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neilestrick

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  1. 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.
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Bisque 04 and Glaze 5 Firing Schedule Feedback   
    The pre-programmed cone fire profiles work very well. No reason for using custom schedules, especially in bisque, unless you're looking for some specific result.
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Lead Glaze Recipes (No Safety Lectures Please)   
    You'll contaminate any kiln it's fired in, which means any pots fired in that kiln from then on are potentially unsafe despite what they're made of.
  4. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 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.
  5. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from S. Dean in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    @Artist Mom NC What you have there are not the original TCs that came with the kiln. Someone has used an after-market TC and rigged up a way to hold them. The easiest thing to do would be to replace the TCs and the ceramic blocks that hold them with the ones that L&L has. It will be easier to source and replace them later that way. HERE is the part you want, the standard 8ga TC with block. It just takes two #6 panhead screws in the metal case to hold them in place. In the future, you only need to replace the thermocouple itself, not the ceramic block. If you want your TCs to last longer and not shed in your kiln, you could also install protection tubes. For those you'll also need the spacers kit.
  6. 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.
  7. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Stephen in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  8. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Bisque 04 and Glaze 5 Firing Schedule Feedback   
    The pre-programmed cone fire profiles work very well. No reason for using custom schedules, especially in bisque, unless you're looking for some specific result.
  9. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  10. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    The spacers are needed if you use the protection tubes, as the tubes have a collar that stick out on the outside of the kiln. If you use the tubes, you'll have to drill out larger holes for them.
    Do not set the kiln on the ground, even on cement board. Get it up on cinder blocks set so there is air flow between the kiln and the floor. Take the time to get everything set well, so the floor doesn't rock at all. A rocking floor means that it could flex and crack. Or a new kiln stand is $87.
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Artist Mom NC in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    The spacers are needed if you use the protection tubes, as the tubes have a collar that stick out on the outside of the kiln. If you use the tubes, you'll have to drill out larger holes for them.
    Do not set the kiln on the ground, even on cement board. Get it up on cinder blocks set so there is air flow between the kiln and the floor. Take the time to get everything set well, so the floor doesn't rock at all. A rocking floor means that it could flex and crack. Or a new kiln stand is $87.
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Artist Mom NC in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    @Artist Mom NC What you have there are not the original TCs that came with the kiln. Someone has used an after-market TC and rigged up a way to hold them. The easiest thing to do would be to replace the TCs and the ceramic blocks that hold them with the ones that L&L has. It will be easier to source and replace them later that way. HERE is the part you want, the standard 8ga TC with block. It just takes two #6 panhead screws in the metal case to hold them in place. In the future, you only need to replace the thermocouple itself, not the ceramic block. If you want your TCs to last longer and not shed in your kiln, you could also install protection tubes. For those you'll also need the spacers kit.
  13. Like
    neilestrick reacted to JohnnyK in Problem With Cress Kiln, Help!   
    Check to make sure that the timer on the kiln sitter is set and has not wound down to zero...it should be set for a little more that your approximate time for the bisque firing.
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  16. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Min in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Stephen in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    So learning how to trim without a Giffin Grip is no longer a useful skill? I should require every student to buy a Giffin Grip if they want to learn how to trim in my classes?
  18. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    I'm glad you've got the other revenue streams and that there are some postitives at least!
    My increased online efforts have actually put me on par with last year's spring results, and have been more profitable because of the lower overhead. To qualify this though, my first quarter is typically extremely low, but I'm finally putting solid effort into a consistent, organized presence on social media and seeing concrete results from it.
    I don't expect the pattern to hold over the whole year though. Numbers of Covid have peaked and are still in decline, and I'm thinking people will be cautiously optimistic by the time my farmer's market opens for the summer in about 3 weeks, as long as there's not something ELSE that happens.
    Whoever keeps holding 2020's beer needs to stop the enabling.
  19. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Potters wheel comparisons   
    I use my standard drive wheels for decoration with no problems.
  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Uliana in The problem of applying glaze to clay rich in iron/manganese   
    @Uliana When you say enamels, do you mean glazes? 
  21. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Uliana in The problem of applying glaze to clay rich in iron/manganese   
    Can you tell us more about the clay bodies, what temps you're firing to each time, process, etc?
  22. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in DTC800C Controller replacement   
    @Suze M @Bill Kielb The DTC controllers have a slightly different footprint than the V6-CF, and Paragon uses a wiring harness with two connector blocks rather than screw terminal connectors. You can either get a new controller directly from Paragon, or you can get a Bartlett RTC-1000, which will be cheaper. 
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Christmas Shows?   
    I think we're going to see a lot of spikes in infection rates in about 3 weeks.
    The one show I had hopes of happening this year, a studio tour in northern Wisconsin in October, is strongly considering cancelling. They're going to wait a couple of week and see how things go with everything starting to open back up, but it doesn't look promising. I won't have any hard feelings if they do cancel, though.
    My shop reopens on Tuesday, and I'm freaking out a bit. I'm working on getting my classes sorted out and down to 7 wheels per class, which will give us good spacing in the studio and room to move without being on top of each other. Masks will be required, of course. The difficult part will be limiting my contact with the students, as I often need to jump in and get my hands on their clay to fix problems, especially with the beginners. They're going to have to suffer through the learning process more than in the past. My biggest worry is if a students tests positive for Covid, because then I have to close again for two weeks since I will have been exposed. 
    Some friends of mine own an organic farm, and they are not setting up at the big farmers market they usually do. Instead they're taking orders and having people pick up from their truck outside the market. Their CSA is going strong, so I think they're doing okay over all.
  24. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from liambesaw in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    So learning how to trim without a Giffin Grip is no longer a useful skill? I should require every student to buy a Giffin Grip if they want to learn how to trim in my classes?
  25. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Mark C. in A rant about customer service   
    Oh come on Neil-UPS simply states that you must pack while standing on your left foot while making sure the barametric pressure is less than 30 millibars
    and thats not on a Friday after the 3rd Wednesday after a full moon. The peanuts need to be in even numbers not odd and not to mix colors.
    On a more serious note they rarely ever break  pots the way I pack so its a non issue.
    Many folks do not know how to pack-thats a fact.
    I spend zero dollars on any packing materials-they are free if just look around.
     
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