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17x 22 is not any standard shelve size. Since shelves are only a few sizes decide what shelve and build kiln to fit that shelve, Not the other way around. The Flattop is good design but larger than you need .

If you put burners on two sides (natural draft) then thats two sides with bag walls hence the 14 inches total needed for that so add say another 24 inches for a shelve and 2 inches for fingers.

total width  of kiln is 40 inches. Depth is up to you but two shelves deep (24 inches) is about as deep as you want to load a shelve , plus some extra say 4 inches is enough plus a door.

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Mark C. just read back over the material's list for the Flat Top and the shelves recommended are 12x24. Two of them set 2' off the floor 4' from the left wall and 2.5 from the rt. 6'' front and back. no bag walls. Wish I had a paper book and a better memory.

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The flattop plans are two forced air burners coming in the back wall one on each side.

I'm just not a fan of that setup myself .I like natural draft and 4 burners two pointing inwards towards load and two bag walls. I'l only coming from my own experience of kiln building.

others will differ-like the Ford Chevy thing.

I think 4 is more even temp results than two forced air ones.Yes the two will work . many variables in kiln building. I have made a few kilns with two forced air burners.Just not as happy with them.

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I'm a big fan of forced air burners. You can build your own, put orifices in them to be used for just about any size of kiln, and use a lot fewer than natural draft burners. Their function also doesn't depend on secondary air the way venturi burners do, so you won't have problems with chimney height and draft.

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20 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The flattop plans are two forced air burners coming in the back wall one on each side.

I'm just not a fan of that setup myself .I like natural draft and 4 burners two pointing inwards towards load and two bag walls. I'l only coming from my own experience of kiln building.

others will differ-like the Ford Chevy thing.

I think 4 is more even temp results than two forced air ones.Yes the two will work . many variables in kiln building. I have made a few kilns with two forced air burners.Just not as happy with them.

 

9 hours ago, neilestrick said:

I'm a big fan of forced air burners. You can build your own, put orifices in them to be used for just about any size of kiln, and use a lot fewer than natural draft burners. Their function also doesn't depend on secondary air the way venturi burners do, so you won't have problems with chimney height and draft.

Wrote Mel Jacobson last night  he has written me back with a few details.
 Marc. C

 I am sure you were right when you pointed out that I did not need something as big as the drawings in Mel's book so I will scale it down. I originally thought 27"x27"by 27"H would be fine for my needs. I came to that dimension  looking at the 9x9 tile in my bathroom. I think something about that size will  suffice. When I finally figure just how big this thing  will be I will speak to you and Neilestrick  about burners. I am sure I could build them but forced air means electricity and that means more things to think about.

 

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Well from  where  I sit as of now I would think that a 22x 22  shelf  is what I want to have as a base.  

Mr. Jacobson said let the flame flow free No bag walls. What say Ya'll? 

I want to ask about this 4 burner natural draft deal. I checked out a video lastnight where this guy took less then twenty dollars worth of pluming parts and built a burner that melted 2000 deg. brick and he used a $16 coleman  air mattress pump for forced air. I am all in for that!  I really see the difference in fuel consumption and flame intensity with forced air vs venturi burners. Man this burner was intense, what is the advantage of adding 2 more burners opposing one another ?    

 

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, postalpotter said:

Well from  where  I sit as of now I would think that a 22x 22  shelf  is what I want to have as a base.  

Mr. Jacobson said let the flame flow free No bag walls. What say Ya'll? 

I want to ask about this 4 burner natural draft deal. I checked out a video lastnight where this guy took less then twenty dollars worth of pluming parts and built a burner that melted 2000 deg. brick and he used a $16 coleman  air mattress pump for forced air. I am all in for that!  I really see the difference in fuel consumption and flame intensity with forced air vs venturi burners. Man this burner was intense, what is the advantage of adding 2 more burners opposing one another ?    

 

22x22 is an odd shape shelve-any square shelve is -maybe two 11x 22s?They are not that standard .

I would avoid weed burners for burners.My point is  4 venturi burners work without power and are cost effective.

I'm sure someone on U-tube has made a low cost burner from stove parts.

Heck there is a guy that makes his kiln from a mud hole for free.

I like the slow gentle nature of glaze development in a longer fire. Which venturi is perfect for.

4 burners for 200$ to 300$ is no big deal for me.Melting bricks is something you should avoid .Going Postal is all not a good idea as well.

My salt kiln has 4 MR100 burners is about 24 cubic feet of stacking space (12x24s) and costs about $45 for a fire. No electricity  needed.

The no bag wall burners means that they come up thru the floor or in thru the front or back and do not go  straight into the load of shelves/pots.

Keep reading on layouts

You know what they say when you come to a fork in the road take it.

 

 

 

 

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Yes that is what they say you either pick the fork  up and stick it in your pocket or you sit down and have a meal.

I really like the forced burner simple and oh so effective. I figured out my brick layout and my chamber will turn out to be 27by 27. you keep telling me I should buy the shelves firs and then build the kiln but a 27x27 chamber keeps me from cutting hard bricks myself. I saw a 22x22 thermal-lite on  Bailey's  web site but a second look and a price check has me with second thoughts. 

