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  1. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in Crash Cooling...Deliberately   
    This is an excellent point. I fire down in my baby kiln, to match the slower cooling rates of my bigger kilns. My glazes look terrible when cooled fast. Just awful.
  2. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Min in Teapots cracking just above foot when filled with boiling water.   
    One possibility could be the clay body.  I had this same thing happening and found out it was the Hawthorn fireclay that had an extraordinary amount of super fine silica because of where they were getting it in their mine.  i completely changed my clay body formula so that no clay was  more than 20% of the formula. Fast forward to testing... finished glaze fired pieces were placed in the freezer for 24hrs  then removed and boiling water poured in.....  zero cracks in all pieces.
  3. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in Kiln lid "caulk"?   
    You shouldn't need to do any sort of seal on the lid if everything else is done correctly. With that much insulation, the issue has to be the elements. If you must seal the lid, just lay a layer of fiber blanket around the top of the kiln and set the lid down on it. You won't get any better than that.
  4. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Rae Reich in Flipping heavy slump mold   
    How about this: lay a piece of plastic in the bowl. Get a couple of cans of spray foam from home depot, lowes, walmart...  fill the inside of the bowl and let it harden (might take overnight). Trim the excess foam flat with a bread knife. You now have a reverse slump mould.  should be much easier to flip the bowl with the inside support... or outside? Whichever it is.
  5. Like
    Russ got a reaction from JohnnyK in Flipping heavy slump mold   
    How about this: lay a piece of plastic in the bowl. Get a couple of cans of spray foam from home depot, lowes, walmart...  fill the inside of the bowl and let it harden (might take overnight). Trim the excess foam flat with a bread knife. You now have a reverse slump mould.  should be much easier to flip the bowl with the inside support... or outside? Whichever it is.
  6. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in Bat Problems -- Loose holes   
    Are they the bats with one smooth side and one side that's a grid? That's a tough one. If you enlarge your bat pin in some permanent way, then your good bats won't fit on them. You could try filling the holes with plastic epoxy and re-drilling them, but I bet the epoxy won't hold for long. You could also try putting a small piece of wet paper towel or tissue on the bat pin to fill the gap. For regular plastic bats that are solid (no grid), you can just drill new holes. I'd start investing in solid plastic bats when you replace those, if you like plastic. I've got a few dozen Northstar bats in my classroom that have been in use for 15 years and they're still good.
  7. Like
    Russ reacted to GEP in Giffin Grip Tips?   
    I hardly ever use the arms. Only when trimming something with a neck/mouth that is narrow compared to the body, therefore prone to tipping over when upside down, such as a bottle. I use the sliders for just about everything, I recommend letting the mug body get more dry. It’s fine to attach a wetter handle to a drier mug, as long as you use good attaching techniques. Then cover the mug with plastic for a day or two (depending on your climate) to allow the moisture to equalize. 
  8. Like
    Russ reacted to liambesaw in Very paranoid about Silicosis   
    Think about all of the silica in the air in dry sandy environments!  That was always my first thought.
  9. Like
    Russ reacted to oldlady in Very paranoid about Silicosis   
    yes, you are being unreasonably neurotic.
  10. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in New wheel search   
    Skutt/TS wheels have the most torque- the power to keep rotating under load. It's not all about horsepower. The Skutt 1/3hp models will handle as much as a Brent 1hp. The Whisper wheels have some of the lowest torque ratings due to the type of motor they use. They work well for what most people make, but I would try one before hoping to put 25 pounds on it.
  11. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Rae Reich in kiln building   
    On my wood fired kiln i have a hard brick arch single row like yours. On top of that I have around 2 to 3 inches of kaowool. Above that is a lower temperature  rockwool insulation. It holds in the heat quite nice. I see no need for doubling up on the hard brick.  its just more mass to heat up. 
  12. Like
    Russ reacted to dhPotter in wedging   
    Personally I don't think you need to wedge at all. I haven't wedged any clay in 3 years. Cut from the bag of clay, pound it into a ball, trying not to add pockets of air. I diligently cone wedge each ball at least 3 times not what size the ball of clay. 
    Perhaps wedging is held over from when potters mixed their own clay bodies and did not have de-airing pugmills. 
  13. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in DIY bats and carcinogens   
    Masonite is not very durable. If you're just using it as a ware board, it'll do okay, but if you're repeatedly throwing on the bats, where they get saturated over and over, they don't last very long. They delaminate and warp. A better wood product is Medex, which is an exterior grade MDF. It would probably have to be special ordered at your local hardware store, though. I've got a few dozen Medex bats that I've been using for 15 years. The nice thing about Medex is that it is absorbent, so the bottoms of your pots dry a little more evenly, but they're much lighter and more durable than plaster. I think they're the perfect compromise between plastic and plaster.
  14. Like
    Russ reacted to Min in Chain drive for slab roller   
    I have a simple slab roller my husband and I cobbled together years ago. We had scrap steel and most of the other bits lying around, it's rough and crude but it works well so we’ve never upgraded. Heavy table, shelf underneath, arborite top. Because we used scrap and all sorts of odd bits the total cost was probably under $60-  We used parts of a rowing machine, weight lifting set..
    For the gears, we used #40 chain sprockets and an idler sprocket to tension (on a pivot arm with a simple coil spring), bought new from a discount auto supply place, not much cost. We did consider bike gears but this was way easier.
    Height is adjustable on the upper roller, I honestly don’t change the height very often at all. I have a couple thicknesses of boards that I use to run the clay through with, if I want a thinner slab I use a thicker board. 
    A piece of redi-rod mounted to the upper bearing is what adjusts the upper roller height. This allows us to adjust the rollers to parallel. Old steering wheel, more than enough torque to feed the clay through.
    Re your plan on using aluminium irrigation pipe, that’s great if you can do it. If you can knurl then I’m assuming you have a metal lathe? As you can see on ours, the cylinders aren’t knurled but I’ve never had an issue with it, probably because of the diameter of the pipes. 
  15. Like
    Russ reacted to Pres in Handle size for mugs ?   
    I constantly remember how my first professor would go on and on about how a handle should be small enough not to look like an ear on the side of the pot, but large enough to get 2-3 fingers into it. I really was not a big fan of his, but some things keep coming back. I have tried to make mine fit my hand and have a comfortable angle from lifting straight across, or from slightly above.
  16. Like
    Russ reacted to Mark C. in New Shimpo Whisperquiet wheel head seems off center?   
    I have never leveled a wheel in my life-My old pot shop has unleveled floors for sure never been an issue -The new green throwing room(10 years new) is level but still I have yet to level a wheel. I demostrated on an unlevel parking lot last September and had no issues.I'm with Neil on level .
    One thing that seems to run true is when you are learning to throw all kinds of things seem to affect ones throwing-espescially- Bats that are just a bit off .This is the 1# cause of many throwing issues I read about here.
    Really just more throwing is needed about 99% of the time
    Most issues are from clay that is to firm or to soft or sloppy fitting bats or poor seating or to cold air or room is to large or bugs are buzzing to close,room is on a slant or room is to level, motherin law is looking over your shoulder-its to sunny outside-I can hear the grass growing . Mother in law is moving in with us,Wheel is wall mounted and hard to sit sideways at. Had to much water to drink ,socks are to tight,shoes to loose -tie got stuck in spining clay wad.Velcro on shoes is worn out-laces on shoes are worn out. I cannot find my shoes,Husband is clueless, kids are playing with fire,Kiln is on fire, I'm to hot thinking about fire,Power is turned off a nd wheel will not spin ?? to much power and wheel is smoking-Oh its a kick wheel and has no cord. I kicked the wheel and bent the head, The clay is acting like mash potatoes, oh it is mash potatoes .What is clay and are potatoes related-they both come from the ground.
    Ok I'm joking here but you get the idea-this orginal poster is having issues with the wheel maybe not acting right and the wheel head may be bent-lets see what the video shows as all the other reasons right now are moot.
  17. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in New Shimpo Whisperquiet wheel head seems off center?   
    Level doesn't matter. You can throw a pot with the wheel tilted to 20 degrees. The issue is if it's not running true, like it has a wobble. That will affect your centering. Hold a pencil about 1/8" above the wheel very steady, and see if the gap between the wheel and pencil remains constant as the wheel rotates.
  18. Like
    Russ reacted to neilestrick in Frequency of sanding a potter's rib   
    There is absolutely no reason to be sanding a rib every 14 mugs. That's ridiculous. If he needs a rib that sharp, then he should use a metal rib. If he's just using the wooden rib for stretching, there's no reason it has to be that sharp. Plus, since the ribs is usually used at a bit of an angle, it's kind of self-sharpening.
    From a business standpoint, if I were to spend 20 minutes a day sanding, that's 10 fewer mugs that I'm producing each day. If he's doing something that the other potters aren't, and his production is lower as a result, then as the employer I would put an end to it. Plus it's costing you money to replace his ribs. I would have him try producing without sanding the ribs for a week and see if it really impacts the quality of his work. Chances are it won't. Ultimately, that decision is yours, since it's your product. If he wants to sand his ribs for making his personal work, then fine. But it's your call for your pieces.
    I've got ribs I've been using for 15 years and have never sanded them.
  19. Like
    Russ reacted to glazenerd in Slipcasting for tiles?   
    look for a porcelain with a shrink rate in the 10.5 to 12 range. High plasticity in porcelain = higher memory.
    unglazed once fire: try this stacking arrangement. Less drag, more pieces per square foot. I rarely loss a piece to inversion using this firing  stacking method.

