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Electric to gas updraft conversion


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Hi All,

I have a old kiln sitter electric kiln. Having recently moved house I was going to get it hooked up in an outbuilding. The electrician quotes were very high and it's probably not got much life left in it anyway. I'm thinking of converting it to an updraft propane gas kiln as I want to try doing some reduction firing.

I know downdraft are meant to be better in terms of temp distribution and efficiency but I don't want to spend a lot constructing a chimney right now. I'm mainly wanting a quick fix to get firing to ^8 asap as cheaply as possible. Once I have tested some glazes I may build a larger downdraft gas kiln from scratch.

My current kiln internally is 22" deep and 17" diameter, which is around 2.9 cu ft I think. The bricks are in fairly good condition, apart from the base which is slightly cracked - I think this got worse during the move. It haven't been able to inspect the bottom to see if the crack goes all the way through yet.


I've looked at a few pics of commercial kilns of a cylindrical design and done some sketches, I have a few questions, I've never used a gas kiln before…


  1. I've seen other conversions where the kiln elements have been removed, this is necessary I suppose?

  2. Would it been better to put another layer of soft rock on the base, maybe having the burner firing near the crack will open it up more?

  3. What would be best burner port and lid opening locations? My sketch is designed for flame to be directed around the curve of kiln, and chimney hole in middle of lid makes sense? Also, should the burner hole and chimney hole be around the same size?

  4. I have between 1.5 and 2 inch gap between wall and kiln shelves, is that ok for flame path?

  5. Would a simple hole in the lid create enough pull of air? I've seen some updraft designs with a large chimney stack. And would I be able to put kiln into reduction by just covering the lid hole with a spare fire brick?

That's a lot of questions…





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