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neilestrick

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  1. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in How much sodium silicate to use?   
    An easy way to make deflocculated slip:
    Completely dry out a bunch of your clay body and break it into chunks. Put the chunks into a container and completely cover with water by a few inches. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, without stirring it, pour or decant all the water off the top. What you're left with will be a very thick slip. Use a stick blender to mix it a bit, which will be difficult because it's so thick. Then take your deflocculant, either Darvan or sodium silicate, and mix it with an equal amount of water. For small container you'll probably only need a teaspoon or so. Drop by drop add it to your slip and blend it to smooth it out. You'll see it thin out a little bit with each drop. When you get to the consistency you want, stop! If you go too far it will eventually go whoosh and become super watery. Go way too far and it will seize up like bad chocolate.
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from HeatherM in Kiln Failing to Reach Cone 6, New Controller   
    So you unhooked the Automate controller?
    Why do you have a contactor after the relay?
    There's no ground going to the transformer or controller.
    If the whole thing is going back to a 50 amp relay, then your power cords must be 6ga wire. Otherwise you could end up pulling 50 amps through your 10 gauge wire, which is not safe. However that doesn't really matter becase you can't just say '50 amps should be plenty big enough'. Code says that kilns must be on a breaker that is 25% greater than the draw of the kiln, but no more than 50% greater. That means either a 30 amp breaker (ideal) or a 40 amp breaker for your 24 amp kiln. You should put a subpanel with a 30 amp breaker between the 50 amp breaker and the controller, so you can use the existing 10ga power cords. The wire from the 50 to the 30 must be 6ga. From the 30 to the outlet can be 10ga.
    I'm surprised the controller is hitting 120 degrees in an external box. Either something is running hot, or there's just too much heat building up in there since there are so many relays in there.
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from cdudley in raku clay over fire   
    @cdudley It'll be fine. They just put cone 06 as a generic number for raku firing. Raku bodies typically don't fully mature until high fire temps, so it's not going to affect it one bit going to cone 04.
  4. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Corelite shelves...need Advice   
    I have customers that use the 26" Corelite in their e28 kilns and they work fine. The typical shelves are 25 1/2", so you're only losing 1/4" on each side. Plus with half shelves you can overlap them slightly if you're staggering the shelves. 
  5. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Plant Markers - At a Loss for Firing   
    I'd leave them raw. That's what my students do.
  6. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Purchasing plaster molds for bonsai pots   
    I don't know if it matters with bonsai, but Raku pots are still porous. And the copper flashing glazes could leach into the plants, which I'm sure wouldn't be good for them.
  7. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Virtual Markets   
    I think that whether or not an online show will be successful depends entirely on how email focused the show is. If they maintain a large email list of show attendees, then they can maybe get the word out to enough people to make it worthwhile. But I think that for most shows, the artists probably have better email lists than the show itself does. If the artists all pool their email lists and get the word out, it could be decent because you could benefit from the other artists' lists. However it's difficult to sell pots to people that haven't touched your work in real life, so the benefit may not be great. I think that by and large you would probably do just as well having your own personal online sale, especially if the show is wanting to charge the regular booth fee that they would for an outdoor show. I have said no to most shows this year that were offering on online fair, because they wanted me to pay the regular $350ish booth fee. For one, their costs for running an online show wouldn't be anywhere near as much as holding the actual outdoor show, so it's greedy. Second, I doubt that that 10,000+ people are going to attend the online sale like they would the outdoor show.
  8. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Clear Glaze Foam   
    If you're not happy with it as is, you've got nothing to lose by refiring it. Give it a try and see what happens.
  9. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Clear Glaze Foam   
    Probably the glaze and/or underglaze is too thick in the crevices. Did you brush on either/ both? It's difficult to keep brushed on applications from getting thicker in low areas.
  10. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in ? Secret Ingredient In Underglaze?   
    The recipes for making your own underglazes will not work nearly as well as the commercial underglazes. Commercial underglazes are a pretty amazing thing: you can use them on wet, leather hard, bone dry or bisqued clay without flaking off, they are durable when dry, and they work with most glazes. To make a product that will do that requires a certain amount of additives, suspenders, binders and often some milling- things we potters don't generally have a lot of experience with or the equipment to do. So if you want your underglaze to behave like a commercial underglaze, it's probably not going to happen. But if you don't need that kind of flexibility in the product, like you only plan on using it on bisque, or only on leather hard clay, then go for it.
     
    As for the recipe that's powdery when applied, it's because there's no clay in it to harden it. Gum solution will only go so far to make it harder. I would play with adding 2-3% bentonite or 5% EPK and see how that works.
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from ekua in Cannot decide which kiln to buy!   
