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Kiln Within A Kiln?

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I am an over-extended hobbyist with a 7 burner, 27cf updraft gas kiln that doesn't get fired very often due to the shear volume of work required to fill the thing! I have been able to get good reduction results, as well have enjoyed glazing and single firing green wear. I am finding it difficult to make much progress with my glazes with the limited frequency of firing. I have thought about some sort of co-op arrangement, but am hesitant for a variety of reasons...


So... Has anyone ever built a temporary test kiln within their larger updraft kiln?

I was thinking small box, 2 half-shelves, utilizing the one central burner, a shelf as a damper. 

Some logistical concerns...

If firing with main door closed, excessive heat accumulation within the main body with subsequent inability to adjust the damper or monitor cones.

Any negative impacts of firing with the door open?

Fumes (it is outside...)?

Other considerations?



Is this just a bad idea?


As well, if I should give a partnership/co-op some more thought, tell me about a success story. 


Thanks for your feedback!



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Bad idea-If you need more work find another potter to fire with.

The hardest part is the right personality for you

I have no success story on this

Maybe set the 1st 1-2 fires up as lets see if this works so you have an easy out.


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I suppose you could always sell the big kiln and get one more suited to your volume of production. 


One problem you might have with a small test kiln is that while you could test glazes for melt and color, the surface quality might not be the same, due to a difference in cooling rates.


Were I in your position, I might try to record very accurately the temperatures within the big kiln both firing and cooling.  That way you could build a small test kiln and try to duplicate the big kiln's cycle.  You can build a small test kiln pretty cheaply out of the carcass of an old electric kiln.  But find a small one, so you can use a simple venturi raku burner or weed burner and get up to temperature without too much trouble.  If all you're doing is testing glazes, a small kiln with a single shelf set in the zone where you get good reduction is probably adequate.

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