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#1 takeyasofree

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:44 AM

I am converting my garage into studio. I have read several places and talked to many potters. I am not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to firing. Some say it is safe others say no way.


I have a two car garage and it is the same building I live in. I am concerned about fumes. One kiln has an envirovent and the smaller one doesn't. Do I really have anything to worry about if I have fans going and the garage open or even if I have to lower it down to 1ft open?

I have safety plans in place but this part is what makes me so unsure. I am still a little nervous about high temperatures but just remember that I don't touch the stove burners, open the door and stand in the way of heat trying to escape, or just reach in without something protective on my hands. Fumes ... especially those we don't smell ... is much more dangerous in my mind.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

#2 Mark C.

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:43 AM

I am converting my garage into studio. I have read several places and talked to many potters. I am not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to firing. Some say it is safe others say no way.

I have a two car garage and it is the same building I live in. I am concerned about fumes. One kiln has an envirovent and the smaller one doesn't. Do I really have anything to worry about if I have fans going and the garage open or even if I have to lower it down to 1ft open?
As long as the fans are on you should be fine--the door open a little will help-get a carbon manoixide alarm.
Change out of your clay colths in studio and walk into house with new cloths with no clay on them-leave shoes in garage.
I have safety plans in place but this part is what makes me so unsure. I am still a little nervous about high temperatures but just remember that I don't touch the stove burners, open the door and stand in the way of heat trying to escape, or just reach in without something protective on my hands. Fumes ... especially those we don't smell ... is much more dangerous in my mind.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Just be safe and give the kilns plenty of clearace around walls and tables.

Thank you.




Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:08 AM

I would recommend checking with your insurance company as well. I have a detached kiln shed. Some insurance companies would prefer the kilns be in a detached structure from your home.
It also allows you to work when you like. Having the kilns in the same room as your studio will also tend to dry out your clay pieces in progess. The heat and fumes will prevent you from using the same room. Just a few things to consider other than the safety issues.

Marcia

#4 Sculptor Pat

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:36 AM

I am converting my garage into studio. I have read several places and talked to many potters. I am not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to firing. Some say it is safe others say no way.

I have a two car garage and it is the same building I live in. I am concerned about fumes. One kiln has an envirovent and the smaller one doesn't. Do I really have anything to worry about if I have fans going and the garage open or even if I have to lower it down to 1ft open?

I have safety plans in place but this part is what makes me so unsure. I am still a little nervous about high temperatures but just remember that I don't touch the stove burners, open the door and stand in the way of heat trying to escape, or just reach in without something protective on my hands. Fumes ... especially those we don't smell ... is much more dangerous in my mind.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.



#5 Sculptor Pat

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:53 AM

Hi Newbie:

I installed a ceramics studio in my basement garage which lies directly under my house.
I vented my envirovent out of a casement basement window, works great (like a dryer vent). I would suggest to you to get a connector kit to connect your small kiln to your existing envirovent system.
Fresh air is needed for the envirovent system to work properly. It moves about 140 cubic feet per hour. I used to crack my garage door to pull in the needed fresh air (instead of it coming from the house area). Later, since I have old garage doors (didn't want to give bugs/rodents a way in) I took out a window pane on the garage door and replaced it with a removable plexi piece and added some flexible window screen to the area. When I run the kiln I replaced the plexi piece with a plexi piece thats 2 inches shorter than a full piece and thats just enough air flow.
Heat rises and I get some warm air in the studio but nothing dramatic. I keep my first level basement door closed so it drafts through my makeshift garage door window. If you have fresh air coming in, and venting going out you've created a negative flow which makes it difficult for any escaping fumes to hang around.