    The S kilns are 29 inches to the top edge of the wall. The M kilns are 4.5 inches taller than that. Stack up some cushions or boxes or something and see if you can reach in okay.
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in What's On Your Kitchen Table?   
    @Blossomhousepottery.com Thank you! I always use wax resist for etching, and do it at the dry side of leather hard.
  13. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Stephen in Moving small kiln to wheels   
    I'd never recommend that for a larger kiln, but for a baby test kiln it'll probably work. I'd pull off the carpet, build up the middle section with a couple more cross pieces so it's level all the way across, then a layer of plywood to stiffen it up, then two layers of cement board, then the kiln stand.
    Personally, since you've got to mess with cutting plywood anyway, I'd skip the pre-built dolly. Just take two layers of 3/4" plywood and glue/screw them together, add two layers of cement board, and buy cheap casters from Harbor Freight. That way you can make it the proper dimensions, just slightly larger than the stand. That's how I built my glaze bucket dollies, and they handle 10 gallon buckets. Get wheels that won't dent while it sits stationary- hard rubber, metal, plastic.
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from ekua in Cannot decide which kiln to buy!   
    The length, coil spacing, and wire thickness.
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from ekua in Cannot decide which kiln to buy!   
    @ekua I'm going to give you some info on sizes and such, but stay out of the discussion on which is 'better'.
    Both the Skutt KM series and the L&L Easy Fire series are limited to pulling 48 amps of power. For most kilns in the series it's not a problem. If you're on regular household electrical service, 240 volts single phase, the only kilns that will have heating issues are the Skutt KM1227 or the L&L e28T (28" wide by 27" tall). At 10 cubic feet, they are under powered at 48 amps and won't get to cone 10. You want cone 10 even though you're firing to cone 5, as it allows for plenty of power for heavy loads, and will allow the elements to wear a bit before they need replacing. For those 10 cubic foot models you need to upgrade to a Skutt PK kiln or an L&L eQuad model. However that size kiln is too tall for you, so it's not an issue. Anything else in those series will be rated to cone 10, and the width will not be an issue.
    The KM1218 or e28S are much easier to load than the KM1027 or e23T. However if you need a little more height, both companies now make an in-between size, the KM1222 or e28M, which are 22.5" deep and 8.5 cubic feet. Both are rated to cone 10, so you'll have no trouble with cone 5 firings and good element life.
    Definitely get 3" brick. The extra insulation makes for less heat in the studio, and slightly lower firing costs. All 12 sided kilns are made with 3" brick anyway.
    Get the touchscreen controller, regardless of which brand. Both are easy to use, and have the same circuit board. The interface is the only difference. The Skutt screen is larger and a holds your hand a little more with setting up the programming, but neither is difficult to use. I haven't used the Skutt enough to tell you specific differences, but I have lots of customers who use the Genesis, including many first time kiln users, and I never get calls asking for help. It's easier to use than the old style controllers. I think you'll be happy with either choice. I'd put the controller at the bottom of my list of things that would make me choose one over the other.
    If you get an L&L and it's in your budget, I also recommend getting the quad elements. They last a lot longer than the standard elements, and will pay for themselves in longer life.
  16. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Bill Kielb in Solid State Relay Conversion   
    I would agree and take it further that whenever changing to SSR’s a lid safety and definite shutoff is required because of the increased risk. Shelf change or not. It just also  happens to make using conductive shelves in an electric kiln more accceptable.
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Cannot decide which kiln to buy!   
    @ekua I'm going to give you some info on sizes and such, but stay out of the discussion on which is 'better'.
    Both the Skutt KM series and the L&L Easy Fire series are limited to pulling 48 amps of power. For most kilns in the series it's not a problem. If you're on regular household electrical service, 240 volts single phase, the only kilns that will have heating issues are the Skutt KM1227 or the L&L e28T (28" wide by 27" tall). At 10 cubic feet, they are under powered at 48 amps and won't get to cone 10. You want cone 10 even though you're firing to cone 5, as it allows for plenty of power for heavy loads, and will allow the elements to wear a bit before they need replacing. For those 10 cubic foot models you need to upgrade to a Skutt PK kiln or an L&L eQuad model. However that size kiln is too tall for you, so it's not an issue. Anything else in those series will be rated to cone 10, and the width will not be an issue.
    The KM1218 or e28S are much easier to load than the KM1027 or e23T. However if you need a little more height, both companies now make an in-between size, the KM1222 or e28M, which are 22.5" deep and 8.5 cubic feet. Both are rated to cone 10, so you'll have no trouble with cone 5 firings and good element life.
    Definitely get 3" brick. The extra insulation makes for less heat in the studio, and slightly lower firing costs. All 12 sided kilns are made with 3" brick anyway.
