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I am looking to build a small kiln.  Hers my story....i like tall and long things when I work by which i like to make them.  

My studio access to the larger kilns (higher ceiling is 56") is limited and will kind of run out.  I have access to a community studio but the guy I talked to was not very accepting of anything large.  (Large for him was a 12 inch vase, which is where my sections start).  

It got me thinking about what I can do in my community.  ( we live in a 1500 sq ft house on 8000sqft with about a third of that on a hill.  Our lot is large for the area, so the neighbors are close).  I would ahppily do sawdust firings but we have more and more no burn days here in Cali each year and I honestly  dont want to be the one to burn down the city.

Then I got to thinking about a small raku kiln that might be taller than usual and could fire just a couple of pieces with propane without reduction.   Then I started reading Kiln-Building with Space Age Materials and got excited about casting something with a similar profile but on its side (because tall things can be stood up or laid down...makes no never mind if you can deal with the glaze thing). 

But questions.....keep in mind I am still in the feasibility stage of the project :-D

How tall should a chimney be compared to the kiln itself?  Updraft/downdraft is not decided yet.

If I use propane, will there be a strong smell or lots of smoke?

How do you determine burner size?  

I would want to go at least cone 6, 10 if I can do it given the constraints that I have.

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I have a feeling you'll run into all sorts of zoning restrictions regarding installing a gas kiln at your home. Around here they consider it an industrial process, which is not allowed in our neighborhood. Before you even start designing the kiln, I'd check with your city and see if it's even a possibility. If not, there are electric kilns available that are specifically made to be unstacked for loading and firing tall sculptural works. Or, is it possible to make your pieces in smaller sections that would fit into more standard size kilns?

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I have an L&L electric kiln that has 4 sections to it. total height there is about 40". This kiln can also handle a 5th section, which I do not have. at 23" wide it is nearly 10 cubic feet. You could fire one of these stackable kilns in your garage, or a separate shed outside. It would handle most of what you would make, and if not sculptural objects could be made in sections and glued together.

 

best,

Pres

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Down here in SoCal there are remarkably few restrictions. In Orange they are classified with gas barbecues, in Anaheim a rather expensive permit must be pulled if you want to install a dedicated gas line. I suggest you walk into your local fire station and ask them what the regulations are for your area. Many firemen and women are potters and they have a practical understanding and appreciation of safety issues. Invite them over to see your setup and advise you. It's also handy to know that your first responders have some familiarity with your situation, so if a concerned neighbor (who you neglected to invite to your first raku firing) calls the FD when they see smoke they can all be reassured because you gave the FD a heads up before firing. 

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:13 PM, Ceallach said:

I am looking to build a small kiln.   ....   Then I got to thinking about a small raku kiln that might be taller than usual and could fire just a couple of pieces with propane without reduction.  

you might find figure 6.9 (on page 6.57 of the three page article) insightful 

Using the Raku Glazing Process to Show Oxidation-Reduction in Chemistry 
(Whitaker, G. 1983. Prepared as a master's thesis, Westem Washington University, Bellingham, Washington) 
https://www.asminternational.org/documents/10192/1942080/raku.pdf/830b8e04-23e4-4484-9d1d-f38c3a0fafb8 
lt

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On 5/14/2018 at 8:38 AM, Rae Reich said:

Down here in SoCal there are remarkably few restrictions. In Orange they are classified with gas barbecues, in Anaheim a rather expensive permit must be pulled if you want to install a dedicated gas line. I suggest you walk into your local fire station and ask them what the regulations are for your area. Many firemen and women are potters and they have a practical understanding and appreciation of safety issues. Invite them over to see your setup and advise you. It's also handy to know that your first responders have some familiarity with your situation, so if a concerned neighbor (who you neglected to invite to your first raku firing) calls the FD when they see smoke they can all be reassured because you gave the FD a heads up before firing. 

Funny, I was actually thinking about talking to the local FD.   I've dealt with them on other things and they have been very helpful.    I was trying to decide how to handle the neighbors.....

But of course, burning gets a bit more attention this year than previously, what with the fires and the rain.   We're less than an hour from Sonoma, and were house bound for most of a week for the air....me especially since I have asthma.  

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you seem to want a very tall kiln and think you must build it yourself, if i am reading this correctly.   there are custom electric kilns that have been made to specific requirements so why not contact kiln builders with your plans and ask the costs?

i know of one very flat kiln, about a foot or so high but 6 feet across that was ordered by one person and later sold to another who uses it all the time to make crosses.  the crosses are of all sizes and shapes but need to be fired flat so the kiln is perfect for that user.  some day i want to watch the lid go on. 

last year i saw a craigslist ad for a very tall kiln that can be fired by section.  think it was made by L&L.

Edited by oldlady
add electric

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Thanks, everyone.  I was really looking for something that would bridge the gap between not having a kiln in my startup studio (by startup, i mean my own with firing), the money that is coming this year that will build out my studio, needing to fire some larger things (anywhere from 12-24", I would live to go taller but would need to go to sections past a certain point)  on ideas that I have right now because my community studio kind of whined about something over 9 inches, which is tiny for me.  In contrast, the local college studio, the main piece I did was over 48"....i measured the kilns and the old Alpine gabe me the best space...but tradeoffs in ramp speed vs ability of kiln to soak.  I had some cracking but not detracting from the piece.

I am probably going to build a raku kiln and see where that gets me.   

Engaging a kin builder is not an option for a number of reasons.  

Push comes to shove, I would build a kiln to suit, but that larger piece took 2 months to build and 12 hours to do the sgraffito,  which was very tiring.  I am content to do mugs and small bowls for awhile.  It also allows me to try different surface designs and treatments. 

Edited by Ceallach
Clarity

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the height of your stack depends on a few things:

altitude, the higher the altitude , the higher you stack needs to be 

forced air or venturi system. If using natural draft, you need to have the chimney (stack) high enough to draw the flame.

Forced air (blowers) provides the draw.

Marcia

 

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On 5/18/2018 at 11:08 AM, Marcia Selsor said:

the height of your stack depends on a few things:

altitude, the higher the altitude , the higher you stack needs to be 

forced air or venturi system. If using natural draft, you need to have the chimney (stack) high enough to draw the flame.

Forced air (blowers) provides the draw.

Marcia

 

Marcia, altitude in terms of above sea level?  How does that increase....exponentially, linear?  I am at 150 ft a.s.l, so i think that makes it a non-issue.  

But forced air makes it seem doable.

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