Mark C.'s Profile
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- 09-January 12
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Posted 18 May 2013I suggested a tutorial on this some time back pinned to the top but no one stepped up so I'll take a swing at this.
Many have issues with how to put a photo up. It really easy but will take a few minutes.
1st take a photo with whatever you have -a phone a camera whatever and download it your computer.
For me thats a camera and its now in apples I photo where I then send it as a smaller size in a e-mail to myself. Then I drag it onto the desktop.
If you have a windows machine run it thru whatever photo program you have and make it smaller in size.
Now when you are done making a post typing whatever words at the end click to attach files at the bottom left.
Now find your image and select within the select files windows -it needs to be a small image as your file will fill up quick and you will have to toss images to have room for more.
I have so many photos posted that I at least every month need to edit(throw some away to make room for more) as this software(forum) has a small file size for each member.
Now hit the post key and your image as well as your pots will appear.
Here is some yard sculpture from my past each brick was made separate and laid with slip-The clay was a dark body fired to cone 10
the refrigerator kiln is called quick cool
The sphinx cat kiln is about two feet long. One last note these sculpures are 40 years old.
Posted 12 Mar 2013This is a bit off topic but the Thread about zero tolerance for a bad movie made me to want to let you know about one of the best stories and films you will get to see in your lifetime-yes thats a huge statement.
A few months ago I became aware of this film and ran it down and bought it and a few weeks ago it won best Documentary of the year at the oscars.
Its a bit hard to run down but if you can check this movie out-its out now on netflix in disc form.
Searching for Sugarman is the title on DVD
-you can also view online the 60 minutes story on this.
this is a powerful story
The artist is Sixto Rodriguez and he has two CDs out now from the early 70's-Its great tunes for making pottery to.
PS he is now on world tour and is playing small venues around the world-check him out if he is in a town near you
his schedule is at
Posted 14 Jan 2013If you have an older electric preferably one with a kilnsetter (cone turns it off) then this is an easy way to go.With this setup all one does is put cone in sitter and turn all kiln switches to high-if you have a timer set it to whatever hours you normally do.
The timer is a last emergency shut off in all applications.Then dial in how many hours you want before the kiln will be on full on-the controller will ramp it up to whatever you set it and the cone sitter will tun it off-This controller will ramp up the kiln for you from about 1hour to 10 hours-that means in 1 or 10 or whatever you dial the dial for the kiln. The kiln will be on full in that amount of time. No more turning kiln up-If the load is damp dial in 6 hours or more if its a glaze set it for 1-3 hours and then it will be on full. This takes out the always going out to turn it up steps-the cone setter still turns kiln off and if you have a timer that still works as a back up. You still need to check that it all turned off as any prudent potter would.
First if you are handy as and electrician than this is no big deal but if you are not I suggest buying the components and hire a pro toinstall them.
Here’s the install
You will need to know your kiln amp draw-its stated on the side plate or control box.
In this case I have a skutt 1227 and it draws 48amps which means I will need at least a 60 amp contactor switch.
I bought a 75 amp
You will need a large electrical box –find one at a junk yard or an electrical contractors bone pile-cost should be next to free-make sure its at least 5 inches deep and 12-15 inches long-and 8 inches wide -it can have stuff like switches etc inside as you will remove all that till its an empty shell. If it has holes that are open (knock outs) you will fill the ones with covers when you are done so there are no large holes in box. This box needs to hold the automate controller and the contactor switch as well as 4 large #6 copper wires. You will need to cut the front out to mount the auto mate controller.
This will require metal skills.
I painted mine and have used it for about 20+ years now.Mine is mounted outside in a huge covered area. These units will make some noise when they click on and off unless you use the mercury switch.You will need a definite purpose contactor 2 pole open type(Grainger’s item #2CR99 this one is 75amps) or (grangers item#5B098 60 amp) the75 amp is 172$ the 60 amp is less $.
Make sure the coil voltage is for 220v as all the ones I referenced are.
I have burned out a few of these so I’m now going to use the 75amp one installed today. You want a larger amp switch than what you draw so it can hold up over time-This time I’m going with a one that has lots of extra amps so it will last more than 10 years.I have burned up a 50 amp and a 60 amp. I should of bought a mercury one years ago but now I cannot in my state. Now I’m in a state that will not allow a mercury switch but if I could get one (all states but 6 allow these) I would use a mercury displacement contactor they are silent (no loud clicking) and last almost forever. That Grainger # is6A864 for a 60 amp unit and costs about 130$. This is the best way to go but alas I live in California and mercury switches are outlawed.
You will bring into the large box the two leads and a ground from the main panel and from the contactor you will have the leads going out to the kiln.
You will need to buy a fireright automate 11 kiln controller-this item is 70$ and you can find them here-this is a great deal
PS I have no association with this company-I have used a controller of theirs for 20 years si I know they work well.
You will need some #12 wire and some crimp on terminal ends all this is hardware store stuff. To make the jumper leads. About 4-6 feet will do.
Follow directions on the automate 11 controller paper work as far as wiring. You will have to know how to read a wiring diagram.
When done you have a Simi automatic kiln that now only needs to be checked at turn off. Misc including above items is under 300$ or less if you have some of this. My safety warning is this job is really best for one who is good with electricity and should not be attempted by a novice. If any of this sounds Greek to you buy the stuff and let a licensed electrician put it all together.
Posted 8 Jan 2013Just finished the install today.
I do not want to bog you down with technical terms so lets just say its a new sub -panel with new breakers-all 60 amp and a new outlet for Buzz box (arc wielder) new wires to kilns
For those that this is all greek to its a new thingy
Fired it all up and also found my kiln controller relay is cooked-and they do not sell them in my state anymore (Ca) I live in one of 6 states Grainger will not ship these to.
So I have a few hoops to jump before these kilns are cooking-Good thing I'm on a clay break for a month.
Posted 31 Dec 2012Well it was a week before christmas and I had two gas kilns going and had some greenware left over in shop so I loaded up the big skutt and turned on the fire right ramp controller. Went back a few hours later to drop the lid and the kiln was off and the controller was acting strange.
On closer inspection I noticed the #6 lead insulation was cooked in both the control box and in the 100 amp sub panel on wall. This sub panel has serviced two kilns and a pug mill for over 35 years. It was toast inside as enough heat had destroyed the breaker bar insulation as well as some wire insulation.
I just shut it all down and this week took it all apart and off the wall. will order a new 100 sub panel and will rewire later in the week.
This old one was square D and the new one will be either Bryant/westinghouse or cutter/hammer-I already have 4 load centers this brand and none of the square Ds.
The new ones are double the size with room to work. I will add a buzz box circuit and plug as well as disconnect the unused for years alpine pugmill circuit. I'm giving that vertical pug mill to a friend if we can move it (750#)
The thing is all the connections where tight-over the years the heat finally cooked the buss bar insulation and now the box is unsafe. So if you use and electric a lot check the box now and again for signs of heat degradation.-I'll add the new box photos to this post when its done.
PS I used to work as an electrician in my off season(early 80s) and my best friend has an electrical business.
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- 60 years old
- March 15, 1953
- Near Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest
Diving-underwater photo-salvage diving-dive Travel
Extreme offshore tuna fishing off north coast of Ca.
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