How to Build a Pottery Kiln


How to Build a Pottery Kiln

Many people would love to be able to fire their own pottery. But the high cost of commercial kilns keeps them away from doing this. If you are interested in pottery, you may have found that your small electric kiln is not sufficient for the purpose. Why not build your own kiln at a fraction of the cost of a commercial kiln? Wood is preferred by most of individuals as the perfect material for their kiln. We are going to discuss simple steps for preparing your own pottery kiln.

Preparing the building location of your kiln

The location of the kiln is very important and the best parameter for deciding location is the size of the kiln. The location should be stable and free from trees or any other inflammable object. It is important to consider the local authority permits and building codes before starting with the overall process. After choosing the location, grade the whole area and prepare a stable ground for your kiln.

Steps to build your kiln

Building your own kiln can be really exciting and it never hurts to try your hand at a new experience. We are going to discuss a step by step process of building your own kiln.

• First of all, prepare an angled iron frame according to the size and shape of kiln as per your requirements. It is easy to find a vocation welder who is willing to consider your small project. Make proper room for the firebox and place the frame in that area.

• The process starts with placing a single layer of concrete blocks while preparing the base of your kiln, followed by setting patio blocks on the top. It is best to soak the brick in water for 5 – 10 minutes in order to prevent the mortar from soaking into the brick and cracking once it has dried.

• Apply a thin layer of mortar while laying bricks on top of the patio blocks. Use a brick saw to properly shape the bricks.

• Prepare walls with firebricks and try to fit the corners against the iron frame while using the mortar.

• Make sure to stagger the bricks along the edges and keep them out of the area where you are planning to build the firebox. It is done for proper transfer of heat from wood fire to the kiln.

• The top of the walls should be covered with sheet metal. Leave space so that the sheet can be taken out after laying bricks. The sheet metal is removed after the mortar has dried up.

• The firebricks should be placed while starting from the edges and moving towards the center of the kiln. Special attention must be paid while removing sheet metal and take notice of the mortar applied earlier in the process.

• It is important to make small holes and gaps in the roof. These gaps will act as a passage for passing heat and steam out of the kiln. Avoid bigger gaps otherwise the efficiency of the kiln may gradually reduce.

• The last step in building the kiln is to attach the hinges covering the door to the kiln. Use even pressure while drilling in the firebricks. The last thing to be done is to assemble the door of the kiln with firebricks and then attach it with the kiln along with the hinges.

Setting up the Firebox

The firebox is the main source of heat for the kiln and it is generally placed along one side of the kiln. Make sure to create an area for airflow and leave gaps in the brick base, tiles, and concrete block. It is best to start stacking firebricks along the side of the kiln with the openings. Leave a single brick for letting out the smoke from the kiln. Create a separate opening for adding wood and other stokes.

The main point is to maintain efficiency and alertness during the process. Make an estimate of your requirements before starting up the process. If you have little to no experience with projects like building a kiln, it is recommended that you consult a professional before you begin.

November 25, 2013