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Mason Dixon

Can I make a kiln out of this?

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The company I work for moved into a bigger building and among the items we found leftover from the previous tenant is some ceramic fiber board. It's about 2" thick and 24" x 30",  4 sheets. 

I've looked at a few diy kiln projects online and it looks like most people use the box store slotted angle to enclose a brick style kiln. Could I do the same with the fiber board? If possible, could I use a Kanthal element  to heat with? I've heard they expand greatly, how could I attach/enclose it so it doesn't expand and sag all over the place?

I'd be using this online guide for control. 

https://www.instructables.com/id/Home-made-electric-glass-fusing-kiln/

 

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First you'd need to find out the temperature rating of the ceramic board. Depending on the type, it could be anywhere from 1500F to 2500F. Even if it's rated high enough, I wouldn't try to build a kiln with just 2 inches of thickness. Maybe if it was doubled up to 4", or used as layer on top of or behind 4.5" of soft brick for a small gas kiln. You will not have any luck trying to mount elements into it, though.

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The late Peter Issley of Macro Crystalline fame built his primary cone 10 kiln out of fiber board. As I recall ( been awhile) he used 4.5" for the sides and lid, but built the base out of K26 IFB brick. He used a welded frame as you proposed, but used heavy plaster mesh screen between corners to help support the panels. I also recall him using elements pins to simply hang the exposed wire to the sides of the kiln. IFB and  fiber board is easy to cut- but definitely wear a mask. I have a bit for my router, rebuilt my old test kiln using 4.5" IFB and cut my own element channels. 

Now that I think about it: he used ceramic buttons to attach elements. I will look it up later, have that book around here somewhere.

Tom

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Most ceramic fiber boards are lower temps-so testing the board one be a start-As noted you need at least 4-6 inches thickness.

These 4 boards most likely are not the best start for a kiln. Usually the board is a backup insulation for better materials like soft brick.

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On 12/28/2018 at 10:59 AM, glazenerd said:

The late Peter Issley of Macro Crystalline fame built his primary cone 10 kiln out of fiber board. As I recall ( been awhile) he used 4.5" for the sides and lid, but built the base out of K26 IFB brick. He used a welded frame as you proposed, but used heavy plaster mesh screen between corners to help support the panels. I also recall him using elements pins to simply hang the exposed wire to the sides of the kiln. IFB and  fiber board is easy to cut- but definitely wear a mask. I have a bit for my router, rebuilt my old test kiln using 4.5" IFB and cut my own element channels. 

Now that I think about it: he used ceramic buttons to attach elements. I will look it up later, have that book around here somewhere.

Tom

Thanks, would like to see some pics if possible.

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30 minutes ago, Mason Dixon said:

Was hoping to get up to cone 6 temps. 

Ya know I read a few books on the subject that were great. 'The Kiln Book' by Frederick Olsen was full of info.

No I don't think you can easily build a cone 6 kiln with 4 fiber board sheets but you can probably make use of them. There is also a book I bought on amazon on alternative kilns and firing. I would do some research. I mean you can dig a hole in the ground and fire decorative pots but when you say cone six then you mean something beyond pit and trash can/fiber blanket kilns.

I blew it off because I decided I wanted to spend my time making pots not building kilns.

Edited by Stephen

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11 minutes ago, Stephen said:

Ya know I read a few books on the subject that were great. 'The Kiln Book' by Frederick Olsen was full of info.

No I don't think you can easily build a cone 6 kiln with 4 fiber board sheets but you can probably make use of them. There is also a book I bought on amazon on alternative kilns and firing. I would do some research. I mean you can dig a hole in the ground and fire decorative pots but when you say cone six then you mean something beyond pit and trash can/fiber blanket kilns.

I blew it off because I decided I wanted to spend my time making pots not building kilns.

Hey now, my fiber cone 6 kiln works just fine :D

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I don't know, mine is 6 pieces of 2x2 fiber, so not too far off!  It was originally an updraft kiln and I only recently added a chimney and converted to a down draft kiln!  It's not going to last me a lifetime or anything but it's fun and works well

IMG_20181021_152428_crop_411x831.jpg

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