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Where can i get a good small kiln that wont leave me without money
Topic Started: 27 Jul 2013, 12:04 PM (451 Views)
canny
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Transverse Ocarinist x 4
Hi everyone,i ned to find a small kiln but not to expensive like over 120 ... i dont know.... I know nothing about them ,i dont know hat kind what safety things i have to do and if you have to ask a official for a permit for it...Thanks :) :) :) :) :monocle:
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Philip
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KypSyd

Not sure if you're a troll or just a really eager young enthusiast, but one does not simply buy a kiln without any experience unless they are just wanting to blow money

Look through some of the ocarina making tutorials, buy some clay and try sculpt something of your own. Try to make it make a decent sound before even considering firing

You would be a long way away from needing a kiln if you've only just started

I say this all with complete respect
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Location of any kiln needs to be away from anything it might set fire to, and may need installation of a lot of heat-resistant material.

Electric: most house wiring won't cope (certainly not in the US; British wiring is designed for higher power, but even here only a tiny kiln will work with a domestic setup).

Gas or oil: needs extreme care with ventilation to deal with the carbon monoxide hazard, secure hazard-proof storage for fuel tanks, and installation of fuel lines by a skilled plumber. One crack in a pipe or chimney and you're dead.

Solid fuel: unless you have a huge house, this needs a separate external structure largely made of firebrick. You may not be allowed to build it because of smoke control codes.

So factor in the cost of rewiring the house, building vents and chimneys and installing fans, or a sizable construction project subject to planning control.

Fuel costs: go down as you do bigger batches, but you could easily spend as much on fuel or electricity to fire a trial series of ocarinas as you'd spend on buying a quality finished one.
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Endalion
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Triple Ocarinist x 2
Here's a cheap kiln for you:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Amaco-Enamel-kiln-jewelry-design-dental-burn-out-pottery-model-62-E-works-great-/200945981234?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec9505732
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canny
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Transverse Ocarinist x 4
thanks Philip Jack and Endalion .:)
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Firmament
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Musician with new found passion.
I'd like to hijack this thread for a moment, to ask our makers a question.

How well does the pit firing method work for firing an ocarina? I know a few friends who are obsessed with bonfires. Would be fun if I could talkk them into making pit fires to fire clay for me.

All this is just theoretical wondering at this point. I am in no need of firing clay anytime soon, just curious. Thank you.
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IslandOcarinas
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Ocarina Crafter

There are often second hand electric kilns for sale listed on sites like craigslist. If you find a small one it can plug in to a standard 110v electric socket. Most electric kilns need the larger 220v socket that is usually used for dryers.

As for safety, keep it away from flammable stuff and make sure it's ventilated wherever you fire it.
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Firmament
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Musician with new found passion.
I've never messed with large electronics, or and house wiring. Is the standard electrical outlet in the USA 110v? I'm still curious about pit firing for any new readers.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Pit firing only generates rather low temperatures, it needs ingenuity to get temperatures at all even (meaning that a lot of pieces will be wasted from incomplete firing), and it's horrendously fuel-inefficient.
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Firmament
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Musician with new found passion.
Thank you jack, just what I needed to hear!
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

You might want to consider renting a kiln at a nearby pottery shop or university.
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Firmament
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Musician with new found passion.
Currently not near home, but Itried an Internet search of my area, not sure where I'd find a kiln. My school is rather rude about not letting me use the music practice rooms, I somehow doubt they'd be any nicer in the art department.
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Furnace with wings
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Tolkienite, Whovian, Book-loving Polymath.
If you get a kiln, you will need a 220V line, in all likelihood. Most kilns do need 220V. There are some though, that can use 110V.

Before using it, I beg you to you get good wiring, preferably new as this will draw a lot of power. If you are in an older house, or if your wiring looks a bit subpar, I would definitely get a high rated wiring job done. It should probably have its own circuit or fuse.

The first time that you fire it up, an empty load first, make sure that you are as FAR away from paper, plastic, wood, gas, spray cans, paint, or anything that could melt or explode, this also goes for any firing. Have an extinguisher that is rated for electrical fires, handy, I am NOT kidding, I have seen a few old ones go up in flames.
THis prefiring will burn off any residue in the kiln, but be careful fumes are almost always given off. Anytime that you fire it, you will need to be in a VERY WELL-ventilated area, and somewhere where you can watch it for the amount of hours it takes to fire. A 15 foot radius for clear space is ideal.

-source, personal experience of myself and my family.

