Summer/Fall 2016- electric to wood kiln conversion!

Electric kiln to wood conversion. The purpose of doing this project was to have a wood firing option for Hesston College, and also to show my students that you CAN have a functional kiln on a small budget. Total cost: electric kiln shell: $200, 36 soft bricks: $180, EPk and sawdust mixture: approximately $5, 20lb propane tank fill: $25= $410.

To do this project, I worked with this article by Bruce Bowers:  http://www.ceramicartdaily.net/booksales/convert-a-kiln.pdf

In it, he describes how and where to cut the burner port and stoke hole, and how to stack the shelves and construct the chimney.

Double brick floor, half brick inner shell, both for insulation and to make a replaceable layer to prolong the life of the kiln. Packing the element grooves with EPK and sawdust. Building the inner shell.

Inner shell moving along, coated with high Alumina kiln wash. Burner port. Stoke hole with burner lit. Lit with propane to red heat. Started at 1lb, slowly up to 4lbs, then switched to mostly wood with 1lb propane to maintatin baseline.

Beginning reduction, constant stoking with wood and 1.5lb propane. Shut down, closed up, peaked at 2327. (Turned out shelves got knocked sideways from stoking and hindered circulation, stalling the climb.) Results were successful, and educational. Flashing slips did not get enough ash, but Shino glazes turned out beautiful. Ash blushes were present, time just did not allow for build up. Will try soda ash soaked wood next time, as well as different glazes. Cone 10 down! Final temperature very satisfactory, regardless of the low temperature peak and shelf shift.

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