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Electric Kiln Conversion To Propane


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#1 AmyJ

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 06:55 AM

Has anyone had experience using a weed burner as the heat source for converting an electric kiln to a propane kiln? How do you monitor the temperature?
Thank you,
AJ

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:32 AM

Weed burners are not very efficient burners. You could build a more efficient one. The weed burner is easily accessible. It has been more commonly used for fast firing of raku. When cutting the hole for the burner leave a little room for secondary air intake. You can always adjust the burner position if you need more air by pulling it out of the burner port a little at a time.
To tell the temperature you could use cones or get a pyrometer.
Marcia

#3 JBaymore

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:43 AM

What is your objective for the conversion? What results are you looking for, what cone do you wish to fire to, etc. etc.

best,

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

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#4 Deb Evans

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 01:37 PM

for a raku kiln just use a sawsall to cut burner port, take out the elements and electrical. the hood will crack eventually can replace w/ blanket or silica shelves.
weed burner knob isn't eay to do minute adjustments so would be a pain to do long firings but works great for raku.

#5 Mark Horst

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

Has anyone had experience using a weed burner as the heat source for converting an electric kiln to a propane kiln? How do you monitor the temperature?
Thank you,
AJ


I just unloaded my first firing with my new converted electric kiln. I'm using propane and a weed burner. I got it up to cone 10 in about 9 hours. I used a pyrometer and cones to figure temperature, but as other posters have said it's pretty hard to measure how much gas you are actually putting into the kiln. I do it mostly by sight and sound of the burner, and smell of what is coming out of the chimney as well as flame speed observed through the peep holes. I also add wood and soda into the kiln which i had some problems with this time because I didn't have enough air to fully combust the wood and had to make some adjustments during the firing to get more air. Make sure you have enough propane on hand to finish the firing. I used a 100gal tank and used about 1/3 of it. So if you plan on using the normal gas grill tanks make sure you have two of them so you can switch it if you run out. Also, I had some trouble keeping the weed burner lit during the first two hours of the firing because it was a little breezy and since it doesn't have any safety stuff on it I had to monitor it until it got to red heat and could reignight itself if the wind blew it out. My kiln is a little different than other converted kilns because I had a bunch of hard brick laying around that I used for the floor and the first two courses, then I set the electric (skutt 1018) kiln on top. The burner port and wood stoking port are in the first two courses. Those bricks are laid endwise with wadding filling the gaps. Hopefully the attached picture helps a little.
Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll throw in my 2 cents.
Mark

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#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 08:00 AM

I am glad you reached temperature. Maybe you could get a regulator to control the output of gas from the tank. It is a very useful thing.
It could help with your consumption. If you didn't have enough air to ignite the wood, then you are burning too rich...excessive propane. You can add air by backing the burner tip out of the port . This increases the secondary air getting pulled in. I'd also put up some wind protectors along side your blowers just to keep things steady.

I recommend a regulator. You can build a propane burner with black pipe, metal pipe and a Grainger squirrel cage blower.
I can look up my old blue print when I get home if 10 days or so if you are interested.

Marcia




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