistant. "White glues" are PVA (poly vinyl acetate), one common brand is Elmer's. Yellow carpenter's wood glues are also PVA, but with other resins added to improve their performance in woodworking applications, such as open time, tack, and water/weather resistance. The yellow color is simply a dye to distinguish it from plain white PVA glues. Casein glues are made from milk proteins, and are water resistant. Elmer's School Glue at one time was a casein-based glue, but now is a PVA glue.
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