Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark C.

Tumble stacking the bisque-electrics

Recommended Posts

After seeing this I partially tumble stacked my last bisque load. Worked great! It really was amazing to see how much space I had been wasting before!

 

Couple of question though-- does anyone who uses this method use a kiln sitter, and do you worry about things dislodging and falling on the mechanism? That was the reason I ended up putting a shelf in there. I was too afraid of something somehow falling and my kiln not shutting off.

 

Secondly, it looks in the picture like that kiln is packed all the way to the walls. Doesn't it shorten the life of the elements to have things touching them? Or maybe I'm just not seeing the spaces...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


After seeing this I partially tumble stacked my last bisque load. Worked great! It really was amazing to see how much space I had been wasting before!

Couple of question though-- does anyone who uses this method use a kiln sitter, and do you worry about things dislodging and falling on the mechanism? That was the reason I ended up putting a shelf in there. I was too afraid of something somehow falling and my kiln not shutting off.

Secondly, it looks in the picture like that kiln is packed all the way to the walls. Doesn't it shorten the life of the elements to have things touching them? Or maybe I'm just not seeing the spaces...


I do use a sitter and you want to leave room around it- And make sure nothing can fall on the sitter. This photo does not show but the load also has shelves in it and is more tumble stacked on top than bottom. I usually do not stack against walls but now and again pots touch a wall but rarely.

As you have learned -all that wasted space with room around every pot its such a waste. The idea is getting the most work in the space and now you are on that path.
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the clarification!

 

I think what I really need to do is get a little bit more kiln furniture. My setup is sort of an inherited amalgamation of oddly sized posts and broken shelves (hey, free is free, and the kiln itself works!). If I had the right stuff to be able to put a shelf above the kiln sitter to protect things from fallign on it, I would have a lot more usable firing space with less worry about my studio burning down. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres another post from the past.

Some may not have heard of tumble stacking.

There are shelves in this load and as I load up I tend to tumble even more with the top a free for all.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only danger really is that some clays need a lot of oxygen during bisque. If they don't get the ox, the organics will not burn out completely and you can end up with bloats / bleebs that will not show up until the ^ 6 or 10 glaze fire.

Might just be darker clays that have the high concentration of organics that need the oxygen

Have seen bloating issues go away with the single change of looser bisque stacking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only danger really is that some clays need a lot of oxygen during bisque. If they don't get the ox, the organics will not burn out completely and you can end up with bloats / bleebs that will not show up until the ^ 6 or 10 glaze fire.

Might just be darker clays that have the high concentration of organics that need the oxygen

Have seen bloating issues go away with the single change of looser bisque stacking.

 

Tim has nailed one of the big issues with cramming bisques like crazy in electric kilns.  If you do this, make sure to have a local pickup vent running, and don't try to fire the load too fast.  Issues of organic burn-off plus thermal lag (penetration into the mass). The problems won't show up in the bisque... they'll show up in the finish firing.

 

best,

 

....................john

myzer likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all so i can stack my earthenware so it's touching, I  have a controller on my kiln , so can i still stack with the controller set to right temp. sorry for being a bit green, but a newbie to earthenware, when i made dolls many years ago i had to stack the kiln with sand and each piece had to be separate cos they would stick to each other.do i need to use the sand in my kiln still or just bat wash my shelves . and if i do decide to go into stoneware i can also stack lol ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the most use of space from your electric kiln. This maybe a new idea for you or you already do this and its old hat.

 

As many here use electric kilns and may not be aware of what is possible as far as stacking your work-whether its sculpture or pots.

 

You do not have to place them with space between or even on the feet- pack it tight. One can fill every nook by placing pottery in any direction.

 

I only bisque fire in my electrics and rarely at best these days,as the gas kilns are larger and cheaper for me to run. That said when I need a little last minute work I’ll fire one up in the evening as that’s the best electric rate with my (TOU) Time Of Use electric meter. If you fire your electric kiln a lot you may want to check with your utility on this meter as you are charged different rates at peak times and lesser rates off peak. The meter does have a daily charge to own. Ours paid for its self in a few months as we try to only use power on things like cloths washing-dryers (motors) and electric kiln use off-peak hours.

