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Callie Beller Diesel

Just in case you wanted to know...

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So I just got back from firing the soda and the salt kiln at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta. People ask sometimes about using soft brick for atmospheric kilns like this, and  we all say “no, that’s not really a good idea, because the sodium eats soft brick.” 

The doors on the soda and salt kilns at this residency are constructed in a way that a lone potter probably wouldn’t ever do, but these guys had access to one heck of a welder. The metal used for the frames and the sliding doors will be around after the zombie apocalypse, and weighs a ton. Probably literally.  So using a more sodium-resistant hard brick in this instance would be wildly impractical due to the weight. What they’ve done instead is put the short end of the soft bricks towards the hot face so the insulation value is maximized, and the door just gets rebuilt when it wears out. 

 

The darker bricks are the inside of the salt kiln door, and the greenish ones are the soda kiln. It’s a nice illustration of the difference in colour response between soda and salt, too. 

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We coat our  soft bricks every fire-10 fires on them and they are not eaten near as bad as those (salt kiln)

I'm unclear if you mean salt eats them more or less than soda? whats the worse-salt or soda?on the brick.

I love the sliding door

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I think they get eaten at the same rate. The salt kiln is closer to needing a rebuild than the soda, just because one gets used more than the other. Because one kiln is salt only and one kiln is soda only, there’s markedly different colours on the brick (and can be on the pots, too.).

They don’t bother with ITC. They use some of what they charge for the kiln rental to rebuild it when they need to. 

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23 hours ago, Mark C. said:

We coat our  soft bricks every fire-10 fires on them and they are not eaten near as bad as those (salt kiln)

I'm unclear if you mean salt eats them more or less than soda? whats the worse-salt or soda?on the brick.

I love the sliding door

..coat it with what?...

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