Sunday, August 29, 2010

2 x 2 x 2

Arch construction is easier with two: 2 people; a 2 x 4; and a 2-pound sledge. Here's Doug tapping in a brick for a nice snug fit.

I was frustrated (so what's new?) because the charts in the Olsen book did not include a combination of brick for my span, which was 31". I know that is a weird span, and it ought to be 31 1/2", as brick are 9" long, but remember I had those weird-ass bricks. I had a little flexibility in the span, but the closest width on the chart was 33".That seemed like too much to fudge, as it would create turbulence in the flame, and with it inefficiency and probably a hot spot.

But I used the numbers suggested for the 33" span as a starting point to purchase arch brick, and then stood them in a ring on end to discover what combination of what brick got me closest to 31", without going under.  This worked out quite well, although, as it turned out, once I placed them on the form, I hat to switch out a row of arches for another row of straights, because they were much tighter with gravity pulling them together. 

I do have two "loose teeth;" Possible solutions include custom-cutting (or grinding) a hardbrick; stuffing the gap with a tiny sliver of softbrick, which I would glaze (shino) on the bottom; or..well, I guess those are the only options. I might try both: the sliver of softbrick up front where it will be (relatively) easy to replace if anything goes wrong, and a custom-cut brick in the back. 

I have the week of Labor Day off from the IPTOG, during which I hope to complete construction at long last. My to-do list looks like this:

  1.  Repair 'loose teeth"
  2. Build form to cast door blocks
  3. Mix up hot face castable and strike the blocks
  4. A trip to INFAB, probably in a rented truck, to get the necessary brick for the stack
  5. Mix up and apply insulating castable on top of the arch
  6. Build the stack. 

Wow, it looks more daunting all written out like that; but on the other hand it is an observably finite list, as opposed to the nebulous "all that stuff" label I had been applying to my remainig tasks. 

I should have cast the door blocks first, as waiting for them to dry will push off the first firing by as much as two weeks. Guess I should move them to the top of my list. 

Think good thougths for me, that Maine doesn't get clobbered by Hurricane Earl, and also that this week stays out of the nineties. Brick dust stuck to sweat is itchy. 


Truly Unique by Elise said...

I've been following your progress on the kiln. I can't wait to see the finished product. You most certainly have put alot of thought into this and one you get it done it's going to be awesome...and you'll forget about all the pain it put you through. Keep up the good work! I'm amazed by this.

Unknown said...

You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your progress, thoughts and challenges. I agree with Elise- it will all be worth it in the end.


Lori Watts said...

Today was the most exciting day yet!