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Tumble stacking the bisque-electrics


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#21 weeble

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

Yikes, that takes guts. I stack, I wedge stuff in, I pile em up, but that... OY. I'm firing for a very mixed group, all handbuilding, and I know there are a lot of very delicate sculptural pieces and some real doorstops in every load. The other end of it is we just plain run out of drying room LONG before we have that big a load of bisque! LOL Good to know its not really a problem to do though!
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#22 Lucille Oka

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:18 AM

Okay the firing was fine. I had planned to do three vessels but one vessel was not ready. It had to get a coat of underglaze to be hardened on and could not be placed on or touching the others due to possible fuming. So I just placed one vessel on top of the other with large posts used as props on either side of the two vessels. Also the two vessels were lidded and cylindrical one of them in particular had to keep the lid in place as it fired horizontally. the other lid was placed inside the bottom vessel. There was a bit of fuming from the bottom vessel to the top one. But that is okay the top one will be given a covering of an opaque glaze. Sorry I can't give you pictures; not set up for it.

A stacking of two cylindrical vessels was not much of a stretch of courage, but I was antsy about the props moving but since this was a first stacking and it did well, I will try it again.

Thanks a lot for sharing to- Mark, Neil, Marcia, Denice, and Pres "The Pot Stackers". I hope I didn't miss thanking anyone it was not intentionally done.

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#23 emptynester

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

Question: Does it take longer to reach final temperature with this much mass? Or, is it more efficient because the clay holds temperature better than the empty air spaces in a loosely filled kiln?

#24 Diana Ferreira

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

we use Alumina on our kiln shelves. They are not removed between firings, and thus the shelves need to be stored horizontally. But, to prevent the alumina from sticking to the bottoms of the shelves, we made little 6 mm high disks out of clay. 3 on each shelve, and you can stack 20 - 30 shelves. I use those little discs for stability when I stack my bisque kiln, because I am always scared that my vases, etc will roll around. I can almost fill my 15 cubic with glazed work from my 4.5 cubic bisque kiln.
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#25 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

You should reach final temperture sooner . . . tumbling eliminates the mass of kiln shelves that also absorb heat during a firing.

#26 Mesi

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

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...

#27 Mark C.

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:06 PM


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
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#28 Mesi

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

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. ;)

#29 Mark C.

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:32 AM

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


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#30 timbo_heff

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 11:46 AM

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.



#31 JBaymore

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

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


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#32 Mark C.

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:00 PM

I have had zero organic burn out issues with my porcelain but other clays may be problematic.

Mark


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#33 timbo_heff

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:38 AM

Ya, makes sense: porcelain is a lot cleaner : dark cone 5/6 clays are the ones that have the most organics to get rid of. May be ok even with lighter 5/6 stonewares.



#34 dolly

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:17 PM

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 ...



#35 myzer

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:53 PM

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 



#36 Pres

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:59 PM

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.


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#37 Mark C.

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 12:36 AM

 

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


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#38 Babs

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 01:26 AM

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.



#39 Pugaboo

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:07 AM

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
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#40 clay lover

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:14 AM

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.






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