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About WoodlandPotter

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  1. What kind of wifi cam are you using to monitor your digital  controller? I just installed one yesterday but did  something wrong and the red LED display is hazy on camera. I suspect it's too far from the controller; it's about 5 feet away on a  bookshelf. It's a cheap model that nicely pans and  zooms, and it supposedly has  HD. You put yours on a tripod, yes? My iPhone held up to the controller captures the numbers fine so I suspect the problem is the distance from the lens to the readout. 

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      @Barclay Blanchard, doesn't look like @WoodlandPotter has seen your question. Maybe someone else is using a wifi cam to monitor their controller, might be worth posting your question in the Studio Operations and Making Work section.

  2. Wow... really hoping, Jothamhung, that your kiln and ware escape serious harm. I have had firings go wrong over the many years, both with my manual kiln and the digital that replaced it. Fortunately, I have been on hand and been able to take action immediately, saving the loads. I always set witness cones, with at least one pack viewable from, preferably, the top peep hole. I always peer at the cones sets during the latter part of the firings, making sure everything is on track. This is so I can make adjustments, or shut off the kiln, if necessary. On my manual kiln, I always set the timer to one hour beyond the expected total firing time. Always checked and double checked the placement of the cone in the kiln sitter and that I was using the correct cone. On my digital kiln, I set the program and double check it before starting. Every firing I use a surveillance camera on a tripod set up pointing at the digital controller screen. With an app on my iPhone I can check in and see how the firing is going, saving me from having to go out to the shop to check the kiln. The camera and app work over my own WiFi system and that is good enough because I never, ever leave to do anything when the kiln is firing. I always fire my kilns during the overnight hours. Electricity is cheaper during off peak times and the flow is more reliably stable, with less chance of fluctuations that can impact the firings. I can also devote myself fully to the firing, with no distractions, as I am either sleeping, or checking the kiln. During my manual kiln firing years, I would set all my alarms in advance, wake up, go out three times during the night to turn the switches and check all is well, and then go right back to bed. Firing my digital kiln is easier, as whenever I wake up, I reach for my phone and check to see what the current temperature is and that the firing is going as planned. This is great as I don't even have to get out of bed. All the firings end in the morning. I don't even get dressed most times. Just sit out in the shop and watch the kiln finish firing, sipping coffee, in my pajamas. I got so good at predicting the end of a firing with my manual kiln that I was nearly always present when the weight dropped, shutting off the kiln. Every time, it would snap and I would jump! Every time! With the digital, I am nearly always present for when the controller suddenly stops the firing and blinks CPLT, alternating with the current temperature of one of the thermocouples. Because I am there, I can record the exact temperature that the kiln reached at time of shut off. I always put the last plug into the top peep hole, usually within a minute of finishing firing, so the kiln can cool as slow as possible. And I keep detailed records of every firing. I have records going back decades. My respect for what can go wrong is too much for me to not stay on top of things, that's for sure. Thanks for being patient reading this long response.
  3. Years ago, friends of ours gave us a couch. We got it home and realized it reeked of stale cigarette smoke! We covered it up with a large blanket and used it that way. After about a year, or so, it no longer smelled. You have so many molds! If this was me, I'd probably move the molds into the basement as planned, keep them covered with old sheets, or blankets and keep the air moving with a fan. One by one, or in sets, you could put them out in the sunshine for a few hours, when you go to use them. After a year or so, they will all lose that smell anyway. I know this is inefficient in terms of removing the old cigarette smell quickly, but if you are like me, you are probably already too overwhelmed with things to spend so much time cleaning each and every mold to get them out of the garage. Just my thoughts. Best wishes everything goes well.
  4. Okay. Thank you for the detailed thoughts. This helps a lot.
  5. Hi Everyone! I have decided to sell my old Olympic kiln and was wondering if I you would be willing to go over the description and photos and give me some idea as to how much, in US dollars, do you think I should sell it for. Thanks! -Charlotte Olympic 2327H Manual Kiln Sitter kiln. Single phase, 240 volt, cone 10, 45.0 Amp Kiln. This kiln has been in continual use in my studio since 1992. Very reliable and I have made many thousands of pots using it, mostly to cone 04 bisque and cone 6 glaze. Selling it because I have a new kiln and I realized that I don’t really need two full size kilns. This has been a really wonderful kiln to use. It has a lot of life left in it for someone to make fantastic pottery with. Features: One owner. Dawson LT-3K Kiln Sitter - Sensing rod, weight and claw in good, useable condition. Cone supports need to be replaced. I ordered new ones and those are included. Kiln Sitter also has a timer. Elements are new- Replaced these last year. Kiln has gone through a number of firings with the new elements, so they are properly conditioned and work very well. Wiring and Switches in very good condition. Fire brick walls of the kiln are mostly in excellent condition. Only one small place on the wall (see photo) shows a missing piece. This is no big deal as the element in this area is properly held in place with extra kanthel pins. Lid handle has some corrosion on it, but is functionally sound. Lid brace is in good condition. Lid fire brick slab is in good condition. Metal jacket on kiln is in good condition with only small cosmetic discolorations. Floor slab of the kiln has some cracks in it, (see photo) but they do not appear to go all they way through. (Ware was never fired directly on the floor, but rather on bottom shelves, the reason the floor is free of glaze drips.) Kiln comes with original metal stand. Kiln comes with original Dawson Kiln Sitter calibration plate. This plate is used to calibrate the kiln sitter, so the kiln sitter functions properly. Power cord sports a nema-650 plug. The plug had been replaced. The power cord is in very good condition. Kiln comes with three (two of which are original to the kiln) peep hole plugs. Kiln comes with original lid wedge. Kiln comes with original manual. Kiln comes with assorted boxes of kiln sitter cones. Cones 018, 06, 04, 6, and 7 mostly. Kiln is sectional, with separate power boxes, that plug into each other, so it can be unstacked for transportation. Kiln sports three switches: low, medium and high. Can demonstrate that it powers on and heats up, as it is currently sitting next to outlet.
