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About neilestrick

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    Neil Estrick

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. neilestrick

    need to reconstruct a frit

    Borax is soluble, so not a good substitute. Post the recipe you'll be using and one of us can reformulate it for you.
  2. neilestrick

    Downdraft Reduction balance question

    That sounds much better.
  3. neilestrick

    Downdraft Reduction balance question

    Set the damper so you have flame coming out both spy holes. One will have a lot, the other just a flicker. That ensures you have pressure throughout the kiln, and the reduction atmosphere is getting everywhere. It's a balance between the gas, air, and damper. Solid yellow flame is too heavy of reduction, especially if you're getting smoke. More air will also increase pressure in the kiln, helping to even it out. Could be okay for body reduction, especially if you're doing any carbon trap shino glazes, but not good for the rest of the firing. For body reduction, around cone 08, put the kiln into reduction, adjust the damper as described above, and try to stall it out for about 45 minutes. After that, the rest of the firing can be done in a neutral atmosphere.
  4. I would just use the Cone Fire mode on your controller, at medium speed. Those programs work great for 99% of what people fire. If you have a manual kiln, then 30-60 minutes each on low and medium, then high till it's done.
  5. I'd go for the Brent, however the model B doesn't have a lot of power. If you mostly make smaller pieces it will work fine. Like Mark said, offer less.
  6. neilestrick

    Old Skutt model 175P wiring schematics

    @MKate Call Skutt for the wiring diagram. They don't publish diagrams for the old kilns on the web. As for the wiring, it is possible someone messed it up, however some of the older 2 section kilns, while using a 240 volt service, actually run each section on 120 volts. So instead of 2 hots and a ground, you have 2 hots and a neutral and a ground. Each section of the kiln is wired up as 120 volts, with one hot and the neutral. A lot of the old Knight kilns were set up that way, too, as well as some Paragon and Skutts, and probably others.
  7. neilestrick

    Gas kilns/Firing results...

    There is no difference in reduction depending on the type of kiln. It's caused by how it's fired. But downdrafts and updrafts have to be handled differently, so if you're seeing different results it's the teacher's fault, not the kilns. That said, not every kiln is designed well, and you can get areas where the reduction doesn't penetrate as well, or hot spots or cold spots. One thing that can add consistency is to reduce for about 45 minutes, with the kiln stalled out. I would also reduce at a higher temp, like around 012 if you're firing any shino glazes, or 08 if not. If one of the kilns if over-firing and the glazes are melting too much, that's a result of not shutting off the kiln soon enough, not the longer firing. If your teacher is watching the cones, then it doesn't matter how long it takes. Cone 10 is cone 10, whether it took 8 hours or 12 hours. Cones measure heat work, not temperature. It's temperature over time. The longer it spends at temperature, the more heat work is developed. So yes, you can hold temp when cone 5 drops and in 20-30 minutes, cone 6 will drop, and so on.
  8. neilestrick

    Porcelain Clay Bodies

    Porcelain is high silica, not alumina. They get very close to their melting point during firing, so they soften up a lot and will stick to the kiln shelf. I would not put sand under my porcelain, as it may leave a texture on the foot as the clay softens.
  9. neilestrick

    Averting kiln disasters

    Bowls can be stacked inside each other as long as the weight is carried at the bottom. That is, the foot of the bowl must sit all the way down onto the bottom of the bowl below it. No weight or stress on the rims. I usually stack bowls and plates in stacks of 5 or 6 in bisque.
  10. neilestrick

    Rusty Kiln lid

    You should only need to keep the side peep hole open. If you find you really don't need the lid hole, remove the ceramic sleeve, clean up the hole, and mortar in a piece of soft brick to plug it. Don't worry about the metal other than digging out the loose bits. If you need to be able to open the hole, then I would do the same thing, but then drill a new hole through the new soft brick plug.
  11. neilestrick

    Gas Kiln Continued

    Yep, I agree. Just two peeps. One top, one bottom, on the shelves.
  12. neilestrick

    Using Elements and Element Pins in

    No clue. I only ever pull elements out of kilns when they've been fired a ton.
  13. If there's air coming out up by your glasses, then it doesn't fit properly. Every brand fits differently, so you may have to try on a few.
  14. neilestrick

    Using Elements and Element Pins in

    Like to make hooks in jewelry? Yes, you can do that. Old elements are pretty brittle, though. You'd be better off using new element wire.
  15. neilestrick

    Cone 7 Gas Reduction Claybody

    Most cone 5 bodies will handle cone 7 without any real problems. However, brown bodies can have issues because the amount of iron needed/used to make brown in oxidation is greater than what would be need/used in reduction. So brown bodies may flux out or become very dark and brittle. As Nerd said, white bodies or porcelain would be a better bet, or be sure to test any brown bodies before making work with them.

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