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Hello everyone,

I am writing this post due to hope of meeting with someone who may help me to build a downdraft gas fired kiln.

I have the book of Frederick Olsen's Kiln Book and in my opinion it has enough information to design a kiln but it may take a lot of time when I start doing that.

I only start making ceramics and will be very appreciated ıf I can find someone to give me a hand..

That's why I just want to ask people on here and maybe somebody would like to share a kiln plan (preferentially 1m3) which had been tested before.

Thank you in advance!

 

Edited by Mehmet Başak

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Hi Mehmet.

Welcome. Bad English? Not at all.  You should hear some of the people from here in Kentucky, USA!  They were born here and my wife still can't understand them!  She says they talk like they have a mouth full of marbles.

I started a kiln build in October 2018 and am almost done. I have posted my progress in this thread - many of the questions asked me by the members here while I was building would be appropriate to ask yourself and answer here to give everyone a better idea how to help.

We will definitely need more info and details first.

1 cubic meter - check

gas - check

downdraft - check

What else? What kind of kiln material are you working with/have access to?  Low pressure gas or high pressure bottled propane? Inside a building or outside? Personal or commercial?  What size kiln shelves are accessible to you - because you will need to build around them (You taught me well Mark C!).

Looking forward to more info from you and watching your progress if you do decide to build rather than buy?  (Why not just buy a kiln instead of building one?  My answer was a mixture of financial and a DIY personality.)

Pat

Edited by Patrick

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Hi again,

First of all,thank you Patrick for your caring!

I ll try to answer your question in order.Before start doing that,just want you know that could only read some parts of the link about your experience you sent to me.The kiln I want to build is downdraft kiln because am considering that would be able to accomplish it for the reason of material I would need only insulation bricks(JM26),burners and iron rod for construction.I dont think that would need anything else at the first step cause as an example ,even temperature indicator is not a must at first thanks to firing chart helps me to understand with colours as you know either.

I am writing all these things cause really got small budget(1000$) and have to use it efficiently.I can even order bricks and burners from Alibaba if I can find safe company.Anyway,for the next question,I really had less knowledge which one will be better for me,propane or low pressure gas?But I ve been planing to build it inside a building such as a garage or studio in an industrial area after design will be done.So,at this stage I need some information from you and maybe others..

Answer of personal or commercial is basically both of them.I want to focus on some project which would lead me financially and then jump back to my dreams.For this reason,I think 1m3 will be ok at least for beginning..And l can understand last question about size of shelve when look at it from professional perspective but believe me when I was at college,it used to use even broken pieces of refractory sheet,you know what I mean.But of course its important to consider it before start building and I leave the link of easy accesible to me(https://www.refsan.com.tr/firin-rafi-delikli-5956)

And lastly,why I dont buy a kiln instead of building is totally about financial cause very expensive and unnecessary to pay those numbers!Before I stop this on here,I want to add one more thing is that wondering should be better to focus on an electric kiln for me?I also think this before but dont have sources how to build it.I only have some parts of Frederick Olsen's book..

Anyway,I will be around here and looking forward to having advices from you Patrick and others who would love to help me!

Greetings from İstanbul..

Edited by Mehmet Başak

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On 4/18/2019 at 1:49 PM, Mehmet Başak said:

Hi again,

First of all,thank you Patrick for your caring!

I ll try to answer your question in order.Before start doing that,just want you know that could only read some parts of the link about your experience you sent to me.The kiln I want to build is downdraft kiln because am considering that would be able to accomplish it for the reason of material I would need only insulation bricks(JM26),burners and iron rod for construction.I dont think that would need anything else at the first step cause as an example ,even temperature indicator is not a must at first thanks to firing chart helps me to understand with colours as you know either.

I am writing all these things cause really got small budget(1000$) and have to use it efficiently.I can even order bricks and burners from Alibaba if I can find safe company.Anyway,for the next question,I really had less knowledge which one will be better for me,propane or low pressure gas?But I ve been planing to build it inside a building such as a garage or studio in an industrial area after design will be done.So,at this stage I need some information from you and maybe others..

Answer of personal or commercial is basically both of them.I want to focus on some project which would lead me financially and then jump back to my dreams.For this reason,I think 1m3 will be ok at least for beginning..And l can understand last question about size of shelve when look at it from professional perspective but believe me when I was at college,it used to use even broken pieces of refractory sheet,you know what I mean.But of course its important to consider it before start building and I leave the link of easy accesible to me(https://www.refsan.com.tr/firin-rafi-delikli-5956)

And lastly,why I dont buy a kiln instead of building is totally about financial cause very expensive and unnecessary to pay those numbers!Before I stop this on here,I want to add one more thing is that wondering should be better to focus on an electric kiln for me?I also think this before but dont have sources how to build it.I only have some parts of Frederick Olsen's book..

Anyway,I will be around here and looking forward to having advices from you Patrick and others who would love to help me!

Greetings from İstanbul..

I translated your link to English -that shelve with the holes does not say what temperature it goes to?

Always decide what shelve size you want and build the kiln around those dimensions.

What temperature do you plan on firing to?

