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Pat B.

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    Upstate NY

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  1. I have been using Laguna 55 for years and love how non-fussy it is although it is a bit groggy and doesn't fire too white. I recently started using Laguna 65 and love how smooth it is and the white color, although attachments do crack a bit more and I'm told it doesn't play well with a lot of glazes because of the low COE. Problem: I no longer live near a supplier who carries those two clays. I do live an hour away from Sheffield Pottery and an hour away from Bailey Ceramic Supply. Can anyone recommend a cone 6 white stoneware? I'm not interested in B-mix 5 (my glazes want cone 6 and I don't want to deal with cracking and fussiness). I've seen negative things about Bailey's clay (bloating) but don't know anything about Sheffield's clays. I appreciate any help.
  2. I just got my first kiln recently, it's also in an unheated, uninsulated shed. It already had power, but not enough for a kiln. The electric was not cheap. We already have a 50 amp line that supplies our RV about 40 feet from the shed so we extended that line to the shed. Hubby is very handy and did a lot of the work. He rented a trencher to bury the line from the RV to the shed (cost about $150). Then we had an electrician connect the 50 amp line and put in the outlet ($350 including materials). The 50A limited the size of the kiln I could get. Originally I was going to get an L&L e23t (23"wide, 27"deep), but you need 60A for that. So I got an L&L e23s instead (23"wide, 18"deep). Turns out I like the smaller size. I'm a hobby potter and don't produce a lot of work quickly, so it would take longer to fill the larger kiln and I'm too impatient to see my work to have to wait! My back also appreciates not having to reach down inside a deeper kiln. We also put cement board on the walls and floor around the kiln for safety. I got an inexpensive all metal shelving unit to put next to the kiln for holding posts and non-flammable stuff. I recommend getting a downdraft vent. It has to vent through the wall where there is no door or window within 4 feet. Consider where you will direct the vent hose so that you are not tripping on it whenever you load/unload. We ran it up the wall behind the kiln and out under the eaves. Also make sure to install a regular outlet for the vent motor. We already had power in the shed so hubby just put in an extra outlet where it was needed. If you haven't decided on a kiln supplier, I recommend buying through Neil Estrick who moderates the equipment forum. He kept me fully informed during the process and promptly answered all my questions on accepting delivery, installation, and the first few runs.
  3. I actually thought of it while the pots were still leather hard so I made the drainage holes through the sides. I just wanted to be sure they will really "stick" together, I don't want someones saucer falling off when they move the pot.
  4. I threw a couple of plant pots with separate saucers for them. Then I read that some people prefer the saucer and plant pot to be attached. Can I put glazes on both (not wiping the bottom of the pot, just the bottom of the saucer) and put the glazed pot into the glazed saucer and fire them like that? They should stick together, right? Any reason this is a bad idea?
  5. Dick; I'll look into getting a repeater/extender (actually my IT guy, also known as my husband, will look into it ;). Thanks! Neil; I didn't even see Communication when I was searching around in the menus for where export might be. It's in the middle of the scroll under Config and I went right past it. Well we both learned something today!
  6. Thank you Neil and Dick for responding. Yes, I contacted Bartlett and found it in Communications. I have version LT4-4.2.0 Unfortunately I'm having WiFi issues so it isn't working anyway. Weak signal. I may have to bring a router out to the shed where the kiln is located. The Kiln Aid app is working fine connected to my phone, but that requires a lot less data.
  7. @Joseph Fireborn had a really useful thread 3 years ago called "Downloading Firing Data from Genesis Digital Controller". It's an archived thread so I couldn't post there. The software has since been updated and the choice "Export Log File" is no longer there. Does anyone know how to download data now? It's not in the manual and I have searched online without success. Joseph's old post is the closest I've come. Pat B.
  8. I use newspaper. It's thinner than printer paper but still keeps the shape, is cheap, and is flexible when wet so is very easy to peel off. Do it while the pot is still wet and the rim can stick to the newspaper. Clear off any extra slip on the rim and then gently lay the paper on top. Make sure to get contact all the way around the rim by very gently running your finger along the rim (you'll see where it is sticking) . Move the pot off the wheel onto your ware board and then gently peel off the paper. You may have to smooth the rim a bit if it looks rough, but it will be perfectly round!
