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updated fri 7 jan 11


mel jacobson on thu 6 jan 11

i have advocated often here on clayart that making your
own burners is a fine thing to do. it is a real learning experience.
i have made burners on the go/just stop at any hardware store
and buy a few parts. they work fine. and are great in a pinch.
cheap too.

i also am a strong believer in buying the best burners that you
can afford. home made burners are learning experiences, same for
weed burners. you can get by very inexpensively at your
early stages of kiln firing. you learn from them. you see
how they work, and understand it is just gas and air. how you
make them will show you how they work.

well engineered burners, like the ransom or nils lou's are much
superior to home made. advice from mark ward is valued.

as you mature and need quality burners seek advice from professionals.

this was a very critical part of my research for the kiln book. getting
the facts right. in the end, well engineered burners, esp those
with compressed air will always be preferred. but, the bottom
line for many potters is cost. it does not take long to spend two
thousand dollars on burners. and, of course, will you get your money
back? not always the case. it is like buying a $35,000 truck to
haul fire wood. does not make sense. how much natural gas
can you buy with 35 grand?

it is like the ego/silly guy near our farm. he bought a windmill
generator for $16,000, and claims he will make money in 15 years.
well, yes, if he never has to repair the windmill. like cars, how long
will they go without major repair? but, he gets to brag that he is
a `green` guy. so? and, if he goes 5 days without wind, what does
he do..burn candles.

seek quality advice about burners. ransom's will always be good.
but, they are noisy. they scream at high pressure. if you need
peace and quiet, seek another burner. when neighbors peek
out their windows at night wondering what is going on, well time
to make another decision.

we have a wonderful pair of nils burners at the farm. they are really
really efficient. we do love them. for propane, they cannot be beaten.

i have a pair of denver fire clay burners from 1960. they are curved.
but, you cannot hear them fire. i use high pressure rubber hose
from my gas source to my burners. (twenty five inches or so.)
there is no vibration. they are silent.
i take my burners apart every three years and mount new rubber hose.
never take chances. in fact, this spring is time for all fresh cleaning an=
hose. i deflect heat with metal heat gets to the rubber.
what i like best about my burners is fine infinite gas pressure control.
i can tweak them like a musical instrument. to me, it is critical. i hate
those big old gate valve need a wrench to move them.
ball valves are by far the best. or, needle valves. my burners also have
a bell adjustment for air intake. they really work well.

there are some great old plans for burners. some with compressed/blower ai=
if you want them, just email me, and i will send you a set.
we did not include them in the book as it can be a rather challenge with
liability to include them as `workable` know, in the hands of a

i have those plans on the 21st century website. you can download them
from there just fine.
or, just let me know.

from: minnetonka, mn
clayart link:
new book: