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Andere

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Everything posted by Andere

  1. Someday, I hope we get that far! It'll be outdoors, so the kiln won't be a permanent fixture and it's very unlikely there will be both a car and a firing cycle needed on the same day. The goal is to meet the need (i.e. talk the landlord into it) of an electric car charging spot (no one has one in the town of a hundred people, but people's out-of-town friends do) that can be used to charge a car two or three times a year, and power the kiln two or three times a year. The kiln will be moved, set up, loaded, plugged in, etc. etc. for each firing cycle. Highly not ideal, I know, but its the high desert- getting a few weeks of zero chance of rain is pretty easy, and since we all rent, an indoor or hardwired kiln is not an option for the foreseeable future. This kiln is very mobile in its modular form and has been moved upstairs, downstairs, through various basements, into and out of several vehicles, etc. We're getting pretty good at it.
  2. Replaced all the elements, replaced the connectors (got them crimped real good,) replaced the sitter tube, replaced a couple bricks... if anyone's curious, a kiln picked up at a garage sale for $175-$250 (no one can remember exactly what we paid for it) has cost about $600 total. For a working kiln with new elements, of this size, that seems a fair price! ...and we are really hoping we got the kiln sitter back together in the right order. It was a fun little puzzle to assemble and the diagram in that Skutt PDF is super fuzzy. Next step is a place to plug it in. We got permission to test it on a local 208 welding circuit, but it requires use of an extension cord and that isn't going to tell us if we can reach cone 6. Since wiring is required, we're seeing if we can combine the 'need a place to plug in the kiln' with 'need a place to charge an electric car' and solve several problems on one permit + electrician on a different building's 240 circuit since the kiln doesn't need to monopolize its plug.
  3. Awesome, I will give them a call tomorrow. I like the idea of a connector that is re-usable, and doesn't require special tools to install!
  4. Yeah I have no reason to believe they've been replaced; with this much corrosion on the connectors (kiln sitter was fried as well) they are probably original. Everything else looks ok, so I think will pick up elements and connectors separately instead of Olympic's "replacement package," as it contains parts that don't apply to a model this old. I'm wondering if corrosion like this is from the kiln being fire damp. Inside of the kiln shows no corrosion, but it's from the wet side of the west coast and may have been fired with condensation on the external components.
  5. Hey, we're still working on this 70's era Olympic kiln! Cleaning out cobwebs in the wiring and found the connectors were thoroughly corroded and, I'm guessing, not safe to run current through. We were hoping to test fire this weekend but have decided to hold off until we can replace the connectors. What I'm wondering is, is it possible to uncrimp and recrimp with fresh connectors, or is it likely the element pigtail is too weak or short to hold up? There's enough slack in the external wiring to strip back a bit and crimp on fresh wire. It's the element side that concerns me. Seventy-five cent connectors, versus $575 to replace the whole kit & caboodle.
  6. Thanks for this perspective! I will collect and post some of the muck, it's legendary for its sliminess and ability to swallow things. Cold bentonite and clay soil upwellings are a local landscape feature and when wet and active, occasionally eat cows. I have gotten my hands on a more recent and very thorough geological survey from the 1980's and am going through it for PPM data, but looking like it's all well below safe thresholds for both sedimentary deposits and native stone. Selenium, oddly enough, is not present in our area; animal feed is fortified with it as the deficiency in local forage gives them muscle problems. (Injecting a pig with selenium in solution is an interesting endeavor!) Thank you for the recommendation, have ordered a copy!
  7. Yeah, agate is a silicate with various impurities that give it pattern and color. Ground up it would probably go quite nice in a glaze, but I'm curious what would happen if it were sliced thin and fired. Hopefully melt and not explode! We're working out a vent/hood system before firing to funnel fumes out of the building. I will, thank you! Looks like a very interesting book. I will compare those numbers. I have a mine assay report from the mid 1950's. It's for a deposit of weathered-out clay and rhyolite a few miles away but similar overall geology; very minute amounts, far too small for commercial mining, but I wouldn't eat the dirt. Our drinking water tests pick up trace amounts as well, but so far all well under allowable limits for water systems. Oh gosh that sounds like fun. Folks think "if I didn't get it dirty it must be clean," and don't think about the smelters or orchards or whatever in the area forty years back. The rhyolite necks are what the miners focused on, for cinnabar and gold. I'd love to get our phyllite deposits tested though. They weather into a really sticky clay in a variety of colors and have some pretty interesting mineralization; it's (labeled as) pre-cretaceous seafloor, far too metamorphic for fossils, but I would be curious about minerals and metals for both clay/craft purposes and for knowing if it's got rare earths. I wouldn't be making anything functional with local clays or soils, just small sculptural objects to see what things look like and how they hold up. I just don't want to contaminate the kiln if my experimentation in one firing might leach back into my friends' food-grade stuff on the next round!
  8. I'll start by saying I know nothing- I have two housemates with school backgrounds in ceramics and am helping catalyze their ceramics studio dreams as we wait for covid to be over. My housemates are hoping to make functional ware, bowls and mugs and the like with commercial clays and glazes while I'll be off playing with rocks and dirt and seeing what happens when they get fired. We live in a very geologically rich region with vibrantly colored soils ranging from purple volcanic tuff, black, blue and yellow phyllite, celadonite deposits, red paleosol, yellow and green volcanic ash deposits, large bentonite domes and perlite flows. Lots of natural clay, sticky and elastic as peanut butter, and feldspar sands along the roadcuts. The local hills have been inspected for mining potential and that analysis picked up trace lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, gold, silver etc. etc. We're six miles downstream from what was one of the biggest cinnabar mines in the northwest (collapsed, literally, in on itself in the 1950's.) While subsequent surveys didn't pick up any notable cinnabar outside of the one volcanic plug that was mined, it does still occur in trace amounts throughout the region. How likely is it that doing geology in the kiln is going to put mercury into my friends' coffee mugs? Is this a valid concern when working with and testing raw materials? (also has anyone fired agate in their clay and how did it turn out??)
  9. Good to know, cone 6 is our planned upper limit. Will be doing a test firing cycle to see if temperature is good here in the next few weeks. Thanks for this, I'll pick up some element pins with the rest of the hardware (it lost its hinge pin and lid brace arm somewhere along the way!) Olympic is still manufacturing much the same kiln, so should be fairly easy to find the right bricks when the time comes.
  10. Hey! Some friends and I are in process of setting up a vintage 2327 Olympic kiln, if I'm reading the serial number correctly it was manufactured in the mid 1970's. We're all a bit new to the process and have never fired it before, and as we're in a very remote part of central Oregon, local resources & advice is many hours' drive away. I know it's not the ideal for a starter kiln but sometimes you do your best with what's available. The kiln has been in dry storage for fifteen years; prior to that, I don't know its history. The inside of the kiln appears free from mold or corrosion, the elements look good, the wiring appears in good condition and undamaged, but a few fire bricks are chipped around one of the rings. Is this a very serious problem or for a likely couple-times-a-year hobby use this machine will (hopefully) get, alright to leave as-is? Thanks very much!
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