  9. Bill, Yeah, we're going to get that snow tomorrow. I definitely have Florida envy at this time of year! You gave me such complete answers to each of my questions. I thank you. Pat (Potterhead)
  10. Thank you to Mark C. for calming my anxiety and to liambesaw for the pic, now I know what to look for. Wow. @Callie Beller Diesel, I can't imagine even going out to the kiln shed in -4F temps (which is what it was here last night!). My understanding is that you have to keep the controller above freezing so I kept the electric heater on until the kiln heated up the shed on it's own. Trouble is that it took all day before the kiln had any effect on the shed temperature! I actually stayed up until 1am waiting for the shed temp to rise so I could go turn off the heater and go to bed. I wasn't willing to leave the heater on overnight unattended since it's pretty old. I was actually surprised that the kiln didn't heat the shed sooner/better. Even at the highest kiln temperature, in the last 2 hours of the firing that next morning, the shed only got to 55F (outside temp was probably 20F then). My electric heater is extremely old and I don't think it could take colder temps than the 20-30F I used it in. The shed is not insulated and has gable vents, so keeping the temperature up is quite a problem. Maybe I need to upgrade my heater ... or cover the gable vents ... or wait till Spring ;D.
  11. Hi All, Questions from a newbie. I've tried to find the answers to them, but all the info I find is generalized and my questions are pretty specific. I have an L&L e23s-3 electric kiln in an unheated shed with a vent-sure downdraft vent. It is very cold right now in upstate NY so I'm on hold with the firing until things warm up a bit. Question 1: Should I bisque fire to cone 04, or is cone 06 high enough for Laguna 55 WC607 clay? I plan to glaze with commercial glazes at cone 6, most commonly a clear one (The Ceramic Shop C656D). Question 2: Does staining the clay with mason stain affect what the bisque temperature should be? I know dark clay needs a hotter bisque than white stoneware to burn off stuff, but what about white stoneware that has up to 10% mason stains mixed in? Most pieces will be 4% or less, but a few will be up to 10%. Question 3: I plan to do a pre-heat on the bisque fire to drive off any water, but does the glaze firing also need a pre-heat? Question 4: Should I do a controlled cooling on the glaze firing given that it's so cold outside here? Question 5: Should I turn off the downdraft vent as soon as the firing cycle is complete? What if I do a controlled cool, should I leave it on then? Your help is appreciated.
  12. I did a successful test firing of my new L&L electric kiln. Yay! Then yesterday I loaded all my mason stained test tiles for the first bisque run. I put 105 tiles standing up in holders I made. I'm in upstate NY and the kiln is in an unheated shed. The temperatures for the test firing had been in the mid-30s during the day but down into the teens at night. I was able to keep the temperature above freezing (to protect the controller) by running a small electric heater until the kiln reached a high enough temperature to heat the shed on it's own. However this week it's much colder so I'm going to wait until things warm up a little before firing the bisque run. I figured I'd load it up and just wait. Today I read that you shouldn't let greenware freeze. The test tiles were dry, although I did sponge around the edges that morning so I guess it's possible that there is a little moisture in them. Did I ruin them? I just went out to look at them and don't see any cracks. Are they likely to crack when I get to the glaze run? I spent a lot of time making serial dilutions of 24 different stains and I don't want to lose them. If I have to I can re-hydrate them one at a time and remake the tiles. What do you think?
  13. I decided to buy a kiln from @neilestrick. He has been very helpful to me since I joined this forum. He obviously knows what he's talking about and is generous with his time and expertise. He also gave me a very good price quote. No one here responded about the other two vendors I asked about so I don't have any additional feedback about them (good or bad). I decided it matters to buy a kiln from someone I "know" rather than a vendor whose customer service is unknown to me.
  14. I'm about to buy my first kiln. It's not a big one (I only have 50amp service available) but it's a big deal to me! I don't want to make a mistake or a bad decision on what I consider a big purchase. I've pretty much decided on an L&L E23S with 3" bricks and vent. It will come to almost $2800. I used to live near The Ceramic Shop in PA although I'm about 4 hours away now. I like a lot of their in house products. I'm also only about 75 minutes away from Sheffield Pottery in MA although I haven't been there yet. Both sell the L&L and the price is pretty close. Has anyone heard anything bad about either of these vendors? Is there something else I should know? Is there another preferred vendor or way to buy a kiln that I don't know about? Does it matter who you buy your kiln from?
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