Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi friendly pottery community!

I am in the process of building a raku kiln from an oil drum, and I have been scouring various sources online and in books to try and answer some questions but have had no luck! I thought it might be easier to just ask.

1. What kind of burner should I buy? The raku burner kits from pottery suppliers seem prohibitively expensive, and I wondered if they are putting a big mark up on something which could be bought cheaper from a builders merchant or similar. However, as I am new to this and don't really know much about burners, I don't want to cut costs and get the wrong thing.  I gather from my various sources that the best fuel to go for is propane.

2. Fire bricks - what do I need to go for? I think I need to get some to build up a 'combustion zone' at the bottom of the drum, which a kiln shelf will sit on top of, and the burner will be aimed between them to build up heat. The options I see on the supplier I am currently browsing (Vitcas) are refractory and insulation. Are these the equivalent of hard and soft, as I have seen them referenced elsewhere? And how many should i need? It is a 55 gallon oil drum.

3. Am I right in thinking that the hole for the burner to enter the drum should be approx 2 x the size of the burner, and that the vent at the top of the drum should be double the size of the burner hole?

4. Should I get fire bricks for the oil drum to sit on? Or will it be ok just on concrete floor?

I expect I'll have more questions as I progress with the build, but thats it for now! 



Link to post
Share on other sites

Others will chime in with the specifics of building the base for the kiln, but I can tell you that you should never ever put a kiln directly on concrete. Put down a single layer of cinder block first, and build a floor of soft bricks on top of that. The floor should be 3 layers thick. I assume you'll be lining the drum with fiber blanket?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can line the drum with fiber blanket instead, and use a weed burner torch.  That will save a lot of money.  Here is a link to someone who made many kinds of raku kilns this way: http://www.ian-gregory.co.uk/kilns.html

You really don't need fancy burners for it, a raku kiln is never unattended because it's fire in short cycles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

Join the conversation

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

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.

  • Create New...

Important Information

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