So, here we are. Ready to fire.
The kiln all ready to go. We used soft brick dipped in a zircopax solution to protect them from the salt. We used hard brick around the spy holes.Here we are part way into the firing. You can really see how much better of an insulator the soft brick are in this picture. The mudding around the spy holes dried out in no time flat.
Here I am stoking the secondary firebox.
You can also see in the background that we braced the first chamber arch. I was worried about the arch "walking" during the firing. After the kiln is complete the first chamber arch will be buttressed by the main firebox.
The arch is braced with two 2x4s strapped together with tie-down straps. I the front 2x4 wanted to creep up the arch as I tightened the straps, so I ended up keeping it down with more bricks.
Overall the firing seemed to go really well. The kiln seemed very responsive and gaining temperature wasn't ever an issue this firing. We fired for 16 hours which is a little slower than Julie will usually fire, but we thought it best to fire a little slower with the wet castable.
We ended up with very even temperature distribution with the hottest spot in the kiln being cone 10 and the coldest spot at cone 10 one quarter down. Due to poor planning, a tight time line, and short winter days, we ended up entering reduction after dark. None the less the moon was fairly bright and we could judge the amount of smoke decently. We think we got decent reduction, we'll see after we unload.
So with out further ado. Your stoker gallery:
Luke came out late morning and gave us a much needed break.
Bob also came out late morning and ended up staying quite a while.
And of course Julie.
We'll post pictures as soon as we unload. Up next we need to complete the tatami bricks and fire those before finishing up the main firebox.