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Bill Kielb

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About Bill Kielb

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    United States - Illinois
  • Interests
    All forms of constructionist pottery, education, analysis, design and repair as it pertains the ceramic arts community.

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  1. Really nice! It will be interesting to see a fully loaded kiln, the duty cycle of the ssr And how well the pid module performs.
  2. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    It’s actually simpler than that. We created the monitor using PLC stuff which is an industry staple. Industry has used this equipment for years so there are many really economical ways to do this now. Originally we needed to replace one of the old high limits on the soda Alpine and the quotes we received were in the 1-2k range . Well for less than that we could replace all and digitize the whole room using PLC touch screen stuff so that’s how we ended up creating this. Picture 1 below is a shot of the very economical solo temperature controllers used as high limit and for their communications capability which started the whole thing. These are less than 50 bucks each I believe. Picture 2 is the PLC and touch screen installed in a simple electrical junction box ( no frills enclosure) all for underm1000 bucks as I recall. the interesting part was all of these controls could act stand alone so at any point the user could simply fire using the digital temperatures in the picture and the monitor could be completely shut off. This allowed us to build gradually to our budget and even if something failed it was way better than the hand held pyrometer they were using to fire. of course the monitor has super utility with a web server built in and all sorts of neat stuff too numerous to list. I have a long instructional video below you can skip through, It is for the members. I am working on a shorter version showing how easy this actually was to create and should put it up on the Madison Pottery you tube channel in early January.
  3. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Maybe, Removal is probably inevitable. Bores indicate firebrick front and sides, rear wall is uncertain. Top appears to be standard vermiculite and refractory cement. Pretty simple kiln but select brick replacement is possible should they want to pursue that. As far as reusing the burners they are the standard Alpine aweful ones imbeded slightly in the ports with no real flame retention nozzle to speak of so reusing these probably not a wise choice. My guess extend service for a year or so with select brick replacement. At that point they need to debate relocation to a larger building and perhaps their new space would be more conducive and provide more sophisticated choices. Currently if they water inject they would need to add a great deal of designed exhaust and make up air so everything works well together as is in a tight space and they do get spectacular results. next change will likely be a large one.
  4. Bill Kielb

