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Kiln Vents Kits, Necessary Or Not


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#1 AndyL

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 06:51 PM

OK still considering the kiln to buy between L&L & Skutt. The next question is are KIln Vent Kits really necessary or is this just a gimmick to sell an add on? The kiln will be in an attached garage to the house if that's a consideration.

#2 SaltSpringPotter

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 07:04 PM

OK still considering the kiln to buy between L&L & Skutt. The next question is are KIln Vent Kits really necessary or is this just a gimmick to sell an add on? The kiln will be in an attached garage to the house if that's a consideration.



I think if your kiln room is attached to the house you must have a kiln vent to make sure no toxic fumes remain inside. I certainly would not risk it myself.

#3 Zygote

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 08:51 PM

Kiln vents, (aside from removing lots of nasty stuff from your kiln room,) are particularly useful for creating that oxidation atmosphere that is your electric kiln's strength. We always play to the strengths of our kiln.
For the cash... a kiln vent is totally worth the money.

#4 mompotter

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 11:58 PM

In a garage I would not feel it necessary for safety/health reasons as long as no one is sitting out there while it is firing. ;)

I never used one before and I just purchased an electric kiln to put in my garage. I won't be using one this time either. Just can't afford it right now. I did remove our food storage from the garage though. :)

#5 MuddyMomma

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:56 AM

has anybody made their own kiln vent? we're in the process of putting my studio into one of the bays of our garage. there's no room for a separate kiln room and i was planning on putting in a kiln vent on my kiln anyway. but i'm wondering if i can make my own vent or would it be better to buy one? i'll be working out there when the kiln is firing, and it's possible my kids would be w/ me too. :)



#6 Diana@NatureGirlStudio.com

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:01 PM

You definitely need some way to vent the chemicals that burn out of the clay during firing. As a lab tech a few years ago, I tried to work in the same room while the bisque kiln was firing and quickly got nauseous. I have an Envirovent on my Skutt Kiln in my studio (garage). It works best when you crack a window open to allow fresh air to enter the room as the envirovent pushes it out. I also fire the kiln overnight and air out the room in the morning.


One of the most clever (and most expensive) set ups I saw was a small, separate kiln room (off the main studio) with its own garage door. They just opened the garage door while firing.

Good luck and definitely protect your health!
Diana Popp
Nature Girl Studio

P.O. Box 1804
Bend, OR 97709

diana@NatureGirlStudio.com
www.NatureGirlStudio.com


#7 Julie

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:45 PM

OK still considering the kiln to buy between L&L & Skutt. The next question is are KIln Vent Kits really necessary or is this just a gimmick to sell an add on? The kiln will be in an attached garage to the house if that's a consideration.

if there is another door, besides the large garage door that will be open it should give enough circulation out and use a fan. for how many yrs were we without the vents. I can see it needed in an enclosed room, yes.

#8 Julie

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:05 AM

You definitely need some way to vent the chemicals that burn out of the clay during firing. As a lab tech a few years ago, I tried to work in the same room while the bisque kiln was firing and quickly got nauseous. I have an Envirovent on my Skutt Kiln in my studio (garage). It works best when you crack a window open to allow fresh air to enter the room as the envirovent pushes it out. I also fire the kiln overnight and air out the room in the morning.


One of the most clever (and most expensive) set ups I saw was a small, separate kiln room (off the main studio) with its own garage door. They just opened the garage door while firing.

Good luck and definitely protect your health!

do you need to make a hole in the wall for this vent to attach to get air out?

#9 Bill R.

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:21 AM

[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='03 April 2010 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1270306579' post='169']
has anybody made their own kiln vent? we're in the process of putting my studio into one of the bays of our garage. there's no room for a separate kiln room and i was planning on putting in a kiln vent on my kiln anyway. but i'm wondering if i can make my own vent or would it be better to buy one? i'll be working out there when the kiln is firing, and it's possible my kids would be w/ me too. Posted Image


I made my own vent and it cost me $0.00. (But I am a scrounge extrordinaire.) It works great.
First you must study the ones available for sale and then use a bit of simple ingenuity.

