Jump to content


Member Since 05 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 17 2014 02:04 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: How High Did I Fire?

17 December 2014 - 01:46 PM



I really think if you go to your welding supplier you will find that the glass inserts used in welding helmets are very inexpensive.   Most welding suppliers also have a selection of  dark polycarbonate "sun glass" style safety glasses that welders and people that work near them use when not directly performing welding operations.  

I say this as long time member of ABANA  (Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America)  One of the key safety issues for long term  Forge/Kiln/Glass  workers is the exposure to, not only ultraviolet radiation. but also long wave infrared radiation.  The damage that the eyes receive  from high temperature exposure is cumulative. 


I hope you have a lovely holiday and a safe New Year.



In Topic: Raku Kiln- Highest Cone Temp

10 October 2014 - 11:54 AM

One thing that hasn't really been separated out in this discussion is the difference  between pyro cone  and  temperature.     It is comparatively simple to reach a temperature  in the yellow white range in a propane  furnace.  That is mostly a function of BTU in and volume.  Cone is a  function time at temperature  or  heat work.  I know that most readers of this forum make that assumption know this but for the casual or newer member it would be well to be more explicit.


When people say that running cone 6 in a Raku kiln would me unreasonably expensive in terms of fuel I take that as recognizably true. If  one assumes a Small Orton cone  this gives a temperature of 1255C with a temperature rise rate of 300 C/hr.  


Cone 04 on the other hand seems more achievable as a small Orton cone is 1098C @ 300 C/hr. Personal experience tells me that the time an effort to go from and orangish yellow   to yellow white heat  is a lot.


All this is in aid off is the point that Raku  is more Art and Craft  and  Experience than many other parts of custom made ceramics.



In Topic: At Around What Cone Can Steel Not Be Used For Kiln Components?

09 July 2014 - 01:44 PM

The technique of heat recovery from exhaust gases has a long history.  In the days of open hearth steel making they created alternating exhaust paths called "Checkers". The checkers were stacks of pyro brick that heated up on the exhaust cycle and preheated the air on the intake cycle.


Counter current heat exchange  is used and any number of industrial processes  to improve heating cycles.  It is also used in the feet of migrating water fowl to keep from freezing in ice filled ponds. :)


In my own experience I have used Black Iron pipe ( not galvanized pipe) with propane in a blower system to increase the temperature I achieve.   Black iron is relatively inexpensive compared to stainless steel, and because it is thread-able by most suppliers it can be assembled  in manifolds without welding.  This makes replacement of parts a days work not a weeks.  I used straight pipes not coiled, and of a large diameter to slow the flow down with out reducing volume.  I didn't worry about the iron pipes because it is kind of like the "Mr. Wizard" trick of boiling water in a paper cup over an open flame. As long as air flowed through the pipe was ok despite the temperature would have melted steel.


For a wood fired system I have been toying with designs using two different  sizes of  fire place  flue tiles.  One outer and one inner.






In Topic: Real-Time Kiln Advice (Kiln Curently Firing)

06 June 2014 - 09:33 AM

Have you considered the option of two supply cylinders with two regulators supplying one line  with a control valve leading to your burner?

Set the regulators to a slightly higher pressure than needed  and use the valve to throttle delivery down to your requirements.


Just a thought


In Topic: Noob Seeks Advice Building Kiln On The Cheap

06 June 2014 - 09:07 AM

A couple of thoughts on your project. 

one) Small propane furnaces / kilns are the least efficient way to fire  any thing.  For the temperature achieved the total BTU expense is inversely proportional to the volume heated per item.  As a means of experimenting with the local clay I rather doubt you will find it satisfactory.  Since you are a rural area you might find it better to experiment with wood/agricultural waste fired kilns.  I would not dismiss the local potters so casually.  In my experience with various crafts local knowledge will often trump academic knowledge. Making friends with local potters may teach you things about local conditions and materials that will speed you toward satisfactory results.

In addition my experience with small propane fired furnaces/kilns/forges, has shown that control problems increase as size decreases.


two) Commercial burners from companies like WARD Burners are by far the most practical way to build  a kiln. Failing that there is a resource for building burners that I have not seen listed here before.


Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces & Kilns


by Michael Porter   copy right 2004


Published by SkipJack Press, Ocean Pines, MD  Library of Congress # 2003115257


The contents of this book will short cut a lot of errors and futile effort,  I wish it had been available 30 years ago.

It is possible to build a Kiln burner with very simple plumbing fixtures but making one with the necessary range of turn down (variation of BTU output ) is difficult and very difficult with out first class gas regulators.


You may want to read the extensive discussion of Kiln firing that appeared on this forum last week. 

Good Luck