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If you build your own power burner, you would only need one for a small kiln. Regardless of the type of burner you use, the bulk of the cost will be in the safety systems. You need a BASO valve bare minimum. With a single power burner, you only need one. If you need more than one venturi burner, then you need to build a pilot ring to provide a pilot flame to each burner, which complicates things.

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Here is a super simple kiln that can be fired with one burner. It's a simple box. You can build it with an arch if you want to do the metal frame work that's required for that, or you can dry stack it and do a flat roof by either building a MNF, or simply span it with a couple of shelves and cover them with fiber or soft brick. If you use a power burner, the flue opening can be just a couple of bricks left out of the top corner of the wall. With a single 12x24 shelf you can span the top with the same size shelves.

 

Box-Kiln.jpg

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Read my post on kiln shelves-themolite cannot be thermo shocked meaning they need even heating .A 22x 22 is one large  chunk of a shelve. I would stick to cheaper shelves as you are just starting out and ones that are a not so big like the2 -22x11s out of a cheaper material.

Niels drawing is one easy setup-how about using that one as it uses a standard size shelve.(cheaper)

I cannot tell you how many people build kilns then discover the space does not fit standard shelves .The shelve size is a critical deal as they are not made in eveyr size and cost is higher in many sizes that are not used as much.

After you build 4-12 kilns you get it down as a you have made your mistakes-you figure doors out and layouts and burners arches, materials.

There are no shortcuts so you will discover the errors after its built. The next one will better and so on. I have seen this curve on this site with others making kilns . No way around it.

We can only add our experience to your build.

I actually am not sure of what your needs are and that will also be a large factor in the size of your kiln.

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41 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

If you build your own power burner, you would only need one for a small kiln. Regardless of the type of burner you use, the bulk of the cost will be in the safety systems. You need a BASO valve bare minimum. With a single power burner, you only need one. If you need more than one venturi burner, then you need to build a pilot ring to provide a pilot flame to each burner, which complicates things.

 Neil

  I will study some more burner builds on "The You Tube" Baso and a pilot make building a burner just a notch more difficult and a bit more uncomfortable.  

 I had read that with forced air the need for a stack is eliminated. So the exit flue opening is still 5x9? 

 and your simple kiln is really all I need though I would really like it be a bit larger in volume say 18 x24 shelves

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7 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

Read my post on kiln shelves-themolite cannot be thermo shocked meaning they need even heating .A 22x 22 is one large  chunk of a shelve. I would stick to cheaper shelves as you are just starting out and ones that are a not so big like the2 -22x11s out of a cheaper material.

Niels drawing is one easy setup-how about using that one as it uses a standard size shelve.(cheaper)

I cannot tell you how many people build kilns then discover the space does not fit standard shelves .The shelve size is a critical deal as they are not made in eveyr size and cost is higher in many sizes that are not used as much.

After you build 4-12 kilns you get it down as a you have made your mistakes-you figure doors out and layouts and burners arches, materials.

There are no shortcuts so you will discover the errors after its built. The next one will better and so on. I have seen this curve on this site with others making kilns . No way around it.

We can only add our experience to your build.

I actually am not sure of what your needs are and that will also be a large factor in the size of your kiln.

I will read your post of shelves but REALLY 2 to 12 kiln builds. I want one that will last a dozen years and be as perfect based on YOUR experience. Hoping I can steer clear of mistakes. 

 I have no real need except I need a kiln.  I have no way to bisque or glaze fire, except to drive into the city and ask a favor of a studio potter friend of mine.  I do not throw much more then 4 lb pieces and nothing much larger then 24in.  I have about 40 pieces of green ware and a couple dozen or so bisque pieces  and that is all of last years production. I am a hobby potter and a postal worker that wants to retire next year and have something else to do besides hanging out at the senior center.

I have only gas fired 2 x's during a semester at the local community college before the class was taken over by the nursing department.

I have spent a couple of weeks on different occasions in a class down on Magazine St. but it is to slow for my tastes and the instructor fires everything in an electric kiln when the studio can. I am a  You Tube tutored potter. 

I like the ease of the electric kiln  but thought the  cost of having 220V installed and run across the house to the garage and the investment of a kiln and furniture just a little out of my budget'.

 I have built a raku kiln and have used a weed burner for heat. I thought hell all I have to do is make a bigger kiln use brick instead of fiber  and buy a bad ass burner and I will be all set.

How wrong can I be!

 If there is something I could build that I could fire to cone 10 if I wanted to but ^6 most of the time and had about 9 to 12 cubic feet of space, runs on propane and didn't cost me much over a $1000 concrete slab included I think I could be happy  

 I have set my vacation time for the 3wk of May and I would like to make my first bisque fire by then. We'll see!

 

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Well I have committed to the purchase of my hard brick and about  150 insulating brick of  unknown quality. The man has about 350 Walsh XX bricks and he wants 350 for the lot, it's all or none.

 So I am committed  to this endeavor with bricks to spare. I don't need this many hard bricks; or do I, I still don't know?  and I still have to purchase the insulating bricks.

