Friday, September 11, 2009

Five Courses on the Firebox

I was a bit nervous today when I finally got everything lined up to start stacking firebrick for my "manabigama" kiln today and dipped the first brick into a slurry of bonding clay and water. It took a few courses for me to get into a groove. Then, a local pottery student (Michael) came by to help out and we stacked together for another couple of hours before I quit for the day.

I was hoping to get to the point where I would need to make a couple of cuts with potter Ben Owen's masonry saw that he said I could use, but I didn't get that far. Tomorrow, I'll get there.

I made sure my corners were square (but I had to lift up those bricks in the front. The bricks that are pulled out represent air intake holes and those holes were on the next course). The aluminum foil acts as a vapor barrier and heat deflector.

That's more like it. I replaced those front brick and then filled in the space in the middle with some wedge bricks. I have a lot of wedge bricks with no real use for wedge bricks, so I'm always looking for places to use them. I figured the floor of the firebox wouldn't need to be level so I sloped the floor into the middle.

Now it's time for the air intake holes. I'm dipping a brick into the slurry before setting it.

Five courses and my level shows I'm spot on. Good enough for a fastidious potter.

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