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Hi all!

 

I'm currently in the process of installing a kiln. I live in the city and the kiln is going on our outdoor deck. I understand there is a fire hazard. The plan is to install a base steel sheet, a layer of cinder blocks, then a layer of bricks, and lastly another sheet of steel. This would then have the kiln stand on it. I have a small L &L easy-Fire 2.6 cu ft electric kiln. I fire to cone 04 at hottest. It will have sufficient spacing from surrounding walls. It will also be protected from weathering. 

I'm looking for advice on raising the kiln. Does my plan sound sufficient? Is it overkill? At most I will be firing this kiln here for a year.

 

Thank you for your help!

Warmly,

Kaylee Anderson

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That would be overkill.

A layer of bricks, or cinder block alone, would be sufficient.  The issue with wood near a kiln, is that over time, the heat will dry it to the point, that it will ignite.  That's why they recommend leaving 12" between the kiln and wall surfaces.  

So you just need something to shield the wood decking from the heat.  A piece of cement board, would also work, though I don't know it does, when used in an exterior space.  

In other words, I would scale it back a bit.  You don't need all that weight in one spot on a deck.

Edited by Benzine

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18 hours ago, Sputty said:

The auto-ignition temperature of dry wood is going to be something like 300 deg C (570 deg F).

The space (about 6 inches) under my little 3 cu ft kiln gets barely warm. I've fired it sitting on an OSB surface for years - there's no sign whatsoever of any damage at all. None.

By all means include an extra layer of something if you wish - there's no harm in it. But you don't need to lift it up to the ceiling with blocks and bricks and whatnot - just one layer of ordinary block with aluminium foil top and bottom would be more than sufficient.

Never on wood:

From L&L Kilns:

LOCATING THE KILN 1) Place the stand on the floor in the desired location. This should be set so that the outside stainless steel surface of the kiln will be at least 12” to 18” from any combustible wall. Floor must be nonflammable.

From Paragon Kilns:

Place the kiln on a concrete floor. Avoid wood floors and, of course, carpet. If you place a kiln on a concrete floor finished with linoleum tile, place a fireproof material over the tile to protect it from discoloration.

From Skutt Kilns:

Kilns must be placed on a non-combustible floor such as concrete or ceramic tile. It is not recommended to place the kilns on wood, carpet, or vinyl floors which may discolor or ignite.

From Olympic Kilns:

Because all kilns generate heat the stand or frame should be placed on a cement floor.

Edited by neilestrick
I was rude.

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Funny. But I stand by what I said. There are exceptions to every rule, and I'm glad your setup has not caused any problems for you, but a non-flammable floor is needed. It's not worth the risk. I have personally seen many discolored floors under kilns, and there was a kiln up in Milwaukee that started a fire because of a situation like this.

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Looks like we need to step back and take a deep breath . . . It is okay to respectfully disagree or challenge on content, but let's avoid making comments that characterize members personally.  That is not what the Forum is about.  And, I'm not singling out this thread . . . it has also occurred in some other recent ones.  We all bring different strengths -- whether experience, education, or whatever -- to the discussions and all of our members, whether professionals, students, or newbies, benefit from those strengths. 

Sputty's comment is accurate regarding the auto-ignition point of wood.  And the suggestion of a layer of bricks with aluminum foil is a valid one -- it would satisfy the manufacturer's suggestions listed by Neil.  One clarification I'd like to see is whether Sputty's kiln is sitting directly on the OSB floor or if there is a layer of bricks/stand that separates the kiln floor from the OSB floor.  One clarification I'd like to see is whether the Milwaukee fire cited by Neil involved a kiln directly on the floor or if it was raised above the wood floor with a stand or layers of brick or other materials. 

 

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Sorry, Bruce.

I think if it sat directly on the wood floor without a stand you would have a fire on the first firing. Any sort of bricks or cement board under the stand will do the job.

Edited by neilestrick

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Does anyone know how cement board does outside?

It's a great clay work surface, because of it's porosity, but will this same porosity cause issues, when temperatures drop below freezing, and it has absorbed moisture from the air?

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34 minutes ago, Benzine said:

Does anyone know how cement board does outside?

It's a great clay work surface, because of it's porosity, but will this same porosity cause issues, when temperatures drop below freezing, and it has absorbed moisture from the air?

I know it can hold up to water just fine, but I would expect that it would tend to spall from freeze-thaw. I don't think it would totally fall apart, since there are fibers helping hold it together.

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The freeze thaw cycle is what will work on cement board-I think you will get many seasons from it before it fails.Just get the thicker board as it comes in many thicknesses.

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Hi, these have been very helpful. I'll keep an eye on the wood below the kiln but if I raise it a total of 2 feet I'm sure it will be okay, especially since it will only be at this location for a year. I think I'll use bricks because our building is having bricks replaced and there is a large pile of old bricks outside the apartment!

