Archive for the ‘fire brick’ Tag

This MONTH I have been mostly making …. purchases.   Leave a comment

600 Fire bricks stacked by the house woodshed and covered with polythene to keep them largely dry.

600 Fire bricks stacked by the house woodshed and covered with polythene to keep them largely dry.

The wood fired, salt-glaze kiln project has been reactivated now that the essential DIY tasks have been completed. I’ve dug out the drawings, photos and materials-list of the kiln I’m basing mine on and attempted to get hold of what is needed. I was kindly given the kiln design by Bob Park of Greystoke Ghyll  Pottery nine or ten years ago. Although I’d applied to attend his kiln building course he didn’t have enough other applicants to make it worth his while. However, when I asked, he agreed to show me how to fire the kiln over a weekend and give me the kiln plans, for a very reduced course fee.  A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and several of the suppliers on Bob’s list have ceased trading or stopped selling the items listed on the kiln materials list so getting hold of what’s needed is less than straight forward. I’m also modifying the design slightly as I have an existing building (stable) which I want to house the bulk of the kiln, but the stable roof is made of asbestos concrete which I am reluctant to cut a hole in (due to the health hazard of asbestos dust) for the chimney, so the chimney will be built outside the stable and I will need a horizontal flue linking the ware chamber to the chimney. The kiln is based on the Olsen ‘fast fire’ design but has clearly been modified either by Bob or whoever he got the design from. Fortunately  Fred Olsen published a book ( The Kiln Book: Materials, Specifications & Construction ) explaining the design principles used to design the original and I am applying those principles to modify the design.

On the left a small pile of standard HTI bricks and on the right a variety of kiln shelves being stored in the old chicken shed to keep them nice and dry

So far I have purchased

600 heavy fire bricks which will be used to build the bottom half of the kiln including the fireboxes, and the bottom half of the chimney.

400 lightweight HTI (High Thermal Insulation) bricks which will be used for the top half of the kiln ie the ware chamber.

80 HTI arch bricks which will form the arched roof of the ware chamber.

35 Kiln shelves and a selection of props to support them – for stacking the pots in the kiln.

An assortment of other pieces of kiln shelf which will be used in the construction of the kiln forming the ware chamber floor/firebox roof, chimney floor, various lintels, the firebox doors and the flue damper.

All of these materials were delivered on pallets by lorry and because the track to the stable where I am going to build the kiln is too narrow for lorries the pallets had to be delivered to the front of the house. The road has no pavement and our drive is too soft to support a pallet truck so the pallets had to be left on my neighbours drive. After each delivery I spent several hours moving the materials by wheelbarrow to their temporary storage locations where they would be out of the way and suitably protected from the elements.