Sunday, June 02, 2013

Test kiln on and frozen burner plate needs solving

Turned the tiny test kiln on at 6am, then sorted some of the soda pots that have been wadded and decorated for months, just waiting for the rainy season to end.

With that done, I got out and uncovered the little Olympic gas kiln that I converted for soda firing, only to find the movers didn't set it over the burners, so I had to play with that to re-seat them.  Thank goodness it's their smallest kiln, so I could do it myself.

The burners are working OK, but one of the plates won't move, and I'm still getting back firing on the pilot burner.  I have no idea how that plate got opened so much, but I need to close it down to about 1/4". So I need to get to a hardware store and see what they recommend. Any suggestions anyone???

All I could do was vacuum it out and put off the firing to another day. I was hoping to do it today because the next couple of days it's going to be in the 90's; but if I can get that plate moving, heat or not, I'll fire it if I can unfreeze that plate.

Time to turn up the little test kiln and get my first cup of morning tea.


  1. I'm not sure what kind of burner you have but...Are you talking about the air shutter at the back of the burner that supplies primary air? If so,I would start with a little penetrating oil. If it pivots on a screw, try to loosen the screw after oiling. Then there is always the "big hammer" approach to adjusting things. Good luck.

  2. Thanks Dennis. Husband if off to the store to pick me up some liquid wrench or similar. I didn't have any oil on hand and the hammer didn't work. :-(

  3. June, what kind of Olympic kiln are you using for your soda firing? I am curious, as I won an Olympic raku kiln at Alabama Clay conference a few years back.

  4. Mine is their small cone 10 gas kiln. I sprayed it with ITC 100 and had a couple of big ports cut out for draw rings and spraying. It's not ideal; but when I bought it, it was at a good price and I only wanted it for clean up firings or for tests, since I had a large, hard brick soda kiln.
    For the same price you can build one. If I had the room for one that didn't need to be wheeled around, I'd build a small cross draft, catenary arch one out of insulating firebrick coated on 3 sides with ITC 100, on a hard brick base, and backed by hard brick with one or two good burners coming in from the side.