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Dick White

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Everything posted by Dick White

  1. If you want a nice glossy turquoise, here is one that I and an associate at my studio developed, derived from Val's (Cushing) Turquoise from years ago that became non-functional in recent times because of the material changes in Custer Feldspar and Gerstley Borate. We did some initial brute force adjustments with glaze chem software, but the color changed. After running several Currie grids, we learned that the turquoise color in this glaze is extremely sensitive to the silica level. After further experimentation, this recipe has the turquoise color and is stable with the both lemon test and a
  2. An issue with the GG and a Shimpo wheel is that the mechanism of the GG is that counterclockwise torque (assuming a typical US counterclockwise wheel) on the base of the GG causes the inertia of the sliding top to press clockwise with respect to the base, which causes the arms to move inward on their spiral tracks. This is exactly the same as the initial tightening on the ware while putting it in the center. This keeps it gripped during the trimming. However, the Shimpo wheel stops very quickly when you back off the pedal, much faster than other brands. As a consequence, the top of the GG ten
  3. I have seen a few rare similar situations where upon close inspection of the sitter, there was something impeding its movement. Check that the sensor bar moves freely, and that the bar itself is not worn or damaged. (I have also seen inadvertent mixups of the cones. An 04 cone is brown both before and after firing, while a mid- or high-fire cone is a pastel color before firing and white afterwards. You probably didn't, but that's what I said the time I did it...) After checking everything, including elements, etc. as noted above by Neil, refire the load - and put some witness cones in so you
  4. The "issue" with the wattage being the same in both the 7 cu.ft. 1027 and the 10 cu.ft. 1227 is that the electric code allows plugs only up to 60 amp circuits. With the 125% rule, the most amperage a kiln can pull on the 60A circuit is 48A. So, to keep the 1227 as a plug-in kiln, it can only pull 48A, or the same wattage as the smaller 1027, which then limits the top temperature to cone 8 (optimal, expect cone 6 is regular use). If you want enough wattage/amps in the larger kiln to go to cone 10, then you need to either hard wire it to an 80+ amp circuit or go to a commercial location where yo
  5. The "official" calibration instructions specify that with the calibration disk installed inside, the inner edge of the claw should be 1/16" from the outer face of the drop weight plate, and the plate should barely clear the claw as it swings down. My easy method for adjusting to those specs is 1) raise the drop weight plate well into the claw so it can't drop. 2) Use a common 1/16" twist drill bit as a feeler gauge and adjust the claw in or out as needed until the drill bit slips out but doesn't wiggle in between the plate and claw. 3) Tighten the claw, and loosen the plate to slide it down un
  6. Pres, I have done exactly what you are asking, exactly the way Neil suggests. Actually, done it twice, once with a Genesis and the other time with a scavenged Bartlett. You will need to find a nice metal enclosure of the right size and do some drilling and cutting. Mount the controller through a square hole cut in the face of the box, and mount the various relays, transformer, switches, and terminal strips inside on the back of the box. Install all the various wiring from place to place inside, and put the power cord through a big hole in the side (with an appropriate cable clamp), three pigta
  7. It's even worse. The Skutt 181 is nominally a 240V kiln, but operates the top and bottom sections separately, each on one 120V leg, and each needs a neutral. Hence, the 4 prongs: 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground. So, if you want to keep the little Skutt as a bisque kiln, you'll have to leave it on its current circuit, and install a new circuit as described by Neil and Mark for the new big one.
  8. Please tell us the exact models of these 2 kilns. The number on the sitter label is not the kiln model. The old red one is a Skutt, but we need the model number of the kiln to ascertain why it was designed with a 4 prong plug. And similarly, the make and model of the new kiln that has the black LT-3K sitter.
