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MFP

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  1. Neil...do you know anything about the big Olympic gas kilns? Sarah Perez is always after me to get my huge gas kiln operating....but said that my burners might need to be "braised and redrilled". I have no blasted idea what that means. The kiln has never been fired. I did anticipate lots of quality time with the burners and WD40 to get the ports open. The burners I had before were home made. I don't know anything about manufactured burners. These burners were from the original company whose factory burned down.
  2. Thank you, Hulk and Neil. The switch I received is white and the shaft does have a retention spring thing. I will try WD40 and see what results I get with that. I got it just loose enough with a slight pry that I wound up getting it off the calibration and had to make sure everything was lined up correctly again.....and put a piece of sponge behind the switch to keep it from twirling.. And yes, I spied the retention screw behind the knob....undoubtedly somewhere there is a special skinny wrench for unscrewing it.....hence the lock spring on the knob. I want to see how it fires now that the top wire is securely crimped. I will let you know what happens! My knob is one of the silver ones with Lo, 1 to 6 and High.
  3. Thanks! No set screw I could see. I guess I am just too feeble to pull it off. I even tried gently prying....no dice.
  4. Yes....I know they are cone 10 clays that will remain open at 6. I was not planning on using them on anything that would hold liquid. But thanks for letting me know! I also bought some 38 in the past and it also throws very well. Just not as white. I am thinking that if I finally make myself fire the gas beast, I will use these 2 for my stoneware. There is an NZ 10 glassy porcelain that is very good but spendy! They have a cone 10 porcelain called White Rose which I highly suspect is the cone 10 version of Rainier. It is very similar and a toothy porcelain.
  5. Got it. That is how I have the peeps previously. How do you get these knobs off the switch?
  6. Yes, I finally figured that out....it's amazing what reading the box will do for you! Yes...I get Rainier from Kyle. I tried a bunch of different porcelains and I like it the best. It actually is more cooperative than the stoneware I bought from CAC. I finally figured out that If I want to do plates, I better be prepared to dry them for 3 weeks, no matter what I use. That seems to be the trick with all these new clay bodies. I have been trying Amaco Amix #11. I get it from School Specialty on ebay....their shipping is $5, no matter what you buy and it makes this very white stoneware affordable. Check in on Kyle....it's been a rough road for him lately.
  7. Thanks Liam....there's nothing in that section except wires an way....once I got it open it was pretty straightforward. The top element wire popped right out when I opened the box.....that and how I was loading it might account for the problem. I have a new switch but couldn't figure out how to get the darn knob off. All the electric guts must be in the center section. It does have a coil but since the other two sections are reaching hard 6 that isn't the problem. I have learned to cover the last part of the load with a shelf....then I don't have any heat loss through the lid. I also turn the top and bottom on high and leave the center on 6. That has worked really well....at least in terms of the top.
  8. Thank you so much Neil. I had thought I was packing it too tight with too short shelves. I took off the cover yesterday to attempt to replace the switch....and voila! The top wire to the element popped right out....it had not been crimped tightly. So that might have also contributed . It is an old Olympic with knobs. I couldn't not get the knob off and then had to get the switch lined up with the knob again so it displayed the right place on the dial. So the switch was not replaced. I did do a bisque prior to this where I left the bottom more open....and when it reached red heat, the color was uniform in all three ports. Also....plug peep holes or leave them open? I was wondering if I was starving the bottom of O2 by putting in the peep.
  9. I have an Olympic 1827H electric kiln. The bottom ring was hardly reaching cone 4. Since it is an old kiln, I thought the elements were the problem and replaced them. Fired again. Still cone 4 in the bottom ring. Olympic thinks it is a switch problem and is sending a new one. But I have seen references on here to relays. So I was wondering if you could please tell me more about relays and how to determine if they are functioning properly? Apparently there is also some kind of coil. The elements are heating up but just appear to not be getting enough juice. Middle and top rings are achieving hard cone 6, Thanks!
  10. Thank you! Who sells that please?
  11. Thank you very much Neil.....exactly what I was looking for.
  12. Yes....although "talc" is a homogeneous term in pottery meaning "stearite", it is a heterogeneous term in mining....referring to at least 8 different minerals depending on the application. Pottery was even less of a market share 30 years ago than it is now.....there's no telling what we got when we were using "talc". I know we had to abandon at least two glazes because one of the materials that showed up were no longer the same....and we couldn't get what we had previously. I am sure the university was using soapstone....but other people were using whatever people said "talc" was....glaze theory and glaze calculation was not the norm in the pottery community.....you had recipes and you followed them....if a material changed....you just did not have that glaze any more. Thankfully, times have changed.
  13. This was my point.....that pyrophyllite is marketed as talc because of its physical properties, not its chemical properties. Layered talc often was in alternating layers of talc and pyrophyllite. And I agree.....that the name was not in any way related to the contents. What I highly suspect was that the talc we got was from a layered deposit contaminated with Dolomite, pyrophyllite, and Wallosanite. However, since my friend has tried all the current magnesium containing talcs.....it didn't hurt to give pyrophyllite a test---just in case that is the "talc" we got 35 years ago--- since these marketers only care about the physical properties in most cases (for example.....one mineral they call "talc" is almost entirely asbestos).. When you look at pyrophyllite and touch it, you could not tell the difference from true talc.
  14. After what I have discovered about the variability of talc deposits and all the different minerals being sold as talc.....I would not be surprised at all,,,,especially considering that the ceramics community was 1% of their market....and physical properties were what they were after, not chemical properties---which don't seem to concern them at all.. Bottom line....pyrophyllite is considered a talc....not the talc we use in the pottery community....but it is used in other ceramic applications. And like I said....Mark is not out anything to try it in that glaze recipe. I know when I am doing tests of my old glaze recipes, I am going to one of each....because this ugly grey stuff is nothing like what we used to use. I sent what 30 year old talc I had to Mark already, but I only had a couple of pounds left. I had not seen this stearite stuff at that time. I can tell you.....it is not the same as what I used in the past. If pyrophyllite isn't what it was.....we are both screwed in terms of our old recipes. Since Mark had already told me that all the current ones did not work......it was clear that magnesium might be the issue.....and pyrophyllite has hardly any. So...if this "talc" doesn't solve his problem with that one glaze....I have no further suggestions--- as it is clear that the chemical properties change from mine to mine and within the same mine on any given day. I got a lot of info from the US Geological service. That's how I found the North Carolina mines.
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