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neilestrick

Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active May 27 2016 09:34 PM
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#102937 Kiln Conversion Updraft Downdraft Chimney?

Posted by neilestrick on 01 March 2016 - 08:09 PM

NICE!!! You'l want to use a combination of dialing the air speed with the rheostat and blocking the air intake on the blower ( a magnetic business card works well for that). The rheostat will adjust air speed, the flap will adjust volume at any given speed. The speed adjustment comes in handy to keep from blowing the flame out at lower gas pressure. You'll likely never need to run it full speed, though.




#102832 Steven Hill Skutt Potter's Wheel

Posted by neilestrick on 29 February 2016 - 02:18 PM

I've got 11 TS/Skutt wheels in my studio. 10 are 1/3hp, one is 1/2hp. I have never needed the extra power of the 1/2hp. The 1/3 can handle 75 pounds. I regularly do 50 pound planters on them. I also find that they are plenty smooth without the SSX drive. If you've got the money to spend, then sure, get the upgrades. But if you need to stick to a budget, the base models work great. I recommend the built in splash pan because the wheel is heavier and more solid.




#102647 Underglazes Amaco Verses Speedball?

Posted by neilestrick on 26 February 2016 - 11:11 AM

I haven't tried Speedball, but I will now after these comments.  I have been using Duncan and Amaco with success to cone 6.  No problems.  Although I did just purchase a Rose color in Amaco and a wine color in Duncan that seem a bit faded out compared to the other colors I have.  I am chalking that up to operator error. 

 

Roberta

 

Warm colors- reds, yellows, oranges- sometimes burn out at cone 6.




#102622 Underglazes Amaco Verses Speedball?

Posted by neilestrick on 25 February 2016 - 09:28 PM

well, velvets were made to be used at cone 06 with 3 coats.   some of them will go to cone 6 with 3 coats.  some will even go to cone 10 with 3 coats. 

 

i do not see a reason to complain.

 

do not use speedball.

 

We use tons of Speedball underglaze, and for the most part they hold up very well at cone 6. A couple of colors like the red and the royal blue tend to melt out a little bit bubble up the glaze, so aren't great for covering large areas, but work fine for details. The rest of the colors we use cover well with two coats and hold color at cone 6. Plus they're a lot cheaper than Amaco, especially if you wait for Clay-King.com to put them on sale. Plus they come pretty thick, so you can thin them down by almost half, which get their prices down to about 3-4 dollars a pint on sale.




#102572 Functional..foodsafe.

Posted by neilestrick on 24 February 2016 - 12:53 PM

I think it's safe to assume that the term 'functional', when used among potters, means food safe. I don't know what else it would mean. But unless the author of that article has had that glaze tested, it shouldn't have been tagged as such.




#102516 How Much Would You Pay For An Axner M300

Posted by neilestrick on 23 February 2016 - 11:11 AM

I wouldn't pay more than $200.




#102413 Cutlery Marking At Cone 6 Ox

Posted by neilestrick on 21 February 2016 - 07:03 PM

 

Here's a good chance for me to make the case that higher temps are better for functional potters.  Glazes matured at 8 or 9 or 10 are usually simpler and will tend to have fewer toxic ingredients than glazes at 6, or at least that has been my experience.  (I hasten to add that firing at 6 can produce wares just as safe, but I believe it to be more difficult.)

 

I don't know much about the subject, but I have wondered about these advantages, can you explain them more? I understand that glazes at higher temps have less complicated mixtures because they don't have to have as many melting agents and the beautiful coloring usually comes from the reduction. However is this true for electric? What benefits does one have firing ^8 electric over ^6 electric? I have read a lot of articles about it, and I haven't seen many people saying that ^8 was significantly better than ^6. Some people say the colors are slightly better, but not enough to justify the cost of elements. I have only read this and never actually experienced this. I fired a few glazes to ^7 before and I didn't notice any differences at ^7 than ^6.

 

 

I fired cone 8 for about a year before dropping down to cone 6. I found no benefit whatsoever to firing cone 8, however there were several problems. First, element life was about 30% less than at cone 6. Second, cone 6 clay is over fired at cone 8, and cone 10 clay is under fired at cone 8. So unless I wanted to mix my own, there was not an acceptable porcelain commercially available. Third, I found colors to be better at cone 6, since some things start to burn out at 8.




#102412 Cutlery Marking At Cone 6 Ox

Posted by neilestrick on 21 February 2016 - 06:59 PM

Here's a good chance for me to make the case that higher temps are better for functional potters.  Glazes matured at 8 or 9 or 10 are usually simpler and will tend to have fewer toxic ingredients than glazes at 6, or at least that has been my experience.  (I hasten to add that firing at 6 can produce wares just as safe, but I believe it to be more difficult.

