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raku burner/kiln

updated thu 29 jan 98


Paul Jay on wed 28 jan 98

I've used a "Big Birtha" weed burner for years and am very happy with
it. I can fire for three full days with one 100 gal tank which I
recomend as it doesent freeze up so fast.
I choped the 50gal drum on the 1st ring and then inserted that into the
rest of the drum and pop riveted it in place so that I have a very
sturdy botton with two layers of metal. I then cut out below the top
rim and almost to the bottom a door that is about half the circumference
of the barrel and welded hinges onto it. I made a latch out of some
welding rod and two bolts welded on the door and the side. The fiber is
held in place by those blind buttons Steve Mills wrote about with
kanthal wire that was left over from recoiling an electric kiln. Just
drill to holes for each button (buy a lot of drill bits before you
start). Set on soft brick bottom 3 bricks wide and 3 high. Set shelf
at height of top brick with plenty of room for flame to develop under
shelf. (I FORGOT make about 3"flue hole in top of drum and use IFB as
damper if you need it.) I also found that if you slice IFB about 1"
thick and put it on top of your raku shelves it acks like a sponge and
absorbes most of the glaze that may drip onto the shelp and cause
sticking problems.
Happy firing Paul Jay Harmony, Pa