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MikeFaul

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Everything posted by MikeFaul

  1. I have no idea how they were stored before they got to me. From what I can tell, the distributors don't stock Corelites, they order them and have them delivered to them or drop shipped to us. I can't speak to how they may have been stored before I received them. We store them on their edge up against the wall in the kiln room. That was up and until recently, I added a set of padded hooks on the walls in the kiln room, now they are stored on the hooks / on their edge up against the wall to keep them off the floor.
  2. We only use 1/2 shelves when we are firing off size wares like large vases or flower pots. That's only about 5% of our time... When the shelf split, the fracture ran between two of the three post stacks. As it turns out it also ran between cups. The cups along the fracture weighed it down and caused it to fall toward the center of the kiln along the fracture. This resulted in one of the posts sliding into the fracture, which in turn caused the entire stack to list to the back of the kiln. The cups at the top of the kiln slid down the shelf along the plane of the now tilted stack. The ones closest to the edge slipped to the edge, which was in contact with the kiln wall, and came to rest against the kiln wall. So the load shifted based on a chain reaction. Yes, Advancers are absolutely under consideration. Even if I have to buy a two or three a month... Yes, we temper all of our kiln furniture at bisque. Yes, we did just buy a new set of posts / stilts for the shelves. These were in use in all incidents where the shelves fractured. In all but one firing, they were above the point of fracture. We use to use 1/2 shelves, but stopped using them to reduce the number of posts and increase the number of pots per shelf.
  3. Shipping about 200 cups to Korea... Who woulda thunk it!?!

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      Makes you feel warm inside like when my spoon rests went to China

    3. Denice

      Denice

      I hope you made a good profit.

    4. glazenerd

      glazenerd

      All things are possible to them that believe.

