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Everything posted by neilestrick

  1. Between the downdraft vent and the room vent there shouldn't be any residue in there. Remember you'll need to run a 120 volt line out there for the fans (and a light?) in addition to the circuit for the kiln. Might be worth putting in a 100 amp sub panel in the shed and running everything from that- 80 amp circuit for the kiln and a 20 amp circuit for the vent fans and a light.
  2. No worries about turning them sideways to move them through doorways. As long as the body bands are relatively tight, which they will be coming from the factory, you can turn each section any which way and they'll stay together just fine. I install these kilns by myself, and rarely set one up without moving the sections through a standard 30-36" doorway or down stairwells. They make them sectional for that very reason. With two people it'll be a piece of cake. Put one of THESE through the wall, hang one of THESE from the ceiling and connect the two with a flexible duct, have a fresh air i
  3. If you're making a full shelf out of two half shelves, they can share the middle posts if you're using the 1.5" square posts.
  4. Kiln control boxes don't have heatsinks or cooling fans, because they're not necessary if the room is properly vented. They do have louvers in the control box for air flow, but that's it. A heatsink won't do any good if it's 140 degrees in the room.
  5. Can you post the recipe? 1-2% seems like a lot, as cobalt is very powerful stuff. The makeup of the glaze will determine if it's food safe or not.
  6. It looks like the glaze is more fluid in the second set of photos, so as it moves it's moving the oxide with it. Differences in firings or even placement in the kiln could definitely account for it. Differences in glaze thickness could also be having and effect. Try a thinner application and see if that helps. You could try stiffening up the glaze a bit by adding equal parts EPK and silica in 3% increments until it stops moving, or reduce the Gerstely in 3% increments. Personally, I'd try increasing EPK and silica first, because I like more clay in my recipes.
  7. Core-Lite shelves are a good compromise. They're lighter and stronger than normal shelves and cost only a little bit more, but they're not thinner. They stay very flat. With a 28" wide kiln, full shelves can be difficult to load, even if they're the thin ones.
  8. The clay doesn't get close enough to its melting point for warping to be an issue during bisque. If it does warp in bisque, that is likely due to clay particle orientation during the forming process, and would happen regardless of the position in which it's fired.
  9. The kiln is 33" wide exterior, and 16 inches clearance is recommended, so the smallest the shed can be is 65 inches wide, or roughly 6x6. The walls do no have to be fire-proof if safe clearances are maintained, however fire proofing is good for peace of mind. I would take a look at a pre-built metal shed or shed kit, as they are quick and easy to deal with. Put a cheap 400cfm inline fan in the ceiling to pull the hot air out.
  10. Glazing bisqueware is easier than glazing greenware, simply because the pieces are stronger and far less likely to be broken during the process. There are also a lot of decorating techniques that benefit from or require bisque firing before glazing. My work, for instance, can not be glazed without bisque firing because my pieces are covered with wax during the decorating process. I also work in thin porcelain, and trying to glaze many of my forms without bisque firing would be a train wreck. But if you're just applying glazes and your clay body and forms allow for single firing, then go for it
  11. Brand means nothing. It's all about glaze fit and COE as Hulk described. With commercial glazes there's not much you can do besides buy some and test them to see if they fit on your clay body. And just because one glaze in a glaze series fits, that doesn't mean that the others will. For instance, Amaco Potter's Choice glazes or Laguna's MS series are all different formulas, not just color variations of the same glaze. If you mix your own glazes then you can tweak glazes to fit.
  12. N100 or P100, labeled in purple. A mask will not fit as well as a respirator. Different brands and different models of respirators all fit differently, so if possible it's good to try one one before buying. Most people will find medium size to fit well. Personally, I have found 3M brand respirators to be the most comfortable, with softer plastic than others. Also look at the cost of replacement filter cartridges, as they can vary in price by quite a lot.
  13. Soda firing will show and accent every little bit of texture, and slip doesn't melt out smooth like glaze, so consider how you're applying the slip and how it will affect the final look. If you're talking about flashing slip, those are often applied very thin by dipping. Other slips can be brushed on thick for texture. I'd talk to whoever is supplying the slips to determine the best application method.
