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Mark C.

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Posts posted by Mark C.

  1. Bowl forms pinhole more than than other forms -or insided forms pinhole mnotre than outside forms. I would clean your bowls 1st and let dry before glazing. A short soak may help smooth them out as well.Stoine wares pinhole more than porcelains in most glaze applications. Thickrer glazes will also pinhole more. Try the  short soak at temp.

  2. Your one off mold needs time to dry-blow air over it with a fan on . That will speed dry it.

    I had a slip business at one time and we poured about 100 of 3 piece molds a week-we rotated molds in and out of the system-always kept the fan on them when not using them. I live is a damp climate. 

    Over the years they wear out-at the joint line (that crack gets larger) and they will get surface pits on the plaster. You can always dry them out as noted in above post 

    (The absorbency is decreasing due to the buildup of soluble materials in the plaster.)  This takes many many pours -we made new molds about yearly but we where casting thousands of pieces

     you use will make a difference -thingslike soda ash and sodium slicate will shorten the life if thats in your slip-we only used Darvon 7 as an additive -those other ingredients will shorten your plaster mold life.

  3. Depending on color I use two part epoxy called JB weld-its at any hardware store. The quick set in 5 minutes is more thick the regular is very thin to get into small cracks. It dries somewhat black but if you cut the surface off with a razor blade its light grey. It very strong.

    If you want clear than the locktite is best

  4. 2 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

    Hate to point it out in case it creates a rush, but Ferro has closed some US manufacturing plants and is in the process of moving them to Mexico. There are interruptions in the availability of 3134 and 3124.

    If I used them I would buy a 50# bag for sure.

  5. My clay prices and chemicals have all gone up. Demand has gone berserk

    I have raised prices and am still doing that. My 1st show is coming up  a few states away and all pots will cost more except for spoon rests .

    My  natural gas cost has risen as well. 

  6. Most likely it will be fine. 

    Not sure that ash firing to cone 9 in an electric is a great idea as it will really shorten element life but yoiu know this already and I assume the kiln is acone 10 model.

    If the kiln is sealed up and only went to cone 04 then pots shoule refire nicely  when you get the power issue resolved.

    I would love to see the finished work if you can add some photos .

  7. Well its looking to be a record quarter just like the second quarter only better. I have had so many orders I have had to say no to some and limit amounts to others. Spread what I can around if you will.

    I'm really having troble getting my upcoming  fair  pots put away.

    Our Tourist season is over the top this year and covid spending seems endless at this point.

    I'm back to pots pots pots-even fishing has been backburnered. 

  8. On 7/7/2021 at 9:21 AM, Mark_H said:

    Not worth it IMO.  As Mark C. noted above a little 48amp kiln in 8 hours would use 92,160 watts  (92kw) if it was on continuously.  Same reason solar/electric heat isn't used on swimming pools.  Maybe someday, as we get more efficient in both kilns and solar arrays.


    So my system is 96kw which  is in optimum conditions can do a fire-the most output I have seen is 8,600.  If I was to use the utility as a bank its easliy done. Just spend 25k and firing is near free

  9. I think sellling back to utility as Hulk says is a very reasonable way to fire a kiln and use solar . You bank the hours for a year  with your utility (everry one has different rules and some this will not work with) and settle up once a year so doing so will pay easliy for kiln firings . The amount of fires will matter but a dozen is not out of the question .

    I am a solar Pirate  sort of speak for other reasons not kiln firing.

  10. 15 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

    I agree with @GEP . Unless you have a huge solar array, the best way to combine solar and kilns is to remain on the grid and produce enough to offset the cost.

    I wonder if the the fast (1/2 second) cycling of SSR relays would be better or worse?

    I think better as the shorter surge would be best. Either way large surges are not great for any inverter. They work best on constant loads

  11. My skutt kiln is a 48 amp draw. I have run 4 bisque fires which are about 8 hours long.The kiln ramps from 2- 3 hours to be full on so lets say an average of 5-6 houirs at 48 amps.

    Now most solar systems on homes are 12 panels-My system has 24 -400 watt panels = 9.6oo watts =9.6k

    Most  solar inverters are fixed  in size but they make them that are more flexiable like a sol-ark

    I have a Sol-Ark 1200K which can handle up to 12k so you can add  more up to 12k later-its a top of the line inverter with lots of flexibility

    This inverter will handle any battery now produced or new ones in the future as its connected to internet and is programable when needed.

    Now in reguards to powerwalls any big time brand name like Tesla will cost more

    I have 15 kw  in storage which is two of these units  below-toptal cost for the batteries was about 10K

    I avoid Tesla or Generac power walls-as you pay for the hype

    KiloVault® HAB™ Series
    7.5kWh LiFePO4 Battery Storage System

    sold by Alt -E -https://www.altestore.com/store/deep-cycle-batteries/lithium-batteries/kilovault-hab-75kwh-150ah-48v-lithium-battery-p41596/#KLVHAB7_5V3

    If you buy them on sale they cost just under 5K each 

    These carry us every night off on there own.

    We are not off grid but use very little grid power as the batterties carry us thru the night with plenty left over

    We pump our own water(220v 30 amp well pump) 


    We have extra power with these setup which is used to heat a 80 gallon solar water tank  with a 3500 watt element when extra power is available which is also heated from two 4x8 roof  water panels since 1983 (thanks to Jimmy Carter and his solar incentives)This tank feeds our natural gas fired water heater. 

    I built  and wired these systems myself as I have worked as a sparky before in life.Our panels are ground mounted as well so easy to keep clean.

    So to answer your question our system which is hooked up to a 50 amp breaker (most home solar systems are either 30 to 50 amps in total output) will fire the electric kiln on a sunny day about 2/3 or a bit more along with the hosue power needs. I only fire it during daylight hours so not to use battery power but we have enough to add that to it. I start it by 8 am and its off in 8 hours and I have not yet done this in winter (lesser daylight) Our system is less than a year old and our kiln fire does show on bill bits it a small amount . We live in a very high electric rate area as well. 

     Some more info=Kilns suck watts and solar does not like the on and off cycling that controllers do-say 48 watts on and off like my fire right does so I tend to turn off the solar/kiln connection for a few hours until the kiln is on full as then its constant load which solar is great at (the inverter in the main isssue of on and off not the panels)

    So yes I'm doing it but I also invested 25K into this system so I have prepaid for our electricity so of speak.

    I have yet to know  what our payback time will be until this years taxes are done as I bought another battery this year as well as a few odds and ends so the tax credit needs to be included into that calc. Then added to last years tax credits. It was a great thing to knock 7 k off my tax bill last yaer and rool some over to this year as well. 

    Using just batteries makes no sense but a larger panel system does make some sense and I got a great deal on the 24 -400 watt panles at $195 each so the panels where the cheapest part of the system. I love mechanical ssytems and this job was a great fun but lots of work.

    We are not on a net metering contract with utility -just using very little from them . 10 years ago I put in a 12kw natural gas generator fro backup power which was for outages (we average 5-7 a year). This system is also still hooked up and is auto on when the grid goes down. Our power system is very complex.

    Hope this answers some of your question



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