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2 Chambered Kiln?


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Hello,

I am considering building a new kiln. I want to build a downdraft kiln, using the Minnesota Flat Top design from the book 21st Century kilns. I have natural gas at my house. I am wondering if there has been any research or experimentation in building a 2 chamber kiln, that would have a place for glaze ware, and a chamber for soda glaze ware, in the same kiln?

 

I have only space for one kiln. I am so drawn to soda glazed ware, and would like to try this, but not having any experience in soda glazing, I am reluctant to "put all my eggs in one basket" so to speak. I have extensive experience (20+ years) doing cone 10 and cone 6 reduction ware...and think I could figure it out- but think it would be so much cooler, if I could have 2 chambers so I don't have to make the choice...

 

Ideas and feedback needed! :)

Thank you!!

Pat Schultz

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Guest JBaymore

The typical 2 (or more) chamber kiln is typically a crossdraft configuration.  Search the terms "noborigama" and "climbing kiln".  Typically they are wood fired.

 

My wood-fired noborigama at my studio has five loadable chambers.  In Japan I've seen old noborigama with as many as 13 chambers.

 

The cross draft chamber configuration makes "connecting" the chambers very easy.  There are also European designs that connect two downdraft chambers... but the connecting flues get a bit more complicated to design and construct.

 

I have built a number of these in a gas-fired configuration for clients.  A couple with salt for the second chamber.  Did one that had no burners on the second chamber.  That one was sized so that a full bisque in the second chamber was a full glaze load in the first.

 

It works and can be done for sure.  Not sure if the stock Minnesota Flat Top design is a good (or easy) starting place though.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Guest JBaymore

The Minnesota Flat Top design is not any simpler to build than an arch. In fact, I would say it's more complicated and requires more maintenance in making sure everything is staying tight. There's nothing stronger or longer lasting than an arch.

 

I wasn't going to come right out and say it.  ;)

 

best,

 

.....................john

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The Minnesota Flat Top design is not any simpler to build than an arch. In fact, I would say it's more complicated and requires more maintenance in making sure everything is staying tight. There's nothing stronger or longer lasting than an arch.

 

I wasn't going to come right out and say it.  ;)

 

best,

 

.....................john

 

 

Wimp. ^_^

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All good words! Thank you! 

 

Had gas co. install a new gas meter on that allowed more volume last summer. They said all the lines were big enough to supply the necessary volume.

 

Feeling braver this morning...thinking I love the look of an arch! So beautiful...

And if its not any more complex than a flat top, an arch it is!

 

And when I look at all the pots i have put on my bulletin board as beautiful, 

90% are vapor glazed...with shinos and slips, warm oranges abounding...

 

A soda kiln is what I want... I am scrapping the 2 chamber idea. I think I need to just bite the bullet,

and build a soda kiln.

 

Design ideas? 

 

thank you for all of your input!!

Sunny morning here in SD!

Pat

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I prefer power burners with salt/soda kilns. You get better dispersal of the vapor. Beyond that, a basic downdraft design will work just fine. Use hard brick on the inside, soft brick on the outside. Tie them together with a row of hard brick every 5-7 rows. All burner ports, soda ports, etc should be hard brick. Decide what size shelves you want to use and build from there.

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So here is a question...In my understanding, there are kilns for standard glaze ware, and there are soda/salt kilns. Is there any reason that you can't fire standard ware, with no soda/salt in a kiln that is used for soda/salt, if you wad it, etc? Not that you would make a constant practice out of this, because of the difference in brick- fuel efficiency etc- but if necessary, you could fire normal cone 10 glazes in a soda kiln, correct?

 

thank you!

Pat

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Even if you don't add soda or salt during the firing, there is residual soda/salt in the bricks the will vaporize when the kiln gets hot. There's enough in the bricks that once you've fired a number of times you can reduce the amount of soda/salt you use in each firing because of what comes out of the bricks.

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Once you start salting or soda it will always be that type of kiln as the bricks get this material into them.

If you want a high fire reduction kiln and a soda/salt kiln they have to be separate kilns-

You cannot have it all ways-Just make the choice and built that one -high fire reduction kiln I advise to use k26 soft interior 

As Neils said a salt or soda hard bricks work better on the liner and being hard bricks will cost more to fire.

There is no kiln that does it all.

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