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neilestrick

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Everything posted by neilestrick

  1. Yep, make a post in the marketplace section of the forum. Remember to include your location in the title.
  2. Yes, you should have the small elements. If you tried to put the large elements in your kiln they wouldn't have fit properly. The difference is because they switched to a different size element holder which allowed for a larger diameter element. Both will have the same power draw, though, so it shouldn't contribute to the slowness of the firing. Make sure when you load the kiln that you don't put anything too close to the thermocouples. Keep all pots and shelves at least an inch away. Putting stuff too close could cause a bad reading, and then the kiln spend a lot of time trying to keep the firing even. Also push the thermocouples in all the way so they touch the end of the protection tubes. I would also go through and make sure that the controller is set to factory settings. It could be that the previous owner set something goofy that's causing it to fire slowly. I have a feeling that there's nothing wrong with the elements or relays.
  3. Which firing program did you use? Did you add a preheat cycle?
  4. I don't know about the newer pedals, but it used to be that the head of the bolt was held in place by the pedal itself- it fit into a space on the side of the pedal, which kept it from spinning when you tightened the nut. I've seen the head of the bolt strip out so it doesn't hold any more, and you can't get a wrench on it either. There really isn't anything special about the bolt, though. Get a replacement at the hardware store and swap over all the nylon parts.
  5. That is not typical. Are you sure you have the correct elements for your electrical service? Do you have 208 volt or 240 volt service? Have you confirmed that all the relays are working?
  6. Could you be more specific? Are you talking about clay or glazes? Do you mean aluminum pitting in a pug mill?
  7. For a slip trailing recipe, you can use whatever ball clay you have on hand.
  8. Are you talking about glazes like the Amaco Crystaltex series? Those aren't really crystalline glazes. They just call them that because they slightly resemble crystalline glazes. The little chunks are just pieces of colored glaze or frit (glass), that melt out in the glaze.
  9. As Mark said, you make your own. There used to be a mold available for making bucket head bats, but that was a long time ago. You could make a mold of the bucket and then make your own mold for making plaster bats. Alternatively, you could convert it to a flat head with a piece of 1/4 inch aluminum attached to the bucket head.
  10. You can't use the same percentage with every stain and expect success. Every color has the potential to behave completely differently than others. Some may be good at 5%, others at 20%. Your best bet to achieve positive, repeatable results is to weigh out both the stain and dry clay in specific amounts, testing the stain in increasing 3% increments. You can do little 100 gram tests and find the perfect percentage in one firing.
  11. You could, in theory, refire the pieces to get the scratches to melt out, however you'd have to know the firing temp the used when making it, and it would probably change the look of the pieces. Unfortunately, dishes wear out over time.
  12. I think if you look very carefully in good light you may be able to see a difference. The porcelain won't necessarily be smoother, but it may be whiter. The problem is that if you're wrong, the earthenware will melt in the porcelain firing. The only safe way to go is to fire everything at earthenware temps. You may have problems with glaze fit, though, if you use low fire glaze on porcelain.
  13. Try applying the underglaze to bisque and then applying the clear glaze without firing on the underglaze first. It may work fine. There are enough binders in the underglaze that you should be able to brush on a clear glaze without messing it up. If it does mess up the underglaze, or you're dipping the clear glaze, then you'll want to burn out the binders before glazing. It would be nice if you didn't have to fire 3 times, though, so try applying the underglaze when your pieces are leather hard or bone dry. If you're used to working on bisque, then bone dry is probably the way to go because it will be more porous like bisque.
  14. I'd give another inch of width in the firebox, then just center the shelves in the space. What diameter is your burner port?
  15. It depends on if you're firing in reduction or oxidation. In reduction, 4% iron will make a huge difference. In oxidation, not so much.
  16. I agree with Callie. The costs will be specific to your operation because of differences in rent, utilities, and what you're able to charge per student. It's just going to be a matter of crunching the numbers there. I can tell you that the one thing my students really like, compared to other studios, is that once they've paid for an 8 week session, there aren't a bunch of little fees that nickel and dime them to death. Tuition charge cover open studio time, too. Clay prices include glazing and firing. If you want them to keep coming back, don't make them feel like it costs them every time they walk in. It's also a lot easier for me as the owner to not have to be dealing with the money all the time.
  17. I agree. Don't just add red iron oxide. It tends to make the body more brittle and doesn't disperse well. You're better off adding a red clay. Any red clay can work- Redart, Newman, etc. See what your local clay supplier has in stock.
  18. I don't think I've ever seen a downdraft vent last less than 5 years now that they don't mount the motors under the kiln. I've got 11 years and 2000 firings on one of my downdrafts. Vent-A-Kiln hoods seems to last forever. All of the kiln vents on the market work very well. I think the've struck a good balance between ease of installation, functionality, and price. Yes, you can build a better system for less money, but for the average customer it's a good, simple solution to the venting problem.
  19. I'm really stumped. The only reason a cone should break is if there was some pressure put on it. Just to be sure you're doing it correctly: 1. Lift the weight 2. Push down the claw, which raises the sitter rod and holds the weight in place 3. Place the cone
  20. I'm talking about downdraft vent fans that were installed to manufacturer's instructions- Skutt Envirovent, L&L Vent-Sure, Orton Ventmaster, Vent -a-Kiln hoods, etc. The fans are completely corroded when they die, from the fumes and moisture from the kiln. For CeramicJim, the more clay dust he sucks through it, the shorter its lifespan. The more firings he uses it to vent, the shorter its lifespan. It could very well be that there are better ways to design the systems, but for most people that's not an option, because most people don't have a background in HVAC installation. Plus the lifespan of a vent fan is about number of firings, not number of years. If you only fire once a week, your vent system will last a lot longer than someone who fires 5 times a week.
  21. I was referring specifically to fans used for venting kilns and studio dust, like what was described above, not ceiling fans or jet engines. If the fan was just pulling air through it I would agree that it should last a long time. But when it's pulling abrasive clay dust, moisture and fumes from the kiln, etc, it's going to affect the life of the fan. I've replaced enough kiln vent fans to know that they don't just wear out due to age. They corrode.
  22. Agreed. Do not use that plug. If you twisted it back, it would be in the original 20 amp position. It's not about the voltage. You cannot use a 20 amp plug in a 15 amp outlet. You should not use an adapter, either, because it would overload the circuit to run a 20 amp kiln on a 15 amp circuit.
  23. @Elise Try putting a small amount of kiln wash on the bars that the cones rests on. Just enough to make a barrier between the cone and the bars. I wonder if the cone is sticking to the metal, and snapping as it heats and expands. Does the kiln turn off when the cone breaks? How hot is it getting?
  24. It won't harm the kiln to fire it to cone 6, it's just that you won't get very good element life from it. Usually we fire to cone 6 in kilns that are rated to cone 10 because the elements can wear more before the kiln can't reach cone 6. If you're firing to the max of the kiln, then you have to change the elements once they wear just a little bit.
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