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Hi there, Thank you for all the wonderful info this forum, it is truly great and a HUGE help to everybody. I am writing from Dominican Republic. Here we do not have stores for ceramic materials and equipment like in the US. A lot of things need to be imported paying high freight forwarding fees. I have fired electric before and gas raku. Here the electricity is NOT AT ALL reliable and VERY expensive and we have regular power outages, which makes firing electric a big problem. I know most folks her recommend the conversion to a downdraft, but I wanted to try it this way as the downdraft conversion will be an added expense, chimney, etc... I am in the process of preparing a refurbished electric kiln onto gas updraft propane. Propane is more affordable here. I have read MANY of the posts on here and online about conversions and I anticipate the challenges ahead. also, Olsen's the Kiln Book, Mel's 21stcentury firing, and looking for the Art Of Firing by Nils Lou (very difficult to get), and many many more info online. A profesional potter friend is selling me an electric kiln to covert to gas (below the layout and some pics). He also used refractory cement on the inside walls (shown in the pics). It will have a layer of INSBLOK-19 1.5'' thick after the brick for added insulation, and then the stainless steel jacket. I would like the system to have a pressure gauge so that I can include the pressure info in my firing log and be able to learn as I go and become more efficient with my firings. I am planning to have as my max temp cone 5-6 (stoneware). Did a lot of earthenware before (electric) but would like to experiment / learn stoneware. I will have this kiln located in my 5th floor rooftop terrace outside. At the moment there is no roof, so I will be covering the kiln when not in use with tarp and a pice of corrugated zinc roofing. . I also have a pyrometer (dual thermo) and thermocouple that I will be placing in the kiln interior, 2-2.5 inches in (not shown in the layout). I only have 1 thermocouple for the moment and will wait to see if I need a 2nd one if I get too much temp difference between top & bottom. I wanted to ask, what is the pressure gauge in psi that I need? 0-15 psi? 0-30 psi? and the location of the pressure gauge, what should it be? According to this post which I have found that is VERY popular online about conversion: http://www.sebastianmarkblog.com/2018/07/gas-kiln-conversion-downdraft.html He advises to have the pressure gauge at the regulator in the tanks and control the flow form there. But I remember that I liked (in my old Raku kiln) to control the flow of the burner in the valve located on the galvanized steel pipe. I would like to have my gauge after that MAIN VALVE, to be closer to the kiln and be able to notice any changes (big and small) in realtime, and not be 8 feet away where the tanks are going to be. I wanted to check with you. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have never used a gauge before but feel it will be great for my learning curve. If you notice the layout, I have 2 valves before each of the burners and before the MAIN VALVE. I am thinking that since this will be my main kiln, I will be single firing, from green to glazed, that I may want to start of with ONE (1) burner in the beginning and then turn BOTH (2) of them on as I progress. I imagine that the 2 RED valves before the burners would be both completely open for the large duration of the firing and I would control the flow with the BLUE MAIN VALVE. Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and if you have info, even general that yo think will help me, it would be great. Sincerely, Gus PS: Thank you again for all the info here, I have gathered / saved lots of info theory. Now I will be putting all of that theory to practice. Hope to eventually build an oxygen probe using a car oxygen sensor, as I found some instructions online. Big shout out to: @neilestrick @Mark C. @Marcia Selsor @Bill Kielb Thank you for all your info, have seen your names a lot combing the forums and your advice has given me a sense of grounding when I finally do it.
I picked up a old 1980s J.W. Good kiln made here in Indiana.. not alot of info out there on these kilns as their out of buisness now.. size is 23 X 22 .. took me 2 hrs to grind off all the Kiln wash .. its actually in decent shape considering its age... But, the top needs new hi temp mortar between the bricks. is there a brand you trust more than others or are they all pretty much the same? maybe a recipe that will work? im also thinking of putting in a layer of 2600 F blanket on the inside. the kiln has alot of factory holes in it and it is a section style .. im thinking the blanket will help keep unwanted air out and help protect the brick .. so my question here is - do i need to use a rigidizer on it or can i just use some of the joint mortar mix to hold it in place ? Bill Kielb sent me a pretty good design to follow , Thanks Bill.. the design calls for 2'' of open floor space for the downdraft into the flue opening.. im going to add a layer of soft brick to the bottom to give me that 2'' without losing it.. so the kiln will actually be 21 wide since im adding the blanket and 24 tall...