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Still drawing plans for my top loading gas kiln. I have read Joe Finch's book  " A Brick by Brick Approach" and have just started Frederick Olsen's book. 

Today I found some used fire brick and was wondering how I could tell it's heat rating? The bricks are marked Walsh XX .  Where can I find any info on the rating and or composition of these bricks?

Also while I am here. Can a kiln with fiber blanket for the top and sealed with foil be used in a heavy reduction atmosphere? Firing to ^6

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they are fire bricks http://bricknames.com/brick/category/W

foil  will decompose when fired above 1500 F or so. I tried it. Have a good story about it but not here.

 Best to either build an arch of castable and insulate with fiber on the outside or use 6" of insulation 8# test which would probably be thick enough to work at high temperature.You could support the span with hardware fabric.

Marcia

 

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Well Marcia thanks for the reply.

I am thinking that I will use one of those round fire pit screens with 3 layers of fiber insulation and then the foil on the outside of the screen as a protection for the fiber and to try to make it as air tight as possible . I will attach sheet metal to the screen edge to make the top square to make it fit the kiln and will also insulate the sheet metal . The kiln will measure 27"x27"x27"

I know that the Walsh xx are fire bricks its just if they can be used to build my fire box. I have never done anything like this before and have little kiln experience. Just hope I don't hurt myself or burn down the neighborhood. I do like the idea of the wire screen as a support for a fiber top. Thanks

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I have Thermal Ceramics brand K23 and K25 bricks in front of me. They look the same. New bricks are stamped with the temperature rating on the end. There is a slight difference in weight:

K23, 2.5" thick: 1 lb., 15 oz.

K25, 2.5" thick: 2 lb., 7 oz.

I recommend "21st Century Kilns." It is available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/21st-Century-Kilns-Mel-Jacobson-ebook/dp/B06XGMQQF8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521565719&sr=1-1&keywords=21st+century+kilns&dpID=51%2B9YN5VCQL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USAahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

 

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Since the bricks have stamped names they will most likely work fine. For the lid  use at at least 6 inch  of #8 fiber that is at least 2300 degree rated as it shrinks-The foil is not needed and just a bad idea in my mind.You can make porcelain buttons like I did in my salt kiln conversion thread that is actively going on here now so you can see the fiber button process. You can also fold the fiber in U shapes (say cut a piece 18inch and fold it in 1/2) and pierce it with stainless rod and flat stock on ends and compress it end to end as I have done-then the lid should be about 9 inch thick and the rod goes thru the middle. The ends are threaded I think insulating bricks are your best choice instead of hard bricks-just use the hard brinks in fire box  only-soft bricks elsewhere .I assume this is just a reduction kiln?

 

Edited by Mark C.
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Thanks Arnold Howard  & Mark C. 

  Looked over Mark's conversion, would just love to see it in action.  The seller of the Walsh XX also has some insulating brick. Is it possible for me to tell what heat rating they have? There are no markings on the one I obtained today.  Also the man wants an offer, what should I consider as an offer if it would cost me $5.45 each for high fire brick and $4.80 for the insulating brick and I would have to rent a truck and drive 150 miles round trip. Where this brick is 10 min away and I could make a dozen or more trips in my corolla ? He said he had about 300 bricks total. Novice questions all but that I am

 

?

Edited by postalpotter
forgot someone

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Used brick -offer a buck a brick for it all. Condition is everything-do not pay more then 2 bucks.

Soft brick will be hard for you to tell what temp they are. Heres the best way-

1st soft bricks (insulation bricks) are rated by a K #s.

So K23 are 2300 degree bricks they are smoother surface -most electric kilns if not all except special order are K23

K26 are a little rougher-they are 2600 degree 

K 28 are very rough and are 2800 degree

The bricks when new are in marked boxes

You can order them on E-bay from hi-temp for less that you said above in lots of 12 for k23s

When building a gas kiln you will pay a lot more to heat a hard brick kiln vs a soft brick kiln. The firebox  and flue is the only area you need hard brick as K23 will spall(spall means flake off) over time in these hot spots. 

Buy the book recommended above by Arnold.

The roof will be the hardest part to make.Trust me on this.

Edited by Mark C.
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BACKYARD KILNS is a fully illustrated E-Book on Kiln Building, written in Adobe Acrobat, a format that allows this E-Book to be accessed by any Computer system provided it has a copy of Acrobat Reader loaded.
LT

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Thank you,

 Mark C invaluable info thanks for taking the time. I will have to find a way to download Jacobson's book. 

Magnolia Mud I have been scouring the web looking for the info you so kindly provided. I am reading Fred Olsen's book at the moment and was getting a bit lost in all the vernacular. The e-book download is just what I was looking for A+B=C. Simple and seemingly easy to follow. 

.

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Thanks to all who posted here, I now have Jacobson's book. With it and the "Back yard Kiln", I think I have found a plan and have something to look forward to.  Will keep you posted.

Any thought on how I might acquire the shelving and other furniture on the cheap?  

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The size of the shelves will dictate the kiln size so build a kiln in shelve size

In gas kilns many consider 12x24 inch the standard size

cheap shelves are hard to come by

their are many types of shelve materials depending on what cone you will fire to

I can talk more on this later as I’m using my phone to type in the Maui airport waiting for SFO flight 

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On 3/20/2018 at 11:15 AM, Arnold Howard said:

I have Thermal Ceramics brand K23 and K25 bricks in front of me. They look the same. New bricks are stamped with the temperature rating on the end. There is a slight difference in weight:

K23, 2.5" thick: 1 lb., 15 oz.

K25, 2.5" thick: 2 lb., 7 oz.

