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Bill R.

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About Bill R.

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 06/18/1957

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    vancouver, Canada
  • Interests
    Pottery
    Canoeing
    Hiking
    Geocaching
  1. When my wife and I decided to move away from the city to raise our kids she told me all she dreamed of was owning a property with a barn. Well we could not afford the property but I still built her a barn in the back of our yard in the middle of suburbia. It was only 12 x 20 but it was definately a barn. We never had any animals in it, besides our kids, who played endlessly in the loft while the lower half became a shop/storage/get-away for Mom and Dad. Who would guess that all these years later her barn would slowly transform into my pottery studio. With it's little antique German woodstove and it's coziness and character it has become the place where I go to create and be happy. My wife loves seeing me out there and is proud of the pots I am making. I think she had something in mind all along when she asked me to build her a barn. I have managed to get power out to it for my electric kiln and have become very creative with space saving ideas that make my studio very functional indeed. I have had as much fun at turning this space into a studio as I did building the original structure. Whenever our nieces or nephews come by for a visit they always know where to find me and nothing makes them happier than going out to the barn to play with clay. Me too !
  2. I will definately call them. It's a 3 day weekend here in B.C. so they have shut-er-down for the holiday. I am firing stoneware and I will heed your advice regarding hold and reduction. I think the slow rate of climb from 1800 up will work with the controller. Neil's idea about installing a manual valve and pressure gauge before the controller valve might be a good one just in case. I love the excitement and challenge of trying something new. I just fret a bit over experimenting with a kiln load of pots that I worked so hard to create. But I am already feeling more confident after all the advice I am getting. I will definately watch the first firing closely.
  3. Based on your firings what do you think of a firing schedule like this ramp 1 - 150 deg./hr to 300deg ramp 2 - 300 deg./hr to 1800 Hold for 1 hour, put the kiln in heavy reduction ramp 3 - 100 deg./hr to C10 with kiln in light reduction
  4. As I responded to Neil, I have venturi burners so that makes it a bit less compicated. As far as a ramp schedule do you have any suggestions. I have zero experience with gas reduction firing so even creating a schedule is a bit of guesswork on my part.
  5. I am starting to think along these same lines.
  6. The kiln has two venturi burners. The controller is capable of multi segments. What you mentioned about the rate of temp. climb slowing down makes total sense (even to a rookie like me) All this helpful insight has really got me thinking. I am thinking there may not be a tremendous advantage to a conputer controller on a gas kiln. In actual fact it may be a hindrance to someone like me who has never experienced reduction firing and perhaps could learn more by doing things the simple manual way.
  7. Your description of the firing process sounds something like what I was thinking. The controller on this kiln is a "PerfectFire" and I have seen it on electric kilns The kiln itself is locally built by a company called "Estrin". They are well built and were in the buisiness for years before closing their doors aroung 15 years ago. Everybody here in Vancouver knows the Estrin name but I cannot find anyone familiar with this kiln and controller. I am thinking I will be able to set the ramp up speed to a set temp.(ramp 1 might be to early body reduction) then a second ramp for a glaze firing would take it to the glaze maturation temp. followed by a light reduction and then the controller would shut the kiln off. Something like that ???
  8. Raku firing process

    I had the same problem and realized I had the burner to close to the burner opening which restricted oxygen. I pulled it back a couple inches and problem solved.
  9. As a self taught potter who has only fired in an electric kiln I have been fortunate to have acquired a small gas kiln (10 cu. ft.) and am very excited about delving into the world of reduction firing. I have researched what I need as far as the basics of firing reduction but am a bit perplexed as this kiln has a computer controller. Not only am I unable to find any information on firing a computer controlled gas kiln but my lack of experience makes it hard to even begin to understand how this will function. Obviously the computer will only operate the burners on this kiln (very basic controller) and reduction will still need my help but how would I establish a firing schedule.
  10. I borrowed the spring system for my vent. It worked flawless. The air inlet does cool the exhaust but the more important purpose is to adjust the draw from the kiln. The fan will be looking for lots of air and it will not get enough from just the kiln through those small holes. So you supply some through the adjustable inlet and with a bit of experimenting you can adjust so the fan draws the perfect amount of air from the kiln. I would like to point out that another benefit to venting the kiln will be prolonged element life. I have also noticed some differences in some of my glaze results since I started using my vent. I am not sure if the venting is entirely the reason but I am liking what I see. After you have been using your vent for a while have a look at what the inside of the fan looks like! You will understand why we should not be breathing this stuff. Bill
  11. thanks for this bill, i may just be in touch sometime! my husband is pretty handy, he's already planning on building me a kiln controller to save the $$ on buying a new one, now i have another project for him. we've been discussing different ideas on how to do it, my main concern being that the kids will be out there w/ me sometimes and i was worried about the fumes. but sounds like what you came up w/ isn't that different than the store bought ones so i'm thinking it should be ok so long as the joints are tight and there's no leakage. how do you keep the extraction box secured to the bottom of the kiln? the envirovent has a spring if i remember correctly. and i'm assuming the air inlet cools the exaust down a bit? i remember my husband being concerned about the heat coming out of there. thanks again for your help, kim
  12. thanks for this bill, i may just be in touch sometime! my husband is pretty handy, he's already planning on building me a kiln controller to save the $$ on buying a new one, now i have another project for him. we've been discussing different ideas on how to do it, my main concern being that the kids will be out there w/ me sometimes and i was worried about the fumes. but sounds like what you came up w/ isn't that different than the store bought ones so i'm thinking it should be ok so long as the joints are tight and there's no leakage. how do you keep the extraction box secured to the bottom of the kiln? the envirovent has a spring if i remember correctly. and i'm assuming the air inlet cools the exaust down a bit? i remember my husband being concerned about the heat coming out of there. thanks again for your help, kim
  13. We have a project in our house that I have decided would be real fun to try and make my own tiles for. I have a slab roller so that part should be easy enough. However I do know from experience that clay seems to have a mind of it's own sometimes and I am worried about he tiles warping as they dry. There must be numerous ways to control this problem. Anyone have any experience and some tips that might make things easier. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Bill R.
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