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MikeFaul

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About MikeFaul

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/19/1959

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.pottersfire.com (Coming Soon)

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Herndon, Virginia
  • Interests
    Many... Too Many... Too Little time...

    Functional & Sculptural Ceramics
    Hand Building, Throwing, and Designing

    Surface Design

    Firing to Cone 6 Ceramics

    Multiple glazes on a single form applied with an HVLP spray gun
  1. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    I have no idea how they were stored before they got to me. From what I can tell, the distributors don't stock Corelites, they order them and have them delivered to them or drop shipped to us. I can't speak to how they may have been stored before I received them. We store them on their edge up against the wall in the kiln room. That was up and until recently, I added a set of padded hooks on the walls in the kiln room, now they are stored on the hooks / on their edge up against the wall to keep them off the floor.
  2. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    We only use 1/2 shelves when we are firing off size wares like large vases or flower pots. That's only about 5% of our time... When the shelf split, the fracture ran between two of the three post stacks. As it turns out it also ran between cups. The cups along the fracture weighed it down and caused it to fall toward the center of the kiln along the fracture. This resulted in one of the posts sliding into the fracture, which in turn caused the entire stack to list to the back of the kiln. The cups at the top of the kiln slid down the shelf along the plane of the now tilted stack. The ones closest to the edge slipped to the edge, which was in contact with the kiln wall, and came to rest against the kiln wall. So the load shifted based on a chain reaction. Yes, Advancers are absolutely under consideration. Even if I have to buy a two or three a month... Yes, we temper all of our kiln furniture at bisque. Yes, we did just buy a new set of posts / stilts for the shelves. These were in use in all incidents where the shelves fractured. In all but one firing, they were above the point of fracture. We use to use 1/2 shelves, but stopped using them to reduce the number of posts and increase the number of pots per shelf.
  3. Shipping about 200 cups to Korea... Who woulda thunk it!?!

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      Makes you feel warm inside like when my spoon rests went to China

    3. Denice

      Denice

      I hope you made a good profit.

    4. glazenerd

      glazenerd

      All things are possible to them that believe.

  4. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    Min... I have my distributor working on replacements... As an update, we have now lost an additional five 26" Corelite shelves.That's a total of seven fractured shelves in the last ten days. The situation is a bit out of control. I've contacted our distributor and they are contacting Standard who wholesales them for Resco. I've also sent an email to tech support at Resco. Here are my new observations: Shelves are now splitting in glaze (^6) and bisque (^05) fires in addition to the fast ^10 fire mentioned at the top of the thread, I pulled all the shelves, vacuumed the kilns, leveled each spacer, put in a flat shelf on the bottom, and checked for level, and then we lost the additional 5 shelves. I believe 4 out of 5 of these shelves were about 90 days old and had less than 20 to 25 firings on them. The new floor shelf is supported by three spacer posts (1.5" x .5") in a triangular pattern. All kiln stacks were built over top of the spacer posts. Shelves are fracturing in multiple kilns, I tested all elements and ran diagnostics on the kilns, they are working fine, Cooler fires tend to produces fractures along multiple axises, hotter fires along one axises nearly dividing the shelf in two pieces. On the last glaze, the load shifted and one cup slid into the kiln wall. It WAS NOT fused to the fire brick. (Shelves splitting on the cool down?) I checked dates and all of this started 3 days after we increased our firing frequency to near daily to clear a few large orders we are processing. We started firing the kilns 5 or 6 times a week. Each shelf was loaded with approximately 30 to 33 cocktail cups, each cup weights about .75 - .85 lbs. Question: Could the rigors of firing near daily have an affect on the shelves? Alternative shelves to consider for production environment?
  5. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    We use full rounds all the way up the stack. We use to use halves, but when I'm firing a full load of Rocks cups, I need every single cubic inch I can get. We use a 3 post arrangement between shelves. In bisque I allow a 1/2" space between the rim and the bottom of the next shelf, except when I get to the thermocouple. I make sure there we have enough vertical space to provide 2" of clearance on all sides of the thermocouple.
  6. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    I loaded it myself, the only reason I recently loaded it was because the first and much older shelf fractured. That shelf had been the floor shelf since 2013. It was only removed to replace the elements and vacuum the kiln. I suppose the stresses building up over time would explain the first fracture, but what about the second? It happened on the first fire. There was no signs of warpage when I loaded it, and I did check to see if there was a wobble, and there was none. Now, our posts have some miles on them, and they have been dropped and knocked around. So, it is entirely possible we had a post that was no perfectly level. Plus we had some pots blow from too much moisture a few days ago, so there could have been some debris that wasn't completely cleaned out from the kiln. I did find some bisque shards, but nothing under the spacers, when I cleaned out the shelf. It's possible the posts need to be replaced. I'll do that as precaution, and check them over to see if they need to be ground. Good suggestion... This good stuff, I'm learning a lot... No one ever told me how post the spacers when setting up a kiln. If I can get by with just 3 that would be nice.
  7. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    Here is the configuration of spacers on the first fracture: X X X X X X X X Keep in mind, that configuration was in place since 2013 without incident... After the first shelf broke, I modified the spacer patter as follows: X X X X X X X X X X X X The second shelf split on the first fire of this config... It was a newer shelf, much newer.
  8. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    No, the shelves above are not aligned with the spacers below, but we've been using this post stack for 2 years without incident. If the cause is misaligned force vectors it must be an accumulated fatigue thing. And, if that's the case why would it have happened on the new shelf just as fast and old shelf? The fast fire could be causing the negative space above the shelf to heat way faster than the space below. Good Point! We might have to go to a custom fast fire with a hold at the low end of the ramp to allow the bottom to heat up before moving up to the top of the schedule. I would hate to raise the shelf. We fight for cubic inches, to increase our firing yield, every day... I did not know that more posts brought nothing to the party. I'll try reducing the number of posts and align them with the rest of the posts in the stack. It's worth a test. Thanks!
  9. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    What's wadding? Never stored on concrete... Recently replaced a shelf that fractured in a firing two days earlier... That shelf was just on the bottom and the fast schedule was run. This shelf was pulled from a wall rack and replaced the bottom / floor shelf.
  10. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    Yes, when the first shelf fractured we had 8 spacers. They were all 1.5 x 1.0" in size. I described the pattern of placement in my response to Babs... On the second shelf I added four additional spacers thinking that warpage may be the problem. These we placed under the center of the shelf in a square patter around the venting holes. The floor is 18" square porcelain tile, not concrete. It was completely dry for the 48 hours before firing. We have a wall hook system for storage of shelves. Shelves go from the kiln onto the wall hooks, not the floor. I put this system in about 6 weeks ago when I tripped over some electrical cords and went flying into a pile of kiln shelves. I spent nearly a half hour on the floor with a ripped up knee and nothing to grab onto but hot kilns trying to figure out I could get to a standing position. Moisture is a possibility, but probably not a probability given it was the floor shelf that's seldom if ever pulled from the kiln.
  11. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    Under the floor shelf, we place a total of 8 1.5" x 1.0" spacers. Two spacers about 5" apart on each of four sides in a cross pattern. So on pair opposes the other. The spacers are all original. I don't think they have been changed out since 2013. We recently changed the elements and thermocouple. At that time the entire kiln was vacuumed out before the spacers were returned and the shelf reloaded. I did not specifically check for level, so unless they lost their level over time there was no reason for them not to be level. Can they change shape over time?
  12. Fractured Kiln Shelves...