 

I strongly disagree. The materials used in cone 6 glazes are no more toxic than those at cone 10. In fact, many of the cone 6 glazes I use have the exact same ingredients as cone 10 glazes, just in different proportions. Cone 6 glazes are no more complicated. I have many cone 6 glaze that are cone 10 glazes with as little as 3% Frit 3134 added to it. Take a look at a bunch of cone 6 glaze recipes and you'll see that the materials are mostly the same, with the exception of frits being used more at cone 6. But frits are no more toxic than anything else, and actually make glaze formulation simpler because they contain so many oxides.

 

As for a durable matte glaze: there are different ways to achieve matteness. One is by not melting the glaze enough. Any underfired glossy glaze will be matte. This is not a good way to make a matte glaze, because it is not fully matured. It will scratch very easily. The other way to achieve matteness is through crystal growth. Magnesium matte glazes are examples of this, and they can be quite durable. I've got a couple of magnesium mattes that are harder than some of my gloss glazes.




#102307 Ignition Transformer Questions

Posted by neilestrick on 20 February 2016 - 10:06 AM

You need a sensing rod for each burner, and probably a control module for each burner, unless that module can accept two inputs.




#102268 Kiln Conversion Updraft Downdraft Chimney?

Posted by neilestrick on 19 February 2016 - 12:04 PM

Other benefits of power burners:

-You can build them cheaper than buying Venturi burners as far as cost per BTU is concerned

- They can be modified for more or less power as needed by changing the orifice and doing so doesn't affect performance.

- A power burner will cost the same to build whether it's putting out 5,000btu or 500,000btu.

- You can use fewer burners.

- The cost savings in not having to build a tall chimney will offset the cost of the burner parts.

- In salt and soda kilns, power burners give better dispersal of the vapor.




#102222 Kiln Conversion Updraft Downdraft Chimney?

Posted by neilestrick on 18 February 2016 - 04:38 PM

THIS-  54cfm, cheap. Only downside is that it's got a rectangular connection rather than round, but you should be able to bolt it to a floor flange connection and still get plenty of flow.

 

Just noticed the shipping price. I'd have him quote you a real price since you're not international.




#102215 Kiln Conversion Updraft Downdraft Chimney?

Posted by neilestrick on 18 February 2016 - 03:08 PM

Personally, I would hate to listen to a compressor running all the time during a firing. Seems like a good way to wear out a piece of equipment when you could just buy a cheap blower. Plus compressors are made to run high pressure low volume, which is the opposite of what you need in a burner blower. I think it would be really easy to get too much pressure and blow out your flame. 




#102196 Kiln Conversion Updraft Downdraft Chimney?

Posted by neilestrick on 18 February 2016 - 09:45 AM

A little 50cfm blower will be more than powerful enough. They make smaller ones, but they tend to be too small, like 13 cfm. I recommend putting a rheostat on it to slow it down, otherwise you'll have way too much pressure.  THIS




#102146 L&l Easy18-3 E-2 Error

Posted by neilestrick on 17 February 2016 - 01:09 PM

I was out on vacation for the last week. Sorry I missed your questions. L&L elements come slightly short, but they are springy, so they can be hooked into the corners of the element holders. This generally works, but sometimes they won't stay in place and you have to stretch the element so they just lay in the holders without any tension. Ideally, you want to stretch the entire element so that the coil spacing stays consistent. To do that you need to clamp one end to a table and pull from the other end. That's a total pain in the behind, though, and the risk of stretching to far is too great, so I usually just grab the element with my hands far apart and stretch the biggest section I can. You only need to pull until you just feel it start to give. There's a point at which it stops stretching like a spring and starts bending the wire and spreading the coils. You can feel the difference. You will usually only need to stretch a few inches, so take it easy. If you go too far you'll have to crimp the coils back together one at a time with needle nose pliers to shorten it back up. I'll often stretch two or three places, evenly around the element. If it's not totally perfect it won't matter. Don't worry about touching the elements with your hands. They're covered with oil that burns off when you start the kiln anyway.

 

Do an empty firing with new elements to build a layer of oxidation on them that will protect them during firings. Most kiln companies recommend a bisque temp firing, but someone here once said they read that the element wire manufacturer recommends firing higher. If you've got the time and money, fire empty to cone 6.




#101728 L&l Easy18-3 E-2 Error

Posted by neilestrick on 09 February 2016 - 03:50 PM

I guess I will order some more next week then, cause mine are starting to lay over in some places a lot. Thanks for the great advice from everyone. 

 

Put a  meter on them. Your manual should show what the factory resistance is. I've seen some ugly elements that were still functional. If you can get 10 more firings out of them, do it.