 

In regards to weathering. I am installing tight canvas curtains on the sides of the deck that will let in any snow/rain. Then when I'm not using the kiln it will be tarped. I'm also thinking of making some sort of water proof wooden box to place over the kiln when not in use.  I don't want to let any electrical portions of the kiln to get wet. I'm doing the best to extend this kilns life since it's my first expensive equipment purchase post graduation. 

 

I'm sorry if this thread has caused any issues! I know it's a controversial issue. The residency I was at this summer had a fire start in their 100 year old buildings roof due to poor maintenance of indoor kilns surrounded by wood. I will be vigilant of the wood and surfaces my kiln is near. :)

 

Thank you all for the help!

Warmly,

Kaylee Anderson :)

IG: @kayleeanneanderson

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One thing that hasn’t been brought up is the ambient temp of the space you will be using your kiln. You mentioned snow but not how cold the climate is where you live. When the temp goes below freezing the controller can malfunction. It’s fine for the controller to get very cold but before you program in a firing or start the kiln you would need to warm up the controller to above freezing. A space heater a few feet from the controller for an hour or so works.

Don’t apologize for this thread causing any issues, you have a valid question. Welcome to the forums :)

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Just to keep things in proportion:

Kiln at 1200 deg C (2200 deg F)

Under kiln space at 36 deg C (100 deg F) - the temperature of a reasonably hot summer's day here in France.

The temperature probe was less than one inch from the underneath surface of the kiln.

DISCLAIMER: My kiln is not your kiln. Your kiln will behave differently. Having said that, this kiln is something like 13 years old (and looks it...)

So a similar kiln on a layer of block is going to be more than adequately safe. Personally, I have no problem with mine sitting on an OSB floor, without a layer of block. But that's me, and my kiln.

(Before anyone says anything, I'm equally not bothered about the cable box being in bits - it's only ever me that goes near the thing when it's on...)

 

large_temp.jpg.383390b3f14b3350f4b4324f84792b33.jpg

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My kiln is on a rolling stand, with about 8 inches of space between the bottom of the kiln and the floor. I do have a wood floor, so I have two layers of cement board on the floor extending 2 feet from the kiln in all directions. My studio is in my house, which I obviously don’t want to burn down, so I also put a small fan on the floor which blows underneath the kiln and keeps the floor perfectly cool. 

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In addition to safety issues, there are liability issues with not installing the kiln according to manufacturer's recommendations. Your insurance may not cover you if there's a problem and kiln wasn't set up properly. Even greater potential issues if someone other than you is injured because of it.

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Yeah Neil, I've often heard that if you have a kiln, make sure you tell your insurance company.  Because if there's a fire in your house, and it even looks like an undisclosed  kiln caused the problem, you are out of luck... And by luck I mean money and possibly a home.  

I contacted my agent, and once I explained to them, what exactly I mean by kiln and "firing", they said it wasn't an issue.  It added maybe a few more dollars to my premium each month.  

This is contrary to what a colleague recommended, who said "If you install that kiln in your house, don't tell the insurance company!"  He was under the impression that I would be charged and arm and a leg, just to have the kiln.

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I explained to my agent, that a properly installed kiln, isn't a whole lot more dangerous than a dryer, electric or gas.  In fact, after replacing the element, in a dryer years ago, my dryer scares me more than a kiln!  When I went to remove the element, the surrounding area was just coated in dryer lint.  The elements had none, probably because any lint that hit the elements vaporizes instantly.  But it doesn't seem like it would take much to get a good fire going inside one of those.

Also, a force air gas furnace or boiler heating system, have open flames, that could obviously cause issues.  

Homes are deathtraps, why do we live in them again?...

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Guys, maybe take it down a notch.

The simple act of walking is responsible for more deaths, injuries, and property damage than dryers and kilns combined (to the tune of orders of magnitude greater). 

I get that you feel a responsibility to correct information, but it gets a little heavy handed and ego based--especially lately--the point of a lot of threads has been lost because of it.

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17 hours ago, Tyler Miller said:

The simple act of walking is responsible for more deaths, injuries, and property damage than dryers and kilns combined (to the tune of orders of magnitude greater). 

That's why I crawl everywhere.  You aren't going to make me a statistic Gravity!!!

GEP likes this

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17 hours ago, Tyler Miller said:

Guys, maybe take it down a notch.

The simple act of walking is responsible for more deaths, injuries, and property damage than dryers and kilns combined (to the tune of orders of magnitude greater). 

I get that you feel a responsibility to correct information, but it gets a little heavy handed and ego based--especially lately--the point of a lot of threads has been lost because of it.

A very, very small percentage of the population owns kilns. Many more people walk (to the tune of orders of magnitude greater).

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