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Everything posted by CactusPots

  1. Well, if you give them the perfect straight line. Yeah. I'm going to run some various trials anyway. It's always fun to melt unknowns.
  2. Just finished a camping trip south of Death Valley. Great rocks, good times with friends. I guess bentonite deposits are fairly common in the area, so I brought some back to play with. I cleaned it up with a #60 sieve and will dry it back out before using. It's a rather odd green color. On thinking about it now, bentonite isn't really a glaze ingredient, but just useful as a flocculent, to my knowledge. I don't know how to experiment to see if this is a worthwhile score. Maybe use in a clear glaze and see if it adds any color? Also found something I think is borax. I'll just try a
  3. Their website says closed for indefinite period. My local supplier says they are out of business permanently.
  4. Even if the cracks on the lid are all the way across, if the band is in good shape, the lid will still be functionable. Be sure to look at the lid band under the handle. If it's anything more than surface corrosion, it should be replaced. When you replace the band, you want to heat it with a torch (expand it) to get it tighter than it would be able to do cold. Second hand lids are available.
  5. The thing is, the Brent has a reputation for a noisy motor. I had heard that the distinct motor noise was a deal breaker for some. I have no experience with the Brent, other than considering purchasing one when I thought I had to replace my Pacifica. When I played this video, it was the first time I had ever heard a Brent in action. Needless to say, I was surprised. I guess you could get used to it. I'm no expert, but I would guess a quieter motor is a sign of quality and cost.
  6. I had the same thought about the location of the microphone, but the speaker's voice is clear, so I thought the motor's noise was loud.
  7. I brace my left elbow into my left thigh. In any case, concentrate on what your left elbow is doing. It has to be locked.
  8. My 20 year old Pacifica makes no sound whatsoever. Motor is original. Now I'm not a full time production potter logging 40+ hours per week, but the wheel is 20+ years old.
  9. Is this what a Brent wheel sounds like? Unacceptable! I thought my nasty fluorescent ballasts were bad. Guess I'll never get rid of my Pacifica.
  10. You do want to keep an eye on that. It's easy to forget about it until it's too late. I'd recommend replacing the band when the bottom edge shows actual loss of material, not just surface rust.
  11. It took around ( 3 glaze per year, 7 bisque per glaze, 18 or so years) 400 bisque loads, but the original lid band did in fact fail. That's a bad thing, because it will fail as you go to lift the lid and the lid will then fracture. Better to replace the lid band while the lid is in one piece. So without a kiln vent, what is the recommended procedure for minimizing exhaust corrosion? I have been firing with a brick cracking the lid until 400 then finishing with the top plug out. Anyone else?
  12. I've been firing with the lid open about 3" until 400F. The idea is to burn out the water and organics. Then close the lid and fire with the top plug out. I'm noticing pretty substantial corrosion on the one year old lid band from the exhaust out the top plug. I suspect something like sulphur burns out higher than 400. Yes? Best practice? What would be considered a safe ramp speed through quartz inversion? I'm talking max size the kiln will handle.
  13. But now that I'm trying larger pots, I'm seeing what I'm told are quartz inversion cracks and now I realize, I'm doing 300 an hour through QI. Also, that the overall firing is too slow and I'm wasting time (money) at the lower temps. There are 3 or 4 cracks running up the side wall of this wide low planter. Also, this pot is almost the full width of the 23" electric kiln shelf, I'm making a deal on a reconditioned 1227 Skutt. I'm told the larger kiln will be kinder to bigger pots like this. Here's something I don't understand. If I add up the times on the schedule I have listed,
  14. Or a friendly machine shop with a press. Take them about 2 minutes. Right tool for the job.
  15. I reused the bags the new clay came in. Both for scrap collection and wetting and once it's pugged. I recycle the ties from lettuce for a better twist tie than comes with the clay bag. I have tortoises, so I have lots of lettuce ties. I think the best way to use recycle is to pug it wet and store it for at least 3-4 months. Naturally, it will dry out a little, but it usually seems to hit the mark for being softer and better throwing than commercial. Speckled Buff and B Mix are really different and should be a pretty interesting combination. The B Mix is like half porcelain, ri
  16. I've never made pots like these before. I'm not the guy who makes the same stuff over and over. My primary goal is to keep myself entertained, not pay the mortgage, so there's always a level of uncertainty. I don't like failure any more than anyone, but I do like to keep challenging myself. So I'm just trying to learn from advice as opposed to trial and error. Not sure where the "waster" concept fits for me. My drying process is initial slow drying in garbage bags, on paper initially, then on non stick bats. Plexiglas or masonite. Turned inside out daily. Then dried under towel
  17. Will this be the largest span you've done? Since my shelves are 19" square, these pots will just about fill it up. I can't remember anything bigger. Every crack tells a story. Mostly, I think mine are forming and drying issues and not so much feet sticking to shelves. Also, I think the bonded silicon carbide and the advancers don't tend to stick to stoneware. What I was asking about is mostly concerning the 12" expanse of the bottom Isn't the largest shrinkage from wet to bone dry or maybe leather hard? I should do some measurement tiles to see when the largest shrinkage oc
  18. For the pots I pictured, I'm mostly worried about the bottom cracking. Am I supporting the feet or the bottom with the waster slab? My thinking was a slab across the bottom either taking the feet up or very nearly. Not right? I'm mostly interested in not having problems with the bisque fire. If the goal is just to prevent the feet from sticking, a layer of grog should do the trick. I've been told that there isn't much shrinkage in bisque, would the waster slab be intended for glaze fire? Most of my pots (probably not these) get cookies of sliced soft brick under each foot. Mos
  19. It was suggested here that I use a waster slab underneath to support the bottom of pots like these. The space between the feet is almost 12" and 1 1/2 " deep. A solid piece of clay like that might be 10 lbs or more and particularly difficult to dry thoroughly. Maybe something like a trivet? Quarter inch slab with lots of little feet? Or maybe just lots of inch and a half blocks? I don't think I've ever heard of a waster slab before.
  20. My observation on my pugmill is that it needs to be very full to work correctly. The best way to recycle clay is to mix scraps much wetter than you can work. I collect scraps in clay bags and add enough water to get the desired softness. Very soft. Then let the soft clay age for a least a couple of months. Getting all the air pockets out can be work in my pug mill as it holds more than 40 lbs. I use an inch and a half delrin rod to push the clay into the corners. The delrin is the best material I have found as it neither splinters nor mars the aluminum. The result is the best th
  21. This might be the first ceramics book I ever bought. It's probably in a more recent edition by now. It has the most detail on Thrixotropic clay of any book in my collection
  22. The way to make better pots is to make lots of pots. Winners and Losers.
  23. Minimizing and recovering from various kinds of problems are skill sets each potter has to develop. Some of it has to do with what kind of work you are making and where the potentials for problems lie. I agree some work is best discarded out of hand, especially in the bisqued state. Glaze load space is just too precious to run a 50/50 gamble. If I try to fix a bisqued piece, I usually rebisque it to see how the fix took. Personally, I'm a fan of paper slip and can fix almost anything in the green ware state. Not that I always do, because that clay is recyclable. I advise attempting
  24. I'm really fortunate to have my studio mostly outside because of where I live. Air flow is my dust control. If you live where the climate is not so hospitable, artificially controlling dust, temperature, humidity is considerably more difficult, I'm sure.
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