  14. If there's nothing at all on the display, then either it's not getting power or it's dead. There are a number of possibilities for it not getting power- the breaker in your electrical box could be flipped, the fuse on the kiln itself could be blown, the transformer in the kiln control box could be dead, or any wire in the system may have fried or come loose. Start with the breaker and the kiln fuse and go from there. I have seen the fuse holders on the kiln go bad/get loose. Also check that the ribbon connector on the controller circuit board hasn't come loose, assuming it's not the touch scre
  15. Well that's a bummer. They totally didn't list that relay correctly on their web site. I just went back to double check and it's shown as being DPST, which would work if that's what it really was. Their specs show it as being something totally different, though. Sorry about that, I trusted their listing.
  16. Holes are not necessary. The only thing that causes explosions is moisture, and in a thick piece or mostly closed piece, it takes a really long time for the inside to dry out completely, and you need to fire more slowly than with typical pots. You can fire a hollow, totally enclosed form with no holes, but you have to let it dry a really long time, do a good preheat in the kiln, and fire slowly. As for the paper mache, it will likely be too stiff to use as an armature. Clay shrinks as it dries, so whatever you use has to be able to compress as the clay shrinks, otherwise the clay will cra
  17. Does the bowl curve inward at all at the top? Are there undercuts anywhere on the foot? I'm wondering if it's trapped in the plaster or if it's stuck to the plaster. If the plaster hasn't hardened, then you may have mixed it wrong. What type of plaster did you use, and what water-plaster ratio did you use?
  18. I'd replace the entire power cord with a 30 amp cord and plug, wire up the outlet with 30 amp rated wire, and put it on a 25 amp breaker. Kiln Sitters were used on pretty much every kiln made for decades before everything went digital. They are rated for 240 volts and up to 50 amps, but can be used on any kiln that doesn't exceed those parameters. The serial plate is the actual kiln info.
  19. It appears that somebody over-fired some low fire clay and it melted all over the floor and got onto the wall bricks as well. You may be able to chip it off the floor, but every wall brick that has some on it needs to be replaced or it's just going to continue to eat into the bricks if you fire above low fire temps. And even at low fire it would be bad wherever it touches the elements. It looks like there are some other broken bricks that need replacing, too, like the one with the sitter tube going through it, and any brick that has a section of element groove missing more than about 2" wide.
  20. The primary benefit a pugger has over a plain mixer is that it can de-air the clay. You'll need a vacuum machine for that, regardless of how you're operating the pugger itself.
  21. I thought it was a plastic coating over metal? Probably not a good way to glue it on. I'd either peel all of it off or get a new wheel head.
  22. Buckets and containers were like gold in college. We couldn't afford to buy them, so we were always on the search for free ones. I remember in undergrad we had a gallon pickle jar that the dolomite was kept in, so I associated the smell of pickles with dolomite. When I got to grad school and opened the dolomite container and it didn't smell like dill, my first thought was that someone had put the wrong material in the container!
  23. I don't worry too much about the lid seal, because my class glazes tend to dry out more from being left open all day during glaze week than from sitting unused for the 8 weeks between glazing sessions. I have several glazes in 10 gallon Rubbermaid buckets, and those lids don't have any sort of seal but seem to avoid evaporation fairly well. I do like screw top lids, however I don't use them in my studio because there are several different types, some with locking mechanisms and such, and when mixed in with regular lids it just confuses people. Are you talking the entire handle needin
  24. The typical firing schedule used on manual kilns is one hour on low, one hour on medium, then high till the Sitter shuts it off. You can't easily mimic the controlled rates of climb that are used in digital kilns without sitting there watching a pyrometer and turning switches on and off every few seconds, and it's not necessary. Only the last 200 degrees really have much of an effect on the finished glaze, so don't over think it. Your kiln is unlikely to go too fast at the high end, but if it does, you can just spend more time on medium before switching to high. The good news is that people ha
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