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Self supporting cones


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#1 Marko

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:11 PM

I bought some Orton self supporting cones so I could see how my kiln is firing. But the box does not give any instructions about where to place the cones and if I have to use kiln wash. I have never used kiln wash because I use commercial glazes that don't run. I tried a Google search, but I couldn't find anything helpful. I bought SSC 4, 5, 6. I fire mid fire in a Duncan 1029N The Pro Plus. I really don't want to use kiln wash. I hope someone can help. Thanks.

#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:13 PM

No need to use kiln wash. My kiln is an automatic control kiln, not manual. Every few firings I place self-supporting cones to double-check the kiln is firing to temperature. I generally place a cone at the bottom shelf, a middle shelf, and the top shelf. My kiln is a three-zone control kiln and that allows me to check the firing of each zone.

When firing manually, you would want to place the cones in front of a peep hole so you can check periodically during the firing. When using multiples, e.g., a 5, 6, and 7 cone for a cone 6 firing, stagger the cones so they do not melt into each other as they bend. You might want to place a piece behind the cones to give them some contrast when checking through the peep hole. When checking the peep, be sure to wear proper eye protection.

#3 Marko

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:26 PM

Thanks Mr. Ciske, I will try it on my next firing. I feel a little more relieved.

#4 Arnold Howard

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:36 AM

I bought some Orton self supporting cones so I could see how my kiln is firing. But the box does not give any instructions about where to place the cones and if I have to use kiln wash.


I always kiln wash the surface where I place self-supporting witness cones. This is because I have seen cones stick to shelves. When you remove the cone, part of the shelf comes off with it. You may not have to kiln wash the shelf, though, if you use regular large cones and a cone plaque. Or kiln wash only a small section of the shelf for the cones.

Here is a discussion on placement of witness cones:

http://www.paragonwe...ter.cfm?PID=291

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#5 Guest_The Unknown Craftsman_*

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:40 AM

I agree with Arnold Howard, I have also had SSC stick to unwashed shelves. I use Cone 6 cones, and rather than take pieces of shelf off with it, the corner or edge of the cone will stay stuck to the shelf, sometimes just the smallest piece. These pieces are like little razors, and will give you a nasty surprise if you run your poor hand over them.

#6 Idaho Potter

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:43 PM

Yes, kiln wash is the answer. But, if you are concerned with kiln wash crumbles getting into your glazed ware, either make small pats of clay to set the SSCs on and only kiln wash the pats. I have extra small tiles left over from a finished project that I kiln wash and use for cones or just another protection step for my shelves put under student work.

#7 Cate Donoghue

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:44 AM

I went to remove a SSC that I thought was just slightly stuck (didn't use kiln wash) and anded up with 5 stitches in a finger when it snapped. LOL. Yeah, I was bright that day.

These days I don't even trust kiln wash. When I roll out slabs I cut up a bunch of small squares and use those under the cones. Overkill, sure, but... :)

Cate

#8 Denice

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:44 AM

What is the problem with using kiln wash on your shelves? It helps protect your shelf against damage, if you keep your shelves maintained you won't have any problems with crumbs and I have never had any kiln wash in my glaze. I bought a used kiln for parts and a couple of the shelves were ruined, no kiln wash and large drips of purchased glaze all over them. Any thing can happen. Denice

#9 Guest_The Unknown Craftsman_*

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:01 PM

Those little squares are a good idea, maybe I'll try that.
I was wondering if you could just dip the bottom of the SSC in a thick slip. which I always have handy? Maybe I'll try that too.
I never use kiln wash, I use commercial and "homebrew" glazes. When I get a drip on the shelf, I chip it off, preferably when it is still a little warm, it seems to come off easier. Occasionally I will chip off a little piece of shelf, but so what? I'll buy new shelves when they become unusable, but at the rate I am going, it will take quite a while!
I only use one SSC per load anyway, so it's not a big deal.

#10 icyone

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:08 PM

I use small little broken bits of shelf/stackers myself

#11 Kabe

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:50 AM

I use SSC too. I put mine on a flat tile. It might be a good idea to test fire a homemade tile to make sure it will not warp and tip them over.

#12 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:26 PM

Thanks Kabe, I like your idea. I'll give it a try. And thanks for writing, but for some reason I can't find your post. You do great work I thought some day I might try making tiles for a fire place, but I don't have a fire place. Anyway, thanks for writing.

#13 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:29 PM

Thanks icyone, I new I should have saved that broken shelve for something.

#14 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:38 PM

Hi Denice, thanks for answering my post. I don't have anything against kiln wash, I just heard that it can ruin a piece if it falls on it. I alway wipe my pieces well and use only commercial glaze, but your right, maybe it wouldn't hurt to try it. I just have another question. I flip my shelves every firing. Should I use kiln wash on both sides? And is there anyway to know if the wash is going to flake off?

#15 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:46 PM

Thanks Cate, ouch!:o I hope that doesn't happen again. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for your answer.

#16 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:58 PM

Those little squares are a good idea, maybe I'll try that.
I was wondering if you could just dip the bottom of the SSC in a thick slip. which I always have handy? Maybe I'll try that too.
I never use kiln wash, I use commercial and "homebrew" glazes. When I get a drip on the shelf, I chip it off, preferably when it is still a little warm, it seems to come off easier. Occasionally I will chip off a little piece of shelf, but so what? I'll buy new shelves when they become unusable, but at the rate I am going, it will take quite a while!
I only use one SSC per load anyway, so it's not a big deal.


Thanks Arnold, You have some really cool art. Thanks for answering my post about the kiln wash. I guess I have fears to overcome. Thanks for your help.

#17 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

Yes, kiln wash is the answer. But, if you are concerned with kiln wash crumbles getting into your glazed ware, either make small pats of clay to set the SSCs on and only kiln wash the pats. I have extra small tiles left over from a finished project that I kiln wash and use for cones or just another protection step for my shelves put under student work.


Thanks Mr. Potter, I like the idea of using tiles. I have a lot of leftovers I can use. Thanks again.

#18 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

I went to remove a SSC that I thought was just slightly stuck (didn't use kiln wash) and anded up with 5 stitches in a finger when it snapped. LOL. Yeah, I was bright that day.

These days I don't even trust kiln wash. When I roll out slabs I cut up a bunch of small squares and use those under the cones. Overkill, sure, but... :)

Cate



Thanks Cate, ouch!:o I hope that doesn't happen again. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for your answer.

#19 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:03 PM

What is the problem with using kiln wash on your shelves? It helps protect your shelf against damage, if you keep your shelves maintained you won't have any problems with crumbs and I have never had any kiln wash in my glaze. I bought a used kiln for parts and a couple of the shelves were ruined, no kiln wash and large drips of purchased glaze all over them. Any thing can happen. Denice


Hi Denice, thanks for answering my post. I don't have anything against kiln wash, I just heard that it can ruin a piece if it falls on it. I alway wipe my pieces well and use only commercial glaze, but your right, maybe it wouldn't hurt to try it. I just have another question. I flip my shelves every firing. Should I use kiln wash on both sides? And is there anyway to know if the wash is going to flake off?

#20 Marko

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:03 PM

I use small little broken bits of shelf/stackers myself


Thanks icyone, I new I should have saved that broken shelve for something.




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