[Clayart] Skewback support

Mahaffey, Rick rmahaffey at tacomacc.edu
Mon Jul 10 14:07:14 EDT 2017

Hi Hellen,

I recommend a piece of channel with the open end of the C shape facing down.  That way, you have four surfaces resisting the outward pressure of the sprung arch.   I have also used the channel with the open of the "C" facing outward that is a bit easier but less effective - it is still more effective than a piece of Angle iron.
Most of the thrust is outward, very little is downward.   Even Angle will begin to bend if you do not use a size that is huge.

I learned this in Engineering and also when a Boeing Engineer took my ceramics classes.  The engineer designed the kiln frame after I showed her the kiln shape described the forces involved.  She did the calculations and drew up the plan.  We used Aircraft control cable in the places where potters usually use all thread (Which is weaker than threading the two ends of a steel rod)
The nice thing about the cable is that it is stainless and moves about (a bit less actually) as much as the brick when it expands so the pressure on the bricks does not increase with every heat cycle.


Rick Mahaffey
Ceramics dept.
Tacoma, Community College
6501 So. 19th St.
Tacoma, WA 98466

office phone: 253-566-5260                 ceramics studio phone:  253-566-5346

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