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neilestrick

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  1. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from mcharles in COVID-19 & Recycled Clay   
    I don't think there's any practical method to ensure that clay is sterile. You can't go mixing most things into the clay without messing up the workability of the clay, and those things that won't mess it up would have to be mixed in a slurry in order to get it to every particle. Not practical. Heating up all of the clay every day isn't practical either. There's no way to make sure everything in a public building is sterile. Even if you sterilize every table, chair, railing, etc several times every day, they're going to get touched hundreds of times in between cleanings. So you have to follow the good hygiene practices we've been told about for the last 2 months- wash your hands and don't touch your face. We'll probably also still be wearing masks until we get a vaccine, so that will help, too.
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from shawnhar in Melting glass bottles   
    It's pretty simple. Do a Google search and you'll find lots of firing schedules. You want the bottom of the bottle to be nice and smooth, so start with a fresh application of kiln wash, as smooth as you can get it. The glass will pick up every little bump. Ideally, use an unwashed shelf and kiln paper.
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Ryleigh in Single fire in a test kiln   
    Low fire white bodies often do just fine when single firing with brush-on glazes. Just go slow. The bigger problem will be that your little test kiln is going to cool very quickly compared to a larger kiln, and that may affect the accuracy of the firing. You could fire it, and right when it shuts off, restart it by lifting the sitter weight, pressing the start button, and gently lowering the weight so it doesn't kick out the start button. Then put it on medium for an hour and half, then low for an hour and a half, then shut it off. It's not a perfect approximation of the cooling of a larger kiln, but it should get somewhat close. Ultimately it depends on if the prototype needs to be more accurate in size and shape, or in color. Of course, if you've used the glaze before, then you'll know if the color is right or not.
  4. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Callum Donovan-Grujicich in Tall Converted Propane Kiln Question   
    Update: I just found a place with a large gas kiln that will fire my work.
  5. Like
    neilestrick reacted to liambesaw in Tall Converted Propane Kiln Question   
    Learning to gas fire in a makeshift kiln while trying to not destroy a sculpture is going to be very, very difficult. 
    My first gas firing in a makeshift kiln was to cone 04 and it took 14 hours and 40 pounds of propane.  It was a nightmare.  
    I did a lot of research and ended up with a similar design, but it could reach cone 10 easily with some tweaks.  But it took 2 years and several dozen firings to get to that point.
     
     
     
     
  6. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Pres in Tall Converted Propane Kiln Question   
    As Min has said, you are creative, and that is to be considered a plus. At the same time though, I think your plan needs to be thought through more. Min's point about porcelain sculpture is true, as lack of controlled temperature rise at different points in the firing can cause things to either blow up in early stages or in later stages warp. Also of concern here should be cool down which could cause problems with cooling dunts. 
    There are a great many books out there on building kilns, use of space age materials, and firing sculpture. Many of these were written in the 70's and updated over the years, but the mechanics and theory of burner use and heat rise still stand. Please research further before stepping into a project that could end up hurting yourself or others.
    If you find someone to fire your sculptures, would it not be of benefit to see if you could help with the firing, or use him as a mentor? I would think that that would be a win/win for you and much safer.
     
