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Dick White

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  1. Neph sye is mo'betta soda. If the soda spar is not melting enough at cone 6 without any boron available, then step up to more sodium in the neph sye.
  2. Can you get nepheline syenite? That's a feldspathic mineral that has more sodium than soda feldspar, so it will melt sooner. Also research Bristol glazes. Those are glazes first used in the Bristol England potteries in the mid-19th century that contained zinc oxide as one of the fluxes in place of the toxic lead oxide. These will likely not be as glossy as you want, because you'll need boron to get a better gloss at cone 6.
  3. If it is a new kiln, the warrantee should apply for a replacement lid. Contact Skutt.
  4. What she said in the edit. If you got one raw at that price, I will order 2, as that is cheaper than the dumb 3 button model.
  5. If you are looking at thrift shop blenders, don't get a Waring, only Hamilton Beach or Oster. The threads on the bottom of the blender pitcher (where it screws onto the blade base) are the same as a standard mason canning jar. Mix your glaze in the mason jar, put the blade thingy on the jar, flip it onto the blender, and hit puree. Store your glazes in the mason jar and reblend whenever needed. Nothing wrong with Waring blenders as blenders, but the thread on the pitcher is different, can't use mason canning jars.
  6. The above information about the hardware from @Bill Kielb and @neilestrick is good. A comment about your crystalline firings - it is good to keep the loads light unless you have a super powerful kiln like the L&L JH series (named for the late Jesse Hull, a crystallier who helped them design it specifically for crystalline work). A light load allows ordinary kilns to maintain the specific fast ramps needed for crystalline work. You mentioned you load the few pieces all on the bottom shelf. That puts all the thermal load in the bottom zone and nothing but hot air for the upper zones. Over time, that will result in uneven wear on the elements, leading to uneven firings. Add a few small shelves and spread the work within the kiln.
  7. That's a very good price for the Genesis controller, I wonder why they are selling them for half the price Bartlett sells them - unless as @neilestrick suggested, that is the upgrade price if you want a Genesis instead of the standard version on a new kiln you are buying from them. If you are getting one raw, as @Bill Kielb and Neil said, it is a direct swap for the Bartlett V6CF or L&L Dynatrol (which is their private label on the V6CF). The wires will be the same except the thermocouple terminal has been moved from the left side (facing the back of the board) to the bottom of the board. It will not fit on a Skutt, as their version of the Bartlett product has a larger face. If you are building from scratch for a manual kiln conversion, that will take more parts as Bill mentioned. I have built 4 so far for manual kilns, not hard. Will require some minor sheet metal work, a specific transformer, relays, and high temperature wire. Let us know what additional help you need. As for the WiFi, in addition to the firmware push and KilnAid app for monitoring status on your smartphone, it is necessary for the internal logging of firing data (it needs the WiFi connection to know the current date) and for transferring the logged data to your computer for subsequent analysis. The operation of the WiFi is simple - it must be within range of your existing WiFi network. My kilns are on the other side of a brick wall that blocked the signal until I installed a repeater. Note that the WiFi-to-smartphone interface is strictly read-only. You cannot control the kiln in any way, just get current status. On this aspect, the status data runs through the Bartlett cloud server so you can monitor it from anywhere your phone has cell service.
  8. Yes, definitely a refractory coating, about 1/16" thick. It is cracking and lifting off the surface in a few places. I've avoided manipulating it out of fear it will all peel off. Thanks Bill for finding that bit of a Skutt maintenance page. It definitely looks like a flipper. Interesting idea Mark for the ITC. I don't think I have enough left over from when I did my whole kiln over 10 years ago, so perhaps I'll order some more to do the tops-soon-to be-bottoms. Thanks for the advice.
  9. Pictures in the morning. These are OEM Skutt lids, no repairs that I know of. I installed them probably 10 years ago and am the only one who performs maintenance in that studio (new elements annually, kiln sitter parts as needed, etc.) and I never did anything to the lids. Yes, I understand lids are not generally coated, or at least none of the dozen or more L&Ls and Paragons I've worked on over the years had any coating on the brick lid, but these Skutts do.
  10. I have two older Skutt 1227s at the community studio on which the coating on the underside of the lid is cracking, separating from the brick, and dropping crumbs onto the ware on the top shelf. Does anyone know of a repair method for this coating? TIA, dw
  11. Your math is correct. 2% of 100g of base material is 2g of colorant. 2% of 1000g of base is 20g of colorant. Etc. I don't have an absolute answer whether 2% of cobalt will give you the eggshell blue you want. Too many variables - cobalt carb or oxide? how pale is pale in your opinion? Test a small batch to see if it comes out the way you like it.
  12. It is my opinion and practice that shelves should always (if possible) be arranged so that they are between rounds of the elements. You want the elements to be heating the wares on the shelf, not the edge of the shelf. This is particularly important at red heat and above. At those temperatures, the heat is transmitted by radiation, not by convection. The elements are the source of the heat in the kiln, and should be exposed to the ware. And yes, you need to build around the thermocouple(s) too.
  13. We have been using Advancers and the less expensive Bailey version in our gas kilns at the college for many years. They do not need to be coated with kiln wash as any glaze runs just pop off with a stiff putty knife or the flat side of a worn green grindstone. As they are not washed, there is no up or down side; they go into the kiln however they are picked up from the rack. Yes, the ends of the posts need a light coat of wash as they will slightly fuse to the shelf. They have remained perfectly flat all these years, unlike regular shelves. There will still be some need to ensure the flat slabs can expand and contract, as we have seen some porcelain plucking as with other types of shelf. We use a bit of alumina hydrate in the foot wax - the wax burns off but leaves the alumina to act as little ball bearings for the ware to roll on. We also use them in our front-loader electrics, but must be very careful to mount them where they are between elements. The main "hazard" with them is you must not let them get wet. The water will be absorbed and must dry out very slowly; if not, the shelf will be like a piece of wet greenware in a bisque firing. Except that the steam explosion will blow out the side of the kiln. I have never heard anybody regret buying them.
  14. The problem in extreme cold is not the thermocouple or the control board hardware. It is the control board software. The K-type thermocouple will read temperatures well below freezing, as noted in the table posted by Bill above. Also note in the table that the millivoltages are all negative. Several pages further down in the table, where the temperature crosses 0C/32F, the voltage turns positive. The Bartlett controllers are built to read only positive voltage from the thermocouple. It doesn't "understand" negative voltage so rather than operate in a confused manner, it turns itself off.
  15. Can you get your hands on a clamp meter? It has "fingers" that encircle an electric wire to determine how much amperage is flowing through the wire. Per the design specs, the kiln, with good elements, should be drawing 45 amps when full on. A clamp meter on the main power wire should have a reading in this neighborhood. Check it while the kiln is maxing out and stalling to see if it is still drawing full power.
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