Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm looking for existing plans or tips to build a drying chamber for my pots. I have been for the past three years torch drying my pots to an ideal leather hard for trimming, this normally takes about 45 minutes for around 25 mugs and I'm trying to find a more efficient option that will give the same consistent results (I trim at a pretty specific stage of leather hard and torching has been the only way to consistently get there so far.)  I'm basically searching for some type of humidity controlled chamber that I can leave pots in over night so they'll be ready to trim without the need for torching. My studio is very dry during winter and very humid during summer so having a small controlled environment chamber seems like the best option. Any ideas or even any existing products I might find? Has anyone made something like this?  

Thanks!

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan,
Do an internet search for "wood drying cabinet" or something like that. There are lots of versions that will work.  
My approach has been this:
Make a tent from a plastic drop cloth with several small (40 watt) light bulbs at the bottom where the air will come in, and have a hole at the top to exhaust the moist air.  You will need to provide some forced ventilation for the room that contains the "tent" so that the moist air does not recycle back into the tent. 
 
The light bulbs will heat the air and the warm air will rise. As it rises it also provides the energy (heat) to evaporate the water from the clay.  You can control somewhat the relative humidity in the tent by keeping an open container of water at the bottom of the tent.  Vary the area of exposed water to make adjustments.  It is a "trial and error" approach to control but with some patience you can make the system work for you.  The number or size of the light bulbs sets the energy input. The sizes of the entrance and exit of the "tent" along with the temperature differences between ambient and the "tent" insides will be the other major handle for control. 
 
LT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are  these things at the Dollar store that you put into closets, they're some kind of gel that absorbs moisture. One of my next projects is to make a drying box with a fan, but that will just mostly blow the already wet PNW air around. If I can get the pieces 'mostly' dry then combine them with the fan, the gel, and maybe a slow warm up in my new kiln things should work out. I've also used my oven to dry out a load of stuff I needed really dry for a particular experiment, but it stinks and out-gasses stuff that's really bad for you and anyway, -won't be doing that again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a plastic utility cabinet for a drying cabinet for $39.00.  I had to buy some old grill racks to put on top of the shelves so the clay would sit directly against the plastic shelves, wood would probably work better.   The cabinet is ventilated and has adjustable shelves, it is the best drying cabinet I have had in 40 years.    When I bought it I thought it was temporary  until I could make something.   I don't have the high humidity to deal with in the summer my studio is somewhat air conditioned.   Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Denice,

Could you please post a picture of your drying cabinet?

I've been taking a class a state university that has a great dry  box. I estimate its footprint is 4'x 8' , and about 5'6" high.   It has no bottom, but because it sits right on the floor and the sliding doors hang from rollers like some closet doors so there's no sill, carts of shelves can be wheeled in and out directly to the kiln room.   I've also hung my newly washed apron in the dry box, the prof likes towels and puts them in the box to dry.   I'll have to check out where the heat comes from.

Cynthia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.