 I wrote a brick collector and he sent me some data that said the Walsh xx were rated at 2900 so I am good there. Now all I need to know is how I am going to use them. I can get the 23k brick for a buck a piece so I just need to figure my count.

 I was going to do the flat top because I had a set of plans in hand but if that is not what I need and not a wise use of my time and money then I need to find something that will.

 Neil's simple kiln would suite me just fine with 2 18 x24 shelves I don't see the need for any thing bigger. It's the how to put A to B and B to C and X to Y to make a functional kiln.  

I will stack a brick door but if I do the up draft how tall is the bag wall and if I don't use forced air  then do I really need a stack? All mistakes I do not want to make.

 I would have spent the money and bought a thermal lite shelf for my base shelf. Thinking I have something I could fire to a temperature hotter then the sun  not thinking about thermal shock and only worried about moisture. I would have only realized my folly after the shelf failed and all the stuff stacked on top had fallen.  Thanks' for the heads up Mark C.

 That is why I am glad that you folks take the time to respond. 

 Anybody locally in the market for some spare Fire Brick? 

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My suggestion is build the floor and area around the flue and burners and any bag wall from hard brick-everting else from soft brick. That will save you a fortune in fuel costs down the road.At a $1 dollar a brick those are what I call free bricks so over buy them now while you can.

Did  you find 18x 24 shelves as that seems like strange size?

(f I don't use forced air  then do I really need a stack) yes you will need a stack to create draft with natural drafty venturi burners-some MR 75s or MR 100 from Laguna clay are the cheapest. They are not in the catalog yet (I think the MR 75s are in Axners online catalog)Axner is Laguna which bought up the gas appliance company last year just after I bought  some more burners from them. They sent me a letter thanking me for 40 years of business and that they sold out to Laguna.

Soon Laguna will own everything clay related. By the way Laguna sold out to a new owner last year as well.

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 8:31 PM, Mark C. said:

My suggestion is build the floor and area around the flue and burners and any bag wall from hard brick-everting else from soft brick. That will save you a fortune in fuel costs down the road.At a $1 dollar a brick those are what I call free bricks so over buy them now while you can.

Did  you find 18x 24 shelves as that seems like strange size?

(f I don't use forced air  then do I really need a stack) yes you will need a stack to create draft with natural drafty venturi burners-some MR 75s or MR 100 from Laguna clay are the cheapest. They are not in the catalog yet (I think the MR 75s are in Axners online catalog)Axner is Laguna which bought up the gas appliance company last year just after I bought  some more burners from them. They sent me a letter thanking me for 40 years of business and that they sold out to Laguna.

Soon Laguna will own everything clay related. By the way Laguna sold out to a new owner last year as well.

I found the shelves at Baileys they have them listed in all makes and models. After working the floor plan brick by brick  I think the 14 x 24 shelves would be more practical. 

 I will do the forced air burner and safety systems. If I don't think I can build it myself them I will blow the budget and buy a Ward forced air burner  I would like to not over build and the stack adds another thing to do. So I think I will skip the stack and build an updraft like Neil suggested

 After all I will still have another 11 attempts to get it right!

 

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Not sure about the 14x24 size-lots of 14x28s-I could not find that size at Baileys .What type of shelves are you thinking about using at cone 10-or cone 6.

 

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Another course of brick added or taken away, I guess size does matter.  I am trying to keep the size around 11 or so cubic ft. shelf space with a height of about 30in. 

 I don't think I need much else but then what do I know.   I think Nitride Bonded so I see that it is either 13 x 26 or 12x 24 or 14 x 28 .

 I usually over buy and over plan all my projects. Thanks for the guidance!

 

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 (Thinner and lighter weight than clay shelves or old-fashioned silicon carbide. Rated to Cone 10. Sensitive to thermal shock- heating and cooling rates must be carefully controlled. )

These are the Chinese ones in my shelve thread  . They are way cheaper than the Thermolites and will warp over time-the larger the shelve the more likely to warp. You can buy two for the price of one so I think of them as disposable .I can only speak about the 12x 24s as thats what I have tested along with the 14x 28s which are warped in my salt kiln-I use them  on top to keep the roof chunks from falling on pots in salt kiln and do not care about the banana warp.

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Read  your post on shelves earlier and also read over Jacobson's advice on shelf choices,  just goes to show that I need to be told I am wrong for me to get it. So I ask, you know basically what I am shooting for ^6 or ^10  oxidation and reduction but I will not be doing any salt firing. What would you recommend for my first shelf purchases High Alumina?

I finished forming the pad today it will be at least 2wks before I can pour the slab. I will pick up the bricks next weekend then I can lay some out and get a real feel for dimensions. 

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My thoughts are start out with the cheap shelves like you are doing-I assume you are new to this and want to keep costs down.Save your $ for the rest of the build.You need power now so there is trench and conduit and wire.

Its hard for me to suggest stuff that I personally have moved past as a professional  with clay. Those shelves will last long enough for you to have fun with them.

 

Edited by Mark C.

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