  4. Min... I have my distributor working on replacements... As an update, we have now lost an additional five 26" Corelite shelves.That's a total of seven fractured shelves in the last ten days. The situation is a bit out of control. I've contacted our distributor and they are contacting Standard who wholesales them for Resco. I've also sent an email to tech support at Resco. Here are my new observations: Shelves are now splitting in glaze (^6) and bisque (^05) fires in addition to the fast ^10 fire mentioned at the top of the thread, I pulled all the shelves, vacuumed the kilns, leveled each spacer, put in a flat shelf on the bottom, and checked for level, and then we lost the additional 5 shelves. I believe 4 out of 5 of these shelves were about 90 days old and had less than 20 to 25 firings on them. The new floor shelf is supported by three spacer posts (1.5" x .5") in a triangular pattern. All kiln stacks were built over top of the spacer posts. Shelves are fracturing in multiple kilns, I tested all elements and ran diagnostics on the kilns, they are working fine, Cooler fires tend to produces fractures along multiple axises, hotter fires along one axises nearly dividing the shelf in two pieces. On the last glaze, the load shifted and one cup slid into the kiln wall. It WAS NOT fused to the fire brick. (Shelves splitting on the cool down?) I checked dates and all of this started 3 days after we increased our firing frequency to near daily to clear a few large orders we are processing. We started firing the kilns 5 or 6 times a week. Each shelf was loaded with approximately 30 to 33 cocktail cups, each cup weights about .75 - .85 lbs. Question: Could the rigors of firing near daily have an affect on the shelves? Alternative shelves to consider for production environment?
  5. We use full rounds all the way up the stack. We use to use halves, but when I'm firing a full load of Rocks cups, I need every single cubic inch I can get. We use a 3 post arrangement between shelves. In bisque I allow a 1/2" space between the rim and the bottom of the next shelf, except when I get to the thermocouple. I make sure there we have enough vertical space to provide 2" of clearance on all sides of the thermocouple.
  6. I loaded it myself, the only reason I recently loaded it was because the first and much older shelf fractured. That shelf had been the floor shelf since 2013. It was only removed to replace the elements and vacuum the kiln. I suppose the stresses building up over time would explain the first fracture, but what about the second? It happened on the first fire. There was no signs of warpage when I loaded it, and I did check to see if there was a wobble, and there was none. Now, our posts have some miles on them, and they have been dropped and knocked around. So, it is entirely possible we had a post that was no perfectly level. Plus we had some pots blow from too much moisture a few days ago, so there could have been some debris that wasn't completely cleaned out from the kiln. I did find some bisque shards, but nothing under the spacers, when I cleaned out the shelf. It's possible the posts need to be replaced. I'll do that as precaution, and check them over to see if they need to be ground. Good suggestion... This good stuff, I'm learning a lot... No one ever told me how post the spacers when setting up a kiln. If I can get by with just 3 that would be nice.
  7. Here is the configuration of spacers on the first fracture: X X X X X X X X Keep in mind, that configuration was in place since 2013 without incident... After the first shelf broke, I modified the spacer patter as follows: X X X X X X X X X X X X The second shelf split on the first fire of this config... It was a newer shelf, much newer.
  8. No, the shelves above are not aligned with the spacers below, but we've been using this post stack for 2 years without incident. If the cause is misaligned force vectors it must be an accumulated fatigue thing. And, if that's the case why would it have happened on the new shelf just as fast and old shelf? The fast fire could be causing the negative space above the shelf to heat way faster than the space below. Good Point! We might have to go to a custom fast fire with a hold at the low end of the ramp to allow the bottom to heat up before moving up to the top of the schedule. I would hate to raise the shelf. We fight for cubic inches, to increase our firing yield, every day... I did not know that more posts brought nothing to the party. I'll try reducing the number of posts and align them with the rest of the posts in the stack. It's worth a test. Thanks!
  9. What's wadding? Never stored on concrete... Recently replaced a shelf that fractured in a firing two days earlier... That shelf was just on the bottom and the fast schedule was run. This shelf was pulled from a wall rack and replaced the bottom / floor shelf.
  10. Yes, when the first shelf fractured we had 8 spacers. They were all 1.5 x 1.0" in size. I described the pattern of placement in my response to Babs... On the second shelf I added four additional spacers thinking that warpage may be the problem. These we placed under the center of the shelf in a square patter around the venting holes. The floor is 18" square porcelain tile, not concrete. It was completely dry for the 48 hours before firing. We have a wall hook system for storage of shelves. Shelves go from the kiln onto the wall hooks, not the floor. I put this system in about 6 weeks ago when I tripped over some electrical cords and went flying into a pile of kiln shelves. I spent nearly a half hour on the floor with a ripped up knee and nothing to grab onto but hot kilns trying to figure out I could get to a standing position. Moisture is a possibility, but probably not a probability given it was the floor shelf that's seldom if ever pulled from the kiln.
  11. Under the floor shelf, we place a total of 8 1.5" x 1.0" spacers. Two spacers about 5" apart on each of four sides in a cross pattern. So on pair opposes the other. The spacers are all original. I don't think they have been changed out since 2013. We recently changed the elements and thermocouple. At that time the entire kiln was vacuumed out before the spacers were returned and the shelf reloaded. I did not specifically check for level, so unless they lost their level over time there was no reason for them not to be level. Can they change shape over time?
  12. Mark... It's good to be back... I had some serious health issues last year that bit into my time. It was all I could to stay afloat. Fortunately, they have all mended and I'm back to my old self. I was thinking if we inverted every other cup on the inner rings, side stacked, and double stacked we could increase our bisque yield by 75%! Why stop at just one cup!?!? I think we are on a quest to redefine "tight pack"... :-) That was a bisque fire, ^05. No surfaces touched during the fire. Some pieces may have slid around when the shelves split though...
  13. Just wondering if anyone has encountered this issue. I have well tempered core-lite kiln shelves (26" rounds) I use at the base of my kilns. Just recently we started do fast low fire firings to set underglaze. The last two fires we lost the bottom shelf (bottom shelf only). I'm attaching photos. We've been using the same pack pattern for more than 2 years including a 3 post lift to the next shelf without issue. None of the other kilns have manifested the issue, but this is the only one we've been running fast fires to ^05. I'm thinking the speed of the fire has something to do with it, but that's only a theory. We have run fast fires to the same ^05 on the same program in our 18" kiln with 18" full rounds without incident. We've been doing this for more than 2 years. The first time it happened (yesterday), the shelf was older, about 3 years old. I would say approximately 200+ firings on it. My first suspicion was that some sort of fatigue had occurred. So, I replaced it with a kiln that was less than 6 months old and had less than 50 firings on it. On the very first firing the exact same fracture occurred. No shelves above the bottom shelf fractured or cracked. All had the same post layout, and all posts were directly above one another. The first time it happened there were only 2 full shelves above the bottom shelf plus one lightly loaded (3rd shelf). The second time it happened there was one single fully loaded shelf above bottom shelf. The types of pots, loads, and weights per shelve were identical in the two firings. After the first shelf fractured I added four (1) 1.5" x 1.0" posts around the center of the bottom shelf for additional support. If there are any clarifying questions I can respond here, thoughts and suggestions are welcome... Mike
  14. Expecting orders for more than 400 mugs in the next 5 days... Too much fun!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. bciskepottery
    3. glazenerd

      glazenerd

      Mike:

      I will be in my recliner napping: wake me when you are done.

    4. Joseph Fireborn

      Joseph Fireborn

      a days work for you aye?

