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kiln books

updated sat 30 nov 96


Tom Buck on tue 12 nov 96

Lately, some aspects of the electric kiln were presented on Clayart.
There were questions on kiln operation, sometimes involving design
factors. And there were specific questions on design, ones that
would be encountered when planning to upgrade an existing kiln, and
factors that one would face when contemplating the construction of
a kiln from scratch.
Sadly, the interested potter has few choices today to find
texts that will supply useful information on electric kiln design and
construction. Of the few books issued in the 1970s, it seems that only
two are still in print and available from dealers, including The Pottery
Shop, 31 Thorpe road, Needham Heights, MA, 02194, USA. The two are:
"Calibrating & Calculating the Electric Kiln" by M. Wikey,
published by a California company. This compact paperback book
deals in great detail on design factors, and although Wikey made every
effort to simplify the factors, the reader soon learns that careful
thought is required to comprehend the data. Pottery Shop price: $16.
"The Kiln Book" by Frederick L. Olsen, 2nd edition, issued 1982
by Chilton Book Co. Olsen focusses mainly on the fossil-fueled fired
kiln, its constrcution and operation. But he also includes one chapter
in which he paints an excellent picture of the components of an electric
kiln. His careful descriptions will increase one's understanding of
design factors and operating factors. Pottey Shop price: $35.
However, the do-it-yourself constructor will need to seek
additional help to learn how to find/make parts and assemble them
into a working kiln. Some of that extra help may come from suppliers of
insulating firebricks, from suppliers of wound elements, and when it
can be found from Robert Fournier's out-of-print book, "Electric kiln
construction for potters". Unfortunately, not all libraries have the book
since it all too often is listed as "lost, cannot be traced".

Cheers TomB Hamilton ON Canada URL