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Everything posted by perkolator

  1. hepa filters are not cheap. we use a variety of methods in our studio to keep dust down when cleaning up. for sweeping we'll use sweeping compound, N95 respirators and turn on a fan to evacuate the building of most the airborn particulates for vacuuming we have a Nilfisk HEPA rated vacuum which works awesome - very pricey though. wet-cleanup is probably best for airborn particulates and besides a mop for spot cleaning, my preferred method is a small walk-behind Presto wet-vac. I just walk around studio with a watering can and water the floor, then suck it up! (i'm sure you could do this with a shop wet-vac just as well) lastly and what probably helps the most, is 4x a year we roll ALL the studio furniture outside and hose out/squeegee the inside of the building while everyone outside scrubs the ware boards and furniture.
  2. a little late but... when we fire large-scale flat pieces (24"x36"), we like to set it on lots of small balls of kiln putty/wadding so it is evenly supported and won't drag on a shelf when it moves. it also helps solve the dilemma of schmutz falling on work down below. our wadding is equal parts silica, kaolin, and grog, and we make balls about 3/4-1" diameter depending on how large/heavy the slab is, or how warped the shelf is, lol. if you're talking about physically sliding a large, heavy object into the kiln - we like to use grog underneath to reduce the friction and facilitate sliding, silica sand would work too. put newspaper under the shelf if you're not sliding onto the floor shelves, to catch anything that wants to fall on a piece below.
  3. Hi, I'm new here. Currently looking for budget-friendly handheld pyrometer. Wanted to see what others have purchased and/or can recommend. Thinking about the Skutt handheld unit for around $120 Our gas kilns already have built-in pyrometers on the back wall and they work great. The handheld is used mainly for auxillary use at the spy ports in the front/bottom of the kilns, or on a kiln-sitter electric. So rather than having the down time in trying to diagnose/fix the thing, I'd rather buy another and have the old as a spare whenever I can figure it out. I can't get a fancy one because it gets used by students who won't appreciate it or will drop/break/misplace/steal it. Right now, we have a Fluke 51 k/j pyrometer that I'm guessing is well over 10yrs old. Lately it's been giving us problems and giving funky readings when it decides to work - for me it works just fine, but when i'm gone the other users complain it gives issues like where it'll be climbing and all of a sudden will start to drop instead of keep climbing. It also climbs temp REALLY slow - seems to climb in increments of 0.3*/second and takes FOREVER to climb to temp of a firing kiln - is this normal? I've already replaced the 9v battery and replaced the thermocouple with another - the battery helped a bit because I think it was low, but the thermocouple doesn't seem to have done much. Have not yet replaced the thermocouple wire to rule that out. Kinda on the same subject - can anyone give recommendations on a unit that will read the moisture content in a kiln? We always fire large sculpture and deal with students just learning to manually fire gas kilns - it would be really nice to be able to SHOW them how dry/wet the kiln is before turning on burners instead of our "scientific" methods: "smell" the air, "grab and feel" the air, mirror/glass, etc. Thanks! Brian
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