Thursday 17 February 2011
In the next instalment in this series, Tony Davis shows how you can create your own homemade kiln
With the advent of inexpensive dehumidifiers, a kiln is within reach of all woodturners. All you need is a dehumidifier - which can now be picked up for around £100 - a small fan and a room or hut to put them in.
A side effect is that bugs do not like a dry atmosphere and will not survive in a kiln, also rot needs moisture to grow and propagate.
By following the four simple pointers opposite, you too will be able to create your own homemade kiln.
My kiln is 8ft square at the back of my garage and it is insulated - not essential - and air tight. I have a 15-year-old dehumidifier and a small oscillating desk fan stood at one end with slatted shelving, floor to ceiling on three walls. The main problem with my kiln is slowing down and controlling the drying process - this is done with cling film and sanding sealer, and moving bowls etc. up and down the shelves and away from the fan
I rough out the bowls, wrap them in cling film, tape them up and then cut out the centre dovetail and put them on a low shelf. After one week, I move them up to a higher shelf where the air is warmer
I rough the hollow form out, paint the neck with sanding sealer then wrap it in cling film. I then cut it open and lay it on the shelf so the fan can blow air into the hole at the top and also dry the inside at the same time
With all forms, you have to think where it may crack and for extra safety, you can coat the form in sanding sealer to slow down drying as well as wrapping it in cling film. Logs and planks must be protected in vulnerable areas