 

I use kiln shelves as usual during the loading but stackpots in all directions per layer to get the most use of space. Whatever you can squeeze in-filling the insides of pots, pots on the edge or upside down or sideways-no matter

 

The key thing is that the work is bone dry. Now this may not work on a sculpture you have worked on for 3 months and is still wet in the center.

 

So the next bisque fire try to fill all the space withtumble stacking in mind.

This kiln is a skutt 1227 .

 

Mark

HI Mark I've seen this way of stacking for bisque firings, however with the Amaco Velvet underglazes which can be applied to greenware and then bisqued, can these pots be Tumble stacked too?   Thanks. Melany 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tumble stacked a lot when teaching, but around my own studio, I have learned a no no with this technique. I don't tumble stack pates(communion plates) as they have always warped in bisque when I tried to do it, and I have tried a lot of different ways. There just does not seem to be a way of doing plates that doesn't require a flat bottom. So when in a large load, I will put plates where they have lots of support, build up around and over, then tumble up. This does not get a lot of patens in, but some in each load.

clay lover likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Get the most use of space from your electric kiln. This maybe a new idea for you or you already do this and its old hat.

 

As many here use electric kilns and may not be aware of what is possible as far as stacking your work-whether its sculpture or pots.

 

You do not have to place them with space between or even on the feet- pack it tight. One can fill every nook by placing pottery in any direction.

 

I only bisque fire in my electrics and rarely at best these days,as the gas kilns are larger and cheaper for me to run. That said when I need a little last minute work I’ll fire one up in the evening as that’s the best electric rate with my (TOU) Time Of Use electric meter. If you fire your electric kiln a lot you may want to check with your utility on this meter as you are charged different rates at peak times and lesser rates off peak. The meter does have a daily charge to own. Ours paid for its self in a few months as we try to only use power on things like cloths washing-dryers (motors) and electric kiln use off-peak hours.

 

I use kiln shelves as usual during the loading but stackpots in all directions per layer to get the most use of space. Whatever you can squeeze in-filling the insides of pots, pots on the edge or upside down or sideways-no matter

 

The key thing is that the work is bone dry. Now this may not work on a sculpture you have worked on for 3 months and is still wet in the center.

 

So the next bisque fire try to fill all the space withtumble stacking in mind.

This kiln is a skutt 1227 .

 

Mark

HI Mark I've seen this way of stacking for bisque firings, however with the Amaco Velvet underglazes which can be applied to greenware and then bisqued, can these pots be Tumble stacked too?   Thanks. Melany 

 

I have no current experience with commercial underglazes or commercial glazes as I do not use any. (well it was 40 years ago) so I suggest others who use underglazes answer this question. This would be an easy test as well for you.What I can say is I have coated slips on greenware and tumble stacked with no issues. Its more of a rubbing it off and handling it properly issue.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would th esoak around 700Centigrade not be a soln. if there were probs inherent in this form of stacking? Or if not at 700 what temp would you advise? I've tumbnle stacked underglaze ware, place it in don't slide it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading this subject for awhile now and yesterday for the first time partially tumble stacked my bisque load. I used 3 shelves instead of 5 and wow did it hold a lot of pieces! I kept having to go get more pieces cleaned to fill in the spots. I actually could have fit more but I ran out of small filler pieces. I was not brave enough to fire anything sideways but I did stack things face face and foot to foot. With the face to face pieces I filled the inside cavity with smaller pieces. I let things touch and even hang a bit off the sides of the shelves as long as they didn't touch the walls of the kiln. Since I added so much newly cleaned bone dry pieces and I do my final cleaning with water I did add a 1 hour preheat to it just to make sure everything was as dry as possible not sure if this was necessary or not.

 

The kiln is on its last 40 degrees to reach ^04. I don't think it fired any quicker even with taking into account the 1 hour preheat but I sure did fit a lot of stuff in there. It usually takes about 13 hours to do a slow bisque, add on the 1 hour preheat and I am approaching 14 this time. We shall see if I end up with a load of cracked warped pieces or not. I won't be able to open it until tomorrow morning to know so keep your fingers crossed.

