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burners / craig

updated sat 11 jan 03


Paul Taylor on fri 10 jan 03

Dear Craig and all

Thanks for all the information . I enjoy the research so your time is
appreciated . As you can read from the letter I sent to Hank, my search for
knowledge concerning burners was interrupted by the bathroom debacle and two
colds. The plumbers were all spending Christmas in their villas in Tuscany.

I have decided to take my time over this kiln business. I will not have any
spare money till the spring - God willing. I do not want to be over
influenced by the cost over efficiency . I have noticed that I can never
remember what I paid for something useful but I remember the cost of a
disappointment indefinitely.

Beside you and the others have made me think about working a little on the
equipment I have. I think I use quiet efficient burners at the moment they
are AMAL venturies you adjust the air and the copper venturi slides up and
down with the adjustment; all this is in a 2 inch pipe. I use an internal
burner head and the secondary air comes into the kiln at the side through a
duct underneath the burners. This was a half baked idea for preheating the
secondary air.

My test kiln is the one I will start playing with first. It is fired with
one of my AMAL burners. The kiln is designed to fire unevenly, so it can get
tests fired with different conditions and temperatures in the same kiln.
This inefficiency has led to many of the discoveries that I have made with

If you can think of any more info I would be grateful, but I probably have
enough to confused me till the spring ( kiln building season here) .

I think I will try to stretch my self to buying some venturies and also
building some forced air burners to experiment with. I think this is the
only way I am going to be definite in comparing the two systems. Not that it
will be a fair comparison because I can not build a factory precision forced
air burner, but I think a forced air burners are simpler to construct and
need no funneling as a venturies do. Nothing is lost because I can always
build a few kilns to use the burners. I am thinking if I leave three sides
of the chimney with openings for kilns that should do me for any thing .

Of course I could use the venturi burners from my big kiln in the new kiln
and put two of those nozzle mixed burners in my 40cu footer. Mind you that
could leave me with 'kiln getting to know you' overload. But it would
defiantly make my big kiln more economic. That would give me more incentive
to make big pots and the new kiln would fire with a soft venturi flame -
according to Hank very accurate. I could still build the forced air burner
for the salt kiln. SO nIce to dream.

I got a bit lucky with bricks I have 250 worn HTI's (I think you call them
something different) 400 hard bricks for a chimney and 500 vermiculite
bricks (these will hot face bellow about 850 centigrade). However I will
also have to look into combinations of insulating materials the venturi
bricks only weigh 800 grams and insulate very well - I would like to use

In my test kiln I just use vermiculite and an inch of fiber on the door. But
I am thinking for the walls of my new kiln: one inch of fibber, 2.5 inches
of hot face insulating bricks (odd size ), plus an inch of fiber with a
coating of the magic htc -- if I can work out how to put it on --
(archives). For the roof I will splash out on some of those very soft
hotface bricks , they have very good insulation and unlike fiber do not drop
bits onto the best pot in the kiln.

This is working with the theory that many lamentations makes for better
insulation . It works with double glazing and house insulation but I hope I
am not being over influenced by the false economy of using what I have. If
any body has any informed comments I am interested.

happy new year
Regards from Paul Taylor

Phone International 00 353 98 21239

From the Republic of Ireland 098 21239

Paul Taylor
Westport pottery
County Mayo