Monday, 30 January 2012

It got cold!

Another productive week last week, managed to spend a good couple of days working on the kiln.  Finished off keying in the back of the arch which involved plenty of niggly cutting of bricks in order to get them all tight and supported both in the arch itself and also into the front wall of the chimney.  Once that had been completed, I began building up the chimney. Raising up the collection box at the base several more layers before beginning to corble in to the final dimensions (somewhere there must be a natural law which dictates that the chimney dimensions will never quite match the dimensions of whole bricks, each layer required two small cut sections to be inserted which made each course slow: this is also directly proportional to the number of times the builder will hit their head on the roof :-(  ). I took the chimney up to just below the board which covers the hole in the roof and will leave it there until the rest of the kiln is finished to keep the rain out.

Once  finished, I  addressed finishing the main arch structure. This involves cleaning off all the excess fireclay mortar and ramming the gaps with dry fireclay using a small wooden wedge. This ensures that all the arch bricks are compressed together.  A time consuming and tedious job although very important for the final integrity of the arch, it took me five hours just to do half of one side of the structure.

So, for this week I have to finish ramming the arch and mix up some refactory castable to fill some voids at the base of the chimney as well as around the blow hole tubes in the top of the arch and then the job of laying the secondary arch can begin. Plenty of clothes on as it's set to get even colder. Joy :-)

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