    Mark... It's good to be back... I had some serious health issues last year that bit into my time. It was all I could to stay afloat. Fortunately, they have all mended and I'm back to my old self. I was thinking if we inverted every other cup on the inner rings, side stacked, and double stacked we could increase our bisque yield by 75%! Why stop at just one cup!?!? I think we are on a quest to redefine "tight pack"... :-) That was a bisque fire, ^05. No surfaces touched during the fire. Some pieces may have slid around when the shelves split though...
  13. Just wondering if anyone has encountered this issue. I have well tempered core-lite kiln shelves (26" rounds) I use at the base of my kilns. Just recently we started do fast low fire firings to set underglaze. The last two fires we lost the bottom shelf (bottom shelf only). I'm attaching photos. We've been using the same pack pattern for more than 2 years including a 3 post lift to the next shelf without issue. None of the other kilns have manifested the issue, but this is the only one we've been running fast fires to ^05. I'm thinking the speed of the fire has something to do with it, but that's only a theory. We have run fast fires to the same ^05 on the same program in our 18" kiln with 18" full rounds without incident. We've been doing this for more than 2 years. The first time it happened (yesterday), the shelf was older, about 3 years old. I would say approximately 200+ firings on it. My first suspicion was that some sort of fatigue had occurred. So, I replaced it with a kiln that was less than 6 months old and had less than 50 firings on it. On the very first firing the exact same fracture occurred. No shelves above the bottom shelf fractured or cracked. All had the same post layout, and all posts were directly above one another. The first time it happened there were only 2 full shelves above the bottom shelf plus one lightly loaded (3rd shelf). The second time it happened there was one single fully loaded shelf above bottom shelf. The types of pots, loads, and weights per shelve were identical in the two firings. After the first shelf fractured I added four (1) 1.5" x 1.0" posts around the center of the bottom shelf for additional support. If there are any clarifying questions I can respond here, thoughts and suggestions are welcome... Mike
  14. Expecting orders for more than 400 mugs in the next 5 days... Too much fun!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. bciskepottery
    3. glazenerd

      glazenerd

      Mike:

      I will be in my recliner napping: wake me when you are done.

    4. Joseph F

      Joseph F

      a days work for you aye?

  15. Still looking for a production potter, had my latest no show for work today... Wondering why so many people love clay, but don't seem to like working with it professionally?

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. GiselleNo5

      GiselleNo5

      With that work ethic? I bet they're still working at Round Table.

    3. MikeFaul

      MikeFaul

      What Mark says is so true, we've started working with local schools. I met with the head of the ceramics program at a local university yesterday. We're forming an intern partnership. It will take years to bear good fruit, but I'm thinking its the only long term solution.

    4. GiselleNo5

      GiselleNo5

      Whenever people ask ne for advice on getting started, I say, take a couple classes and then apprentice for a local potter. So valuable and benefits everyone.

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