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Hello everyone, I've started dabbling in pottery about three years ago, making bonsai pots. This fits with another hobby of mine, you can guess which :). Point is, after firing my works with some acquaintances, I've decided that my own kiln is a must in order to really progress in the craft. The problem is that I my backwater location the chances of buying a second hand one are next to none, and I can't really justify spending almost $2500 for a new one. So I came up with the idea of actually building one from scratch. Yes, I know it's hard, yes, I know it can be dangerous but I'm trying to be as smart about it as I can and mitigate all the risks as much as I can. I would really appreciate it if you ladies and gentlemen would be willing to part with some knowledge to help me have the best possible outcome for this project. Now for the tech specs: In order to fit the nature of my work, I would need a 50x40x30cm interior. (19.7x15.7x12 inches) The temps needed would be around 1240°C (2264°F) The power I can get away with as a household consumer in my location is 230V 16A ~ 3600W This takes me to my first point: As far as internet wisdom goes, the Wattage needed for a pottery kiln is 0.6W/cm2 which would place me at a needed Wattage of around 5600W. Waaaay above what I can provide. But then I read specs for kilns produced on Germany like Nabertherm that for a 60L pottery kiln with a top temperature of 1300°C produce single phase 230V 16A models, which makes me believe I can do it. I'm assuming that I'll need to go with more insulation and longer firing times, but it's doable. Is that accurate? Next up, elements: luckily I have a provider for Kanthal A1 wire near me and prices are decent. Would 1.6mm 1380°C max, 0,721 Ohm/m be suitable? With this diameter I seem to be able to juggle the resistance, wattage, length and placement of elements as close to optimal, with 2 elements running in parallel. Thirdly the most amusing topic... Well not amusing but maybe the most complex. The controller. Being in IT i'm a sucker for gadgets. Usually buying them, true, but this time I'm thinking about building :). I saw a lot of projects on the web with Raspberry Pi kiln controllers. The features they provide, the adaptability and the connectivity of the systems sounds amazing. Question is: does anyone fire with something like this? How does it compare to commercial controllers that are super expensive and in the stone age as far as features go. Are they worth the trouble? An example project that stuck with me is below. But there are many more Thanks for the help, and looking forward to chatting with you. Mihai
Guest posted a topic in Ceramic Events of InterestKilns: Why and How Sharon Art Center Campus of New Hampshire Institute of Art Professor John Baymore This one day seminar-type workshop will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of ceramic kilns and firing operations that they can bring back to their own studio operations. The presented material will cover underlying concepts that drive kiln function and operation, and how that information relates to designing, constructing, and firing them. This module will also assist participants in evaluating commercial units for potential purchase. Presentations will touch on gas, wood, and electric fired kilns, giving a diverse audience some practical tools. Useful handouts and a copy of one kiln plan will be provided to all participants. Prerequisite: Intermediate ceramics skills. Limit: 15 Sat, July 12 / 9 am â€“ 4 pm / 1 Day SCER073 / Tuition: $80 TO REGISTER: (603) 836-2564 MANCHESTER CAMPUS: IN PERSON: Mon â€“ Fri, 8:15 am â€“ 4:30 pm Fuller Hall, 156 Hanover St. BY EMAIL: CERegistration@nhia.edu BY MAIL: New Hampshire Institute of Art, Continuing Education Office, 148 Concord Street, Manchester, NH 03104-4858 BY FAX: (603) 641-1832 SHARON ARTS CENTER CAMPUS: IN PERSON: Mon â€“ Fri, 9 am â€“ 3 pm BY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org BY MAIL: Sharon Arts Center, 457 NH Route 123, Sharon, NH 03458-9014 SCHOLARSHIPS: A limited number of scholarship funds are available to adults, youth and teens based on financial need. Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. An application form and deadline information is available on our website at www.nhia.edu/ce or www.sharonarts.org. http://www.nhia.edu/assets/Uploads/PDFs/CE--CT/NHIA5866x9CEsum14web.pdf