Friday, 16 December 2011

A cold day weaving the arch former

Probably the last real bit of work to be done on the kiln before a short seasonal break. A bleak cold sleaty day to be doing this so plenty of hot tea to keep my fingers warm as I've been tying lots and lots of knots to secure the laths. I'm happy with the overall shape of the arch now, which I'll reinforce with more substantial board arch formers from the inside ready for the brick arch construction.

Each lath is tied to create a good stable structure.

Now starting to get a good idea of the final shape of the stucture. I've also spoken to the wood yard who have about 5 pallets of wood so far and are still cutting, they antisipate having another 2 early in the new year, so after the break I'll organise that to be delivered ready for the first firing. Merry Christmas and a Happy new year :-))

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Another kiln update

I've managed to make quite a bit of progress over the last week. The vertical walls are now at the right height for the arch to spring off and the lower passive damper as well as the middle grate fire mouth are also in place. I'v also put a small side stoke port adjacent to the main fire box. This morning I have positioned the front door arch and removed the former. The rear flues are now all in place and the wall above is ready to receive the back end of the arch. All in all it's starting to feel like a kiln. I just have some fiddly spacer bricks to cut with the angle grinder to finish the last course of bricks as the kiln tapers into the flues and then ready to start making the arch formers. I've added images most recent at the top this time. If you're wondering why a lot of the images seem to be in the dark it's due to me recording progress at the end of each day and at 5pm it's pretty pitch.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Loughborough kiln update

I had a productive week last week being able to spend 2 days pretty much dedicated to working on the kiln. The fire brick floor has been laid lining both fire boxes creating the base from which the vertical walls can be built and the structure can begin to look like a kiln rather than a random pile of building materials. All the measurements and calculations have been made and laid out with respect to the firebox / chamber dimensions / flue and chimney dimensions and this week will be building up the side walls in preparation for the start of the arch.

From this point the walls are started, using a fireclay and water slurry with a little sodium silicate added for spreadability as a bedding motar. This will not cement the bricks together but just even out any uneveness and will also allow the structure to freely expand and contract. Small expansion gaps are also left on every course also to facilitate the kilns movement when heated. The vertical walls are laid stretcher, stretcher, header and then repeated.

The last image shows the progress as of Friday 2nd December, it should now be straight laying for about 5 or 6 rows to reach the wall height from which the arch will spring. I'm documenting the kiln after each days work on it and will try to update this blog with images at the end of each week.