First I managed to find an older Jennaire range and took the fan out of it. Very good fans.
The tricky part is building the extraction box that attaches to the bottom of the kiln. This must be metal for obvious reasons and in my case I used up one of my favors with a sheetmetal friend. My design I kept simple but you may have to figure one out for your kiln. Note that the extraction box must have an air inlet on the side which is somehow adjustable. Try just cutting about a 2 in hole but have a cover plate screwed on that can be adjusted. You must allow the fan to have air but adjust your opening so it gets enough out of the kiln to create a draw.
I attached the fan to an outside wall and used good dryer exhaust pipe to connect to the box on the bottom of the kiln. I simply use an extension chord to plug the fan in.
I drilled two 1/4" hole in the top of the kiln as inlet holes and three in the bottom as exhaust holes. I found lots of info on line that describes this in detail.
When everything is setup and the fan is running just adjust the cover plate until you have a draw through the kiln. You can do this by simply holding a match at one of the inlet holes and adjusting until the flame is being drawn into the hole. Simple.
Good luck. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bill

#10 MuddyMomma

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:35 PM

[quote name='Bill R.' date='05 April 2010 - 09:21 AM' timestamp='1270484496' post='221']
[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='03 April 2010 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1270306579' post='169']
has anybody made their own kiln vent? we're in the process of putting my studio into one of the bays of our garage. there's no room for a separate kiln room and i was planning on putting in a kiln vent on my kiln anyway. but i'm wondering if i can make my own vent or would it be better to buy one? i'll be working out there when the kiln is firing, and it's possible my kids would be w/ me too. Posted Image


I made my own vent and it cost me $0.00. (But I am a scrounge extrordinaire.) It works great.
First you must study the ones available for sale and then use a bit of simple ingenuity.

First I managed to find an older Jennaire range and took the fan out of it. Very good fans.
The tricky part is building the extraction box that attaches to the bottom of the kiln. This must be metal for obvious reasons and in my case I used up one of my favors with a sheetmetal friend. My design I kept simple but you may have to figure one out for your kiln. Note that the extraction box must have an air inlet on the side which is somehow adjustable. Try just cutting about a 2 in hole but have a cover plate screwed on that can be adjusted. You must allow the fan to have air but adjust your opening so it gets enough out of the kiln to create a draw.
I attached the fan to an outside wall and used good dryer exhaust pipe to connect to the box on the bottom of the kiln. I simply use an extension chord to plug the fan in.
I drilled two 1/4" hole in the top of the kiln as inlet holes and three in the bottom as exhaust holes. I found lots of info on line that describes this in detail.
When everything is setup and the fan is running just adjust the cover plate until you have a draw through the kiln. You can do this by simply holding a match at one of the inlet holes and adjusting until the flame is being drawn into the hole. Simple.
Good luck. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bill
[/quote]


thanks for this bill, i may just be in touch sometime! my husband is pretty handy, he's already planning on building me a kiln controller to save the $$ on buying a new one, now i have another project for him. we've been discussing different ideas on how to do it, my main concern being that the kids will be out there w/ me sometimes and i was worried about the fumes. but sounds like what you came up w/ isn't that different than the store bought ones so i'm thinking it should be ok so long as the joints are tight and there's no leakage. how do you keep the extraction box secured to the bottom of the kiln? the envirovent has a spring if i remember correctly. and i'm assuming the air inlet cools the exaust down a bit? i remember my husband being concerned about the heat coming out of there. thanks again for your help, kim Posted Image

#11 Cindy in SD

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

Where I work there's a small attic room for the kiln. At first (before I came) they tried firing the kiln with no ventilation. It set off the building's sprinkler system, which wasn't used to that much concentrated heat in one place, and all the walls had to be resurfaced throughout the whole place. (It's an old converted historical residence.) So they put in a huge fan--temperature controlled. It works better than my kiln vents at home. They didn't put it in to vent toxins--they didn't know about toxins--but I think it works well. At any rate, to smell anything when the kiln is firing I have to go into the kiln room--and then it's minimal. Loud, though.

