Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trains


This post is for my buddy Bobby Freedom Fighter. Bobby a train kiln can easily fire in under 18 hours. Fact is our kiln stalled when we switched to some nasty red oak that turned to charcoal and didn't want to seem to burn. You are accustomed to that "free" wood in Logan that is such species as cottonwood, soft maple or poplar. Cottonwood is something like 70% water and I would guess the BTU value rather low on the scale. Here in The Promised Land we have access to good quality hardwoods. Woods like hickory, ash, maple and beech will fire a train so fast you really have to work at slowing it down. I remember on my inaugural firing I sent John Neely an email- How Do You Stop a Train???" I have resorted to throwing in green wood, filling the firebox, fiddling with pushing in the dampers, pulling the passive dampers all in an effort to slow the train down. This all depends on the wood. If I have good quality hardwood the firebox doesn't clog with coals and it fires like a runaway train. Get some crappy wood that coals up on ya and ya have to work at it.
Bobby for years I filled the firebox every three hours for a day and night got up at 6am to go on the hobs and finished the kiln by noon or 2 which was effectively a 6 or 8 hour firing. With this method I got toooooooo much ash and had to do a lot of grinding so we switched to slam bam thank you Mame straight up and go 18 hour firings. Still better than many anagama firings of 3 or 4 days. Bon feu my friend.

2 comments:

bfree clay said...

you know, I once told a cop that I was speeding because of the train going by... I said, "well officer.. I like trains..." Thanks for the breakdown of your firing. there's a ton of pine here in montana that's being eaten alive.. any wood firings i'm doing is going to be with that.

smokieclennell said...

Bobby: We can't use pine here. It smokes and we live in a urban/rural setting. Picture John N standing at the window with his arms crossed watching the stack. I live with that image and fire smokeless. Beer and bump! Tony