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neilestrick

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About neilestrick

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    Porcelain Pottery & Kiln Repair

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  • Website URL
    http://www.neilestrickgallery.com

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  • Location
     Grayslake, IL

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  1. At Alpine kilns we just used a basic simple toggle switch to go between the top and bottom thermocouples, since the controllers only had one TC input. It was done that way for decades and with several different pyrometers and controllers. The switch shouldn't affect the reading of the thermocouple as long as there isn't a temperature difference across the connections, which there won't be because they're right next to each other. It's the same reason the thermocouple blocks that connect the TC to the wires at the kiln are just simple brass connections with screws, not TC specific metals. If th
  2. Sounds like a stuck relay. Relays can fail in the 'on' position, and when that happens they keep power running to the elements despite the controller telling them not to. Unplugging the kiln is the only way to shut it off. Unless the relays are fairly new, I'd replace all of them since they wear at about the same rate.
  3. You can put a simple toggle switch on your control box to switch between thermocouples.
  4. Your kiln was built in November of 1975. The serial number is the production date. If the floor is cracked all the way through, put a piece of heavy sheet metal under it to support it. If the lid is cracked all the way through, you'll need to replace it, either with a new one or pirate a slab off another old kiln. The lid will probably have to ship freight, so it'll cost at least $300 total for a new one. It looks like you've got several broken bricks with element holders falling out. They'll need to be replaced. You'll need to confirm with L&L whether or not the new bricks and holder
  5. There are going to be costs associated with any e-commerce system. Credit cards, web site, etc. Whatever you do, you either eat the costs or you increase your prices to compensate. Most people won't notice or care about a 5% increase to cover the cost of doing business. And if Etsy brings you more customers than having your own web site for sales, then it's more than worth it. I use Weebly, and it works well for me. However I think the hardest part of selling online is not building a web site, but rather getting people to find it. My web site is my least busy method for selling pots, but
  6. Make sure you're using a digital meter. Analog meters (the ones with a needle) aren't very good for reading the small changes in element resistance.
  7. It doesn't show up in the unity, even at .02. At 0.0008 Hyperglaze just rounds it down to zero.
  8. 200ppm = 0.2g/kg, so if I'm doing the math right, that's .02 grams in a 100g test batch, or 2g in a 10,000g full batch.
  9. Everything you just said is a possibility. If your clay body can handle cone 6, then fire to 6. You'll have to test it to know for sure. If it can't handle it, then fire to cone 5. If the glaze doesn't melt as much as you'd like at 5, increase the frit or Gerstley Borate in the recipe by a couple percent to increase the melt. Cone 5 with a 10 minute hold will get you to cone 5.5, and that may be a great solution, too. Test, test, test. What clay body are you using? Someone here may have experience with it.
  10. Yes, you can definitely do things like that with small items because the ratio of the flame to the volume of the piece allows you to heat it fairly evenly. But to move up to larger objects you would need a larger flame, which basically means a kiln. I'm not saying it can't be done with a laser at some point, I just haven't seen anything that leads me to believe we're close to that, at least for studio ceramics. My response does not come from stubbornness or lack of interest. Industry does a lot of things faster and more efficiently than studio ceramics, but that doesn't mean we're stuc
  11. I'm having trouble seeing how needing a laser firing setup is any different than needing a kiln. Both require a specific appliance at the site to get the job done.
  12. Congrats! If you can get a gas line out there, a shop heater hanging in the corner would work great.
  13. Even for water that has a lot of minerals in it, their total % is very small. There are very few glaze ingredients that will cause a noticeable change in how the glaze melts if you change them by 1%, which is way more than you would get from water. At most I think the minerals may have a small effect on flocculation/deflocculation.
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