I recommend "21st Century Kilns." It is available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/21st-Century-Kilns-Mel-Jacobson-ebook/dp/B06XGMQQF8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521565719&sr=1-1&keywords=21st+century+kilns&dpID=51%2B9YN5VCQL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USAahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

 

My top hat raku kiln is in that book! Lots of great info in that book. Mel compiled some excellent info.

Marcia

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Thanks, Arnold Howard ,Mark C., Marcia and all who stepped in to lend a voice

 I think if I had had Jacobson's book to start with I would never have even considered trying to build a top loading downdraft kiln. I am only about 60 pages into it and I know it should have been my first purchase.  I am in no hurry and as of now I will just gather needed materials and hopefully start the build around mid May.  New Orleans is just starting to get really hot and sticky about that time. Should be loads of fun.  Anybody wanting to roll wheelbarrows full of cement to my backyard  sign up here!

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Easier to make a front loader than a top loader .

Get your shelves 1st and build around them.

If you want to know about types of shelves I'll speak to that in a few more days.

There was a brick kiln (pile of bricks and shelves on e-bay in New Orleans last month-seemed cheap to.Both types of bricks and shelves and pipe.

Look for that  kiln

Edited by Mark C.

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Not all bricks are created equal-there are cheap ones from china now . You can tell than apart as they are more grainy (rough). I cannot speak to how well they hold up as I have never used them.I'm just letting you know not all bricks are the same quality.You will need to know this working with these materials.

The place I deal with (I go there acutally in Portland) and he sells on bay and is a solid business is Hightempinc. Ceramic Fibers,bricks and mortars mostly. Its not a pottery supply store. Its an ceramic Industrial manufacture who happens to sell a few items that they use a lots of.

Soft bricks now are sold in 12 to a box . Thats the best way to get them. It used to be boxes of 24.

Looks like that kiln in New Orleans sold as I had communicated with the owner and its off site now. I wanted the kiln burners if it did not sell as a whole .Looks like it all went.

 

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I have found a mother load of K23 insulating bricks. Man says he has 1000's brand new in the box. Got them from Shell refinery years ago. Want's a dollar a piece for them. Kurt Wild's kiln calls for 800.

 Oh and by the way can anybody help me print the cad drawings from Mel Jacobson's e book. I have to have a piece of paper in front of me to refer to. this paging back and forth is a pain in the rear.  
 So how much room should I plan for around the kiln shelves. Since I have never even seen one of these things in action I am flying to close to the sun here. Is 2 to 3 in. acceptable?
Also I need to know about burners. How many btu's do I shoot for. I plan on using 40 gal propane tanks for my fuel source and if I do should I ( yes I understand in all things safety first)
use a pilot lite and a BASO valve? Two burners Or one mother of all burners?   
 Have I bitten off to much here and should I bite the bullet and just buy an electric kiln and have my garage wired for 220 V.
 
 The whole reason I got started down this road is I have a home wheel and clay but no way to bisque or glaze fire unless I go into town and wait for room in someone's kiln. Another pain in the posterior.  Built a raku kiln and have a weed burner but I need, no I want so much more.
 
 

 

 

 

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You will need space for a bag wall and combustion area and about 1 inch at least on kiln shelves-say 4 inches of combustion area and 2.5 inches for bag wall (bricks on edge) and 1 inch on space (for fingers on shelves )Thats 7 inches per side so 14 inches and the shelve size (which is what you need to buy first as I said)  

800 bricks is good start but you will need some other special bricks as mentioned earlier -A dollar per brick is a great deal if they are not wet land in good shape.Are they k23s???? or something else-You need to know what they are besides soft brick

I have the book but not on the web the actual book.The book is loaded out right now along with many of my kiln books to another forum member so I cannot even look at what you are thinking about .

The more burners the more even it will fire so one big burner is abad idea. How big is the kiln in cubic feet? them I can recommend how many burners. Is this a sprung arch kiln?

Mark

Edited by Mark C.

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Thanks again for all the input. It really does help me immensely  both with the wealth of knowledge  I have taped into and the shear motivation to continue this endeavor and see it through.

 

19 hours ago, Pres said:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/20570774/Flattop-Kiln-Complete

 

Sure you have plenty of info, but have you seen the above?

Have seen that. They want a credit card and you have to opt out later. Hoping to avoid that.

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21 hours ago, Mark C. said:

You will need space for a bag wall and combustion area and about 1 inch at least on kiln shelves-say 4 inches of combustion area and 2.5 inches for bag wall (bricks on edge) and 1 inch on space (for fingers on shelves )Thats 7 inches per side so 14 inches and the shelve size (which is what you need to buy first as I said)  

800 bricks is good start but you will need some other special bricks as mentioned earlier -A dollar per brick is a great deal if they are not wet land in good shape.Are they k23s???? or something else-You need to know what they are besides soft brick

I have the book but not on the web the actual book.The book is loaded out right now along with many of my kiln books to another forum member so I cannot even look at what you are thinking about .

The more burners the more even it will fire so one big burner is abad idea. How big is the kiln in cubic feet? them I can recommend how many burners. Is this a sprung arch kiln?

Mark

Thanks! Marc C.  I missed the part in building the Minnesota Flat Top  where they construct a bag wall. That is the way to direct the flame down the side wall of the kiln and keeps it from spreading across the floor. YES?

 So if the interior is 31.5x36" x 35''H I have room for a shelf 17x 22 right?

 The man said the bricks (K23) are years old and never been unboxed. I did not ask how they were stored but that he has had them for so long that the boxes have begun to deteriorate. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

Sometime back, in a Clayart posting, Mel pointed out that all you need to do is to count the bricks in the drawings from CM article or the 21st book.
For more info go to  Mel's Website:  http://www.melpots.com/   and email him about building your kiln.
 
LT

There is a material's list for the flat top in Mel's book. I will be emailing the man tonight! Thanks for the insight 

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