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Patrick

Used hard brick gas catenary arch kiln build

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IMO, all kilns need steel. Bricks, especially hard bricks, move a lot. At the very least it will help keep gaps from forming. At the very most, it will help keep it from falling down in the middle of a firing. I would never feel comfortable firing a kiln without steel, unless it was very small.

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Its interesting to watch your progress. My walls  & arch were all double thickness and  the front and back walls were fit into the arch - lots of brick cutting and getting the angles right.  I agree with Mark- you'll need to squeeze it to the arch.  It's a shock to see the wall bulging out as you reach cone 10.  Steel support is a good idea. What did you decide about a door?

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6 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

Wall layers are only tied together every six courses? That seems skimpy to me for such a tall wall.

Good Eye Rae-I only saw this photo on my small phone but now at hotel (on a road trip to SF)Great day to travel as most folks are glued for some reason to TV screens in this country.

I can see it clearly on my laptop.The norm is to tie the courses together way more than every 6th layer.I suggest that you do not do that on the front wall.That will need more header courses.(I think thats what they are called as the long ways is caller soldiers)

Hopefully you have a copy of Fred olsens kilnbuiling book which shows the brick laying techniques you need here.You need this book

That back wall will want to bow and walk away from arch when hot so use some steel (I beams or angle or heavy sheet whatever you can scronge up) to reinforce that wall-run some rods or angle or whatever to same on front wall so they cannot spread apart as they will and pretty fast when hot.Think of it like a large wood clamp holding the tow walls from moving apart with the arch in the middle.You will need at least tow to three connections per side to keep the spread on that tall arch.

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Here is my game plan for steel (1.5" and 2" angle iron - donated by a friend today from his pile o' stuff) on the back wall.  What are your thoughts?  What am I not getting?  I will be putting angle iron on the floor corners also and attaching it to the walls - just didn't draw it in the picture.  I will also be pulling the front and back walls toward each other with rods (weld a bolt onto rod) and springs a la Marcia's numerous descriptions.

KilnBackWallRearMetal.jpg

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Looks good to me. Springs aren't necessary. I've never built a kiln with springs and have never had a problem. You don't really even need to bolt anything, just weld it. Just make sure it's all clamped tight before welding. In a sprung arch the threaded rod is handy because you can tighten up the arch if it starts to sag. But in a cat you can't do that.

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I would avoid any springs-they just get depressed and do not have the strength to return.They will not move that wall back once it swells. The weilded stell prefents iot from moving.

Like Neil says just weld the frame tight .

The more steel the better 

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An update: we had a dry day here (finally!) and I welded the steel for the rear wall and stacked the front wall so I could get a game plan for the steel on it.  I originally was thinking about making 2 small walls up the front sides and then stack a door in the middle, but the kiln is too narrow - or the door would be too narrow once I got side-front walls of any substance built. Soooo, for now I'll stack the whole darned thing whenever I fire.  It'll keep me young ... or make me old.

Regrading the steel for the front wall:  I still want to put some steel around the 3 layered floor as a frame to attach supports to, and then it hit me, I'll make 2 or 3 removable, vertical steel frame  sections for the front wall that (1) bolt to each other (2) attach to the yet-to-exist floor framing to keep the bottom in place, and (3) attach to the rear wall over the kiln.  I'm also going to attach the rear wall to the floor braces to I don't have to worry about it going anywhere.  I think that will work for now.  It will definitely give me something to fiddle with if I get  bored, and it will help me not forget how to embrace the suck.

Lastly, I have been nostalgically building a monitoring system out of a raspberry pi 3 b+, an arduino uno, two adafruit  max31855 thermocouple boards, two 18.5" K-type thermocouples, and a bosch 12028 automotive oxygen sensor.  That's been fun. The RPi provides some pretty descent file saving, graphing, and network availability options.  The arduino is pretty much just the sensor workhorse and serial data sender.   Man, coding has changed A LOT since I quit banging keys.  In chewing on downfiring, reduction times and durations, etc. I decided to give it a shot and see how useful it could be.  I can also use it on my other kilns if I want to.  If nothing else, I will have csv files of every firing I do with it for learning, changing, etc.  I mean I can always still unplug the darn thing, buy a gallon of wine, crank up the burners, and hope for the best ... if that's what I'm in the mood for. ;)

Here's some eye candy (LOL! That's funny!)

 

KilnBackWallSteel.jpg

KilnFrontWallStacked.jpg

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No chimney.  The hole where the tape measure is will be the exhaust.  I'll be using 4 forced air burners, ergo... just need a hole and something to deflect it from guilty bystanders.

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1 hour ago, Patrick said:

No chimney.  The hole where the tape measure is will be the exhaust.  I'll be using 4 forced air burners, ergo... just need a hole and something to deflect it from guilty bystanders.

I say let the bystanders fry. If they can't have the sense to stay away from the 4 foot flames coming out, do they really count? :lol::lol:

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42 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I don't think there is an interior of that shed, looks more like a dangling participle if you know what I mean.  It's just shedding barely

Yeh I would be concerned re the unsuspecting adult, child ,animal running and wandering past the hot zone....still veryhot out of the colour zone. Would be surprised if allowed really.

Damper adjustment site for reduction. Guess  a vertical slide thingie. Just odd.

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Wow, you guys are awesome.  If I ever think nobody in the world cares whether or not I run around with my head on fire, I'll just re-read this post (and gracefully overlook Liambesaw's  you-should've-taken-responsibility-for-yourself leanings! LOL!) I'll see if I can't address everyone's concerns topically here:

Why 4 burners when you only need 2 for the size of the kiln?

Heat placement according to Abernathy kiln theory.  Rumor has it the 2 extra burners placed on opposite and higher levels of the kiln led to a 30% decrease in fuel usage.   It wasn't how many BTUs, but where are you putting those BTUs in the kiln.  I will eat the costs of 2 extra burners upfront (which aren't that bad when you throw sweat equity at it) to get a possible savings in fuel, especially since I've used a lot of hard fire brick (AND see just how fast I can go from 70 degrees to 2300 degrees!).

 

Damper, or lack there of.

 Since I'll be using forced air burners, I'll have a positive pressure in the kiln anyway.  If I understand it correctly, the game of turn down the air/turn up the gas will create all the reduction I could use.  If that is not the case, the answer below will provide a solution...

 

Lots of holes where you don't want a lot of heat right next to a big hole with nothing but heat coming out of it.

My thinking right now is (1) I need a place to mount my oxygen sensor that is going to stay at or below about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit - or risk damaging the sensor. (2) As much as Liambesaw is, in some ways, a person after my own heart, I very well could be the idiot who burns himself up (by sticking my face in places that weren't designed with  face-sticking in mind).   So, I am planning on welding a long 16 gauge (1/16th inch) steel chimney and angle it up and out of the SHED (!!! LOL) thingy.  A few probe holes where I can insert a thermocouple will give me max temps at different locations in the square tube, and I can then know where to mount my oxygen sensor inside the metal, slanting, don't-touch-it, chimney-kinda, thingy.  This should also get most of the heat away from places I want to stick my face, AND give me a good place to rig up a metal damper if I need one.

 

Peep hole locations

You are absolutely right, Rae.  I will move them out at least one more brick.

 

Thanks for looking out for me y'all!

 

 

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