     
    best,
    Pres
  7. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Min in Tall Converted Propane Kiln Question   
    @Callum Donovan-Grujicich
    While I totally applaud your creative thinking and open mindedness, firing a sculpture like yours is way more complicated than just getting a kiln up to temperature/cone. Building a Frankenkiln and firing it with 5 weedburners is both extremely dangerous and in my view highly unlikely to be successful in firing what you have described. Porcelain sculptures are difficult to fire in the best of situations. Sounds like you've put a lot of work and thought into it, we want you to have a successful firing. I'ld strongly encourage you to pursue your original plan on paying someone experienced in firing their kilns to fire your work for you. 
  8. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Callum Donovan-Grujicich in Tall Converted Propane Kiln Question   
    If the rings are the same diameter, then you can stack them.
    Just using more weed burners isn't the solution to making a conversion kiln fire better. Gas kilns don't work on the theory that more gas/ flame equals more heat. It's more complicated than that. It's a balance between fuel, air, secondary air, and air flow through the kiln, among other things. How did you decide that 5 weed burners were needed? Weed burners are also the least safe method of firing with gas. There are no safety systems of any kind. No pilot light, no hi temp shutoff, nothing. It's not as simple or as safe as I think you're picturing it to be.
    I'm repeating myself here, but IMO this type of kiln is not the best way to fire your sculpture. Large pieces have all sorts of issues that small pieces don't. Porcelain pieces have all sorts of issues that stoneware pieces don't. Compounding all that with a less-than-ideal kiln is just adding to the potential for failure. If you decide that it's the only way to go, then I would strongly consider just firing it to bisque temps. As a sculpture, vitrification isn't required. I'm not saying it won't work, but if you want the best odds you can get, this isn't the way to fire it.
  9. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from DirtRoads in Can you turn kiln down slightly?   
    You can change the final temp of any cone  by doing a cone offset in the controller, making it higher or lower as needed. Instructions how can be found on your manual.
  10. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in A Years-Long Battle w/ Teeny S Cracks on 70% of my Pots! Halp!   
    It depends on the clay body. Stoneware bodies generally work well this way, but I find that porcelain and some fine-grained white stoneware bodies need to be wedged a little bit.
    @Rachel Hawkins Don't worry about aligning your wedging direction with the rotation of the wheel. Just make your clay into a ball and smack it onto the wheel. The coning process will align everything as needed. Also, make sure you have a ball or cone shape when you smack the clay onto the wheel, nothing remotely flat, or you'll trap an air bubble in the middle.
    I don't think poor wedging or air bubbles are the cause of your S cracks. Most likely they're from uneven thickness, and exacerbated by using a smooth white stoneware body. 
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from dhPotter in A Years-Long Battle w/ Teeny S Cracks on 70% of my Pots! Halp!   
    It depends on the clay body. Stoneware bodies generally work well this way, but I find that porcelain and some fine-grained white stoneware bodies need to be wedged a little bit.
    @Rachel Hawkins Don't worry about aligning your wedging direction with the rotation of the wheel. Just make your clay into a ball and smack it onto the wheel. The coning process will align everything as needed. Also, make sure you have a ball or cone shape when you smack the clay onto the wheel, nothing remotely flat, or you'll trap an air bubble in the middle.
    I don't think poor wedging or air bubbles are the cause of your S cracks. Most likely they're from uneven thickness, and exacerbated by using a smooth white stoneware body. 
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in A Years-Long Battle w/ Teeny S Cracks on 70% of my Pots! Halp!   
    It depends on the clay body. Stoneware bodies generally work well this way, but I find that porcelain and some fine-grained white stoneware bodies need to be wedged a little bit.
    @Rachel Hawkins Don't worry about aligning your wedging direction with the rotation of the wheel. Just make your clay into a ball and smack it onto the wheel. The coning process will align everything as needed. Also, make sure you have a ball or cone shape when you smack the clay onto the wheel, nothing remotely flat, or you'll trap an air bubble in the middle.
    I don't think poor wedging or air bubbles are the cause of your S cracks. Most likely they're from uneven thickness, and exacerbated by using a smooth white stoneware body. 
  13. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in what size regulator do I buy?   
    The kilns I've built all ran on 14", which is what many commercial kilns want, too. At Alpine we always told customers to use 2" pipe and have 14". But talk to your gas supplier as they'll know best.
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Wiring for Paragon SNF-82-3   
    You need two hots and a ground for the 3 wire setup. Change out the receptacle so it's 3 prong, and tape/nut off the unused  neutral. That way the wiring setup is obvious to whoever works on it in the future. I hate working on kilns that have outlets and plugs that don't match up with the wiring.
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Vailnewtopottery in Glazing a Bisque sculpture to witness cone 04   
    It all depends on the glaze and how much it runs. Fire a couple test pieces first.
  16. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    I don't think $300 is at all unreasonable for a gas kiln firing of that size. Considering that someone could fit $5000 worth of pots in it, it's a pretty good deal.
    Cone 6 porcelain will behave just like cone 10. It gets close to its melting point, gets soft, warps, etc. I wouldn't stack anything.
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Callum Donovan-Grujicich in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    I never said you can't fire a converted kiln well. People do it all the time. I even recommended a specific thread that would help to make it possible. I simply said it's not as easy as sticking a weed burner into an electric kiln body, especially if you want it to fire evenly, which would be necessary for a large piece like yours. You don't want the top of the piece fired to cone 4 and bottom to cone 6. It's also difficult to get a weed burner setup kiln to fire slowly, which would also be necessary for your sculpture. I'm not trying to discourage you from ever firing a conversion kiln, I'm trying to discourage you from using it on your sculpture since it's not the safest way to do it. I want you to have success with this piece.
  18. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    I never said you can't fire a converted kiln well. People do it all the time. I even recommended a specific thread that would help to make it possible. I simply said it's not as easy as sticking a weed burner into an electric kiln body, especially if you want it to fire evenly, which would be necessary for a large piece like yours. You don't want the top of the piece fired to cone 4 and bottom to cone 6. It's also difficult to get a weed burner setup kiln to fire slowly, which would also be necessary for your sculpture. I'm not trying to discourage you from ever firing a conversion kiln, I'm trying to discourage you from using it on your sculpture since it's not the safest way to do it. I want you to have success with this piece.
  19. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Bill Kielb in Safety Concerns for Firing a Downdraft Electric-to-Gas Kiln Conversion   
    Most conversions require the user to be safe in all aspects. If you buy a gas kiln, some of the safety requirements include:
    pilot safety high limit temperature safety gas safety including redundant gas valves and regulator high and low pressure gas cutoff The owner / operator is generally responsible for
    Proper draft / flue Proper piping and leak checking with emergency shut off valves as appropriate and safe kiln hookup practices or code requirements Limiting toxic fumes and exposure in the area of the kiln and local ventilation required to make safe in the area of use. Safe  operation of the kiln Including eye safety, protective ware  non hazardous operation, proper loading, unloading, burn protection, signage as necessary, clearances to combustibles ....... The safety of all firings especially  for anyone firing the kiln or helping to fire. Folks who make their own downdraft generally don’t expect them to get Gas or UL certified so they generally  take on the responsibility (Personally) for the first Set of bullet  points through diligent supervision as well as the second set of bullet points as an experienced potter. 
     