    Need advice on recently purchase kiln

    I will take a stab at this. The easiest thing that comes to mind: It seems likely that if you scrap the controls in favor of an electronic control and can find substitute elements , likely an equivalent diameter paragon set up for 240 V cone 10 operation you could have a great automated kiln. While this sounds simple and is for a kiln tech ........... it may be outside of your wheelhouse. There are many kilns out there that have had the old controls (cone sitter, timer, etc....) replaced with an automated controller so there should be local techs capable of doing this. in practice it is really a simple project, now finding the right someone to take it on might be a challenge. Just an approximation if I were to be doing this for myself Bartlett controller $ 260.00 wiring and relay(s) $ 60.00 misc. conn. etc... $ 50.00 labor $ ????? obviously if you were a do it yourself person and willing to purchase a used or discounted controller then this becomes a 300.00 - $500.00 project. best of luck! Nice kiln.
  5. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Pictures as promised. We have two artists that fire soda very differently, Linda Kiepke and Jean Burnett. Linda soda fires cone 6 (Straight Sodium Bicarbonate). Jean fires cone 10 standard soda with reduction. Both lead firing teams and have developed their application methods. As to application everything is injected as dry powder through a blower system. A bit unique! The pictures give a flavor of the work. They produce many unique interesting pieces. The old Alpine was converted, patched and coated with ITC 100. From there the worst areas are simply patched as they become an issue. The ITC 100 actually seems to have limited the interior vapor intrusion into the bricks significantly and we are guessing maybe 100 firings before significant rebuild. I believe they have 20 - 30 firings on it right now. Four injection ports were placed in the sides of the kiln and the front site ports can be used if so desired. The repurposing of the old kiln and purchase of a used Alpine allowed them to complete the installation including the monitor system, new high limits, new pilot safety on the Soda Alpine, Oxygen probes for both. exhaust blower for the kiln room, combustion air, soda delivery blower, laser, electric throughout, medium pressure gas extension and regulator, and general upgrades for the new (used) Alpine which came from a school and only had a couple firings on it. Too many things to list for about 20K but well worth it in my opinion. The graphic monitor has allowed them to accelerate the reduction learning curve and believe it or not makes it pretty easy to down fire and grow crystals. At some point in the future they will need to rebuild the soda kiln or purchase a new one. For now they are firing away and having fun. Pictures: Linda Kiepke Vase (Cone 6 soda only) Jean Burnett Vase (Cone 10 with reduction) Beginning Body Reduction flame (Today) Beginning Body reduction Monitor screen (Today) Soda Injection (Today) I think we are pleased with the success of this project at this point. It has been a productive journey for all involved.
  6. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Art center that has 55 member artists.
  7. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Been firing it for Over a year now. Firing it today actually (soda) just finished a regular reduction firing in the other kiln yesterday.. They ended up buying a second used Alpine for strictly reduction. I should be there later and will get some pictures of their fired stuff
  8. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Just to add a couple of pictures of the removable Soda Kiln Probe. There were some complaints about a trip and fall hazard but as you can see the entire arrangement sticks out about the same amount as the port plugs whether in the door or stored during soda application. It is really a clean installation. We chose this method because pendant mounting would make the thing really dangerous when extracted and 2000 degrees during soda injection. Regardless, this is their tight little space to fire and does illustrate the electrical isolation of this probe necessary when it is used with the PLC graphic equipment instead of the DMM provided.
  9. To answer your question common bisque temperatures are cone 04 - 05, however folks can bisque several cones up or down for artistic reasons. A bisque firing needs to permanently dehydrate your work which means it cannot go back to being clay by adding water, the chemical H20 has been removed. Additionally the bisque firing needs to burn out any organics and impurities in your clay so bisque firings generally take longer than glaze firings to assure all organics have been effectively removed. Finally the firing should firm up your work while still allowing it to be porous enough to accept your glaze. Folks that sculpture sometimes glaze fire to lower temperatures like cone 2 or 3 to preserve the colors of their underglaze. They sacrifice some ultimate strength as the final product will not be fully vitrified in favor of preserving their colors. Many underglazes and stains change color the higher they are fired. It is a great piece so two ideas strike me Little risk - Leave it as is, infill with epoxy artistic touchup or not and paint or seal with some clear product. (Urethane, acrylic …..) It will still not be as strong as fired to a high temperature More risk - Fire it to some lower cone to gain some strength which also allows you to try the bisque fix with a little less risk of the crack getting much larger and you could try glazing with a low fire glaze after artistically hiding the crack. If it makes it through this but the crack is still visible then epoxy and paint are still a possibility on a stronger piece. Best of luck!
  10. While quartz inversion happens, it really always happens. Ideas about slow warm up to 250 degrees to absolutely dry something are very valid. With respect to quartz inversion it happens at a temperature but the pots in the kiln are certainly not exactly the same temperature from top to bottom so parts are inverting and other parts are not. Talk about stress! So lots and lots of wares go through quartz inversion every minute of the day from firing speeds of 200 degrees per hour to 570 degrees per hour. use common sense sculpture work rules and construct everything well, including reinforced joints etc... in the picture the corner joint appears to overhang a bit in one of the views and likely was a source of origination.
  11. Thanks! However it is being used it doesn’t seem to get hot enough to burn the handle. I hope he tightens the handle, sounds like there are many ways for him to do it effectively.
  12. Interesting. Never been on a burner I guess. Looks like this handle lasted a long time, so anything reasonable is likely to allow it to last a lot longer. Adhesive, shims, sound great to try.
  13. Ceramic body, not a good thermal insulator and pretty conductive with respect to heat actually, It is possible he could start his handle on fire though as the pot needs to be tended and set on the burner with some precision. I still compliment him on years of use and not scorching the handle. With natural gas peek flame temperature should be about 2000 degrees but I suspect it diminishes greatly as the distance from it increases. Finally this tapered connection appears to have lasted for many years and now is only loose. My thought would be any mechanical attachment that keeps the thing in the bore will make it last many more.
  14. Bill Kielb

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Our fixed probe is similar to yours with respect to the penetration in the kiln (See picture). We have little difficulty sensing the atmosphere and have come to the realization that during their initial reduction period (Body reduction, if you will) they need 4"-5" gas pressure to eliminate dead spots in the old updraft Alpine. As a result, they have no dead spots, period. If the probe is sensing wild swings in reduction it is because the kiln is not filled sufficiently. With respect to the removeable probe the imbed depth was intentional so folks would intentionally leave sufficient space for the probe and to minimize any effect due to door seal leaks, port leaks etc... and to provide the user with confidence that it is sensing the environment. Interestingly both kilns are married to their respective high temperature ceramic protection tubes. Mechanically with a clamp on the fixed kiln and cemented on the removeable probe. In each case the back end of this tube has fiber insulation inserted so there is no chance of the kiln environment leaking out. It appears you have tape which seems to be holding up ok. An interesting quirk with the probes is that the head of the probe must remain ungrounded as a result of how they utilized the feeds internally opting for three wire operation. This required that both probe housings be isolated from ground. Since both kilns are well grounded the isolating configurations you see were chosen. This issue does not surface during the use of the Digital meter as it has no reference to earth ground. Their entire system and kilns are located indoors and designed and installed to last many many years so thermal isolation, rigid permanent mounting and serviceability etc... all designed in with a monitor that has too many features to list and serves both kilns with concurrent firing capability. You 02 probe looks brand new !
  15. Bill Kielb

    Understanding COE

    Like my mother always said: cover your head, wear your scarf and put your gloves on!

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