[Clayart] Shakedown Cruise required or not for castable in combustion chamber to dry

jonathan byler jebyler2 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 29 22:05:17 EDT 2017

I like low and slow, especially when burning stuff out.  you probably want to get all the sawdust burnt out well from that castable stuff in the fireboxes.  i’d let it soak a bit at bisque temp, not sure if i’d worry about trying to fire it all the way up.

However, you could put a bunch of hard brick and stuff through out the kiln, along with some cone packs that go above and below your ultimate target, and get an idea of how evenly things fire without sacrificing a bunch of pots in there.  I Would love to see some pictures of this and the build if you can post them to a web album or something.

good luck!


> On Jul 29, 2017, at 3:40 PM, Helen Stone <helenestonepeony at gmail.com> wrote:
> HI folks, my new soda kiln is about ready and I have a question:  For the
> two combustion chambers, I used a protective coating made of a homemade
> castable refractory mix, i.e. clay, kaolin, crude sawdust, sand, alumina
> oxide and a bit of cement, it seems good.  I have read somewhere about the
> necessity of pre-firing this type of refractory mixture extremely slowly,
> like over 2 days, in order to drive out the moisture.  However, it is only
> about 1 inch thick or even less in the combustion chambers. Do I need a
> shakedown cruise of the new kiln to do this, like I could likely fire it to
> bisque temperature very slowly and put stamps and other tests inside the
> kiln.  Or can I just go ahead and fire up?  I am not worried at all about
> the different mixture which I have, about 4 inches deep, on top of the IFB
> arch which also has a layer of ceramic fibre on top of the IFB, then the
> mixture / as that is a mixture exterior to the bricks.
> Many thanks in anticipation of your advice,
> Helen in southern Ecuador
> P.S. - Barry, the IFB brick arch worked perfectly, we were able to cut the
> bricks using just a hacksawblade and refining each brick angle then with an
> iron file and then with sanding discs.
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