Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kiln done, commisioning underway!

I lit the remora burners (pilots) this morning and the kiln is drying out. I am holding it at about 225 degrees for a few hours. Then I am going to ease it up to red heat to get a feel for it. Then, I really need to start making pots.

One of the last tasks was to put a "wash" on the hard brick to help them withstand the effects of the soda/salt. The product I am using was recommended by Larkin Refractory Solutions. It is a high alumina refractory plastic (Econoram 90 TR by Pryor Giggey Co.)

I also added the IFB floor to the firebox and floor flue. The IFB was dipped in the Econoram wash before placing. Hopefully, these will help protect the hard brick in these high heat, corrosive areas. I had a couple of Super Duty hard bricks to use as target bricks.

I cut 9" sections of a kiln shelf to use as the interior flue roof. When I am using soda/salt I will use coils of wadding to keep these from glazing to the floor.

This is how the shelves layout. As you can see the hot gases are forced to the center under the set to leave the kiln. Hopefully, this will give uniformity in heat top to bottom, front to back.

When I start up this morning, I used a weed burner through the passive damper hole to heat the chimney and start the draw. I don't think this is going to be necessary except in really cold weather and maybe not even then.

Well , the first step in making pots is cleaning up the studio. It has really gotten trashed the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Topping out!

When they finish the framing of a tall building they "top" it by erecting a Christmas tree on the highest steel. I didn't feel the Christmas tree thing, but thought a salt/ash glazed jug might do the job. The kiln is about 99% done.

Here are some pictures of the cutting through the roof and flashing out the opening.

I didn't quite get it. One side held water out fine, but the other leaked badly.

Looking at it, I can see where the caulking needs to go. I am thinking of using a "tar" to fill the pools that form up slope from the chimney. The other option is to fabricate some metal flashing to do the same thing. As I don't have metal forming tools this might be a little challenging.

I also had a problem with some of the silcon caulk I used. It didn't set and washed out in the rain. I wiped it off and will replace it with a better brand of caulk.

I have all my shelves loaded into the kiln to dry out in a test firing. They had been kept in a wood box under tarps, but moisture got in. It seem to cause the coating that the shelves are covered with when shipped into an acid which etched itself into the shelf. Below is a picture of the most damaged. Not the best.

I will cut the bricks for the door and then slowly get it hot!

Friday, November 06, 2009

I've got gas!

Middle Tennessee Natural Gas came, set the meter and hooked the piping. I decided to have them do the plumbing. They have the tools, the materials, etc. and it seemed to make them more comfortable. As the kiln operates at a pressure way above normal house pressure, they raised an eye brow or two when I started talking to them about the kiln. They did a good job and I have to admit I would have taken far, far longer to do it. I have even lit the burners - sweet.

Here are a few shots of the arch construction. I changed the design a bit. I had enough "extra" IFB to add a layer. So the make up is, hard brick arch, two layers of kaowool, a layer of IFB, another layer of kaowool, chicken wire and finally a covering of Insulating castable. Hopefully that will keep the heat in.

I cut the hole through the roof yesterday and flashed it. Today, it is time to stack chimney brick.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fuzzy Bricks

When I went out to the kiln to work the other day, I found fuzzy bricks on the chimney!

I suspected that it had something to do with moisture and sodium silicate, but I called Jim and Pam down at Larkin to make sure - they said don't panic, just shave them and go on. They confirmed my suspicions. Now how do you shave a brick? Does Gillette have a special blade for that?