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Stumonster Clayworks

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    Tucson, AZ

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  1. @BACHO I discovered through help in the forum that long term storage of B-mix in an aluminum pug mill can cause corrosion where it pulls out salts and the aluminum reacts. Apparently it is a reaction with the Neph syn. I was told by the people at Peter Pugger that as long as it is mixed pretty regularly and continuously refreshed with new clay it shouldn't be an issue. However, they mentioned that cleaning every 2 or 3 months is not a bad idea.
  2. Thanks Neil, excellent clarification. Southern Arizona weather is dry and predictable.
  3. Hi Kai, I have an outdoor kiln here in Tucson Arizona. It is a large 50 amp model. No ventilation. I have it sitting about a foot and a half away from the side of my house which is wood (shiplap). The wall temp at that distance gets to about 110 degrees F but nothing worse than our usual desert summers. So the walls are okay... However, the heat that comes off the unit going up is quite significant if trapped by the ceiling. You will definitely need ventilation in the shed, and make sure you do one of those upper vents like the rotating vent that looks like a chef hat! If you want to keep yours outdoors, I protect it when not in use with a BBQ cover.
  4. Thank you, I have a new gauge and it looks like I am not using it correctly (vacuum while mixing!) You guys have given me some great feedback!
  5. Ooops, I don't think I have been mixing with the vacuum on and no I haven't checked the filter! Thanks @Bill Kielb
  6. @NancyE - I remember this blog post because I thought it was so cool! https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/firing-techniques/wood-kiln-firing/the-mobile-anagama-a-wood-kiln-on-wheels/
  7. @liambesaw is right on the money as usual. That is the first wheel I inherited and and if it is stuck don't be afraid of a rubber mallet! Here is the website for replacement parts - https://www1.ceramics.nidec-shimpo.com/accessories/
  8. Hi Everyone, I have a newly inherited VPM-30. I recently cleaned it, replaced all of the seals, and it seems to be working well. However, I am getting pretty good sized air bubbles in my pugged clay... I was hoping to do less wedging! I am only getting about 23# of pressure on my vacuum; could this be the problem? From doing a search and looking at previous conversations, I know I may be opening a can of worms about wedging vs. not wedging. But, I don't want to give up the dream! LOL Also, while we are at it... what is everyone's average mix time? Thanks everyone, I am glad I stumbled into such a great community!
  9. @BonnieBee First, one of the big questions is... is the piece that good that you have to save it? Meaning - would it be faster for you to throw another one? If you must, you can grind down the uneven bumps/shards with a dremel tool, clean the dust, and dab on the same glaze and re-fire with the next batch. The difficulty is the consistency in the glaze. If it is a glaze combo that has lots of variations then this may work. If it is solid, you will see the repairs. The other issue includes color loss. There is no guarantee that after a second firing your glaze will look as nice as the first firing. So, to sum up... it is a gamble!
  10. I love the equations, but when it gets down to it - trial and error. There are a few unknown variables that come into play... how thick do you throw your walls? When I first started, I would throw a mug with 1 lb of clay and after shrinkage I would get an 8 oz by volume mug. Now I get as much as a 12 oz mug because it is taller and thinner. This also depends on the type of clay I am using and how well it holds up to throwing thin.
  11. Plus 1 on the Laguna B-mix for beginners. Speckled buff from Laguna is a great forgiving clay if you must go with something that appears more as stoneware. Cone 5-6 and has a light southwest brown appearance. An important tip for beginner work: look at the posts on softening your clay. Centering is much easier on a softer clay body and sometimes clay right out of the box might not be soft enough. Again, like people have mentioned above, this depends on where you are and who your supplier is...
  12. I also have a standard caulk gun with pvc and carved out my own shapes from insert end caps (thin and easy to cut). The PVC is about 8 3/4 inches long. There was no need to size down the plunger and the whole set up cost about $10. Love it for small batches of handles.
  13. @GEP thanks for the specificity and the picture! Also, thanks everyone for the discussion!
  14. I didn't think of painter's plastic.... good idea. I may try a combo... I am using one of those large plastic storage boxes that I put the plaster in. I could probably stack on one side and keep handles on the other.
  15. Laguna still uses twist ties, but their bags are unpredictable. I am wondering... I have a rather large wetbox (plaster on bottom) that I use for storing handles... Would this work for the pug logs or would it get too gooey because of the extra humidity? I live in the desert in AZ so I have to pour in a half cup of water every month.
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