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Building the Kiln

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Here you can see the inside of the kiln a bit. I laid bricks down under the area for the fire, and laid sand over most of the rest of the floor area. There are of course, brick piers to support shelf posts. The final two feet (61 cm) of the kiln is a flat brick floor. The front six plus feet (183+ cm) slopes.

Also in place, is a wall of rocks (dug up over the summer) which holds back clay soil burying the kiln.

Why is the kiln top dark? I decided that the cracked clay coating might let dirt sprinkle into the kiln. So I pulled off the clay and sealed it with high temp. mortar which barely cracks at all.

This shows the inside of the endou just after the sutema. The little central pillar is for holding up the brick covering material. The roof was made with 12x24 inch (30.5x61 cm) tile bricks (these are the same material as the firebricks). As you can barely see here, the endou steps up and chokes in - this is to constrict the flow to the appropriate dimensions for the chimney base.

This is a shot showing the overall area after the second firing. During the first firing, the green roof over the "galley", i.e., the level between the cockpit and ground level, was not in place. I'll have to insert some pictures of the kiln's exhaust system for better reference.

Looking west into the galley from the cockpit. We set up a campstove up there, hence, it is the galley.

Looking south into the "cargo hold", i.e., the area we stack wood for the firing - disturbingly empty at this point.

You may notice a computer monitor and two yellow things attached to the wall on the left of the picture. I picked up a couple digital multimeters equipped with a serial data port. I hook these up to an old freebie computer, attach the business end to common type K thermocouples, and watch the graph of the temperature change on the monitor. Note, the "temperature" is displayed in millivolts, not degrees. Because I don't really care about actual temperature readings, I'm interested only in temperature change, it works absolutely perfectly. Price? About $60 each. Figure about $15-20 for a digital multimeter without the serial port. You are sworn to secrecy though - digital pyrometers might become reasonably priced if too many people learn that they are just voltmeters. More info.

Wall to the north. As you may have surmised, I'm still building my shed. I'm the world's slowest construction worker.

Time to update and replace this picture I think. I now have a nice picket fence and shelf ledge up there.

Looking southwest from the cockpit. The loosely stacked cinder blocks were set up as a windbreak for the camp stove. In my last firing (March 2006), I finally upgraded the kitchen.

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