    Get the touchscreen controller, regardless of which brand. Both are easy to use, and have the same circuit board. The interface is the only difference. The Skutt screen is larger and a holds your hand a little more with setting up the programming, but neither is difficult to use. I haven't used the Skutt enough to tell you specific differences, but I have lots of customers who use the Genesis, including many first time kiln users, and I never get calls asking for help. It's easier to use than the old style controllers. I think you'll be happy with either choice. I'd put the controller at the bottom of my list of things that would make me choose one over the other.
    If you get an L&L and it's in your budget, I also recommend getting the quad elements. They last a lot longer than the standard elements, and will pay for themselves in longer life.
  18. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from JessicaStadtmueller in Covid -19 Cleanliness   
    It's not as simple as throwing the clay into a pot and heating it up. It needs to be done in a way that doesn't allow water to evaporate off, or else you'll also have to be rehydrating and wedging it. Freezing is not a good way to kill viruses, and would not be good for the clay anyway. The simplest method would be to have enough clay on hand that once someone uses it, you leave it alone for 3 days before using it again, as the virus can only live for 2-3 days outside a body.
    IMO, the students going to get more contact with the virus everywhere else in the shool- railings, door knobs, desk tops, etc. Plus they're far more likely to get it from airborne droplets. Surface contamination is not the primary method through which the virus spreads, and you have to touch your mouth or eyes for it to be a problem. Just have them wash hands before and after starting clay work.
  19. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Chilly in What’s on your workbench?   
    Here are the three pots I made, glazed using every glaze (^04 commercial) that I could find in my house/studio.  They are in alphabetic order until I ran out, then went searching for more.  
    They are slab-built, around 200 mm/8 inches tall.  Biggest things I've made, and all three in one week.  All fired separately, couldn't get more than one in the kiln at a time.
    Had some cookie catchers/saucers hanging around so glazed them and put them on the bottom shelf.
     


  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Smokey2 in Would you adjust this test kiln to better match a bigger kiln?   
    I'd leave it. Your glaze probably won't show much if any difference between the two. If you decide you do need it closer, then you've got a lot of variables to choose from as the cause of the difference, as the difference may not be from the thermocouples at all. It could come from the hold times, and each kiln's ability to kick into a hold during a drop without overshooting, or its ability to reach the peak temp at the desired ramp. Since you've got two kilns of dramatically difference size, each is going to respond differently to the program. I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't adjust the thermocouples. Instead, adjust the peak temp and see how it does. But I'd only do that if there's an obvious difference in the appearance of your glazes.
  21. Like
    neilestrick reacted to AaronRotchadl in Running a 208v single phase kiln at 240v   
    In case anyone was wondering- Paragon said to just change the elements, that’s all. 
  22. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Newbie with questions   
    Get a Gleco trap for your sink, or rinse off hands, tools, etc in a bucket before using the sink. You do not want clay in your pipes or septic tank.
    Since you don't have classes available near you, try to find a weekend workshop you can attend, or someone who will do a few Skype lessons with you. It's really easy to get into bad habits when working alone. A set of experienced eyes will be able to tell you why you're having problems with centering, etc.
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Michael D in Corelite shelves...need Advice   
    No matter how you fire them- sitters or shelves- you're going to have a lot of mass to heat up besides the tiles. That's just how it is with tiles. When pricing the tiles for sale, don't forget that your costs for firing also include wear and tear on the elements and shelves, although it will be difficult to know just how long the shelves will last. It may only be pennies (or less) per tile, but it adds up with volume.
  24. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Michael D in Corelite shelves...need Advice   
    Thanks for all of your advice!
    It sounds like 1" Corelites would be fine; And maybe even the 5/8" .  If they warp after 50 firings, for example, maybe I could flip them or just replace them. And maybe I could strategically move the posts in a little-- say two inches toward center -- and give the shelf more support that way. 
    Right now, if I place the shelves I have (which are modified 11x22"-- there is a good inch in there for clearance and fingers. 
    I was originally going to use setters but because I am experimenting with different and small tile shapes it didn't add up. I figure that with thin and light shelves I could fit maybe 11 levels or more into the kiln for Cone 6. But having only filled it about 1/2 way each firing, I am seeing that the energy to heat up the tiles and especially the shelves is going to be enormous. (Not to mention how long I have to wait for it to cool down....)
     

  25. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Newbie with questions   
    Get a Gleco trap for your sink, or rinse off hands, tools, etc in a bucket before using the sink. You do not want clay in your pipes or septic tank.
    Since you don't have classes available near you, try to find a weekend workshop you can attend, or someone who will do a few Skype lessons with you. It's really easy to get into bad habits when working alone. A set of experienced eyes will be able to tell you why you're having problems with centering, etc.
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