Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worktable Wednesday: Roadblocks and Repairs

My new digital kiln controller arrived yesterday around 5PM - way too late to install it and fire a run of glass, even IF everything had been OK....

new digital kiln controller - isn't it pretty and shiny?

This is the digital controller, fresh out of the box - The eagle-eyed among you might spot the first issue: one of the 2 wires that connects to the thermocouple is NOT connected - I entertained that thought that maybe it was a grounding wire, and was supposed to be disconnected. (Ha!)

I hurried to the back room, and disconnected my analog thermocouple/pyrometer from the kiln, and discovered issue #2: the thermocouple for the new controller is about 3x the diameter of my analog one, and therefore would NOT fit in the port into the kiln. That's not good.

I tried to call the supplier, but they were closed for the day. Of course.

So I put the controller on my workbench, and decided to plow through the think operating manual that came with it. I learned how to set it, and program it - and spent about an hour programming in the firing schedules I wanted (there was a lot of starting over here, as I kept pushing the buttons in the wrong order. Aarrghhh!)

Then it was going home time - so I left everything right where it was, and planned to arrive at the shop early so I could catch the technical support folks at the kiln place.

Which I did - he agreed that the disconnected wire was a non-issue, and told me how to reconnect it. However - fitting the thermocouple into the kiln is going to be a bigger problem; not insurmountable, but it may involve either drilling a larger hole into the kiln's firebrick OR disconnecting the wiring from the new thermocouple and reattaching it to the old thermocouple OR mailing the whole thing back and starting over.
And who would be doing the fire brick drilling and/or the rewiring? Well, that would be me. Um ... what?!?

This was not supposed to happen, of course - I had been assured that the new controller would be plug 'n' play, essentially - no drilling, no nothing - just pull the old thermocouple, slip in the new one, and plug 'er in!

Roadblocks  - hate 'em!

The gentleman at the kiln place asked me to send him pics of the old thermocouple, the kiln, and some other stuff, so he can work up some solutions. He has some other things to attend to this morning, so he'll be phoning me back after lunch.

So - back to the drawing board, and the worktable!

This was my worktable at 8 AM this morning:
The kiln controller is front and center (with the all-important DVD player off to the right) - and lots of glass and glass-related tools and equipment piled everywhere. Makes me claustrophobic - but heaven forbid I should put anything away, because I would promptly need it again!

That's my Bailey (and his Baby) photobombing the shot above....

I put the new controller in a safe place, leaving this:
Well, that's a little better. I love how I have a styrofoam tray of glass (the glass I etched yesterday) precariously balanced on top of a leaning stack of plastic containers AND a salt shaker (because eventually I'll need to salt my lunch today!) - I smell disaster ... I need to put that glass somewhere safer, but right after I do the pending repairs and custom orders, I plan to USE that glass.... I can be a real idiot sometimes. Do you have any idea how many times I have knocked over stuff because of this exact situation? Crazy.

While I wait for the kiln man, I want to knock out the repairs and custom orders that have been accumulating while I have been playing with glass.

4 jobs pending

repair #1

This is the first repair - It's a restring, and there are some beads missing, so I'll have to add an extender chain, since I don't have any suitable replacement beads. If you click on the pic, you can see the extremely thin, fraying thread this was originally strung on (no knots) - how/why do things like this get sold? - this necklace was doomed from the moment it was first strung. The pendant and beads are heavy, and the string is ultra thin. Unbelievable.

repair #2

This is another restring - if you look closely, you can see where it broke, and the customer's husband tried to repair it for her. He used some wire from his workbench, and you can see it poking out and wrapping around the pearl on the right near the gold focal ring. It's obviously very stiff, and it's catching on stuff.

Lampwork beads

These are destined to be a pair of earrings, as are these:
Murano glass bicones

So, that's my Wednesday. Cross your fingers that non-mechanical me (I, I know) can be talked through the kiln issues!

What's on YOUR worktable?

1 comment: said...

O my - I hope you get the controller running - I know you want to get fusing. LOL your baily is a dog my baily is a cat. Love that turquoise set