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Liam V

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  1. So I ended up trying the advice on here and fired some greenware in a barrel. I didn't have enough wood to keep the fire going more than two hours but the clay is vitrified enough that it doesn't dissolve in water. This is a stoneware body and it works quite well as a planter. Definitely smells charcoally though
  2. Haha, while I was reading through the manuals I noticed a constant mention and recommendation of not leaving a manual kiln unattended (as well as on some 'electronic vs manual kiln' reivews). This worries me, although I've discovered that a manually operated kilnsitter can be partnered with an automatic thermocouple, which could potentially up the safety factor. As such, I'm having an immense amount of difficulty deciding between the paragon kiln (which seems to be a well known brand; with an approximately 84L volume) and an LT-3K controller (which I believe is automatic but not electronic) and the CTL kiln (which seems to be relatively unpopular; with approximately 74L volume) and an LT-3 controller (which is manual and I've read requires a watchful eye during firing). The paragon kiln definitely sounds better but will end up costing me somewhere around 1700 dollars, versus the cromartie which will be around 800 dollars. Then there's the issue of working out the differences in installation processes for 30 amps and 21 amps. I'd like to learn the installation process myself (these are both 1 phase kilns so I'm hoping that will make it easier), partly because knowledge is power but mostly because I'm a broke uni student and an electrician sounds expensive. I'll probably have much more clarity in the morning, considering I'll get a break from reading about kilns for the last 12 hours. Thank you all for your advice so far! I know I'm probably asking a lot of stupid questions but I'm appreciating the guidance so much! (the local potter community in my area isn't particularly interested in including novices)
  3. The inside looks pretty good; does the safety level significantly increase if I were to swap the kiln sitter with an electronic controller? Could I technically swap the LT-3 controller out for any electronic controller by unplugging the old one and plugging in the new? The SNF823 is $1500 whereas the manual one is on auction currently at $520 dollars.
  4. The seller never ended up replying so I'm thinking ill go for this kiln instead; It's a lot older looking but also a lot cheaper. I'm a bit worried about the pyrometric cones and how safe these old kilns are compared to the newer ones. I believe it is a cromartie top loader 75 with an LT-3 controller. Is this a manual kiln? Anyone know if its a good idea to buy a fire extinguisher?
  5. I found a steel drum someone threw out and fired two greenware pots in it with a wood fire. The fire lasted about 2 hours and I let it cool for another 5. One pot broke and the other one works fine as a planter; I'm currently looking for an electric kiln so that I can make foodsafe pottery. I imagine a pit fire would function similarly. edit: I used stoneware clay for this
  6. You'd be the perfect person to double check this with! Is this a phase 1 kiln? Would I be able to run it at home without any electrical reconfigurations? I only worry about being able to reach cone 10 as I've been to one class for pottery and the glaze firing was to 1280 degrees celcius which I think is cone 9.
  7. I've just found a second hand SNF823 kiln for sale for about $1500 AUD (which is the cheapest I've ever seen for a kiln in Australia). Would this be good for a first time kiln user/buyer? It has an old timey switch controller, how difficult is it to change this to an electronic controller? Would something like this be suitable for consistent cone 10 firings? It also comes with a bunch of shelves. These are my other options which do not include kiln shelves and are new: MAS1818HE Kiln $3,295.00 Olympic MAS1818HE Kiln, Single Phase 21Amps, 2.63cf (74lt), fires to Cone 10/1288°C Internal dimensions: 44.5cm wide x 47cm deep MAS1823HE Kiln $3,495.00 Olympic MAS1823HE, Single Phase 26.25Amps, 3.29cf (93lt), fires to Cone 10/1288°C Internal dimensions: 59cm wide x 57cm deep
  8. Medex seems like the most popular opinion here, we've got this at bunnings https://www.bunnings.com.au/9mm-standard-mdf-900mm-x-600mm_p0590030 Would this suffice or is medex better? MDF definitely contains formaldehyde; would it be a good idea to seal it with this https://www.bunnings.com.au/feast-watson-500ml-spar-marine-varnish_p1561089 For those of you using medex/MDF bats, do you find it necessary to seal or use as is once youve cut it to size? Edit: I've just discovered medex is actually formaldehyde free, but I don't think I can get it in Australia, which sucks.
  9. My bad, confused MDF with masonite!
  10. I'm looking to cut my own bats out, from either masonite or high pressure laminate. My only worry is that formaldehyde is used to manufacture these products and I don't know how I feel about having such materials constantly brushing against my hands. I've also noticed that some of the commercial batting systems use masonite. Does anyone have any experience or opinion with this? Is there a material that doesn't use formaldehyde and makes a good bat?
  11. I take it then that this kiln would be better suited for firing midfire clays and I should not bother if I am using stoneware bodies. Thanks Liam and Bill!
  12. I've recently found a 'perfect fire kiln' which has a maximum temperature of 1260 degrees celcius. Having never used a kiln before, would a kiln be able to run consistently at its maximum temperature? I am planning on firing stoneware clay which I've read requires temperatures from 1200-1300; would this sort of kiln be suitable? Thanks!
  13. I'm definitely more interested in making things that I can eat or drink from. I'm planning on paying to use someone elses kiln as I can't afford a new one or find a second hand one for sale. As I am just in the beginning stages of learning throwing, I wanted a method in which I could create close to finished pieces without the hassle of getting my poorly made pots professionally fired. I thought pit-firing would be a fun way to move my bone dry pots into a more permanently hardened state and judging by all the feedback I've been reading so far, I think this may be a good experiment for making planters. I'll be able to practice throwing different forms and potentially be able to keep some pots for my plants. From the answers I've read, it seems like pit-firing bone-dry pieces results in higher pottery casualties but is still feasible. Everyone's answers so far have been amazing, I am loving the little lessons that I can garnish from all these responses! (The next step is working out the legalities and safety measures involved in starting a pit-fire in a suburban neighbourhood)
  14. Hi, I've been teaching myself throwing with a stoneware body. I understand that this needs higher temperatures to be bisqued and I will need to use an electric kiln (which I currently don't have access to). As such, I'm planning on buying an earthenware clay so that I may pit-fire it. Here are some questions I thought I'd ask the professionals: Do I need to bisque these pieces beforehand? I've been watching videos of pit-fired pottery and I'm not sure if I need to bisque it and then pit-fire it to add colours with things like banana peels and seaweed. If I need to bisque it, can earthenwares be bisque fired with a pit-fire? (Essentially, I would need to pit-fire it twice?) Can pit-fired pottery somehow be made food safe? Can pit-fired pottery hold water? I'm assuming an earthenware body will vitrify in a pit-fire; it should then be able to be used as a vase to hold water and plants? Or even as a pot to hold earth and plants for long periods of time? Thanks for your time!
  15. Are there any stores in Australia that sell dry clays that I can add water to? I've been buying the 10kg ready made packs but the dry clay I've been reading about seem easier to store, carry and are more cost effective.
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