Petra’s kiln re-build

Three years ago I was commissioned by Petra to build her a new diesel fired salt kiln. Based on a simple opposing jet burner layout and tall enough that it was easy for her to load. the kiln was completed in 2015. However in 2017 she moved house and wanted to take her still relatively new kiln with her. So a team of us carefully de-constructed the kiln, palletised the bricks and other materials and it was moved to the new site. 

It’s taken a while for the new studio to be built and so the re-build of the kiln only got underway in October this year. I had a team of Chris and Adrian to help out and in September we started by building the kiln shed from a simple pole carport kit-set. We then built the small retaining wall and filled it with metal as a platform for the kiln. 

Once we had a shelter to work under we moved the bricks onto the site and started the job of sorting out the different brick types and the job of grinding and cleaning up the salted bricks. The hot face bricks are a Shiral 38% Alumina brick and are hardly affected by the salt, so in the firebox and floor the bricks are laid with a fresh face in, but most of the walls and arch is laid with the salt side in (so the kiln is essentially pre-salted).

The outer coursework is re-used common brick and the chimney is re-used H30 bricks. The mortar on the Shiral bricks is a fireclay/silica sand mix and the mortar for the commons is my local clay and sharp washed sand.

It’s been a great project to work on and interesting to see where the wear and tear is most evident from the previous dozen or so firings of the kiln before we demolished it. The kiln is finished and only the oil system to set up and then it’s ready once again for Petra to use regularly.

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