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Posts posted by neilestrick

  1. 33 minutes ago, Pyewackette said:

    I've been wondering, and I'm sorry if this is an extremely dumb question, but should I decide to turn that building into something else later, say a playhouse (obviously first removing the kiln), would any kind of harmful residue be a problem?  I will be using a kiln vent. in addition to the vent for the building.

    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. 19 minutes ago, Pyewackette said:

    I am pretty sure trying to move it like that, on end, undertall, and distinctly underpowered, the risk of damage to the kiln section is crazy high.

    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 intake somewhere down low. 390cfm should be enough for a 6x6 shed. I have one in my much larger studio and it makes a noticeable difference.

    EDIT: Your post came in at the same time. Yours would work for sure, but probably be a lot louder.

  3. 7 minutes ago, Pyewackette said:

    I've got a pretty good idea about how heatsinks work for my computer, and the controller is a computer, so it seems reasonable to think a properly installed heatsink of the correct construction would be helpful.

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 2 hours ago, algebraist said:

    Sorry for joining the conversation late, but I am just starting up some tile production, and need to ask: Do you not worry about warping during bisque firing?  If warping is unlikely, then I love the domino and vertical ideas; otherwise I might have to go all out with individual tiles on tile setters like I will be doing for glaze firings.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    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.

  6. 3 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

    6x3 is likely the smallest you can make this but is a bit of a challenge to use IMO

    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.

  7. 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. Not all glazes like to be single fired, though, and some modification may be in order. There are a couple of folks here on the forum that will hopefully chime in and give you more specific info on that, because it's not my area of expertise.

    If pieces are exploding, then they were too wet to go into the kiln, or too thick for the speed at which you're firing.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 screen controller. You'll see the ribbon connector at the bottom of the controller on the circuit board side, it connects the board to the touchpad. Unplug the kiln and check for any loose wires or fried connections in the control box. If an element or relay connection fried and a wire came loose and grounded out that would blow the breaker.

    If it blew a fuse, then you'll need to figure out why.

  12. 6 hours ago, cjonard said:

    Problem is--I don't have my own kiln--I use the community center one. I have already ruined someone else's work (and I feel like crap for it!) because one of my sculptures exploded--air holes are important! I *thought* I had enough holes but boy was I wrong!

    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 crack. Loosely crumpled and taped together newspaper works well.

    Even the best downdraft kiln vent will be overloaded by the smoke from burning out armature paper. An overhead hood may be able to handle it, but it would have to be a very powerful one. Best to get as much paper out as possible before firing.

    You're asking a lot for firing in someone else's kiln. If it was regular pots it wouldn't be as big a deal, but with paper and special firing requirements it's going to be more difficult to find someone to fire for you. Maybe it's time to get your own kiln?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    It's an old Evenheat /Gare kiln. If a customer of mine showed me that kiln, I would tell them to throw it away because it wouldn't be worth the cost to have me fix an old kiln like that with that much damage. However, if you're willing and able to do the work yourself I would start by seeing what you can do with the mess on the floor. If the stuff won't come off, then it's definitely not worth fixing it since floor slabs are pricey. If it does come clean then get prices for elements and bricks from Evenheat and decide if it's worth the cost and effort. If you've never worked on a kiln yourself, this would not be a good one to start on since the outer jacket is all one piece and covers the floor slab. It complicates things a lot.

  15. 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!

  16. 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 needing replacement, or just the plastic bit on the metal handle? If the entire handle is broken, I'd do something like bolting on a length of garden hose or something similar that's easy on the hands. A couple of small stainless panhead machine screw heads on the inside of the bucket won't get in the way of stirring. A piece of garden hose slipped over the metal handle is an easy replacement for the little plastic handle when they break.


  17. 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 have been making beautiful work with manual electric kilns for decades!

    Also, I would recommend not firing to cone 10. You'll cut your element life in half (or worse) and wear out your kiln much faster firing that hot. Most cone 10 glazes can be dropped to cone 6 with the addition of a few percent of boron-containing frit.

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