Monday, March 9, 2009

Feeding the Dragon

In December we scheduled a firing of the Maplecreek wood kiln for the solstice but were unable to load due to torrential downpours. We tried again a month or so later only to be faced with below zero temps. We got it loaded and fired with all our might but we never got to temp and the grates melted out so the firing had to be aborted. Last weekend we had at it again. Josh Hamaker preceded the dawn on Friday and lit her up at 6am. I joined him about 10. As always, Josh and I worked very well together and the temps came up at 100 to 150/hr. When Josh left at 3:00 we were up to 1400 in the front chamber and 350 in the rear. When the rear got to 500, we started stoking that chamber from the side. Flames were drawing through the front chamber into the rear firebox igniting the wood and burning it cleanly. By the time I left at 8pm we hit 1650 in the front and 975 in the rear. All pretty much as planned. It is always harder to raise the temp of a wood kiln as you get into the upper ranges of temperature. I guess it was very hard this time and many people worked very hard to get the kiln to cone 10 ( we often go to 12) Finally folks finished at 2:30 am Sunday . We open next Saturday. Finally we will see if our work paid off,and be able to pass out some long overdue Christmas gifts.


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