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  1. Like
    Stephen reacted to hitchmss in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I think code in our area is a minimum 18" from any combustible material for a kiln. I agree that with heat rising, your gonna want more clearance above, than say to a floor beneath.
    Metal shelves is the answer here; Either a full shelving unit from the floor up, or fashion some brackets to hold the shelves. I buy a lot of the chrome/stainless wire "metro" style shelving units off C-list quite regularly. They come in all kinds of depths from 12"-36", and widths from 24"-60". As far as your shelf brackets, dont get the cheap, flimsy brackets that cost less than $2 from the hardware store; your're gonna be putting a lot of weight (if you have kiln posts like I do) on these shelves. Amazon carries some very economical, but very solid brackets made for free floating counters. Hardware stores will have them too, but at a cost of $15 or more.
    If you have any welding experience, some 1" x 3/16" flat stock can be turned into some brackets in the matter of minutes, for pennies compared to manufactured ones. You'll have to figure out a way to affix the  metal shelving unit to the brackets though. Lots of easy options for that though.
  2. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Babs in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Thanks guys! 
    I guess I knew it was a bad idea and was trying to convince myself it was fine.
    That extruder 2x4 pressure treated 2x4 board is 23" away from kiln and kilns are 19" at closest point. 
    Pres you brought up the over-fire temp and that really grabbed me because we have had several post lately of folks that over-fired by accident. The post and answers all seemed geared toward the pottery being ruined and kiln being damaged. I hope some folks see your answer on this post because that is a great point to make so everyone understands it is never OK without lots of fore thought to leave a kiln just firing until you think it will end.  It sounds like even following best min practices like Neil mentions above, you are not remotely safe if the kiln just continues getting hotter and hotter for hours on end. 
    When I installed the three kilns I made sure they  were at least 18" from anything combustible,  plastic 24" but not 4-5 feet? Not even possible with the space we have and 3 kilns. The electrical receptacles would still be exposed if I blanket the area with cement board (which this post may cause me to consider :-) 
    We never ever trust it to turn off to the point of getting up a 3-4 in the morning if we for some reason have to fire when the complete time would be then. Me I don't trust timers or anything else over just physically seeing the kiln power down. We just don't fire if we can't do this no pottery need trumps this.
  3. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I have had a electric kiln keep firing once-no timer on it ,it had a stuck sitter rod. Back then it was on my back porch.The setback was enough from the wall not to be a problem. It can happen .
    The wire rack is the best fix. Stilts on the ground is no way to store and work with them.
  4. Like
    Stephen reacted to neilestrick in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Definitely do not use wood shelves there. Metal brackets with cement board shelves would work great, or get one of those bolt-together all metal floor units. Ideally, your kiln should be at least 16 inches from the wall. Because those shelves are above the kiln, and heat rises, they should be even further away, like at least a couple feet. Like Pres said, the wood will dry out over time, lowering its flash point.
  5. Like
    Stephen reacted to Dale pots in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Stephen, just don't use wood shelves & your problem is solved. Go get metal shelves.
  6. Like
    Stephen reacted to Pres in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Might help, but then again, I have had an overfire in the studio where the ambient temperature near the kiln . . . within 4 feet was 500F. Only happened once, but all I would have needed. 
    However, you may find yourself within limits when you look at the following chart.
    So yes, you should be alright. My biggest concern is the effect on the wood over time.
  7. Like
    Stephen reacted to Pres in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Stephen, I would still be concerned about a possible over firing the area, that may start a fire. Remembering especially that wood constantly exposed to hot temps becomes drier and more prone to flame. 
    My personal suggestion would be to make the frame of bolt together angle metal and concrete board. Neither would burn, and if designed correctly would have no problem lasting forever.
  8. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in QotW:  What matters the most to you when throwing?   
    I think good music matters most when throwing .I know that is a little out of the box but for me its true.A nice large light  gathering window in front of me keeps me chipper as well
    The other smaller things are speed control  and a good throwing seat.
    The speed control needs to work well.
    (The pedals on the shimpos at the time weren't nearly as sensitive.) I think Callie thats an understatement as all those old Shimpo's have teriable speed control .The foot pedal on the ring drives seem really outdated-even back in the day.Sure thay are cute but thats about it.
    All 5 of my wheels spin only one way-never thrown the other way. No reason to.
  9. Like
    Stephen reacted to LeeU in QotW:  What matters the most to you when throwing?   
    What matters most to me when throwing is not giving up. The internal dialogue goes something like this:
    "I should be able to throw just as well and just as much as I did years ago."
    "Oh really? Who sez?"
    "OK, let's just see (again)."
    "OK, I observe and concede-it just ain't happening."
    "OK, practice, practice, practice."
    "OK, I am bored, bored, bored."
    "OK, I admit that the wrist, back, neck, right knee,  and left hip are not happy campers."
    OK, no one can make me and I don't wanna. "
    "OK, we'll just call BS on that one."
    "OK, I accept reality."
