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Firing the Kiln

Third Firing, Page 1
Oct. 11, 2003 (11:00 pm) - Oct. 17, 2003 (7:00 am)

Loading was much harder than in the second firing. We did not have enough of the all important pieces: those less than two inches in diameter. It took 10 hrs - I was so sore afterward.

At about 11:00 pm, I lit the gas burner and called it a night.

I finally tried some larger things hoping that they wouldn't split apart like big things in the first firing did. This time I tried to be much more careful about bringing the temperature up slowly.

The gas burner setup. It ran from 11:00 pm, Oct. 11 through 3:00 am Oct. 14. By itself, it brought the kiln temp to 7.3 mV in front, and 6.4 mV in back.

The core stoker team at 10:00 pm, Oct. 13: the time we started wood firing. We started slowly by inserting two charcoal briquettes into the kiln - they would just squeeze past the gas burner (we kept gas burner going). Over time, we slowly backed off the gas and used more briquettes. By 3:00 am (Oct. 14), we had used up most of a 10 lb bag of charcoal, turned off the gas, and had transitioned to using 2x4 millends (actual dimensions 1.5"x3.5"x4" (3.8x8.9x10.2 cm)) - initially we chopped these into thirds). We fed them through the lower firemouth and blocked off the opening with wood blocks. The upper firemouth remained sealed.

Action at the firemouth. We were at 37.4 mV front and 26.3 mV back. I had wanted to go even slower than this, but once the ground dries, it is hard to hold the kiln back. Still, this is better than in the second firing. In this firing, we hit our operating temperature of 47 mV at 9:45 pm - almost a 24 time period to get there. In the 2nd firing, we reached this point in 18 hours. Depending on how the firing turns out, I may want to try to stretch this more.

Tony arrived and as usual, brought his awful jokes with him. Rather than endure them, I went to bed. I slept from about 8:00 pm till 3:00 am.

Fireworks in the jack-o-lantern chimney guard.

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