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firing fast freddie in 8 hours

updated sun 22 dec 02


David Hendley on fri 20 dec 02

Dear Ned, I just about always fire my "Fastfire" design kiln in less
than nine hours.
And it is a larger version of Olsen's design.
You are right about holding back the Fast Freddy. My kiln will
take off and go to cone 10 in six hours if you don't slow it down.
Since I have built several, my current kiln has refinements that
make it very efficient, such as a generous flame trough, oversized
flue, and a 15" diameter cast refractory chimney. It also has "shelves"
that the grates slide into, eliminating the need for feet on the grates,
leaving more room under the grates, and allowing you to flip the
grates when they start to sag.

My usual firings are about 8 hours. There are always a few pots
that are on the "dry" side, not showing much wood-firing effects,
but these are all small pieces that were bunched in the centers of
the kiln shelves. Larger, more important pieces almost always
come out looking good.
The kiln is 100% even as far as temperature, top to bottom, side
to side.
I use scrap from the pallet factory as fuel. It's about 50% oak,
25% pine, and 25% sweetgum ( a lightweight hardwood). The boards
are 1/8" to 3/4" thick, 4" to 6" wide, and 30" to 36" long. They
are green (wet) when I get them. I stack them loosely in alternating
directions and let them dry for at least 4 months before using.

David Hendley
Maydelle, Texas

----- Original Message -----
> I agree with the Dawg. The Fastfire is a good bet. The only problem
> with it is that it likes to race ahead. I've seen a sadly dry-looking
> load of pots on opening a fast-fire that was fired too fast. So just
> because you can doesn't mean you should. Take it easy.