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Patrick

Used fire brick changed my plans

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Done.  Jerked out the keystone before it hardened up.  There are certain times when I don't mind being wrong.  But the cost/benefit of this one became pretty obvious after I stepped back and thought about what everyone was saying.  If my hunch was right and it worked - not too much gained.  If my hunch was wrong - holy cow, that would not have been good - not even a little bit.  I don't think I was fully considering the extent to which the keystone wouldn't harden up and what would happen if it only partially hardened.

Thanks for the offer to cut some brick, Mark.

Won't be working on it this weekend. My honey-do list is longer than I like letting it get.  I'll throw up some pics when I get the brick keystone in.

Thanks for watching out for me y'all.

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2 minutes ago, Patrick said:

Done.  Jerked out the keystone before it hardened up.  There are certain times when I don't mind being wrong.  But the cost/benefit of this one became pretty obvious after I stepped back and thought about what everyone was saying.  If my hunch was right and it worked - not too much gained.  If my hunch was wrong - holy cow, that would not have been good - not even a little bit.  I don't think I was fully considering the extent to which the keystone wouldn't harden up and what would happen if it only partially hardened.

Thanks for the offer to cut some brick, Mark.

Won't be working on it this weekend. My honey-do list is longer than I like letting it get.  I'll throw up some pics when I get the brick keystone in.

Thanks for watching out for me y'all.

Glad you decided to pull it. You'll sleep better knowing that you went to the extra effort to make a proper key.

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Haven't read the whole thread (lazy) but what kind of door are you using. I gave away my old caternary arch kiln, mostly for the bricks and  the hard job of tear down to clear it all out. It was a six burner with really old  "clacker?" burners. I had to brick it up every time & that got to be a real pain.

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Terrim's comment reminded me to suggest to keep your form so if you take it down you can do so with injuring the bricks-it a simple matter to slip it in and pull a row and unstack vs the whole mess comes crashing down.

Just a thought. I have a arch form for for my sprung arch and have used it twice in 40 years to redo arch or components.

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1 hour ago, terrim8 said:

Haven't read the whole thread (lazy) but what kind of door are you using. I gave away my old caternary arch kiln, mostly for the bricks and  the hard job of tear down to clear it all out. It was a six burner with really old  "clacker?" burners. I had to brick it up every time & that got to be a real pain.

Have a few options in mind, but haven't decided yet.  What would your recommendation be?

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something that slides over and bolts in place each time - I've seen this at Medalta in Medicine Hat, AB. The double brick doors are on a heavy frame that slides over on rollers like a barn door and there are two bolts with easy turn wing-nuts that hold it closed. They're not little parts but one slide over & you're done. 

Edited by terrim8

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I would just brick up unless you want to spend a fair amount of time and money on steel and welding and engineering. If the front of the arch came all the way out to the edge of the slab it would be a lot simpler, but with it set back like that it's going to take a lot of steel and engineering. Also, any sort of door will need to use soft brick, not hard. Hard brick would be way too heavy in a door frame system.

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27 minutes ago, terrim8 said:

something that slides over and bolts in place each time - I've seen this at Medalta in Medicine Hat, AB. The double brick doors are on a heavy frame that slides over on rollers like a barn door and there are two bolts with easy turn wing-nuts that hold it closed. They're not little parts but one slide over & you're done. 

Is that what you're talking about?  Won't have the iron work to support such a door.  (Image from Medalta's website)  Currently thinking about a double-layered, puzzle-piece-like, insulated, castable door - maybe each door layer in 5 or 6 pieces.  ... :blink: ... I have enough IFBs from scrapped electric kilns to maybe incorporate them somehow. Haven't made it to that bridge yet, but it's on the horizon. ... And the plot thickens.

Kilnsscale.jpg

Edited by Patrick

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Hey Patrick  since you have a beefy frame.......  I have a double pivot castable door on my wood kiln. 

The second picture is what holds the weight of the door . It pivots on the left and under the center of the door.

I made it this way so I could pull the 6 inch thick door straight out and then pivot to the side.

It  is made with the sides tapered so it swings into the kiln and is flush with the inside hotface.

I cut strips of kaowool and use spray adhesive to hold the kaowool "seal" to the part of the door that goes in the kiln.

this one is over 15 yrs old.  the first one was a castable I made. It crumbled in 3 years.this one was cast with a Vesuvius brand castible.

20190104_161548_20190104163348330.jpg

20190104_161906_20190104163410572.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Russ said:

Hey Patrick  since you have a beefy frame.......  I have a double pivot castable door on my wood kiln. 

The second picture is what holds the weight of the door . It pivots on the left and under the center of the door.

I made it this way so I could pull the 6 inch thick door straight out and then pivot to the side.

It  is made with the sides tapered so it swings into the kiln and is flush with the inside hotface.

I cut strips of kaowool and use spray adhesive to hold the kaowool "seal" to the part of the door that goes in the kiln.

this one is over 15 yrs old.  the first one was a castable I made. It crumbled in 3 years.this one was cast with a Vesuvius brand castible.

 

Nice. The above photo wasn't mine though.  Mine is a page back with the arch frame still in it - minus the castable keystone (Thanks again er'body.).

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The kiln settles with time ( sort of like me) & repeated firings so a solid door either like Russ's or Medalta's is the only way to short cut the brick up. I found that over the years I had to re-fit all the bricks due to settling. The gaps make it easy to see the reduction flames though, esp. at night ! And you can always stuff rock wool into the gaps each time. I had always wished I had a way to duplicate Medalta's set up.

