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About neilestrick

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    Neil Estrick

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. When buying a respirator, it's also a good idea to check how much replacement cartridges will cost. The price can vary greatly from brand to brand and model to model.
  2. Oil will burn out in the bisque, but if there's enough of it in your clay it could affect the workability of the clay depending on how much was in it. I don't know how much it would take, but if it seems like it's working okay I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. If you're using a plastic bat or metal wheel head, do not put water on it. The clay won't stick when those surfaces are wet. Also make sure your hands are dry so yo udon't get water on the clay before you stick it to the wheel. With wood or pressboard bats, a quick wipe with a slightly damp sponge will help the clay to stick because those surfaces are absorbent, and will dry out the clay where it contacts the bat and make it come loose.
  4. Burnishing the foot with a hard rubber rib after trimming will make it easier to get it really smooth after firing.
  5. If all the elements glow when the kiln is on high, but it won't get to temp, then you need new elements. Turn it on high and carefully crack the lid and peek in to see if they're all working. If they are, you can call Paragon and see if they still have any elements in stock. Also call Euclids.com and they should be able to help you.
  6. Electric kilns are typically built with K23 bricks. They'll hold up fairly well at cone 10, though. I agree that putting fiber on the inside will be a mess. If you put it on the outside, like Bill said it will mess up the metal. And you can't put it under the metal because it will compress and lose its effectiveness. If you add it to the inside you'll be losing space in the kiln, which is already an issue with this type of kiln. I'd just go without it and make sure everything else is done properly. If you're looking at re-mortaring bricks where existing mortar has already been used, you'll need to totally clean off the old stuff in order for the new mortar to adhere. If you're looking at mortaring a crack that goes all the way across a lid, it's not likely to hold very well. The staggered joints of the bricks are what really give a lid its strength. A long mortar line from one side to the to the other has very little strength. If the floor is in better condition, consider swapping it with the lid.
  7. Many clay bodies contain sulfur, which will burn out during bisque and combine with water vapor to form sulfuric acid.
  8. @Potsbyz E-1 is totally vague. It just means that the kiln isn't getting hot. It could be just about anything. There are a couple of things you can do to start diagnosing the problem, though. First, you should unplug the kiln and visually inspect all the connections in the control panel to make sure a connection hasn't come loose or fried. Then check to see if all the elements are working. You can do that by placing a tiny piece of paper on each element and starting the kiln. The paper should burn if the element is working. If you have one element dead, then chances are it's broken and needs to be replaced. If both elements in the same ring are dead, then you probably have a dead relay (the switch that sends power to the elements- it's what you hear clicking). If all the elements work, then there's a chance they are worn out and can't get hot enough, and need to be replaced. Ultimately you want to test the element resistance with a multi-meter. You can get a functional digital meter at the hardware store for under $20. Once the resistance of the elements is off by 10% from factory original they should be replaced. Visually, if the element coils are falling over and bunching up, there's a good chance they're worn out.
  9. If you put the kiln in the garage, the fumes from the kiln will leave particles on everything in the garage, and can mess up the paint on your car. So at the very least you need to pull the car out, and you'll need to leave the garage door cracked and probably a fan moving air to get any sort of venting action. That can be limiting in the winter (if you have winter where you live). If you have a window in the garage, having a box fan in the window blowing out would help a lot, but you'd still need to crack the door to bring in fresh air. Even in the garage, and especially if it's an attached garage, I would use a downdraft vent, which will do a great job of removing fumes, improve the brightness of your glazes, and extend the life of your elements. If you decide to put the kiln in the house, I recommend a Vent-A-Kiln hood, which will pull out fumes and remove excess heat from the kiln. You'll still need a source of fresh air, which could be as simple as cracking a window on the other side of the room.
  10. The simplest way to do it is to buy a wall mount digital controller that you plug the kiln into. Skutt, Orton and Evenheat all make them. You just have to make sure it can handle the amperage of your kiln. Swapping out the sitter is not a simple thing if you're not experienced with kiln wiring.
  11. There are many good reasons for not firing pieces for someone who just walks in looking for a kiln. There are so many variables in ceramics that someone of limited experience could easily do something that would damage or ruin a kiln. Only firing for students, or with materials from the studio is the best way to keep one's equipment safe, so you will probably have a difficult time finding someone to fire your work. Liam has some good suggestions, but don't rule out joining a studio or signing up for a class. It's a great way to meet other artists and build your skills, and you'll get your work fired. As for the work you've already made, once you're in the studio, they may be willing to fire for you for a fee, as long as you can prove the firing temp of the materials you used.
  12. There's no control board in it, just good solid parts. They don't run especially smooth or quiet compared to modern wheels, but they keep on truckin'.
  13. It could be that the drive wheel is slipping on the metal cone. That wheel is rubber, and can get hard over time and lose grip. It's also possible that something else is loose in there and slipping under the load. I'd first open it up and see if anything is obviously loose. I think @Pres had found a source for the drive wheels a while back.
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