  9. Replacing the elements in that kiln is not very complicated. It's small so it's easy to get inside and manipulate things, and the grooves in Paragon kilns are deep enough that you don't need to fiddle with pins at every corner. The connection between the power wire(s) and the tails of the elements is simultaneously easy and tricky. They are brass screw-in-the-bolt connectors, not crimps, so you don't need any special tools other than pliers and a small socket wrench. When reassembling it with the wires through the hole in the connector, be sure to tighten the bolt as tight as you can. Hold the
  10. Amy, as noted by Jeff above, the brand of mill would be helpful. Judging by your comment of mixing and pugging with the same machine, I will guess it is probably a Peter Pugger? If so, there are a few tricks to make it work. First, is it really mixing or just spinning? The hopper needs to be full or the smaller amount of clay will just accumulate around the arms of the churning bar and the whole mess just spins without mixing. This can be exacerbated by wet clay put in the hopper on top of drier clay so that the outside of the barrel is slippery and everything inside just slides around. The mi
  11. Ron, wait until it is cool and unloaded and then inspect everything carefully. There are several possibilities with those manual Skutts. There could be a broken element - that will need to be replaced as there are no long-term solutions to broken elements. There could be crapped out connections where the lead wires are crimped to the element pigtail. Those can be fixed in place. There could be a failed 3-way switch so that no power is getting to the element. That is harder to detect without removing the switch to inspect it. Note just FYI, the original manufacturer of those swit
  12. Diane, Finding a vendor who carries a particular product and identifying the particular product are 2 different challenges. For better or worse, there is only one remaining producer of decal paper in the US market for hobby potters to make monochrome laser-printed decals for ceramic use. That company is Fired On Images. When I say for better or worse, this company has gone on a legal rampage in recent years claiming that their process for laser printing images on decal paper with a high iron toner (HP and Canon being the main printers having such a toner) with the end purpose of ceramic d
  13. ok, late to the party as usual... I have that exact same kiln as my test kiln and for infrequent small one-offs I need quickly. In my experience, the original factory elements (I bought mine new) started throwing the FTL code for cone 6 firings much sooner in its life than I expected. I could do some lower firings without error, but the FTL was consistent at cone 6. I measured the resistance and it was barely more than 10% over, the usual recommended trigger point for routine maintenance replacements, though in other kilns I have pushed them to 14 or 15% before they are totally useless. So thi
  14. The designation "Model K" relates to the kiln sitter, not the kiln. I can't determine which Cress model it might be because the pictures are too small. If you can get a good picture of the electrical rating plate on the side of the control box, we can learn more about it.
  15. FFF Feldspar is one of many brands of potash feldspar. Feldspars come in two main categories - potash and soda. The basic mineral contains both sodium and potassium, but in varying proportions depending on the source where it was mined. If there is slightly more potassium than sodium, it is classified as a potash spar; and conversely, if it contains slightly more sodium, it is called a soda spar. The various brands of feldspars often can be substituted with another of the same classification, but crossing the potash and soda spars may not work as well. In some areas of the world, the feldspars
  16. My view is that only "food safe" (a term which is actually quite fuzzy, but let's not get into that right now) glazes should be used on the entirety of any ware that is intended for functional eating. Both inside and outside surface, handles, etc. should be "food safe." This is not because anybody might be licking the outsides and handles of their coffee mugs - they won't; but because the notion of "not food safe" is usually synonymous with a less stable glass that might leach a metal oxide colorant. But further, if that glass is not stable and durable, then it probably won't survive repeated
  17. Further to Min's comment, you say you glazed the inside and painted and glazed the outside. What did you paint it with? I am confused by your use of both words "paint" and "glaze."
  18. Just a small technical note from my experience - I have found that there is little or no shrinkage in the bisque firing IF your work is already bone dry. The first round of shrinkage (typically about half of the total shrinkage in stoneware clays) is the loss of water from the moist clay. If your wares are put in the bisque kiln still slightly moist and candled dry, then there will appear to have been shrinkage between the time you closed the kiln and opened it after the firing, but that shrinkage actually occurred during the candling to dry, not during the firing to bisque temperature. Stonew
  19. Further to what liambesaw said, cone 06 and cone 6 are not the same. There is about 400F difference between them. Cone 06, the brown ones, are typically use for bisque or earthenware glazes, while cone 6 is for mid-fire glazes. Most of the ones you were given are very old (but still good) as they are packed in vermiculite. Also, the cone 6 ones are white, now they are pink. The ones in the box in the lower right corner of your picture are self-supporting bisque cones, which will stand up by themselves on the kiln shelf where you can look through a spy peep (while wearing appropriate eye protec
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. If it is a new kiln, the warrantee should apply for a replacement lid. Contact Skutt.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 ti
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