 

If you're not doing salt or soda, you could use all lightweight bricks and a lighter frame for the door OR extra thick rock wool , doubled up into a frame that slides.

Edited by terrim8

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I hate Bricking doors up each fire. I gave that up in my 1st decade of kiln building for all the above reasons terrim8 said as well as the time factor.

I as you thought castable was going to make life easier my 1st decade-well after a few short lived failures I gave that upon as well.It was not my answer to doing it right.I gave my last bag away in the early 80's of cartable.

Its all a leaning experience and learning via the school of hard nocks is just fine. Some of us have several degrees from that institution like myself and are quick to help others to not get the full degree.Thats why I have added my 2 cents all along here.Been there done that.

Now its think it out 1st (all of it)-use plenty of large steel and solid  proven materials . My time was cheap when I was in my 20's not so cheap anymore in my 60's

Since you are going with the inside arch door  or outside the arch door get some fiber for that seal as the arch as said in above post will rise more than your front and back walls.Cutting all those bricks either dry cut saw of chisel will also be a bear to fit into arch form.Its one of the drawbacks of a cat form.I have made 3 myself and helped with another two. I like sprung arches now.

The metal swinging or sliding door is far superior is all aspects except cost. For any kiln including cats

My salt kiln has a metal Frame and a fiber  lined and coated door -super light-It will need a new hot face every 15-20 firings but fiber is cheap.

That door swivels out and can spin 360  on two pivot points and open away as in any front loader door. I have posted photos here that can be searched for if you want some other ideas.Its under Salt kiln if I recall?

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If you've got soft brick, you can build the door with one 4.5" layer of brick, backed up by an inch of fiber board. It keep the weight down, and can fit in 4 inch angle iron. That's how I built the door on my gas kiln, and it worked well. It takes a lot of steel, though, to support a big door.

If you decide to brick it up, you can cut one layer to fit inside the arch, and the outer layer can butt up against it. Have a couple bricks in the middle tie them together. Cutting soft brick is easy, so you could save those for the edge pieces that need cutting if you don't have enough for the entire door.

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I made large castable blocks that interlocked. After a short while, they crumbled a lot, even large sections stressed and broke off. I mended them with mortar at first, but gave up on them within a year. 

Better, for faster stacking, was building those same interlocking shapes of soft brick, mortared together, a width of two bricks deep. They stack on a hard brick threshold abutting hardbrick vertical doorway sides, so the stacking portion is rectangular except for a fitted arch piece. Fiber stuffing for "gasket." Although they still abrade some in firing and stacking, they are much more durable and lighter per cubic inch than strong-enough castable.  

The blocks work best when they are built so that their bricks interlock within the interlocking blocks in all three dimensions, H, W, D. - A nice puzzle - be sure to number them while they're in position (carve numbers, don't paint, even with RiOx.

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a propos of bricks and arches, though not necessary to this discussion, I just read a book review of You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn, by Wendy Lesser

"The title of the biography comes from Kahn’s explanation of how he designs buildings: ‘If you say to brick, ‘Arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over an opening. What do you think of that, brick?’ Brick says, I like an arch.’’"

;)

 

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Progress.  One foot in front of the other.

Thank you guys again for not being okay with me keeping that plastic keystone.  I am in your collective debt.  Will continue to update as more progress is made.

 

ArchFreestanding.jpg

Edited by Patrick

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just thinking about a PBS documentary showing the rust belt in USA.   patrick, you are not far from larger cities where there are probably many older buildings that have steel that would simplify your door construction.   there is probably an architectural salvage company that can locate what you need.  spending a little now to save your back in the future sounds like a possible solution that would involve something like the Medalta structure.   smaller but sturdy.  

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3 hours ago, oldlady said:

wow!   that is taallllll!    never saw one taller than 6 feet, that looks enormous.   you will need a ramp and porch for loading and unloading.

Thank you.

Actually, it's just under 5 feet tall.  Must be the camera angle.  Hopefully loading/unloading won't be too bad.  But then again, who ever got into ceramics because it was easy?!

Edited by Patrick

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On 1/15/2019 at 1:34 PM, neilestrick said:

It looks great! Now put some steel on it.

Thank you.

Are you thinking out of necessity, or just for a door frame?   Been scratching my head about the bricks walking over time and supporting the back wall.

Edited by Patrick

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Catenary walls (back and front) like to move out and away from arch over time so some steel in place can fix this flaw.

A note about loading-a kneeling pad works great. I had a huge cat at home for about 10 years(1973 to 83) and always kept a pillow around for getting inside to load the back wall.I built a  well insulated car kiln in 79 and never fired the cat again -it was like yours -all hard brick and cost mega $$$ to fire.

The car kiln made my life about 1000 times easier on the back and wallet.

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My cat doesn't have any steel or other framing. The back and doorframe are stacked so that they "cork" - interior course sits inside the kiln, tied into the exterior course which overlaps the opening. They do spread a bit during firing. Initially, we extended the castable overcoat over the seam, but that was a terrible idea because it crumbled during the firings at maximum spread and the bits fell into the fiery chasm, never to be retrieved and making some of the spread permanent. The spread never opened as deep as the "cork," a brick's width, but worried some spectators when exuding flames at ^10. Wheeee!

Arch was rebuilt from hard to soft brick, but the doorway and back remain hardbrick. Margins are now covered by the layer of fiber beneath some pretty sheet brass (scavenged).

I'm saving a soft brick door and frame scavenged from another kiln for a possible rehab, replacing the back and doorway with softbrick and tying it all together with a real door and steel frame. The cat is really too big for me to fill by myself, so that project will wait.

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