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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 12:34 PM

#117490 Long Lasting Vent Ducting

Posted by neilestrick on 29 November 2016 - 12:53 PM

I've been testing a black thermoplastic vent ducting for more than 2 1/2 years now, and it's held up great. You can get it at McMaster-Carr HERE (link is for 3" but you can get it in any size). It's rated for 250F, so plenty high for kiln venting. I've used it for at least 550 firings and it's still as soft and flexible as the day I installed it, even where it connects down under the kiln. It costs about 4 times more than the aluminum semi-rigid ducting that comes with most vent systems, but it's way more durable and last a lot longer. You can actually step on it without hurting it.

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#117469 Arrowmont Fire

Posted by neilestrick on 29 November 2016 - 08:30 AM

He just posted another report. Hughes Hall, Wild Wing and the maintenance shed are total losses. Everything else is fine.

#117402 Used Wheel And Kiln

Posted by neilestrick on 28 November 2016 - 02:14 PM

I wouldn't pay more than $300 for either. If the Brent wheel has the smooth black control panel with flush buttons, don't buy it. Those controllers were very problematic.

#117396 Centering Pot For Trimming With Laser Light

Posted by neilestrick on 28 November 2016 - 01:44 PM

I have nothing against tools and gadgets and innovation. I've got a garage full of power tools, 11 electric wheels, and touchscreen controller on my kiln. But I do have a problem with unnecessary tools, and tools that are a crutch- a replacement for a learned skill. If you want to play piano, do you buy a player piano or do you take piano lessons?

#117273 L&l Easy Fire Kiln Relays

Posted by neilestrick on 26 November 2016 - 09:52 PM

If they all have at least a couple hundred firings on them, then go ahead and replace them all. Otherwise just do the one. Put the date on the new one with a Sharpie, and make a note somewhere (I use the calendar on my computer) of the date and number of firings when you change it. The when it dies again you can see how long it's lasted.

#117271 Centering Pot For Trimming With Laser Light

Posted by neilestrick on 26 November 2016 - 09:45 PM

I want to hear Neil with in on this one!



Or, you could just hold your finger in front of the bowl to see if it's off center. Come on, people! Put the toys away and make some pots!

#117239 Stoneware Limit Study

Posted by neilestrick on 26 November 2016 - 04:31 PM


Sadly I think chemistry comes behind production costs and profits.


Now I need to find a used MOR testing bench: need some kind of measurable/variable standard. (MOR = modulus of rupture)

Doubt that I cause any change, or that my standards will be accepted: but I am trying to set some.




If you're the only one formulating like you, and your clay is more expensive as a result, you'll go out of business before everyone catches on. Everyone will say 'the clay I've been using for the last 30 years has worked fine, so why would I switch to something more expensive?'. And they do have a point- humans have been making pots for thousands of years just fine. The trick will be to prove somehow that your formula limits will benefit the user in a very measurable way- fewer clay problems, etc; or benefit the producer in some financial way- lower materials cost, fewer unhappy customers, etc. That may not happen in our generation, but if the new generations of potters can be taught to use limits when formulating clay bodies, then eventually it will become the norm.

#117188 Temperature Regulator Not Working

Posted by neilestrick on 25 November 2016 - 10:52 PM

There's no way an old analog pyrometer like that is going to be accurate enough. Put some cones in the kiln and watch them bend. Use appropriate safety glasses so you don't hurt your eyes. A #5 welding lens is cheap and effective.

#117187 Narrowed It Down To A Couple Wheels?

Posted by neilestrick on 25 November 2016 - 10:50 PM

I have never reversed my wheel, either. I throw counter-clockwise. Why would I need to reverse it?

#117186 L&l Easy Fire Kiln Relays

Posted by neilestrick on 25 November 2016 - 10:47 PM

It's a major safety hazard to always have one leg hot. If you were to touch an element while loading or unloading the kiln you would complete the circuit and get a shock. As a repair person, I would be super pissed off to find that on a kiln I was working on. I've gotten shocks before on kilns where someone did something dangerous with the wiring, and it isn't fun. There's a reason they build the kilns the way they do- they aren't going to complicate the system if it's not necessary.

#117108 Why Pine Needles In Copper Alcohol Reduction

Posted by neilestrick on 24 November 2016 - 10:49 PM

Serious lack of safety equipment there. Especially for a guy with that much hair on his face. How come whenever I see a raku video no one is wearing the proper safety gear?!?!?

#117098 Help Clay Body Craters Or Blisters?

Posted by neilestrick on 24 November 2016 - 09:27 PM

Under 1% is mighty tight for a stoneware body.


You'll need to put some cones on the shelf in your next firing to confirm the heat work. Could be your sitter is out of calibration.

#117052 Stoneware Limit Study

Posted by neilestrick on 24 November 2016 - 10:05 AM

I got that out of the WOPL test hey?  Thinking next spring I might actually have a "theorem" on formulation. Got these ideas rolling around in my head, but there is nothing subjective out there to rationalize or compare to. Maybe I should email the WOPL test to Tony Hansen: nothing on his site either. It would be nice to be a trail blazer, only problem; there are no trails out here.





#117026 Why Are Some Glazes Nicer To Deal With?

Posted by neilestrick on 23 November 2016 - 10:42 PM

I see a lot of glaze recipes that are low in clay content, and they tend to be powdery when dry on the pot. I always shoot for at least 10% clay in my glaze recipes. I've got some that are closer to 20% clay, and they are super easy to handle.

#116920 Help ! I Can't Center

Posted by neilestrick on 22 November 2016 - 03:10 PM

I'm very deep. :P  I just mean that it's not all about wobbles, it's about the condition of the clay- getting to be a smooth, even, homogenous mass, which coning does very well. It's easier to live with a little wobble than with an uneven ball of clay.