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Member Since 29 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 01:16 PM

Topics I've Started

Taking Apart Old Kilns For Scrap

05 June 2016 - 09:30 AM

well, i guess it is time to remove the carcass of the paragon a99 that has been dead for many years.  it has been a handy shelf rest for loading and unloading the real kiln next to it but now i have a tiny paragon ready to take its place as a test kiln.  the cord for the new one, an A66, has been modified to plug into the old Touch'nFire controller on the wall so it will allow for more consistent testing.  Arnold Howard at paragon says this will work.  looking forward to using it, once i can find someone to help get it out of the car.


is there anything i can do with the bricks i am taking out?  many of them are undamaged and i hate to waste anything.  the metal is going to the recycler.  wish i could find something useful to do with the bricks.  i have a number of pieces for propping things and the slots for the elements are in good shape.  any ideas????


there is a second carcass of a totally empty kiln that i thought i would like to convert to gas.  won't be happening since the propane i would have to use is ridiculously expensive.  it is about the same size as the 99.  


all ideas welcome as long as they do not involve landfills.



Can Dead Plaster Be Revived? (Call The Paramedics!)

26 May 2016 - 04:10 PM

i know plaster dies at 6 months.  i do not know why.  i have called USGypsum to ask their technical person if calcining it or heating it or anything can be done so i can use some old plaster.  maybe it is anhydrous and takes water vapor from the atmosphere and that is what kills it.


after going round and round with phone numbers and recordings i pressed 4 to reach the person who knows "hobby plaster".  a very nice sounding recorded voice advised me that he had retired and could not be reached any more.  he gave me a different number.  suffice it to say i went round and round for over 20 more minutes, never reaching anyone who knows about plaster.


the very nice young lady i kept circling back to was very apologetic but did not see any reason to change the message from the man who retired "about a year ago".  she was sure a salesman would be able to answer any question i have.  really................


this sounds like a nerd question, i hope he is here.


of course, i could go to my "local" supplier and buy a new bag.  it is 65 miles in any direction to reach a supplier.  i have half a bag of several years old plaster.  anyone know how and if it can be revived?  i will toss it if necessary.  is it good in a garden?


i do not want to use it to make a small mold in the state it is in

Who Can Explain This Reaction?

28 April 2016 - 03:35 PM

this is the edge of my glaze bucket which contains Nutmeg, a glaze recipe i messed up but was fixed by John Hesselberth several years ago.  the bucket was sitting around waiting for me to use it and this is what i found when i opened it after 6 months.  the darker stuff at the edge is crystalline and very stiff.  it is hard to scrape off if it sits too long.  


i will list the ingredients, please tell me what caused this effect.  it has happened with other recipes over the years and i have never discovered what causes this.  i does not happen to every glaze.


ingredients are     dolomite, spodumene, ball clay (om4), silica, frit 3134, red iron oxide, yellow ochre, tin oxide and bentonite.  the ingredient John used to fix my mistake was ball clay.

Need Fast Answer

11 April 2016 - 06:46 PM

manual kiln with sitter bisque firing right now, started 7:30 PM.  normally i turn up one knob per hour, meaning it takes 9 hours to get to the top knob on high.  that would mean staying up til 3:30.  a little late, 1:00 AM more reasonable.  average, even. 


so, what if i turn up each knob every 45 minutes?  will it affect anything badly?  pots are dry, no question of that.  silly worry or valid concern?  neil, where are you?

Clay Named "frost" Is Translucent

09 April 2016 - 08:13 PM

cannot remember who asked about this a long time ago.  just came across this photo of a test i make of Frost.  i thought i would like to make night lights with it.  then i saw some that were fabulous and sold for $29.99 at a gallery.  i will leave that field to them.


this test was how thin i could do it, whether the slip would still be somewhat translucent, first use of frost.  i broke the piece when it warped before drying just to fire some of it for the experience.