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Hi All,

 

I received some great advice from the members of this forum for my first Raku fire and wanted so show some of the results.  If fired the kiln twice, once as a test with sample items and once with my work which was more successful.  The video is of the second firing (although I did upload the first to YouTube as well, I learned a lot from it).  It is not very long and shows the completed work at the end.

 

I used a combination of glazes that I prepared from recipes from the internet and books as well as some pre-mixed Laguna glazes.  I made the kiln from an old Paragon kiln I found for $50 off of a site similar to Craigslist.

 

Again thanks for the great Raku Input.

 

 

Ian Cook

 

 

 

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VERY NICE!    

 

like the final pieces, remind me of Wayne Higby back a few years.\

 

just a suggestion from seeing lots of raku firings and distilling the best ideas, if you are going to work on flat things, it might be easier to use a smaller reduction container or turn that one upside down.   putting the combustibles on a flat metal surface, adding the work, add more combustibles and cover with something that has a handle but is much shorter.  cover the edges with sand and done.

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Hi oldlady,

 

Thanks for the suggestion I will try inverting the container next time, I had not thought of that as a solution.  I did struggle a fair amount trying to get the “right†reduction chamber, the most I found we not large enough in circumference to fit the work.  I did use a smaller container for my test run which I used some thrown wear, and it worked fairly well.  I don’t like having to lift the pieces up and over the higher wall height of the reduction chamber I am using, and the solution you have provided would remedy that.  Thanks.

 

Ian

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Hey, Ian;

Looking good!

A couple of suggestions;

1.Use a small broken kiln shelf on the flue exit. That way you get a bit of back pressure and not all of your heat is lost out of the flue.

2. Build yourself a reduction box out of brick, or metal-not so tall, with a sheet of metal for a lid.

If you are firing in the fall-you can use leaves that your neighbours have bagged up.

Nice looking tiles.

I used to make Group of Seven landscape tiles with my students. Have you heard of Tom Thompson? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

TJR.

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Hey, Ian;

Looking good!

A couple of suggestions;

1.Use a small broken kiln shelf on the flue exit. That way you get a bit of back pressure and not all of your heat is lost out of the flue.

2. Build yourself a reduction box out of brick, or metal-not so tall, with a sheet of metal for a lid.

If you are firing in the fall-you can use leaves that your neighbours have bagged up.

Nice looking tiles.

I used to make Group of Seven landscape tiles with my students. Have you heard to Tom Thompson? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

TJR.

Hi TJR

 

The advice around a brick reduction chamber is very sound, in fact I received very similar advice from my father who although has a different core medium (casts bronze sculpture through the lost wax process) feels that I could use fire brick to increase the size of both my kiln and my reduction chamber.  And because I am using a 500,000 BTU torch I should still be able to reach upwards of 1850F given the correct exhaust size.

 

Taking on a project like that would be very exciting and I would love the learning I would get, but my backyard is also a playground for my children and the permeancy and real estate required for a brick kiln or reduction chamber would more than my lovely wife would be willing to give.  Great ideas are fantastic.  All advice I get I very much appreciate as I work somewhat in a vacuum, and I haven’t really done ceramics since I left college 25 or so years ago.

 

Thank you again!

 

Ian

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Hey, Ian;

Looking good!

A couple of suggestions;

1.Use a small broken kiln shelf on the flue exit. That way you get a bit of back pressure and not all of your heat is lost out of the flue.

2. Build yourself a reduction box out of brick, or metal-not so tall, with a sheet of metal for a lid.

If you are firing in the fall-you can use leaves that your neighbours have bagged up.

Nice looking tiles.

I used to make Group of Seven landscape tiles with my students. Have you heard to Tom Thompson? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

TJR.

Hi TJR

 

The advice around a brick reduction chamber is very sound, in fact I received very similar advice from my father who although has a different core medium (casts bronze sculpture through the lost wax process) feels that I could use fire brick to increase the size of both my kiln and my reduction chamber.  And because I am using a 500,000 BTU torch I should still be able to reach upwards of 1850F given the correct exhaust size.

 

Taking on a project like that would be very exciting and I would love the learning I would get, but my backyard is also a playground for my children and the permeancy and real estate required for a brick kiln or reduction chamber would more than my lovely wife would be willing to give.  Great ideas are fantastic.  All advice I get I very much appreciate as I work somewhat in a vacuum, and I haven’t really done ceramics since I left college 25 or so years ago.

 

Thank you again!

 

Ian

 

Ian;

Here's a couple tips for increasing the size of your combustion chamber;

1. Build a layer of cinder block for the kiln to rest on.

2.Build a softbrick floor-2 to 3 layers, with one hard brick target brick to aim your burner at.

3.Fill in the big hole in the side of your kiln with fiberfax.

