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About neilestrick

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    Neil Estrick

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. New Skutt wheel issues

    @Brettmonahan I haven't had a chance to get those pics. I've been slammed at work and getting ready to go on vacation tomorrow. I'll try to get them tonight, but no promises. Basically you just open up one of the little access panels on the side of the motor and slip the stone in next to where the brushes mount, and let it run just briefly against the spinning part of the wheel. If that's the problem, you'll hear a difference almost immediately.
  2. Salt Kiln Conversion

    Yeah, the coating didn't help the fiber much at all!
  3. gas kiln.

    I've built simple kilns where the top was just spanned with a couple of kiln shelves, covered with 9" of soft brick.
  4. Also, if you use various metals in the pit firing to create colors (copper, for instance), it really wouldn't be safe to eat or drink from. Pit fired wares are decorative only.
  5. Are you sure they reached cone 06? Even very thin porcelain shouldn't break when it gets wet or picked up.
  6. Thanks Skutt (another wheel thread)!

    There should be a dial in the controller to adjust the load compensation.
  7. Breaking how? When you pick them up? When you dip them? When the brush touches them? When you grab them with glazing tongs? More details, please.
  8. New Skutt wheel issues

    Those wheels use large industrial, continuous duty rated motors, and it can take a while for the brushes to get seated well. You can try letting it run overnight, or use a commutator stone, which will usually get rid of the noise right away. I'll post some photos later on how to use it. As for the pedal, it sounds like the controller is set way too fast. None of my wheels are set to get that fast. Open the controller box, and inside there are sever little dials that can be adjusted, including top speed and bottom speed. I would set the top speed to the highest you would ever need it to be, which isn't usually very fast. That will give you more control in the pedal. Set the bottom speed so the wheel just stops turning with the pedal off.
  9. Damaged kiln cord

    The plug can become separated from the cord if the cord isn't hanging straight down. Eventually gravity takes over and pulls them apart. Rotate the receptacle if that's the case. You can buy a new plug for the cord at the hardware store. You just have to cut off the off the old plug and strip back the wires. It'll be much cheaper than getting a new cord.
  10. NCECA 2018 Pittsburgh

    Wish I was going, but we've got the family ski trip in 10 days, and 2 vacations are not in the budget. I will hopefuly see you all in Minneapolis next year!
  11. Pregnancy and Clay Class

    As long as she's following the general safety guidelines for glaze handling- wet mop, dust mask if handling dry materials, don't eat while glazing- she should be fine. I've had lots of pregnant students, and teachers.
  12. Super New and waiting for a kiln

    None of the the classes are going to say they teach kiln firing. That's something you'll need to talk to the teacher about. If it's a good studio they'll be happy to teach you. It's always nice ot have help loading kilns. Also, don't worry about what you'll be making. It's all about learning about clay, and the skill you learn will transfer to what you really want to make.
  13. Cracks where handles attach

    Porcelain is finicky. It shrinks a lot more than stoneware, so if there's a big difference in the moisture levels of the handle and the pot, you'll get cracking as the handle dries. So attach the handles as wet as you can, or shape the handle and let it set up as much as possible before attaching it. You can even pull and shape the handle on a bisqued mug, then take it off as it sets up, let it set up till it's almost stiff, then attach it to the real mug. Also, the less you smooth the handle onto the pot, the less cracking you'll get. You can also just attach the top of the handle, and let it set up until it's just barely still flexible before attaching the bottom. Lots of options, you just have to figure out which works for you. Porcelain handles will never be as easy as stoneware, though.
  14. What do you use to mix your glaze

    For test batches, a stick blender. No sieving needed. For making buckets of glaze, a Jiffy Mixer, then an 80 mesh sieve. When stirring buckets of glaze during glazing time, a stick.
  15. Super New and waiting for a kiln

    I think the best thing you can do is take a ceramics class. Even just one 8 week session. You'll learn a lot, and have the opportunity to ask a lot of questions to someone with knowledge. They'll probably even let you help load and fire the kilns if you ask nice. You can learn a lot on the web, but there's no substitute for someone watching over your shoulder while you do it.

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