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I'm beginning a kiln conversion/update project and thought I would create a thread here for those interested, and to get feedback as I go along. I have access to a late 1950's Alpine kiln, and now have a place to fire it. It's been sitting for a long time, but I believe will be perfect with a little time and TLC. All the bones are solid, and other than some rust on the exterior, I think it will work great (estimated 12-14 cubic feet). My primary interest is having it as a cone 10 reduction kiln, specifically to experiment with shinos.  The kiln was originally designed as an updraft kiln, two forced air burners entering low on either side of the front next to the door. As I've read these kilns could be hard to fire evenly, I'm converting it into a downdraft kiln with floor fire burner placement. Ill plug up the original vents on top and need to build an exit flue and chimney behind the kiln.  I've attached my designs for what I propose.  At this point trying to decide between MR-750 and MR-100 Venturi burners (4 total firing on Natural Gas). Would love to hear from you if you have any positive suggestions. Thanks and I'll keep you posted as it unfolds. 

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Edited by bwsaunders
High Bridge Pottery likes this

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Use at least the MR 100s-I have used both of those in many kilns-Hopefully you are using more than two-the more burners the more even firing. I would use 4 burners.

 

Edited by Mark C.

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35 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

They're not difficult to fire evenly. You just can't rush them. With a little practice they'll fire every bit as evenly as any other kiln. I would give it a shot before going to all that work.

Hi Neil.  As none of the original burner/blower system remains, and as it's going to be cost prohibitive to rebuild it, I will need to modify the burners as outlined either way. As for the chimney, I need to cut a hole in the roof out of the firing area and add a storm collar, etc. and wont be able to move the chimney once it's installed (and there is only one position for the kiln, so I can't shift it). If I fire it updraft with the new burners and don't like it, I'll be stuck. For that reason,  I'm going to stick with this updated design. Building a chimney out of softbrick isn't that complicated or expensive, even with the costs of welding the frame out of angle iron.  Thank you for the suggestion though. If I had the option to build everything out and test fire it as updraft,  without being locked in, I would. 

Edited by bwsaunders

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10 minutes ago, bwsaunders said:

Hi Neil.  As none of the original burner/blower system remains, and as it's going to be cost prohibitive to rebuild it, I will need to modify the burners as outlined either way. As for the chimney, I need to cut a hole in the roof out of the firing area and add a storm collar, etc. and wont be able to move the chimney once it's installed (and there is only one position for the kiln, so I can't shift it). If I fire it updraft with the new burners and don't like it, I'll be stuck. For that reason,  I'm going to stick with this updated design. Building a chimney out of softbrick isn't that complicated or expensive, even with the costs of welding the frame out of angle iron.  Thank you for the suggestion though. If I had the option to build everything out and test fire it as updraft,  without being locked in, I would. 

Understood. I didn't realize you were going to have to modify it anyway. Sounds like a fun project.

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This may sound strange but that kiln looks like its in Arcata from your photo-if thats a yes I know that kiln-it was last used as a sculpture lab burn out kiln at HSU.

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4 hours ago, bwsaunders said:

Hi Mark. Yes, it's in Arcata.  It was donated to FireArts, but has been sitting a while. Looking forward to getting it going again. 

I would recognize Peter Brants backyard anywhere.We are old best friends

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