Ben Shelton on wed 22 jun 05
I'm in the planning phase for my next kiln experiment and wondered
How much space is needed between kiln shelves and walls in a fuel fired kiln?
I'll be experimenting with fuels up to cone 6 and wondered how much or how
little space I could get away with?
Craig Clark on thu 23 jun 05
Ben Shelton wrote:
>I'm in the planning phase for my next kiln experiment and wondered
>How much space is needed between kiln shelves and walls in a fuel fired kiln?
>I'll be experimenting with fuels up to cone 6 and wondered how much or how
>little space I could get away with?
Ben, it depends. First, if you are not inclined to reinvent the
wheel, so to speak, in your kiln experiment, get yourself a copy of "the
Kiln Book", by Olsen, which is one of the most succinct and
comprehensive guides to kiln building available. There is a real good
price on Amazon for a new one, or you could check your local library,
ceramics supplier, or any number of used sources if you just google the
What I was taught, and have read and utilized, about kiln building
is that the basic cube shape is the most efficient. Keeping this in mind
you need to make a decision about how large a shelf you want to able to
put inside the kiln. Based upon the size of the shelves you can then set
about designing the overall inner dimensions of the kiln. Try to keep as
close to the cube as you are able. NOt because it is necessarily the
"best" but because it is easier to fire evenly top to bottom.
Remember that you want to have room for the circulation of the flame
throughout the space. This is not just important in the construction
plan but also when you are stacking the space with your pots. Don't
create pottery walls that will block even circulation just to save a
While I have no data based type of study to support what I'm about
to say I would suggest that you give yourself at least 2 to three inches
between the door of the kiln and the shelves and the back wall of the
kiln and the shelves for an updraft. If you are building a downdraft
give yourself more space.
It is a good idea to make your fire boxes a good six inches wide.
Once again, this is not cast in stone, I merely mentioning this as a
guide line. Don't forget that you will also need room for your bag walls
and the use of flame spreaders on top of them is a nice addition to any
kiln. The spreaders won't affect the width of the kiln. The bag walls will.
Hope this helps
Craig Dunn CLark
619 East 11 1/2 st
Houston, Texas 77008