Saturday, July 3, 2010

Get it Right the Second Time

I had to tear down one wall of the kiln this week, due to a 'clever" design change I made to the flue. I'm not sure what inspired me to re-work my original flue design, but I suspect that it was a desire to avoid having to manually cut soaps (lengthwise halves) from 3-inch brick. The second design looked like this:
I built all the way to the top layer of straights before I realized the problem. As you can see, if you follow the vertical line of the edge of the flue upwards, it butts right against the soda ports. Which means the soda ports will be hidden behind the stack wall. Nice going there, Ace! I spent a day trying to figure out how to rework the stack or the ports before I decided that was too much power to give to a mistake: better to correct my error than compound it.

So Thursday I took the back wall down, built the flue as I should have in the first place, soap-cuts and all. By this time I am an old hand at cutting hardbrick with a chisel, and though it was slow going it wasn't really difficult. 

Lessons learned: 1) Don't make design changes on the fly; and 2) the difficulty I am trying to avoid might not be the big deal I think it is. 


Linda Starr said...

That kiln building is whole lot of work; I hope you are rewarded with many spectacular firings in the future.

heidi haugen: days with clay said...

at least you discovered the error before the arch is finished :) i built my damper slot incorrectly and have about 1/2 inch on either side that is still open when the damper is completely closed...not smart. i have to climb to the top of the stack after firing to put a piece of fiber and kiln shelf on the top to seal it up for cooldown. building it yourself is the will understand the function completely. well done!