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A kiln has many uses when it comes to woodworking but the most important is drying wood before it can be used for different projects and even for heating and lighting. There are different kiln designs but the most common one is a wood fired kiln. This kiln uses wood to work. If you are thinking of building your own wood fired kiln, this guide can help you out.
Building your own wood fired kiln
This is a major project that includes taking a large area of your property to build the actual kiln. Careful measurements of the kiln, the area where it will be placed and how long the chimney is should be considered. Also, check any building codes and any laws in your area that regulates or prohibits the use and building of wood-fired kilns before starting
Things you’ll need
- Measuring tape
- A lot of bricks
- Iron Grate
- Sheet metal
1) Deciding the location of the kiln
Decide where your wood fired kiln will be built and decide its measurements/dimensions. This may be determined by the size of the kiln shelf or how much space you want to have inside your kiln.
Identify where the wind is blowing or the wind’s direction for your kiln. You must build the kiln in an area where the wind can enter into it from the top. Lay down a layer of dirt where the kiln will be constructed. Smooth the dirt down so its level on the ground. This layer of dirt will be the inside of your kiln and will protect it from under the dirt. Take note that concrete can crack under the extreme heat so better use dirt or the actual ground.
2) Creating the kiln shape and foundation
You must have enough bricks to form the side, back and the walls of the kiln. Stack 2 rows of bricks for each wall and use enough bricks to build the diagonal shelf later. Place a brick against the inner side of each side wall. Make sure that each brick should extend about halfway past the wall to create some kind of doorway or entryway to the kiln. These 2 bricks should be assembled with their long, narrow side down on the ground.
Use a square iron grate on top of the walls. The iron grate should be large enough that an edge may extend over the back wall and the sides are within the inner edges of the kiln’s side brick walls. This will hold the wood and allow the ashes from the kiln to fall through the grate.
Add two more rows of bricks to the walls of the kiln. Now place these on the top and around the grate to construct the kiln’s 3 walls. Place the shelf on top of the bricks. If possible, this should be arranged diagonally so 3 of the corners are supported by the walls of the kiln.
Use a piece of sheet iron at the front of the kiln. The sheet iron should go partially under the fourth corner to support it. Place another row of bricks on top of the kiln’s walls to go around all the sides of the kiln. Now it’s time to make the chimney. Stack the bricks on top of the kiln in a circular pattern and then place an additional layer of bricks to make the inside wall of the chimney.
3) Building the chimney
Make a hole at the top of the kiln. The hole will be the chimney to allow the smoke to exit the kiln. Build a tall brick chimney. The chimney may need to be above 98 feet in height.
Stack unfired bricks in a lattice pattern. The openings in the arrangement will let air flow through the kiln. Place finished bricks over the unfired bricks. This forms a roof over the kiln. Leave holes in the roof where you can place fuel materials for the kiln’s fire. You may use wood or coal for this kiln.
Building a wood fired kiln involves a painstaking but rewarding process. You need to create a special area in your property where you can construct an actual wood-burning kiln. Follow the steps closely and make accurate measurements to construct an efficient kiln for your wood drying needs.