 

If this works just how far can you push tumble stacking? Does anybody out there do it with 1 shelf or less?

 

T

LeeU likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do a sort of tumble, but always have flat bottomed pieces flat on the shelf. Smaller flat pieces inside that if they sit flat.  I get some warping if I don't.  but the rim to rim, flat on flat I do with no problems.  I did loose a pile once because I think I just had so much weight on the bottom pieces.

bowls that are the same size, I go for it rim, rim, bottom, bottom , all the way until all in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update

The kiln finished firing, it took exactly 15 hours to run my load of tumble stacked bisque. I looked at my log and it usually takes 13 1/2 hours to run. So if I add the 1 hour preheat I added to the normal cycle it took 30 minutes longer to run the tumble stacked load. Is it because there was a LOT more in there? I usually use about 5 shelves I only used 3 this time with my taller posts and stacked as much as I could onto each shelf. I lost count since I kept having to go find more pieces to add but plan to count how much I got in there and try to compare it to my usual loads. I am betting I get 3 glaze loads out of this 1 bisque.

 

T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there you go Pugaboo looks like you are to something good. Just think of all the savings.

By the way I usually use about 3-4-5 shelves when doing this in the big skut 12227 kiln. I tend to do this in the gas kilns as well-I stuff until you cannot stuff anymore.Never could figure out the waste of doing it the Traditional way taught in schools once I figured it out.

Thanks for redeeming me.

Mark

Pugaboo likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good for you,  i have seen stuff just piled all over the place without any shelves.  these were identical commemorative items about the size of quart size vases.  they touched the walls from side to side and there were no posts at all.   it does work.  i think the design and sizing was done with this kind of firing in mind.  the glaze firing was uniformly spaced on shelves with 6 inch posts.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I say, WOW?!?

 

Emptied the kiln and everything came out perfectly. No cracks, warping or mystery happenings. Yay!

 

I added up everything I had in there and I was able to fit $2300 worth of saleable bisque into my little 18x23 electric kiln. I added up how much I got the last time I ran a load and it was only $935 worth. Tumble stacking is WORTH IT! I am staggered by the difference. I know I can fit even more in there with a bit of planning and having on hand a wider variety of pieces to fit in different shaped spots and inside other pieces.

 

I glazed some of the pieces I had in the tumble stacked load and am firing them now. This should be a good test to see if I have any issues with pinholes or not. Everything is a test at this point so I guess it's wait and see.

 

T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to fire 88 terracotta tiles.  I own four shelves, and sufficient posts to hold them up.  I can get 7 tiles to a shelf without stacking.  

The tiles are all slightly dished/warped, all the same way up. (Trying to dry them just enough for the scouts to carve them....only one arm in use for 9 weeks..... other arm not strong enough to do much..... excuses, excuses.....)

 

Should I:

 

1)  stack them the same way up in overlapping layers 

 

2)  stack them face to face in overlapping layers 

 

3)  stack them the same way up directly above the one below

 

4)  stack them face to face directly above the one below

 

5)  not stack them at all, and fire the kiln 4 times

 

6)  stand them all on edge - scary

 

7)  ????????

 

gallery_59202_986_6696.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for bisquing tiles our techies always stack them on edge. allows them to shrink without cracking.  once someone stacked a load of tiles flat and on top of each other and they cracked.  on edge is best - at least for stoneware.   our studio has a tile class and they always stack on edge.    ditto when I raku fire flat pieces.      rakuku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd get a lot more in if you stack like Marcia posted, vertically supported by posts. I have a number of triangular prisms, that I use as stackers between tiles. Someone will know what they're called.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You never want to make anything to thick by having their surfaces touch, I have had bisque over fire that way and even start local reduction. Workable but a pain. Might have been down to my bisque temp and clay too.

 

Stacked some tiles with my smallest stackable kiln props once, worked for bisque.

11193355_439601339550759_933949176620109

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×