    " I'll give it a rest for a few days. "
    "Time's up; try, try, and try again. "
    "Good girl!" 
    It's not about the wheel, which is smooth as silk, reversible (which is useful & I enjoy for some pieces), and the speed is highly variable, readily responsive throughout the process. I'll never use enough weight to worry about torque & my current model Brent would more than handle it if I wanted to pull a whopper some day.  What I'm not up for,  having done my homework, a bit of experimenting w/chiropractor's help, and thinking a lot about what I want out of the time/money I have for this activity, is a brace for standing. I'm OK with a reduced engagement with throwing, and thankful for those bowls that make the cut. What matters most is, as noted, not giving up. 
  10. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Why make functional ware?   
    I guess think this whole handmade versus commercial mass produced comparison thing is pointless for customers to go through. If someone is comparing a $5 Walmart mug to a $50 hand thrown one they should just buy the Walmart one. My brother in-law used to buy expensive tailor made suits. Me, I can't wrap my mind around a three-four grand suit but he could and couldn't careless what Men's Warehouse was selling suits for. Same goes for people that buy expensive art tile for a custom project and/or pop for five-ten grand painting for behind the couch. Home depot and Hobby lobby would come in for pennies on the dollar and the tile would be fine and the picture an exact knockoff of an old master but those people don't care and don't look.
    ...but that same person will laugh at a $300 pair of sneakers. 
    To each his own.
  11. Like
    Stephen reacted to hitchmss in Some free advice!   
    I wish I was producing about 300-400k of work a year, but its more like maybe half of that. If all I had to do was stay home and make pots, I could do that. A typical day in the studio making pots makes about $2k +/- of inventory on average. Im making pots maybe 3 months of the year.  I also have to spend time at my second studio an hour away from home where I glaze and fire. Makes my efficiency go way down because when Im there Im only firing, and when Im here Im only making.  Likewise I do around 22 shows a year, and keep 10 galleries happy. Usually if Im not working, Im out in the woods; gotta have a life in there too.....somewhere. When I had my full time employee, and he finally got trained well enough that I could really count on him to handle a lot of responsibility, I could have been making a LOT more pots, but just at that time he decided to go into the sheet metal duct business. Pots were too much for him. Sad as he had a lot of promise as a potter.
    Thankfully I am in the process of building a new, all inclusive studio, where I will be every day, and will be focusing more on galleries and less on retail shows. Gotta make lots of pots to make a living selling mostly wholesale, but while my body allows me to do it I will.
    Ive looked into commercially zoned operations; buying and/or building. Commercial building code is WAY expensive. Just the fire detection and suppression system alone would make out my budget. I will be writing more about my experience in building my new studio, as I think theres lots of good info that Ive learned throughout the process, applicable to small and large operations.
    It is funny how much money Ive made out of my basement though. Its a small 280'ish square feet of cramped space where I make everything; around 8,000 pots a year/ 8 tons of clay. Sometimes I feel like an ant down in the "hill" just scurrying about!
  12. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Pit-firing pottery and bisqueing   
    you find something like this a little better and is pretty cheap:
  13. Like
    Stephen reacted to oldlady in Power Slab Roller   
    just FYI.  the free long paint stirring sticks at Home Depot are 1/4 inch thick.   have used them often as gauges for thickness.  i think their yardstick is the same.  now 98 cents each.
  14. Like
    Stephen reacted to Magnolia Mud Research in Power Slab Roller   
    to set the 'gap' on the slab roller:  Make two gages the thickness you want the clay to be, one for each end of the roller. 
    Raise the gap between the roller(s),  insert the gages, close the gap by adjusting the roller until it barely touches the gages; remove the gages; roll the slabs.  If you are starting with a very thick slab, you eyeball the first few settings, then make the final roll using the gages.
  15. Like
    Stephen reacted to Fred Sweet in Power Slab Roller   
    I agree with MMR regarding the gauges ( easily cut from hard wood) but add canvas to account for the thickness(es) of it (them), depending upon whether you sandwich your clay between two pieces or only one on top.
    Otherwise when you roll your clay, it won’t accommodate for the canvas, and your slabs will be consistently thinner than your gauge or “target” thickness.
  16. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Old kiln - new potter needs instructions on using it   
    ya know I might be misunderstanding you but you would not put in cones like that. The 0 anything would just melt and have to be scraped off your shelf. Don't get the cone 10 melt though as 1300c is cone 10 if you have one speed that runs in the 270 per hour ramp range. The whole point though of the cones is to visually nail where the kiln fired to. We use a 3-cone pack (often on several shelves. We fire mid so for bisque the pack has an 05 04 03 and we are looking for a full bend on 05 and a half bend on 04, 03 unaffected. For glaze we have a 5, 6 and 7. We fire to cone 5 with another cone of heat work for 20 minute soak so we are looking for a full bend of 5, half bend of 6 and no effect on 7.
    Print out a cone chart to get a feel. If you are low firing (most bisque 04 and glaze 06- bisque is usually hotter on low fire) and mid fire is 5-7 with an 06-04 bisque.