I cannot stress these point enough. If you have a pottery shop or something close, have them check your kiln out first.

Be smart and stay safe!
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Firmament
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Musician with new found passion.
I will start by searching for a shop that is willing to fire for me! Thank you Mr. Wings for the warning info, makes me imagine putting the kiln in one of my fume hoods, got to love chemistry! Was hoping my friends obsession with fire could save me a few dollars, but I shall look for professionals now.

Thank you everyone for your input. I value it greatly :)
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Turtlewalker
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Try to be like the Turtle ~ at ease in your own shell
I found a method of pit firing that is easy and I had good success with it from what I have done so far. I am still working with it. The ocarinas do come out black.
I use Raku clay, but I am sure other types of clay will work also.

I use a cast iron dutch oven with lid, cedar shavings, hand held fan, a stick to stir shavings, and fire proof gloves to lift the lid.
I put my clay object in the bottom of the oven then fill it with ceder shavings. I burn the shavings with the lid off a few times to heat up the clay. You got to stir the shavings to get them burning down. Don't let direct flames touch the clay.
When I feel the clay is heated enough, I throw more shavings in there and put the lid on part way so there is a 1 or 2 inch gap, then I put the fan to it. The fan feeds the fire and causes extreme heat inside. You do have to open the lid and sir and then replace the lid. I just keep repeating this until the clay is fired enough. I use a wood stick to tap on the clay and I can normally tell by the sound when it is done.
This method does take practice to get right and I have exploded a few clay objects in my firing attempts. I would suggest making hollow balls with a few holes to practice with first.
Edited by Turtlewalker, 28 Jul 2013, 12:45 PM.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

There are potters in most places, and it might be worth asking if you can simply put an ocarina in with one of their batches.

(It just occurred to me that in an ideally laid-back and rational world you might be able to share the use of a crematorium. I think they'd look at you a bit funny if you even asked, though).
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

I imagine the electrical cost of running a kiln is high, too. You should to take that into consideration.
Edited by Wollemi Pine, 27 Jul 2013, 06:42 PM.
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TheZ
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More Popular than Chick-fil-a on a Sunday
Oh, Jack... I think you'd get more than a few funny looks. What a unique straw fired finish it'd leave. Wait... Woul it still be called 'straw' fired?
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DreamBirthOcarinas
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Ceramic Artist and Ocarina Maker

Firmament
27 Jul 2013, 03:47 PM
I'd like to hijack this thread for a moment, to ask our makers a question.

How well does the pit firing method work for firing an ocarina? I know a few friends who are obsessed with bonfires. Would be fun if I could talkk them into making pit fires to fire clay for me.

All this is just theoretical wondering at this point. I am in no need of firing clay anytime soon, just curious. Thank you.
As Jack said already, it is not the best method by any means, and not to mention it takes up a lot of time and labor. I only recommend it to people who have no assess to a kiln what so ever and can not buy one.

Back to the topic at hand:

The cheapest kiln I know of is almost $400 and it can only fire 2 or 3 pieces at a time at most. Anything larger will make the price go up greatly.

Wollemi is right as well, it will drive up your electric bill by a good chuck. Another thing in relation to that is it can possibly blow fuses in your house or start a fire if your house was jury rigged by a "professional" electrician. This is why it is always recommend for one to come out to your house to see if their will be any issues and to monitor the first test fire to insure your own safety.

As far as permits and things like that, I am not sure if you need a permit at all, but you will need to check with your landlord, or whoever oversees your housing, and the fire department to see if they have any problem with it.
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Furnace with wings
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Tolkienite, Whovian, Book-loving Polymath.
This thing will put out a LOT of heat, so if you put it in an enclosed space, make sure it can vent all the fumes safely, and withstand the high temperatures.
Oh and the electric cost is pretty steep. You need to think of that.
Edited by Furnace with wings, 27 Jul 2013, 09:53 PM.
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canny
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Transverse Ocarinist x 4
ohhhh ok anything else?
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DreamBirthOcarinas
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Ceramic Artist and Ocarina Maker

In additional to Furnace with wings' comment, put a cinder block or bricks under the kiln to check it off the surface it will be placed on. As far as spacing, make sure you have everything at least one foot away from the kiln during firings. preferable a little more. This spacing is just to ensure no accidents occur.

This is a bit obvious, but never touch or open the kiln during firings. Wait until the cool down cycle in complete to do so. I can not tell you all the horror stories I have heard about this happening. Especially the opening of the kiln while in operation.
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