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nairda

How Much Paper Burnout Is Ok?

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nairda    7

While folks occasionally use newspaper as an internal support for hand built pieces at our community studio, a group has made a number of pieces, each about the size of a sub sandwich, built around densely wadded up newspaper held together with duct tape.  The pieces have some holes in them, but there's not an easy way to remove the paper/tape forms before they're bisqued.

 

How much paper is too much to safely burn out in a bisque without being harmful to the kiln, vent fan and other pieces in the bisque?   It's a 10 cu L & L kiln with an EnviroVent. 

 

Thanks.

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neilestrick    1,379

First, burning duct tape is not a good thing. It's plastic, so the fumes are not going to be nice. As for the volume of paper, the vent won't be able to handle it. You won't necessarily do any harm to the kiln or vent, but you're going to have a lot of smoke coming out of the kiln. Downdraft vents just aren't made to handle that kind of burning out. I've had calls from more than one school who set off the smoke alarms trying to burn out a lot of newspaper. When using newspaper forms, they should be loosely packed, using as little paper as possible so that the paper can compress as the pieces dry and shirnk, and you should remove as much as possible before firing. I would try to figure out a way to open up the pieces and remove the paper, or figure out a way to vent the room when the kilns starts smoking.

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oldlady    1,323

neil, if they fired only a few at a time would that help?  or if there is an outdoor raku kiln could that be used just to get the paper burned out?  don't know what temp is necessary for paper burnout and a raku kiln does not bisque things but what do you think?

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neilestrick    1,379

neil, if they fired only a few at a time would that help?  or if there is an outdoor raku kiln could that be used just to get the paper burned out?  don't know what temp is necessary for paper burnout and a raku kiln does not bisque things but what do you think?

 

If the paper is truly densely packed, I don't know that firing one at a time will work either. An outdoor raku kiln would work as long as you can get it to climb slowly enough. Paper will start to smolder at around 400 degrees, and burn at around 480, but since it's inside the clay there will be a lack of oxygen, and it will take time for the clay itself to heat up, so you probably won't really see any action from the paper until the kiln air temp reaches 600 or more. I think the paper is just going to slowly smolder away as the kiln gets hotter, creating a lot more smoke than it would if it were loose in the kiln.

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Chilly    329

Densely packed paper will burn really slowly, produce masses of smoke and be really horrible.  (Try burning a stack of paper that you can't be asked to shred!)

 

Short of using a flame thrower on them, I can't think of any other suggestions.

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nairda    7

Thanks so much for the quick responses!  While I was fairly certain to not fire the pieces 'as is', the input from outside sources is very helpful for a community studio.

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