    Might sound ominous but to an experienced potter they probably are over cautious and realize the responsibility.
     
     
     
  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in dry/damaged fingernails after working with clay   
    Keep your hands wet! When the clay dries on your hands, especially under the nails, its dries out your skin very quickly. I keep a bucket of water next to my wheel, so any time I have to stop throwing for a few minutes I rinse off my hands.
  21. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in i am looking at taking a risk and buying a second hand kiln for refurb   
    There's nothing particularly difficult about working on kilns. Replacing parts is pretty simple, as most are just held in with screws, and most wires have slip on connectors. You just have to make sure you're using the correct parts and wire that can handle the amount of power going through them. If you stick with replacement parts from the manufacturer, that shouldn't be a problem.
    As Bills said, a nice kiln looks nice. If there are a lot of broken bricks, or the lid and floor have bad cracks, or the bricks are starting to turn yellow and become brittle, then don't get it. Post pics here and we can help you assess the condition of the kiln.
  22. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Smokey2 in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    @Artist Mom NC The thermocouples should extend about and inch and a half into the kiln. They should go right where they are, not behind the control boxes. Just make sure the wires don't touch the kiln body or they'll melt.
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Russ in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    36x36x40 is 30 cu/ft. I don't know if that's stacking area only or total interior, but either way it's not a small kiln. IMO it doesn't matter how big the piece is, the kiln is being fired whether it's full or not. It's up to the person paying to fill it if they want to.  The way I see it, if someone doesn't have their own kiln, it should cost them a measurable percentage of the sales price of the piece in order to have it fired. The person who owns the kiln is taking a much larger risk than the person paying to have stuff fired, and is doing the work of loading the kiln and making sure everything is done properly. My 22 cu/ft electric can fit $7500 worth of $36 mugs. If I charged $300, that would be 4% of the sales price of the mugs, which I think is more than fair. $50 of that is the cost of electricity and wear on the elements.
  24. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from liambesaw in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    36x36x40 is 30 cu/ft. I don't know if that's stacking area only or total interior, but either way it's not a small kiln. IMO it doesn't matter how big the piece is, the kiln is being fired whether it's full or not. It's up to the person paying to fill it if they want to.  The way I see it, if someone doesn't have their own kiln, it should cost them a measurable percentage of the sales price of the piece in order to have it fired. The person who owns the kiln is taking a much larger risk than the person paying to have stuff fired, and is doing the work of loading the kiln and making sure everything is done properly. My 22 cu/ft electric can fit $7500 worth of $36 mugs. If I charged $300, that would be 4% of the sales price of the mugs, which I think is more than fair. $50 of that is the cost of electricity and wear on the elements.
  25. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Callum Donovan-Grujicich in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    36x36x40 is 30 cu/ft. I don't know if that's stacking area only or total interior, but either way it's not a small kiln. IMO it doesn't matter how big the piece is, the kiln is being fired whether it's full or not. It's up to the person paying to fill it if they want to.  The way I see it, if someone doesn't have their own kiln, it should cost them a measurable percentage of the sales price of the piece in order to have it fired. The person who owns the kiln is taking a much larger risk than the person paying to have stuff fired, and is doing the work of loading the kiln and making sure everything is done properly. My 22 cu/ft electric can fit $7500 worth of $36 mugs. If I charged $300, that would be 4% of the sales price of the mugs, which I think is more than fair. $50 of that is the cost of electricity and wear on the elements.
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