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front loading kilns....

updated sun 23 may 10


lili krakowski on wed 19 may 10

When I had my left knee replaced, I could not "do" stairs right after =
the surgery (OUCH!) so slept on the living room futon. One night, going =
to the bathroom, I see in front of me this large ball of dark fur, with =
a pendulum swinging off it....I was on pain-killers and half-asleep - =3D
--but it gave me a huge shock--before I realized it was Cannonball =3D
crouching on the toilet bowl, and drinking out of it. (I had not known =3D
she did that).

So I can see that the vision of us short and stout (and, some, elderly) =3D
potters heads down over the edges of top loading kilns --imagine we all =3D
were in the same kiln room---even without furry pendulum tails--would be =

Perhaps we should consider designing us a front loader. ALL THIS IDEA =3D

Arnold speaks of the greater cost. I cannot argue with that, as I am =3D
ignorant of it all. My first kiln was a Norman, about 20" x 20" by 20" =3D
inside, and cost $400. That was 400 hours of minimum wage. Figure =3D
$2900 today. Kiln prices have definitely come down....

But remembering the Scheier kiln, and looking at Fournier's book, I =3D
wonder whether certain things could not be done for economy.

(Have not yet gotten ahold of Olsen's book.)

Assume for a moment this: A modular kiln. The "units" would be about =3D
24'x24" and each would contain one element. Each unit would have an =3D
angle iron frame--which, I am told, could be made of dumpster steel, =3D
such as those Hollywood bed frames. The floor could be plain units or =3D
have elements in it.
The door could be just stacked brick as it would be in a fuel burner, or =
a set of units fitted inside a railing of sorts. It would be able to be =
hoisted by a pulley, or on wheels, or put in place by two people working =
together....or one strong person.

In my vision because it has modular units it could go from small to =3D
large. As each "unit" is self sufficient as it were, if one gets =3D
damaged the others remain ok--NOT the case in top loaders where a =3D
damaged brick will "destroy" the ring. (All sides)

Arnold rightly mentions that the frame should be welded. "My =3D
informants" tell me it also could be riveted. BUT as my idea is that =3D
(visualize the frame lying down--NOT YOU LYING DOWN, the frame--It would =
then have that fiber board put in, just as asbestos board used to be, =3D
then I would guess a similar kaowool board, then the bricks that will =3D
hold the element---or maybe a castable can be made with the element =3D
grooves in it. So I am not sure that even bolts supplemented by my =3D
beloved hose clamps might not work....

The whole thing would be held in a frame like a slot.....cross section U =
shaped as it were....and the units held together with what I think are =3D
called "pintle" hinges--one half a prong that fits into a tube/pipe in =3D
the other section. =3D20

The main problem I see is the roof part....Minnesota Flat top idea =3D
might be borrowable....

Someone somewhere said--not in relation with this "conversation" that =3D
top hat kilns require a certain amount of space above the kiln, plus a =3D
sturdy beam or such to hang the thing from. Something to consider.

Of course if one wanted this thing computerized--well that is for one of =
my young and gifted electrical friends to figure out for me!

As said. This is ONLY and idea, a fantasy. NOT a building plan....

Lili Krakowski
Be of good courage

douglas fur on sat 22 may 10


Now that we've entered alice's wonderland where anthing might happen...
The module I'd design has an el shape in plan. A straight wall doesn't wan=
to stand up on its own without a metal frame but put a bend in it and it's
freestanding. Four els would make a square and one could be pivoted for a
door. I would cast these with a perlite/portland cement/fireclay mix, make
square slabs for the top and bottom and line with fiber. for an electric
kiln element holders could be extruded and fastened through the wall.