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About Johnmicheal

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  1. I have been using plexiglass to create a smooth surface for my table tops, i.e. Wedging tables. I pore them in blocks, upside down, so the finish side is the bottom. Using a sheet of plexiglass for the bottom, I have wood for the sides, clamp it all down. Makes for beautiful slab. I have a old reciprocal palm sander, that I use sometimes, when I'm feeling finicky, use to vibrate the bottom of the form. Alittle vibration, no bubbles, easy.
  2. I wonder about the life of plaster. I have been given old plaster, because the user thought it was useless. It was 1-2 yrs old, lumpy, ect. I sifted it with a flour sifter, used it with no noticeable issues. I'll be with alittle labor involved, i.e. Sifting, which is a pain by the way, but it was free. I have not noticed anything off about the mold I used it on. I will say that the plaster set quicker than normal, but on a small piece that wouldn't matter. I have recently made some bats out of some older, lumpy plaster, and not noticed any problems. The molds we small, a took the time to mix the plaster, working out most of the lumps, no issues to report.
  3. Johnmicheal

    Pyrometer Usage?

    I have the dual skutt pyro on an old Olympic. I drilled two holes, top and bottom, giving me two zones. I liked the info telling me the difference between top and bottom. Because the kit comes with thermocouple holders with friction screws, I pull them back out of the way when loading the kiln. I still use cones to fire with, but the temp info helps a lot with rate, and it allows me to even it out, allowing for a much more even firing.
  4. Johnmicheal

    Longer firing

    I measured the resistance of my elements, they were beyond the 10 % you typically advise, closer to15%. I've seen worse looking elements, which says a lot for how much abuse these things can take.
  5. I try to stand, but a long day makes it hard. It's also quite a thigh burner, if you're getting out of a chair every time someone walks up.I'm looking for a tall stool to prop against. I engage people, it may be off putting to some, but I feel like I see money walking off, if I just sit and occupy myself. My only other choice is to be actually working on something, like a demo.
  6. Johnmicheal

    wheel head bearing service

    A couple of years ago, I rebuilt me rk2, these are the bearings I ordered Shimpo rk2 WSPDRRG Drive Ring - RK2 $37.25 I ordered them from www.vxb.com. Here are the 3 different sizes: Kit9705 6204-2NSE Nachi Bearing 20x47x14:Sealed:C3:Japan Kit9706 6205-2NSE Nachi Bearing 25x52x15:Sealed:C3:Japan Kit9703 6202-2NSE Nachi Bearing 15x35x11:Sealed:C3:Japan
  7. Johnmicheal

    Longer firing

    Neil, we usually use a medium cone 6 setting
  8. Johnmicheal

    Longer firing

    How long does it typically take to fire a cone 6, medium in a 1227 skutt. I am used to manually firing a kiln. It usually doesn't take more than 8-9 hrs to do a glaze. The skutt is bigger obviously, and the computer controller may ramp more conservatively than my manual adjustments, but 12-14 hrs seems a bit much. The elements don't appear to be bad, no codes thrown for stalled temp, relays all working. I know the box I put on it came from a 3 phase kiln, but I did the necessary conversion, i.e. replaced the power block and wiring, elements were converted to 240 1 phase. Any other ideas?
  9. On my 4" thick plaster slabs, I build voids using 2x6 ect, I hold them down by screwing 2x4 over them to keep them from floating up. It can cut up to ten pounds from a fifty pound form. Every little bit counts. I have even created voids with bubble wrap in larger bowl forms, again tacking a stir stick over the form to keep the wrap from floating out of the form.
  10. Johnmicheal

    Electric Kiln In Garage?

    I think it depends more about what you plan to have in the garage with it. Electric boxes are commonly found in the garage or upgrading with a sub panel should make wiring fairly straight forward. Garages, even if they are attached, are supposed to not share fumes to the house, i.e. Gas or exhaust from your car. All you need is your flat concrete floor, enough space around the kiln, 18" is recommended, and alittle ventilation, 10$ box fan in a window, or open your garage door, and your set. The biggest hazard is anything that blows in and lays on your kiln and catches fire, newspaper, wrapping paper, lots of leaves, ect. Checking on your kiln while your firing, priceless. If it's a manual firing, a nice chair for the last hour.
  11. I typically use a wonderbat system for my cups and small bowls. The small square foot print saves room on the racks. But for plates and large lids, ect, you can't beat plaster. I use a lot of pure and simples forms. In addition, they give a lot of info on proper use of plaster, mixing, making custom molds. I too was scared away from using plaster from my community studio, but I see why they do this. I strictly use it on a wheel I can clean throughly, but I know I've had work go through with alittle contamination, nothing blew up, glazed it, fired it, would never tell the difference. Still it pays to be vigilant, I use wood tools, and my favorite rib is a red. I've gone on to make my own plate designs because of plaster. I highly recommend visiting the pure and simple pottery web site, they have all the info u need.
  12. Loads of deer and turkey, cats of course. No traffic, live at the end of a dirt road. Forest and field, let nature rest, no hunting allowed anymore, so the deer aren't as jumpy. We have armadillos now, the raccoons and possum seem jealous. Hummingbirds battle for there turf outside my windows. All I need to do is look up from my work and see....
  13. Johnmicheal

    Foreign Kilns

    Can you post some pictures? So interesting
  14. Johnmicheal

    Kiln Room Ventilation

    Nope, rooms to small for anything other than the kilns while I'm firing. I use it as a drying room when not firing. I've not been to concerned with the heat because I have manually fired these kilns, but with the advent of new computer kiln controllers, heat has become a concern. I have two kilns at present in this room, I don't fire them at the same time. I have used a box fan and a screen door for a couple years.
  15. Johnmicheal

    Kiln Room Ventilation

    This is what I'm thinking for room heat and stuff, then a downdraft for fumes, or inner kiln atmospheric oxygenation

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