    i make this piece both ways: slab rolling then adding the raised deco. I have also slip cast this as well.

    this piece starts as a 14 x 16, and ends up 12 x 14
  20. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Rae Reich in Gluing finished pieces together?   
    Just thinking outside the box... have you thought of firing them into a mass?  I've had my share of kiln sculptures.. the latest one was a 12x24 shelf that broke during the firing.
    The mass since sitting on the corner of the wedging table. I plan on turning it upside down adding small led lights and making a chandelier.

  21. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Babs in posting a status update   
    How does one go about posting ones own "status update"?  just can't figger that rascal out.. and to those who respond please type s  l  o  w  l  y .
  22. Like
    Russ reacted to oldlady in HELP! Cone 5 glaze firing going over 16 hours now!   
    what happened to the kiln and pots?    please don't leave us hanging.
  23. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Rae Reich in Drying Cabinet Idea   
    Speed of drying doesn't matter as long as the clay dries EVENLY.
  24. Like
    Russ got a reaction from LeeU in posting a status update   
    Thank you Min! That's all it took...  why wouldn't the default be "on" instead of having to try to figure all this out? Can I be in the secret society now that I know the secret handshake?
  25. Like
    Russ got a reaction from Lafree in slightly wobbly wheel head   
    As above you might see if there is something keeping the wheel head from seating on the tapered shaft or if one or both pins on the shafts are bent.
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