Back in the day, we got a grant to travel around rural Manitoba teaching art to country students. We had 6 of us in a van, one art history person, one drawing, one dance, a coordinator, and two raku potters. We could tear down our kiln in 45 minutes from red heat. It was a blast. It was the 70's.

TJR.

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Looks good but I see youre using a weed burner as your burner. Sometimes these guys can get a lil choked up during use other than what theyre supposed to do. You might want to look into a Ron Reil Burner. Simple and easy to make and typically very cheap to make. If I remember correctly my first one I used a 1 1/2 reducer to 1 in pipe, a cross pipe of 1/2 pipe with a 1/16 gas hole positioned in the center. Its been a while since Ive made my last burner but with my furnace I can smelt copper so the heat output is there. The pic is it on low. Any higher and I would need a coupler on the end so the flame has something to hang on too. Easy and cheap and Im sure your top flue would be fine and you could even cover most of it to get the temp you need.

 

3Mczk2.jpg

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Looking further at your vid Id say buy a pair of metal tongs. Or if you can weld make a quick set of them. Or drill holes and bolt a metal one. Very nice idea with the garden 3 prongs but the heat in a kiln could bring those dry wood handles on a warm day to the point of combustion and startle you. Im sure no harm could be caused since you got some nice gloves but it might cause you to drop a piece of work.

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Looks good but I see youre using a weed burner as your burner. Sometimes these guys can get a lil choked up during use other than what theyre supposed to do. You might want to look into a Ron Reil Burner. Simple and easy to make and typically very cheap to make. If I remember correctly my first one I used a 1 1/2 reducer to 1 in pipe, a cross pipe of 1/2 pipe with a 1/16 gas hole positioned in the center. Its been a while since Ive made my last burner but with my furnace I can smelt copper so the heat output is there. The pic is it on low. Any higher and I would need a coupler on the end so the flame has something to hang on too. Easy and cheap and Im sure your top flue would be fine and you could even cover most of it to get the temp you need.

 

3Mczk2.jpg

This is a great idea.  I did have some chocking in the beginning that took me a bit to work out.  I'll look into this for sure.  Thanks!

 

Ian

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Looking further at your vid Id say buy a pair of metal tongs. Or if you can weld make a quick set of them. Or drill holes and bolt a metal one. Very nice idea with the garden 3 prongs but the heat in a kiln could bring those dry wood handles on a warm day to the point of combustion and startle you. Im sure no harm could be caused since you got some nice gloves but it might cause you to drop a piece of work.

 

Thanks for the note.  I made the tongs just for these pieces, because of the size of the work compared to the inside diameter of the kiln was too close I couldn't get my tongs under the pieces, once the work was in my reduction chamber the larger circumference of the barrel made it easy enough to grasp with my tongs and I used them to get the work into the water.  I do appreciate your point on combustion and feel that it is a very real concern. 

 

The gloves are a great deal from Amazon, on $20. :D

 

Thanks again.

 

Ian

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Looks good but I see youre using a weed burner as your burner. Sometimes these guys can get a lil choked up during use other than what theyre supposed to do. You might want to look into a Ron Reil Burner. Simple and easy to make and typically very cheap to make. If I remember correctly my first one I used a 1 1/2 reducer to 1 in pipe, a cross pipe of 1/2 pipe with a 1/16 gas hole positioned in the center. Its been a while since Ive made my last burner but with my furnace I can smelt copper so the heat output is there. The pic is it on low. Any higher and I would need a coupler on the end so the flame has something to hang on too. Easy and cheap and Im sure your top flue would be fine and you could even cover most of it to get the temp you need.

 

3Mczk2.jpg

MMB;

Looks great! Is there any way that you can adjust the primary air with this baby, or do you just blast away!

TJR.

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Being I just blast it for metal purposes I dont have anything attached. Many though get fancy with it. Ive seen something as simple as a swaying hinged piece that attaches to the back so you can reduce the air flow. There are those that increase the air flow by adding extensions to the back for forced air inclusion.

 

This guy got a lil fancy with the back end piece twisting down and up for the vacuum air flow...

nLEc7z.jpg

 

There is also another option of the "side arm" burner which uses the three way coupler. The air comes from the top. This though can be more difficult to acquire because most big retail hardware stores dont always stock that elbow reducer. I found one though at a tiny old town hardware store, those guys never disappoint.

 

eMvB6c.jpg

 

Whats nice about that lay out is it lends the idea of using a MIG welding tip as your gas port instead of using a simple drilled hole. So between the gas port size, gas pressure, and air flow you can easily adjust your heat output. The metal forging community isnt too big when it comes to internet info but there is enough out there to give you the info you need.

 

 

Oh and use Black pipe not Galv. I see you had a Galv trash can. Eventually it will all burn off but still Zinc fumes are not fun things to inhale. Zinc will burn off galv stuff very easily its better to just avoid entirely. The main body of the side arm burner is galv but that part of the assembly doesnt get hot enough to matter, so really just focus on the areas that do.

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