#12 Bill R.

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:47 PM

[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='06 April 2010 - 07:35 PM' timestamp='1270611302' post='279']
[quote name='Bill R.' date='05 April 2010 - 09:21 AM' timestamp='1270484496' post='221']
[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='03 April 2010 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1270306579' post='169']
has anybody made their own kiln vent? we're in the process of putting my studio into one of the bays of our garage. there's no room for a separate kiln room and i was planning on putting in a kiln vent on my kiln anyway. but i'm wondering if i can make my own vent or would it be better to buy one? i'll be working out there when the kiln is firing, and it's possible my kids would be w/ me too. Posted Image


I made my own vent and it cost me $0.00. (But I am a scrounge extrordinaire.) It works great.
First you must study the ones available for sale and then use a bit of simple ingenuity.

First I managed to find an older Jennaire range and took the fan out of it. Very good fans.
The tricky part is building the extraction box that attaches to the bottom of the kiln. This must be metal for obvious reasons and in my case I used up one of my favors with a sheetmetal friend. My design I kept simple but you may have to figure one out for your kiln. Note that the extraction box must have an air inlet on the side which is somehow adjustable. Try just cutting about a 2 in hole but have a cover plate screwed on that can be adjusted. You must allow the fan to have air but adjust your opening so it gets enough out of the kiln to create a draw.
I attached the fan to an outside wall and used good dryer exhaust pipe to connect to the box on the bottom of the kiln. I simply use an extension chord to plug the fan in.
I drilled two 1/4" hole in the top of the kiln as inlet holes and three in the bottom as exhaust holes. I found lots of info on line that describes this in detail.
When everything is setup and the fan is running just adjust the cover plate until you have a draw through the kiln. You can do this by simply holding a match at one of the inlet holes and adjusting until the flame is being drawn into the hole. Simple.
Good luck. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bill
[/quote]


thanks for this bill, i may just be in touch sometime! my husband is pretty handy, he's already planning on building me a kiln controller to save the $$ on buying a new one, now i have another project for him. we've been discussing different ideas on how to do it, my main concern being that the kids will be out there w/ me sometimes and i was worried about the fumes. but sounds like what you came up w/ isn't that different than the store bought ones so i'm thinking it should be ok so long as the joints are tight and there's no leakage. how do you keep the extraction box secured to the bottom of the kiln? the envirovent has a spring if i remember correctly. and i'm assuming the air inlet cools the exaust down a bit? i remember my husband being concerned about the heat coming out of there. thanks again for your help, kim Posted Image
[/quote]

#13 Bill R.

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:49 PM

[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='06 April 2010 - 07:35 PM' timestamp='1270611302' post='279']
[quote name='Bill R.' date='05 April 2010 - 09:21 AM' timestamp='1270484496' post='221']
[quote name='MuddyMomma' date='03 April 2010 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1270306579' post='169']
has anybody made their own kiln vent? we're in the process of putting my studio into one of the bays of our garage. there's no room for a separate kiln room and i was planning on putting in a kiln vent on my kiln anyway. but i'm wondering if i can make my own vent or would it be better to buy one? i'll be working out there when the kiln is firing, and it's possible my kids would be w/ me too. Posted Image


I made my own vent and it cost me $0.00. (But I am a scrounge extrordinaire.) It works great.
First you must study the ones available for sale and then use a bit of simple ingenuity.

