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Everything posted by neilestrick

  1. The drawing is not accurate no matter what's going on with the wheel head. A bent shaft would not allow it to happen, either.
  2. If the prong was twisted 90 degrees, then he was trying to make it fit a 15 amp outlet instead of a 20 amp outlet, not 110 to 115 volts. 20 amp outlets have one prong turned perpendicular to the other so that you can't plug a 20 amp appliance into a 15 amp outlet, because that would overload the outlet. According to the Skutt website, that kiln pulls 20 amps, which means it should actually be on a 25 amp breaker, because code requires that kiln be on a breaker that is 25% greater than the draw of the kiln. I would also put a cord on it that is rated to 30 amps. Also, according to the Skutt website, that kiln can only go to cone 6, so it's not ideal for doing cone 5/6 work. You'll be maxing it out every time you fire it, and once the elements wear even a little bit it won't get to temp.
  3. The longevity of a fan varies greatly depending on environmental conditions. Saying it will last for X number of years is impossible, but it should last for at least several years. However now that you've done all the hard work, replacing it in the future will be much quicker. When venting heat and fumes from a room, it's all about how quickly/often the air in the room is changed. When sizing a fan, HVAC folks do calculations to size the fan to the both the size of the room and the amount of heat given off by the kiln. There are standards that they shoot for in their calculations. Your system may work very well for your situation, but a 185CFM fan may be terribly undersized for someone with a larger room or a larger kiln. Just as a point of reference, Vent-A-Kiln hoods use a 265CFM fan on hoods for 23" wide kilns.
  4. This is not possible: When you trim the top of a pot off with the needle tool, you are not cutting it level, you are cutting it parallel to the wheel head, regardless of whether or not the wheel head is level. The clay will always move in relation to the wheel head, regardless of whether or not the wheel is level. Your hands do not know where level is, either. Do not confuse the wheel being out of level with the wheel not running true. A wheel that is not running true- the wheel not being perpendicular to the shaft on which it rotates (a wobble)- can definitely cause problems.
  5. Pacifica wheels work fine. I have a friend who runs a college program, and he has more Pacifica wheels than any other brand, and has no problems with them. the GT800 is a 1hp wheel, and shouldn't have any trouble handling 15 pounds. Personally, I think they run smoother than Brent wheels.
  6. That's quite possible. Your sitter rod appears to be in great condition, so I'd try the new cones and see how it goes.
  7. AHA! If you're doing it like you show in the video, you're using 2 cones. They come hooked together in pairs, and you have to snap them apart and just use one. When you put in in the sitter, have the rod resting on the spine, with the little number facing toward the opposite wall.
  8. It has 2 rings, so 2 jumper cords. They probably just built the control boxes with 3 plugs as the standard, and used them on all 2 and 3 section kilns. As long as you're using the correct plugs and switches. When you said they cones were snapping, I was expecting to see them at least partially bent before breaking, but yours appear to have broken before they ever got soft. There must be some adjustment out of whack in your sitter. Is the rod that sits on top of the cone resting lightly on the cone, or do you have to force the cone into place between the rod and bottom rests? If you have to force it at all, then chances are the rod is bent and should be replaced.
  9. How many sections/rings does your kiln have? Please post a picture of the entire kiln, and a pic of your broken cones.
  10. What plugs? Do you mean the cord grips? All boards are not equal. Some do a much better job than others, and have more adjustable controls than others. But if you're going through Laguna/Pacifica, they should be able to tell you what's involved. The bigger issue is whether or not a new one will fit into the current box.
  11. Your best bet is to contact Shimpo.
  12. Have you contacted Shimpo? They are generally very helpful.
  13. Most clay companies will do it for you. You'll generally have to pay for a full batch (probably a ton) including the waste needed to clean the pugger. You may also have to wait a while until they can get it into their schedule.
  14. You wouldn't necessarily have to replace it with the same board. You could go with a newer model.
  15. I would not spend that much on a wheel that old unless it has hardly been used. I'd offer $250.
  16. Throw it as thin as you can, then trim it down to the desired thickness.
  17. A kiln can be perfectly safe in a house, as long as you set it up and use it according to manufacturer's specs. It's no more likely to burn down your house than your garage or commercial building.
  18. Stilts in general are not a good idea for cone 5/6 and up. The little metal points tend to soften and bend. With porcelain, the clay will soften and warp on stilts. Either use a rack as described above, or fire them directly on the shelf with the backside unglazed. Several of my students make porcelain pendants with the back unglazed. Because the porcelain is so well vitrified, it doesn't absorb body oils the way earthenware does.
  19. Sometimes elements just decide to melt out. Could be something was on it like a piece of glaze or such, but sometimes they just seem to go. It's also possible that a pin right there was touching a screw coming in from the outside, which would explain the breaker flipping and the element frying. It failed hard, and took a little bit of the brick with it. When you replace the element, you can probably just dig out any melted stuff, and make sure you pin it right there. You probably won't need to replace the brick unless you have to dig out a really big chunk. As for the wiring: The kiln pulls 20 amps, correct? Code requires that it be on a breaker that is rated 25% higher but no more that 50% higher, so it should be on a 25 or 30 amp breaker. The wires feeding the outlet should be rated for at least 30 amps, which means at least 10 gauge wire. To use the 50 amp breaker, the wires would need to be at least 6 gauge, which is much larger than the 10 gauge. If the electrician used 10 gauge wire and a 50 amp breaker, he doesn't know what he's doing, and has put you in a dangerous situation because the 10 gauge wires can overheat and melt and cause a fire if 50 amps go through them. Plus a 50 amp breaker on a 20 amp kiln is not up to code, and again the electrician doesn't know what he's doing. The solution to a tripping breaker is not a higher breaker. There's something causing it to trip that must be fixed. You found the problem which is good, but you should either have another electrician in to make everything correct withe wiring and breaker, or have the original electrician in to fix everything and get it up to code at no cost to you.
  20. Since you're not dead yet, you'll probably be fine. You said you forgot to switch it to oxidation firing- what does that mean? If the gas tank wasn't hooked up and you were firing with electricity, then you were firing in oxidation. I just don't see how an empty kiln can cause that much odor.
  21. I think that first we need to know what was causing the bad smell. I've never had a kiln put out a bad smell during the first firing other than during the first few minutes when the oil on the element wire is burning off. What is being used to create the reduction atmosphere?
  22. Standard 257 is a wonderful clay body.
  23. Hulk is correct. Kiln vents pull a small amount of air from the kiln, and mix it with a large amount of air from the room, so the air going through the system is below 150F. I would contact the kiln manufacturer and see what they recommend for use with their attachment.
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