    Most people seem to recommend firing your electric kiln 2 cones below its max rating. Firing at max will wear out the bricks and elements much faster. 
    If you only have the cones and an one switch to hit temp then I would use a log and find that spot for each cone you want and record the time (hours to reach) then fashion a pack with one cone below, one cone exact and one cone above and put these packs on a top shelf, middle shelf and bottom shelf. Start a log and check your cones religiously after each firing and note the element wear and time adjustment needed for the next firing. At some point (with an old kiln that might be sooner than later) you will need a set of elements because the kiln will not hit temp no matter how long you run it. If you don't keep track of this stuff then you will start having bad glaze loads when the elements wear out.
    I see a 'full' on the knob so I think you have more control than you think by working through those clicks at different times in your firing to affect the ramp speed. 
  17. Like
    Stephen reacted to hitchmss in Studio Design   
    I plan on hosing down the space about once per week. Im pretty clean in my studio habits, and my messes are generally contained to smaller areas, so daily cleaning is relatively simple. I agree that hosing down every day would be a a huge waste of water, but also a very damp studio.
  18. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Studio Design   
    Maybe using a quick squeegee to drain afterward to minimize what the concrete is soaking up every night. if it seems to be building up dampness maybe wait a day or even two to allow it to dry completely between hosing.
    I guess I think trying to hose down nightly is going to do what you think and make it to moist and I would wonder if mold might even be an issue over time. I would consider still doing a light wet mop every day and do the hose routine once a week.  
    Great studio plan!
  19. Like
    Stephen reacted to oldlady in Power Slab Roller   
    have seen the 30 inch in action at Ellen Currans studio in Oregon.   wonderful machine that allowed her to work for many years even with arthritis.   talk to jim bailey about it if you really want that big one.   
    the drive board model is the one with equal sized table tops on each side of the roller.   the clay rides on a board covered with canvas in the original design.   i hate canvas because of the dust and use printers blankets with my 24 inch drive board model.   it can be backed up after rolling one way but you should loosen the slab to prevent bunched up clay on the return.    i have used it since buying it in 1991 or so.  not in production but never had a problem with it.
  20. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in Power Slab Roller   
    I did write a up on my 30 inch power Bailey years ago here. That 40 inch would be real monster.The 30 inch with the large outfield table is large enough for most all work. I love mine but have modified it. Since its a safety modification you can PM me about it. I could not live with the/off safety on push board.
    Dirt Roads also read my piece on mine and If I recall bought a 30 inch as well.
    I'm not sure what you want to know they are top of the line -ZERO issues ever-
    Is the 40 a used one??or new?
    let me know specifically what you want to know-its easy to use adjust and keep clean all good.
    The roller adjustment is super easy to use-I changed the dial to a crank handle(they still sell them)I use a slab Matt(no texture) and a piece of canvas as I have yet to find oldladys printer matts yet-I have tried but need to leave area for them.
    These machines do not use boards -it just rolls the two covers(whatever you want to use) out onto the table between two rollers.They are state of the art in slab rollers-
    I use the outfeed table as a work table as well as its about 8 feet over all and has about 6 feet of working surface on end outfeed.
  21. Like
    Stephen reacted to liambesaw in influx of pottery "machines" being sold online   
    Isn't that what the clay boss is?  Pretty sure that's a cheap Chinese wheel done somewhat right
  22. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from JohnnyK in Why make functional ware?   
    Art is too complicated in approach for me. It's more project than process. Weighing out 20 balls of clay, putting on some tunes and getting absorbed in the process is a very cool thing to me. It's also satisfying that folks are out there using my pots.
  23. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Pres in Are these kilns worth repairing?   
    Maybe sell one to offset the cost of setting up the other one. 
  24. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Electric quote seem fair?   
    I have gone out for bid twice for kiln plugs and have come to the conclusion that bids by most electricians just get absurd. I hired it out twice and ran my own once when I built a studio.
    First kiln was an oval and was sitting right in front of box. Just literally needed to have a breaker added and dedicated installed inches from box. Had bids ranging from $500 to $3500. Finally found an electrician that would do it by the hour. $120 first hour and $80 after. He spent about an hour and a half and charged me $200.
    When I moved into my house last year needed my two kilns hooked up and got in a hurry and went with a bid of $1200 which later the tech admitted he bid at 6 hours. I knew it would take 2 and a half three hours tops because he had to add a box and two plugs fished in wall but everything was on the wall right behind kiln. And it took the electrician they sent exactly 3 hours start to finish.
    Same company bid $1500 last summer to install power for a split AC 30 feet from the box. 
    Found a local electrical outfit that would do electric by the hour at flat $90 an hour, it took 3 hours and cost me $270 for the work that the other company 'bid' at $1500.
    I will never, ever pay anyone by the bid to work on my house ever again. Did I say never.
  25. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from preeta in Pit-firing pottery and bisqueing   
    are you going this route because you can't afford a kiln or because that's where your interest lies?  
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