#6 Denice

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

You should be okay if you open the garage door you may not want to work out there when your firing. My kilns are in my studio which is part of the garage which is connected to my house. Mine are in a separate room, the kilns have the envior system, I have a fan in the ceiling that vents outside and a window in that area. My favorite way to ventilate is to open the window in nice weather and turn on the large fan in the garage window and push the fumes and heat build up out the kiln room window. My husband is overly cautious he screwed concrete hardibacker on the walls in the kiln room my insurance agent like that idea. Denice

#7 GEP

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:57 AM

takeyasofree,

What you're doing is perfectly safe. However, you do need to vent your smaller kiln as well. I'm pretty sure one envirovent can be used to vent two kilns, so you can accomplish this without too much expense.

I agree that you should call your insurance company. If anything, it will give you some peace of mind. My agent (State Farm) asked if they could come over and take pictures of the kiln in my basement, then they said "no problem!"

Mea
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#8 Roberta12

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

My kiln is in a separate building from the house. Since we built the shop with the intention of 1/3 (ok, it's more like 1/2 now) being for the kiln, spraybooth, etc, we also took precautions and vented the kiln outside, and I can crack the doors to pull in more air, and I also had to have and insurance inspection (State Farm) and it all passed just fine. Yes, precautions.

Roberta

#9 JBaymore

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:11 PM

Note that if you sell your ceramic work and file a Schedule C (here in the US) ....or SHOULD file a Schedule C........ you are a business operation. Putting in that workshop COULD void your typical standard homeowners policy. You'll then need business insurance for stuff like premises liability, fire, theft, equipment and so on (add product liability while you are at it).

If the garage is attached to the residence, then you might need business insurance on the whole property...... because some homeowners carriers will not insure any type of home businesses.

Check with your insuracne agent if this applies to you.


If you install electric kilns according to ALL the manufacturers recommendations, they are safe. They all require exterior venting installed. One vent can typically handle two kilns, at least if only one is firing at a time. Some can hanmdle multiple kilns firing all at once.


best,

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

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#10 takeyasofree

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:54 PM

Mark – Yes that was a major concern. It took me a while to actually find something official on the manufacturer websites that addressed ceiling height.

Marcia – I am glad you brought this up (drying not according to working plan). That has been a concern because I sculpt but still have a lot to learn in
that area. It was one of those thoughts that occurred tome briefly but figured I’d make adjustments.

Sculptor Pat – That is precisely what I am debating. I am running into some financial costs that Idid not anticipate. I would feel more comfortable
with ventilation from above to remove heat and fumes in addition to pulling out below with envirovent. Meanwhile trying to fire safely and within budget.

Denice – Yep feel better safe now than sorry later. I want to have good habits in place for when we start our family. I plan on doing this for a while and
want to be healthy. Debating getting estimate for installing a window in the garage – or just making adjustments to the garage door like Pat did.

Mea – I do have to look up what adjustments to make for the smaller kiln. I know that holes are drilled at the floor but need to do more research.
I don't want to ruin a perfectly good kiln trying to experiment.

Roberta – Sounds like cracking the garage door is a definite yes.

John – hmmm that is something I need to look at differently.

Posted Image Thank you all so much for replying and sharing your experiences.
I will be calling the insurance company. I tried to stop by there to day while running errands but they relocated and I did not know.

Takeya

#11 Karen B

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:48 AM

I have a single car attached garage which is my studio, with family room above.
I use envirovent with metal dryer vent to the outside.

I have a regular side door and single window which I keep wide open when firing,
even in winter as it gets too hot and sets off my heat sensor alarm (which is the type
of "smoke" alarm standard for garages).

My clay and other things wrapped in plastic do not

dry out, but anything left out will.

I fire over night so I can be there in the am to check
the shut off and enter in my cool down program.

It is only too hot to work near the end of the firing, but no detectable fumes.
Had to fire once without vent, and even with everything opened,
it was very fumy. Even then, no detectable fumes in room above. Good ceiling insulation.

BTW, it is really great having the cement floor for drying flat things, easy washing,
and the garage door for getting large deliveries or packing up the back of the car!

I got a permit from my town to have the business, and they had no concerns about
the kiln. Insurance concerns already covered by others here.

#12 binwilles

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:02 AM

I'm totally agreed with you Marcia Selsor!!
And yes I too recommend that firstly check your insurance company !!




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