First I managed to find an older Jennaire range and took the fan out of it. Very good fans.
The tricky part is building the extraction box that attaches to the bottom of the kiln. This must be metal for obvious reasons and in my case I used up one of my favors with a sheetmetal friend. My design I kept simple but you may have to figure one out for your kiln. Note that the extraction box must have an air inlet on the side which is somehow adjustable. Try just cutting about a 2 in hole but have a cover plate screwed on that can be adjusted. You must allow the fan to have air but adjust your opening so it gets enough out of the kiln to create a draw.
I attached the fan to an outside wall and used good dryer exhaust pipe to connect to the box on the bottom of the kiln. I simply use an extension chord to plug the fan in.
I drilled two 1/4" hole in the top of the kiln as inlet holes and three in the bottom as exhaust holes. I found lots of info on line that describes this in detail.
When everything is setup and the fan is running just adjust the cover plate until you have a draw through the kiln. You can do this by simply holding a match at one of the inlet holes and adjusting until the flame is being drawn into the hole. Simple.
Good luck. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bill
[/quote]


thanks for this bill, i may just be in touch sometime! my husband is pretty handy, he's already planning on building me a kiln controller to save the $$ on buying a new one, now i have another project for him. we've been discussing different ideas on how to do it, my main concern being that the kids will be out there w/ me sometimes and i was worried about the fumes. but sounds like what you came up w/ isn't that different than the store bought ones so i'm thinking it should be ok so long as the joints are tight and there's no leakage. how do you keep the extraction box secured to the bottom of the kiln? the envirovent has a spring if i remember correctly. and i'm assuming the air inlet cools the exaust down a bit? i remember my husband being concerned about the heat coming out of there. thanks again for your help, kim Posted Image
[/quote]

#14 Bill R.

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:04 PM

I borrowed the spring system for my vent. It worked flawless. The air inlet does cool the exhaust but the more important purpose is to adjust the draw from the kiln. The fan will be looking for lots of air and it will not get enough from just the kiln through those small holes. So you supply some through the adjustable inlet and with a bit of experimenting you can adjust so the fan draws the perfect amount of air from the kiln.
I would like to point out that another benefit to venting the kiln will be prolonged element life.
I have also noticed some differences in some of my glaze results since I started using my vent. I am not sure if the venting is entirely the reason but I am liking what I see.
After you have been using your vent for a while have a look at what the inside of the fan looks like! You will understand why we should not be breathing this stuff.

Bill

#15 JBaymore

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:19 PM

You should have a localized kiln vent of some sort.

Local pickup ventilation is always the first line of defense when it comes to dealing with toxic airborne stuff. The various types of direct connection kiln vents are of this type. Yoyu are far better off not letting stuff get into the general air of the living spaces and then try to control it. It takes far less air movement (read $ in capital and operating costs) to pick it up locally than to do general dilution ventilation. Less make up air heat and cooling load too.

The 2nd main reason for a kiln vent (and not far behind the toxic ventilation issue) is to provide a source of air (for the oxygen necessary for a number of firing reactions) within the generally sealed and static electric kiln chamber. Without one, you have much more potential to create firing defects due to a lack of the necessary oxygen. If you tend to stack tight bisque firings in electric kilns this is REALLY a potential issue. Carbonaceous material in raw clay in a stuffed bisque firing can create slight reducing conditions that cause problems that ony show up later in a glaze firing.

They can be built very easily.

best,

.......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#16 riverpotter

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:20 PM

I strongly recommend a kiln vent. It has been worth every penny we spent. Our studio is in our basement, and the fumes were unbearable before. Especially since we use wax on our pots. We had to drill a hole in the wall for the air to exit, and a couple of small holes in our kiln lid which was kinda scary, but the installation was pretty easy, and it works great!

#17 Icyone2

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 12:55 PM

Another side effect of not venting I've noticed is also rust. Not sure what causes it but metal items in our warehouse tend to get pretty rusty pretty fast

#18 AndyL

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:38 PM

Thanks everybody for the feedback. You've convinced me. The vent is something I'll add here.




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