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front loading kiln

updated sat 16 sep 00


Alisa and Claus Clausen on fri 15 sep 00

Dear Curt,
The kiln I would like to have is a 215 ltr. front loading el. kiln, =
1300c.. It's interior measurements are=20
width 52cm
depth 55cm
height 71cm
front opening is 50cm

Outside measurements are
width 80cm
depth 96cm
height 157cm

The size of the opening of the chamber is fine, big enough to be able to =
reach all the way to back of the kiln.
The metal stand the kiln sits on is as important, as it needs to be =
adjusted to the height of the person loading
the kiln. I like my kiln to sit so that the floor of kiln is about =
equal with the height of my knees.

This kiln is 45 ltrs. smaller than the one I have now. A kiln of this =
size would fit my production needs better as a one
person studio. My kiln is too big. Usually that would not be a problem, =
but since it is just me, despite many work hours,
I still have to push to fill it tightly every week for a bisque. It is =
fine for a glaze load. But if I could choose and had the funds
to buy a new kiln, I would prefer the 215 lt. so I could fire a bisque =
and glaze back to back every week.=20
When I get a new kiln, I will use the old kiln just for bisques, because =
it is hard for her to rise steadily over
1000c. =20

Most studios and institutions I know use square kilns. The only round =
ones I have seen are very small, ideal for hobbyists.
Square front loaders are the norm. here for electric. They are =
obviously built to last because the one I was given is=20
30 years old. Some new metal plates on the outside, some new elements =
and connectors, and she fires pretty=20
well, if slow. The brick work is all original and although I swear a =
piece falls off everytime I open the door, she
is holding her own.

If you want, I will send you the spec. of the new kiln I am wishing for =
in the snail mail. It seems that Scandia builds some
Americans' dream kilns! I am lucky perhaps that my only choice of el. =
kilns here in Denmark is a very good one!

A story of Caution
I will very quickly relate a story about an unbalanced, front loading =
kiln, under repair.=20

My kiln is 700 kilos and stands on two steel girders to give it height. =
It was partially pulled out, less than a third of it's=20
depth, onto a pallet lifter. This was so the electrician could get =
behind it, between the kiln and the brick wall where it
is installed. I went into the house briefly and when I came back into =
the studio, the electrican and I began to inspect the kiln.
I stood in front of the kiln, standing in between the kiln and the front =
end of the lift, with my feet inbetween the
two forks of the lift. The lift was only elevated about 6 inches from =
the ground. The electrician was standing=20
away from the the kiln and lift, almost outside my small studio. I =
opened the door of the kiln and at the same time
the kiln started to fall forward. All the kiln furniture on top of kiln =
fell on and around me, and in the slow motion of
the accident in progress, I could not go backwards or sidewards.. The =
handle of thel lift was to my back and kiln falling toward me.
I could not hop to the left or to the right (comic relief, wasn't that a =
musical?) because the kiln was pulled out between my shelves.
I was more or less trapped in a space about 3 feet long. =20

The kiln stopped falliing because the open door of course stopped=20
it. The kiln was tilting down, resting on the bottom, inside corner of =
the door. =20

At the time I did not know two things.
I did not know that when I went in to the house, the electrician had =
pulled the kiln more than half way off the supporting girders,
=F6n to the lift. =20

I did not know that the kiln would stop falling and could not have =
actually fallen on me. =20

I did re-horrible-lize the envent many times in my head, and thought =
that maybe I could have somehow hopped into
the chamber of the kiln and let it fall around me. Fantasy.

This tale of a terrible fright is f=F3r caution's sake. =20
Messing around with heavy kilns on stands is serious work and needs the =
right lifting equipment and stabalization. =20
Please be sure whatever you are doing, moving, adjusting, reparing, that =
the kiln is stable. Before opening the front
loader, be sure you know how your kiln is sitting.

Best regards,
Alisa in Denmark
Not to sound overly dramatic, but I was really scared after this and =
felt extremely greatful that this freak accident
did not happen. Please be careful in the studio.