  6. Hi. Are the cone supports straight? It's possible if they are a little warped inward, that might cause the problem.
  7. When I was at Olympic Kilns in Flowery Branch, GA, having just finished ordering a new kiln (MAS2327HE), the sales representative talked me into using my own truck to transport the kiln home, saying it will be much safer in my truck versus sending it using the contracted tractor trailer truck. I have a cap on my GMC Sierra truck and the rep came out and measured it to make sure it would work. When I returned to pick up the kiln, they had me back up to the ramp of the loading dock, at just the right height. They then slid the kiln off of a pallet into the back of my truck using several thick sheets of cardboard. The kiln was well wrapped in plastic wrap (with foam sheet between lid and kiln body). They discouraged the use of any straps. Of course, I only had to drive a little more than an hour to get it home. Traveled like a dream. Unwrapped it, did all the taking apart, unstacking, carrying to workshop section by section and re-stacking, putting it all back together, as per instructions and all was well. It was a cool experience.
  8. Stephen, With a kiln sitter kiln, when the kiln sitter finishes and the weight drops and shuts off the kiln, you can turn the kiln back on using pencils. With the eraser part of the pencils, lift the weight slightly and push in the plunger. Turn the bottom two switches to high and the top one to medium, or high, and watch the witness cone packs until cone 6 bends to your liking. I have done such as this on a number of occasions to even out the temperature from top to bottom, or once when I wanted to get the load to cone 6 finish when something went wrong with the cone in the sitter. I always use witness cones. Two packs. One on the bottom floor, one on the top, with at least the top pack viewable from the top peep hole. If I am firing a load of glazed ware that I am particularly worried about properly firing, I will make sure the bottom witness cone pack is viewable from a peep hole, too. I always check the witness cones, several times during the very last part of the firings. Because of the witness cones and my vigilance all the almost disasters ended up being good firings.
  9. Hi Julia, Sorry, no. I have no experience using silica sand, I am afraid. I simply bisque fire my tiles flat on the shelves and stilt them in the glaze firing. I haven't had any problems. I would have looked for a solution had I seen cracks, or splits, or whatever, but no... all have come out fine. Maybe I've been lucky. I don't know. I have made some large, but to be fair most have been small tiles, 5 inches by 5 inches, or 5 inches by 7 inches. Maybe that's the reason I haven't run into any problems with them. Hmm.... I wonder if the following makes a difference: When making tiles, I use the technique I learned when I was a kid from a potter who railed that the only correct way to create slabs was to throw them. It involves throwing a flattened ball of well kneaded clay down on a piece of cardboard at an angle. The bottom part of the clay will grab on the surface, while the top part of the clay will stretch in the direction of the throw. It's reminiscent of the way a pizzeria cook stretches pizza dough, only in the case of clay, it is stretched by throwing it down, lifting it off, turning it and throwing it down again, repeatedly until the slab is the desired thickness. I have been practicing this since I was ten, so it's easier for me to make slabs this way, than any other way. Maybe the tiles I cut from these slabs are more resistant to cracking because having been stretched, most of the clay particles lay in the same direction. I don't know. It's an idea.
  10. Hi Julia, I have done a lot of the sort of work you are attempting. In my case, nearly all commission work with hard deadlines. Lots of pots and/ or tiles with sprig (2D relief) work on them. So I know. Always pressed for time, seemingly. Racing to get things made, so they can dry as slowly, and as completely, as they need. In this regard, I find myself throwing pots, or making tiles and then when they are barely stiff enough to be handled, pressing and pulling out the sprigs from the molds and applying them on to the pots, or tiles when everything is still quite wet. I use a wire brush and score both sprig bottom and ware body. I make two passes of scores, at right angles of each other. Dabbing a drop of water into the score on the ware, to displace air bubbles and to help further seal the bond, I will then place the sprig on. Then, this is important, I always wipe my fingers, quickly, and try to get them as dry as I can. I found that pressing the soft wet clay sprig on to the pot does very little deforming if the fingers I am using to press with are dry. Try it. As for thick sprigs, especially on pots that can’t have pin holes through their bodies, stabbing with a pin tool into the sides of the sprig, parallel to the plane of the tile, or pot, but not into the area of the scored bond, works great and allows it to out gas any residual moisture just fine. These deadlines, they are sometimes a beast! I have been known to sprig 40 pots in a sitting. Knock on wood, I have only had three sprigs ever come off and one blown off, and that out of thousands of pots and tiles. At the time, I noted that friends don’t let friends sprig at 3 am in the morning. I got sloppy and didn’t score with my usual care. Anyway, those particular pots were fired artfully tipped over enough to, I hoped, to keep the sprigs from sliding and I did succeed in fusing the sprigs back on in the glaze fire. And, I made deadline, got paid, and all is well. Best wishes that everything goes well for you and you make deadline. -Charlotte
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