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Home Studio, Kiln Location Suggestions?

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I'm in the process of setting up a studio in the garage of my home.  The garage is attached to the house, but there is no direct access from the garage to the inside of the house.  Access is by a side door of the garage, then just into the front door of the house.


My main issue is that my garage is not heated.  I would like to place a kiln in the garage, but am concerned about the freezing temperatues here in Toronto affecting the firings.


Any suggestions?


Also, what about venting?  Since there is no direct access into the house should I bother with venting?  The garage has 2 normal sized windows I could open for ventilation. 


The floor of the garage is painted cement, but i believe I would still need to place the kiln on some sort of fire-proof surface as well?


I'm also concerned about heat rising up into the top of the garage.  The garage is bricked, but inside the garage it is framed out in wood, but is uninsulated. 


I want to be sure i'm being as safe as possible, since the garage is attached to our house afterall.


Help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



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The kiln can sit on your cement garage floor, on its stand. It needs to be 18 inches form any combustible walls, 12 inches from fire-proof walls.  I recommend venting since you probably won't want to have the windows open when it's snowing or raining. If you do just use the windows, I recommend putting a fan in one blowing to the outside so you get some air moving. Without the fan you will find that the garage will still fill with fumes. The freezing temperatures may affect a computer controller, but only when it gets super cold. If the computer doesn't want to work due to the cold, just put a space heater near it to warm it up before firing. The heat coming off the kiln will not affect the roof of your garage.

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I would suggest two layers of drywall on the walls behind the kiln.My kiln is on a metal stand, raised up off the floor of the garage. All kilns should be vented as they give off sulphur dioxide, esp.in the bisque. You are O.K. as far as controllers for kilns are concerned. They work in the cold. I live in Winnipeg, but I have a heated studio behind my house.All I have to worry about is falling and dropping my keys in the snow before I make it the 10 feet from the house to the studio. Might freeze to death. Kidding.


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Guest JBaymore

Is this a hobby....or do you sell your work? 


If you sell....... check your homeonwer's insurance policy.  Probably will prohibit it as part of the residence.  IF a hobby.... almost always OK.


If you are planning on working in there during or immediately after firings..... a local pickup vent (downdraft type) is really important.


Hum,...... a garage.  Will there be any gasoline, car oil based products, oil based paints, solvents, and etc. stored in there?  If so........ you have a potential fire / explosion issue.  Flammabiles will need to get moved out if the kiln is in there or put into contained metal storage cabinets (they make special ones......but expensive).  Probably nothing would ever happen even if you left them..... but it could and if it did it would be catastrophic.





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  • 5 weeks later...

My studio "garagio" is attached and shares similar problems.  I resolved the electric kiln walll-spacing issue by constructing a heavy-duty platform the size of my kiln base, covering it in ceramic tile, and installing industrial casters.  When I am ready to fire, I can easily roll the whole thing well away from any walls.  When finished, I can tuck it away right against the outside wall.

I use a greenhouse sized, through the wall, louvered fan (from Grainger) for ventilation. It is a bit of overkill and requires that I raise the garage door slightly to keep that monster from slamming every door in the house :)  In the summer, however, that ventilation fan comes in handy keeping the garagio more comfortable.

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Hi Trixietree -

I'm new here (at least posting.. I've been stalking lurking for quite some time.)  Also pretty new to pottery.  I've just set up my electric kilns in a shipping container.

Like this one

Not the most convenient as far as loading/unloading, but putting the kilns in the studio building wasn't an option.  (I'm leasing a cabin)

Had an electrician wire it.  I've fired them through some well below zero nights (wyoming) and they seem to be working okay.  I run a space heater for a couple hours before starting them and just leave the door cracked for ventilation.  Ive had some ice from condensation on the inside of the walls/doors, but I haven't had any major problems yet.  

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