search  current discussion  categories  wanted/for sale - wanted 

diy electric kiln advice needed

updated mon 2 mar 98


Grace Liu on sun 1 mar 98

To any of the kiln experts on the forum,
My partner and I are planning to build our own cone04 electric kiln.
Basically we will be using it mostly to fire at cone015, but want to
have the flexibility to fire occassionally to cone 04. We have a few
requirements which have to be met:
1) it has to be a front loader
2) one side of it has to be less than 800mm (31") outside measurement
to fit through the door.
3) we'd like to have a rather large volume kiln(around 18-22 cuft), if
Planned Specifications:
outside dimensions:
47" wide x 37" deep (includes body 31" + detachable door 6") x 75" high
(10"legs + 65"body)
inside dimensions:
35" wide x 20" deep x 55" high
Kiln side walls about 6" deep (fire brick + insulation)
Total internal volume: about 22 cu.ft.
Electricity: 208 volts, 25kW
Elements: 3 walls (8 elements), door (2 elements), and floor (1
element)= 11 elements. No elements on kiln roof.
Without getting into too much detail, I have a couple basic questions:
I've read through Fredrick Olsen's Kiln Book (chapter on Electric Kilns)
& done some research on dimensions of existing electric kilns from kiln
ques 1) Is there a major technical reason why larger electric kilns
all seem to be top-loaders & not front-loaders? (We need the loading
convenience of a front loader)
ques 2) I know that the cube is the ideal shape for an efficient kiln,
but will this rectangular shape be extremely inefficient? I know it's
quite wide, but we'd like to maximize the width to get the volume we
need. Most of the manufactured electric kilns seem to have more of a
square dimension (rather than rectangular), & increase the height to add
volume. This is our greatest concern.
ques 3) Is a 6" wall deep enough for a cone015 kiln? for a cone04

I hope I've given enough details. We basically need to know whether an
electric, front-loading kiln this large is feasible. Are we way off, or
can it be done?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!