Sunday, January 22, 2006


The beginning of what looks like a busy week.On Friday afternoon I finally decided to start casting the kiln,despite lack of time before Shabat and pouring rain.Sometimes the time just seems right.Having previously lashed and lined the wooden mold,and inserted cardboard tubes at strategic points for a burner port,thermocouple and spy-hole/salt port,the actual mixing and casting didn't take more than an hour or so- I lined the outside with slices of soft [insulating] brick as I went up to save casting material,and,gratifyingly,managed to reach the top of the mold with 3 sacks [75kg] of castable- gratifying since I only bought 6 sacks,so can finish the 2nd half [maybe later this afternoon].The bill for castable refractory mixture came to a tad under 1000 shekels,which,apart from a burner,should be the only actual expense,the rest or the kiln being constructed from scrap materials.I have made up a batch of what I hope is home-made castable,from which I plan to throw a domed lid/chimney on the wheel,and maybe also bag-walls and shelves.If this all works out,the whole kiln could be made from home-made castable,further reducing the price.A couple of buckets of bio-diesel and we could be looking at almost-free firing.Sydney is under the weather,so no salt firing today [prob. Tuesday],and we are hoping to welcome #1 son Benjamin back from a year in Santa Cruz on Wednesday.Also fired the bisc on Friday- haven't unloaded it yet,but it looks fine.Getting the half-kiln out of its mold today was tricky- I'll try to post a picture for you to puzzle over.My new reciprocating saw is proving an invaluable tool,slicing through wood,metal and castable with gay abandon.


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