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6 hours ago, soarbc said:

Hello Mehmet,

I recently posted that I had a downdraft kiln conversion that worked very well and it is not too expensive. Below is the link. If possible, you'd need to find an old electric kiln, even an old oval one. 

Cheers,

Boris

http://www.sebastianmarkblog.com/2018/07/gas-kiln-conversion-downdraft.html

 

Mehmet, if I had $1000 and wanted  a kiln, I would do something like Boris is suggesting. You can always change later, but this will definitely get you going - and maybe for less than $1000 if you find good deals on used equipment.

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On 4/20/2019 at 4:42 AM, Mark C. said:

I translated your link to English -that shelve with the holes does not say what temperature it goes to?

Always decide what shelve size you want and build the kiln around those dimensions.

What temperature do you plan on firing to?

Hi Mark,

İt goes to  1250 °C.

Yes,you competely right about shelve size is very important point before building.I want to build a kiln which allows me to fire stoneware and porcelain both if this would be possible but my priority is 1100 °C

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19 hours ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

Mehmet, 

before you make your decision, read the e-book: 21st Century Kilns.  You can download a copy from the Paragon website https://www.paragonweb.com/manualinfo.cfm?cid=212 

The book covers  specific topics not covered in Olsen’s book.  

LT

Thank you so much,I will consider it before start doing that

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On 4/20/2019 at 12:59 AM, soarbc said:

Hello Mehmet,

I recently posted that I had a downdraft kiln conversion that worked very well and it is not too expensive. Below is the link. If possible, you'd need to find an old electric kiln, even an old oval one. 

Cheers,

Boris

http://www.sebastianmarkblog.com/2018/07/gas-kiln-conversion-downdraft.html

 

Hi Boris,

It is really great work you had done.I ll definetely consider your work after I got my ultimate decision.I am still at the researching stage.

Thank you for your precious sharing!

Edited by Mehmet Başak

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:51 AM, Patrick said:

Mehmet, if I had $1000 and wanted  a kiln, I would do something like Boris is suggesting. You can always change later, but this will definitely get you going - and maybe for less than $1000 if you find good deals on used equipment.

Yes maybe you right Patrick.My Brother who is ceramist either,also tells me that we should better buy an old kiln and restore it instead of buying or building a new one.

But I really want to design a new one what I like and use for long years.I dont know yet what future will bring,it is still on researching stage..

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5 hours ago, neilestrick said:

For $1000, converting an old used electric would be the way to go. Don't forget about venting costs, too, if you plan on putting the kiln indoors. That alone could cost $1000.

Hi Neil,

Actually I ve been recently trying my last chance in requesting for quotation from the companies from China to order insulation bricks.Here in Turkey,for one piece of JM26 I need to pay 4.19$ so ıf considered that would be needed 800-1000 pieces for building,ıt costs too much for me.But ıf I find an opportunity to buy the same product with average quality from China,I may be dealed with building it by myself.

Have you ever heard that someone has bought refractory from China?

Edited by Mehmet Başak

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On the Facebook there is a pottery instructor based in Pennsylvania that has taken a broken electric kiln and turned it into a cone 10 woodfired kiln!  It is raised off the ground, I guess for convenience!   In the bottom of the kiln are 2 nine inch intakes above the fire box and in the back is a 12 inch exhaust for the downdraft!  His results are great, plus it only takes about 8 hours to fire a load!  I plan to do this with an old electric kiln we have in storage at the art center...it has two sections, so the plan is to add height to it by adding fire bricks between the sections...so I can still use the lid!   I suppose this plan could be switched to propane gas...and if i happen to do this with the same kiln or build another, i already have a 250 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank!  :)

And if by chance you interested in making a refractory fiber kiln..you need to look on the YouTube...for 

"Salt Glazing at Clay Art 2007"...!!!  :)   

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I have to admit first off that I did not read the whole thread. I built a sprung arch downdraft. The easiest way to do it is to use soft refractory brick--not only to conserve fuel, but it makes it much easier to make the arch.  The floor , exhaust trench and fire wall can be made from hard brick. You decide what size shelves you are going to use and go from there---one deep, two deep ? Also....are you going to make it a car kiln? Because that would be entirely different. You basically make a box.....then you have to make a frame for the arch with pjywood on it to place on the top of the box and make a jig for putting your soft bricks in to trim them for the arch angle. Only the keystone is cut on both sides....the arch is held in place with angle iron on the outside that is bolted together at the corners. At the entrance you have to secure it by linking it across the top. Since the arch is only one brick thick, you then cover it with refractory wool.  You can either do a stack door or build a door inside an angle iron frame but it's pretty hard.  That is what I ultimately did but it required some pretty fancy welding and sizing. It just fit flush against the face of the kiln.

Forgot to add....you make the draft channel in the center bottom of the kiln, out to the back, build up a hard brick chimney base the same diameter as the channel up even with the roof of the kiln and then whatever diameter you have done galvanized chimney about 6-10 feet high depending on where you have it located. If you are going through a roof you need a double wall pipe for the section going through the roof. 

Good luck!

Edited by MFP

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