Friday, September 3, 2010

Boom Boom: Out Comes the Form

Burn it out? Or slide it out? Burn it? Or slide it? Burn or slide? These are the things I spend my hours wondering. How best to remove the arch form, now that the brick are in place. 

Burning is more fun by miles, but sliding is more practical, as someday I will need to rebuild the arch, and when that day comes, it would be nice to still have the form. So I'm sliding, if I can. It will still be necessary to burn out the frame holding up the form, so I get a little of both. Here goes!

Past the first ring of brick, which required a bolster in one place, but held...

Uh-oh. Damn that quarter-inch plywood! Damn my cheapskate nature.So, the form will not survive anyway, which means Plan B is activated: Burn that baby out!

I had meant to take photos while the form was burning out, but as it happened I didn't care to set down my trusty hose once the blaze began. The spaces in front and behind the arch forn were still unbricked, so the flame was not entirely contained. A couple of notes: 

  • If you live in town, as I do, inform the fire department and your neighbors what is going on. There is going to be a world o' smoke. 
  • We've had a crazy dry summer, so I hosed off evrything near the kiln, including the beams of the roof over it. The tongue of flame jetting out of the front opening would have licked the shed roof five feet above it if I had not been there  damping it back with the hose.
  • I only burned enough to remove the actual  arch form. The support that was holding it at the proper height is  (obvs) very charred, but I will remove it by hand, becuase of the whole out-of-control smoke and flame thing. 
  • A half-brick that had not even seemed loose when I was building dropped precipitously when I slid the form forward. I propped it up until the brick around it could sink the fraction of an inch I knew would occur when the form was no longer holding them up. Once the other brick sank and pressed against it, my woould-be dropsy brick was pinned in place. 

Next on the to-do list: castable. 

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