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Friday, April 3, 2009

Kiln Hood

It doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to figure out the design for a kiln hood. But it may take a Texas wrangler to wrestle the parts into place.

After the Paragon kiln's latest failure Tues, have more or less given up on it. It was a worthless piece of junk when i bought it brand new. The Paragon kiln manufacturers misrepresented their product, saying that the 110-volt kiln would reach temps of 2300°F. Heck. It won't reach temps much past 1900°F. 2085°F is a real stretch for it. And if you want temps over that, sit a hairslength away from the kiln and pray over it - for that's about your only recourse. Of course, this last technique works best if you have long hair. If your hair style is short, things may become a wee bit hot.

There was nothing left to do but attempt to build a kiln hood. Last time i tried to use the gas kiln, the ceiling became overly hot. Now i know, pottery is spoze to come thru the crucible of fire, but we, as humans, are not. Catching the ceiling on fire isn't the optimal solution.
Tuesday's Paragon failure was Wednesday's trip down to Ace Hdwe to buy the supplies needed to make the hood.
Wed. morning the construction project began.

I might say that at 88 pounds, i am poorly designed to accomplish anything which requires strength and might. So i eyed the steel angle-iron bar with a great deal of trepidation. Could i really get a drill bit to speed-twirl its way thru that thick mass of uncompromising metal? Would a regular old Skil power drill do the trick?
It only took me 4-5 hours to accomplish two holes in the angle-iron! From there we were oly-oly home free. Sawed the metal sheets and the flimsier metal angle-iron suport bars, drilled the rest of the holes, attached the strong eyelet bolts.
By late last night had an acceptable kiln hood which i reckon will deflect the heat from the ceiling. Have to admit tho, by late last night i wanted nothing more than to sit on a heating pad and watch the stupid murder whodunits on tv. Will be ever so tickled when the networks bring comedies back on the air.
This morning my son, Reed, visited and he helped me hang the hood from the ceiling over the kiln.
So! In the next few days, i'll be reconstituting all my Cone 6 oxidised glazes ( for electric kiln firings) to glazes which won't be "ruined" if they go into reduction. Let's face it. Having only fired with the Paragon electric, i'm not the brightest intellect when it comes to gas kilns.

Ho Well . . . Enjoy small victories while they are, still, victories. And the kiln hood is just such an occassion !!!
Happy days to all who are constructing kiln hoods
And may you all have a healthy supply of bandaids . . . .

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