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  1. Hi Mihai, Just wanted to check how you're getting on with this project? I'm planning to build an efficient ceramics kiln for my partner that's pretty similar to yours. My planned specs are: 30cm x 30cm x 40cm, front loader, made from 50mm ceramic fibre board, backed up with 75mm ceramic fibre blanket, and with an aluminium case. We have 16 amp circuits too, so I'm looking to power the kiln at about 3000 watts / 13 amps. Aiming to get it to around 1280 degrees C. I'm shopping around for some 1.8mm Kanthal, looks quite expensive. I bought a ramp / soak PID controller from AliExpress, hopefully that works fine. Would be very keen to hear about your progress! Cheers Ollie
  2. Thanks Min. Looks like Northcote Pottery supplies don't sell spare parts for those kilns, but I can get some quotes from the kiln manufacturers.
  3. I think I'll just go with the plain old IFB bricks after all, at least for the floor and walls. Yes I really like the design, but I'm not sure I could replicate it and even if I could, it would be out of my budget due to the cost of the fibre board. I've looked up a few similar kilns but so far haven't seen any that specify what gauge wire they use. I'll keep looking. We don't have Euclids in Australia so I'll have to find another retailer for the wire. I'll get a quote from Kanthal (the company), I suspect they won't be cheap though. I think I'll be using the drill method, since I don't have a lathe. Thanks for the tips!
  4. I haven't looked into the ceramic rod option, but yes, I suspect they're probably not cheap.
  5. Thanks for the comments. There are ceramic kiln manufacturers out there that make good quality fibre kilns, including Woodrow in Australia and Blaauw in the US. Paragon also are starting to use fibre. So I don't think it's impossible to build a good kiln with fibre, but since it's my first kiln, I'm probably better off going with IFB (with calcium silicate backup), for all the reasons mentioned, not least because of cost. I think it would end up costing about twice as much in materials if I go with fibre. I may still use fibre board for the door though, and potentially the ceiling. Neil, I'm not sure whether pins would be needed to hold the elements in place. Are you familiar with Woodrow's fibre kiln design? They carve grooves out of the fibre board, as you would carve grooves out of IFB (https://keaneceramics.com.au/products/woodrow-hobby-fire-large-kiln). I haven't heard anything about their elements not being replaceable. Why would that be the case? Because the fibre board would crack as you're pulling out the elements?
  6. Thanks Babs and Neil. For attaching the elements, I was thinking of just cementing strips of fibre board to another sheet of fibre board. I would cut the strips at an angle such that the resulting grooves slant downwards. You probably get the idea but I'll attach a diagram in case it's not obvious. I haven't seen anyone else use this approach, so I'm not sure whether it would hold up, or whether the strips would fall off from the weight. But I thought it could be a good way of avoiding the airborne fibre dust you'd get from carving out grooves. Neil, I saw your comment in another thread about how it would be hard to replace elements from a fibre kiln. I take it that's because fibre is more fragile/brittle compared to IFB? I'm in Australia so I don't think Euclids.com would be an option, but I can check if a similar company exists here. Thanks for the tip on hot face / cold face temperatures. I've got the data sheet for the fibreboard and it doesn't have that information on there, so yes I'll probably get in touch with the manufacturer and ask them. Has anyone heard of calcium silicate board being used as back up insulation for a hobby kiln? I've seen people use fibre board and fibre blanket as back up insulation, but not calcium silicate. It seems like a good option since it's stronger than fibre blanket, and cheaper than fibre board. Thanks again!
  7. Hi all, I'm planning on building a hobby kiln for my partner, and am in the process of choosing refractory materials and kanthal wire for the heating element. Was hoping I could get some advice from anybody who knows about these things. I want the kiln to be light weight and very efficient. I'd like to use ceramic fibre board as an inner layer of insulation (rated to 1400 C / 2550 F), and calcium silicate board as a secondary layer (rated to 1000 C / 1830 F). The ceramic fibre board is very expensive compared to the calcium silicate board, but i can't only use the calcium silicate board as it's only rated to 1000 C / 1830 F. So my idea is to cement the two boards together, with the calcium silicate board on the outside, so that it won't exceed 1000 C / 1830 F. I'm wondering how thick the ceramic fibre board needs to be such that the calcium silicate doesn't reach that temperature. We'll be firing the kiln to about 1280 C / 2340 F. My other question is about kanthal wire for the heating elements. I'm wondering what gauge of wire I need. The kiln will be about 40 litres / 1.3 cubic feet. I want it to get up to 1280 C / 2340 F. Based on similar designs that I've seen online, it looks like I'd need it run at about 3600 watts. I'm wondering what gauge kanthal wire I should use for a well-insulated kiln that meets these specs. If anyone has any idea about either of these questions I'd really appreciate your thoughts! P.S. I'm aware of the health risks of working with fibreboard, and will be using the proper PPE and precautions.
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