  15. Still looking for a production potter, had my latest no show for work today... Wondering why so many people love clay, but don't seem to like working with it professionally?

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. GiselleNo5

      GiselleNo5

      With that work ethic? I bet they're still working at Round Table.

    3. MikeFaul

      MikeFaul

      What Mark says is so true, we've started working with local schools. I met with the head of the ceramics program at a local university yesterday. We're forming an intern partnership. It will take years to bear good fruit, but I'm thinking its the only long term solution.

    4. GiselleNo5

      GiselleNo5

      Whenever people ask ne for advice on getting started, I say, take a couple classes and then apprentice for a local potter. So valuable and benefits everyone.

  16. I have not seen them in person, but I've talked to Skutt about them, and have them spec'd (16 CuFt) to replace the 1231's. When we built out the studio I added double swing French doors on the side of the building for this reason. Supposidly, you can fit them through a standard door opening if you remove the kiln door. I don't have my worksheets with me, but I think the 16 takes us from 85 to 135 pieces per fire. In about the same footprint. This would be the largest single phase kiln they make I believe. They haven't published the ambient BTUs generated by them, but the techs told me it was around 32k / HR, so we would have to upgrade our heat abatement system.
  17. Welcome Rachel... I think this depends largely on two things: Personal philosophy: There are some folks who feel they don't want anything less than their best work out in the marketplace. From what I've seen, most potters in this group tend to destroy their seconds. If you're not in this group, then... Are the defects such that the mugs remain functional? There are many defects that can disqualify a mug from functional use. If the mug remains functional, you could offer them as a seconds sale at a reduced price. Even have a second bin at a show, or a flash sale on Facebook or Etsy to clear your back stock. If the work is not functional anymore (i.e. safe for drinking and consumption of foods), then you can go back to step #1 and destroy the mugs for trash, or Turn them into a sculptural form like a cascading fountain for the garden, and sell it at an even higher price, or Break them up into shards and use them is a mosaic of some sort, or Find another artist through networking, who might be interested in the shards. At my shop, we don't have much time to do repurposing, so items are either first quality functional and shipped, or second quality functional and held for flash sales. Everything else is destroyed and thrown out in the trash. I once had a mosaic artist ask if she could have our shards, but she never returned to pick them up. We don't want seconds hanging around, it's too expensive. They start to take up precious square footage, and that's rent. So, they have to go to make room for new designs and first quality work. No-one wants our mistakes laying around on tabletops either, we would rather use first quality pieces for tool cups, and personal mugs, and cups. When a customer comes in we want to create a first quality impression. So, look at it this way. Suppose you took all of your monthly costs and divided them by your studio square footage and figured your cost per square foot. Let's just for fun say that came out to $20 / Sq Ft. So, maybe you have those 1,000 mugs on a 15 foot wall stacked 12inches deep. So that's 15 square feet. Those mugs are costing you $300 / month! So, why pay that much to store things that you call a "Wall of Shame"? That's 15 SQF of space you could use for first quality work, or something that brings you pleasure, or a piece of equipment that makes you more productive. So, I like the way you're thinking... Time to get rid of that stuff, one way or the other... Hope that helps... Have fun!
  18. I have two 11.5 cu ft Skutt 1231's and a little Skutt 1818 I use for glaze testing and short runs. One of my 1231's u have setup with standard elements and use it primarily as our bisque kiln. The other has AMP elements, and it's my glaze kiln.
  19. Gee... I though Pres was short for President of Ceramic Arts Daily :-) Now I come to find out you're an average schmoe like the rest of us...
  20. You're right, there's a 3D studio a block over from us, They have a few 3D printers, I helped them get their ceramics program started, I may walk over and see what they know.
  21. Do you know of anyone using a 3D printer for this? RAM Process told us it wouldn't work. One was reason was time to fabricate the master given our production volumes. Second, was the need to have all of the cuts taper out slightly to facilitate release of the die once cast in CC. I've never done this before so I'm only going on what they've told me. The CNC can cut with a bit that will automatically create the correct tapper. We spoke with a tile shop in Michigan and they said go CNC for the same reasons. Their fabrication time from digital art to model was 4 hours, they cast 4 to 5 dies in a single day. That's a production load I would need to be able to operate at when we get to full capacity.
  22. I'm by no means a porcelain aficionado, but we use Standard 365 for the occasional corporate award we do.
  23. Art Girl... You're fortunate as this is new construction, your slab is probably level, so sealer will be fine. For folks who come along who don't have a level slab... We had an extremely unlevel slab that was actually two slabs poured at two different times over the years. The entire things sloped in about four different directions. We shimmed it to level then used concrete backer board. We then laid 18" square porcelain tile on the backer board.
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