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neilestrick

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About neilestrick

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    Porcelain Pottery & Kiln Repair

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    http://www.neilestrickgallery.com

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. They can sit forever, but you don't want them to get all dusty, as that dust may show up in the glaze. So if they sit for more than say a week in the studio you may want to cover them once they're dry, or keep them in a cabinet.
  2. I don't see slow cooling as being any different than anything else we do with firing schedules/methods. We alter firing speeds, add holds to increase melt, do reduction to change the look of the clay and glazes, etc. How is slowing down the cooling cycle any different? Plus cooling rates depend entirely on the size of your kiln. There is no 'standard' cooling rate. In my big kiln it's 34 hours until I can unload. In my smallest kiln it's 5 hours. Which one is correct? By choosing my cooling rate I can get exactly what I want from my glazes. Adjusting a glaze for the cooling cycle is no differ
  3. A typical firing schedule is 1 hour on low, 1 hour on medium, high til done. Done typically means when the Sitter shuts it off. Instead, you'll need to put witness cones in the kiln near a peep hole, and watch through the hole for the cones to bend. If you're firing to cone 6, I would use something like cones 2, 4 & 6, so you have some warning. If you want to get fancy, use two packs, one low and one high, so you can see if it's firing evenly. Use Large cones, set into a piece of clay, and put a bunch of holes in the clay with a needle tool- it'll help them dry out faster and keep them fro
  4. Just take a wire brush to any loose rust. If you want to paint the boxes you could but the rust will likely come through the paint and ruin it eventually. Don't worry about discoloration of the bricks or stainless steel.
  5. Are you sure the grooves weren't already there from the beginning, and you just didn't notice them? I suspect that when the elements were installed and pushed into the grooves that they cut into the bricks a bit. I would not expect them to be able to push into the bricks with enough force to do that just from expansion and contraction during firing, but I suppose it's possible if they're moving and/or expanding a lot. Either way, I wouldn't worry about it. They're not going to ruin the brick, and I would be very surprised if they get any worse.
  6. Pottery supply places are probably buying them from the kiln manufacturers so that the customer gets the parts in their packaging. No question that they're getting the right part that way. It costs more though, because there's markup every step of the way.
  7. You'll want to contact the manufacturer to see what the element resistance should be. They should be within 10% of the numbers they tell you. You'll need to go from inside the control box, at the element ends.
  8. Pretty sure all relays are imported at this point. Every one I've ever seen has been made in China. I use THESE, and just search the part number on Google to see who has the best price at any time. Newark, Mouser, Allied, Online Components, etc. I've ordered from all of them over the years. I used to use the P&B/TE version, but had a couple of bad batches last year after years without any issues and switched to Schneider. These are the standard relays that fit most modern kilns that have rectangular sealed relays. Usually only when you get into kilns over 48 amps do you see relays differe
  9. Crimpers like this work well, and can cut most wires. For cutting element pigtails, a mini bolt cutter is much easier. For relays just find the part number on the side of the relay and do a Google search. Keep a set on hand for when they're needed. It wouldn't hurt to change them when you do the elements, but you can typically get at least 2 sets of elements between relay changes. Also keep thermocouples on hand.
  10. That would be the best way to go. Try to slow it down at the high end if possible, like maybe go more smaller turnups once it gets to red heat. Shoot for 100f/hr for the last 200F
  11. Make sure the controller is set for the type of thermocouple you are using.
  12. Good catch! I was posting from my phone and didn't notice.
  13. You probably have a dirty connection at the element. Replace the nut and bolt, washer, etc, clean off the end of the element with a wire brush and a little WD-40. Replace the wire, too. Don't just cut it back. You need everything clean and shiny. Any wires that are looking crispy should be replaced.
  14. Still not clear. You drilled the old orifices larger? Propane orifices should be smaller than natural gas orifices. If you made the orifices larger, then that would account for the excess fuel and resulting soot.
  15. You drilled the orifices larger than before, or you got new orifices and drilled them to the appropriate size?
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