So, Charles, how did you vent the kiln? Did you simply use the two
holes that are for the pyrometer thermocouple; did you make special
vents, or do you simply leave the door ajar?
The hole for the thermocouple provides some ventilation. But I did not
feel enought. I simply drilled a hole through the top covering it with
a flap that allows me to open and close the vent. If your into forming
sheet metal you can end up with a kiln that looks quite professional
and performs great for under a hundred dollars. I was lucky in that I
was able to purchase a used thermocouple and the commercial grade
lighting dimmer very inexpensively. I also built the forced air
casting machine in the book
and with some modifications was well pleased with its outcome.
On the nichrome wire. I purchased heating an element replacement for
one of the older model kilns that was not embedded but simply sat in
channels in the walls from Johnson Bros. in Memphis. Since their no
longer used I’m sure some vendor still has them on a dusty shelf. The
cost at that time was about $14.00A dryer element works as well.
Either takes the work out of coiling the wire and hot spots.
electric heating elements are readily available for electric heating.
5KW @ 240 volts is a very common size. Most Heating suppliers will
have a generic string for around $ 10 US. You need to provide your
own supports. WW Grainger may also have them available. And I know
that AMACO (American Art Clay Co.) stocks and sells parts for pottery kilns.