Primitive Technology: Brick Firing Kiln

By | October 31, 2022

Fetching water for brick making Slaking clay bank Digging clay Treading clay Ceramic brick mold soaked in water (so clay won't stick) Forming clay into mold Turn bricks on side to dry Brick carying harness (takes strain off back) Dry stacking bricks under eves of hut to keep them out of rain Making brick kiln This is the fire box level. There are two parallel fireboxes. Both fireboxes are open at the front and back of the kiln These bricks form the grate bars on which the wood burns. Grate bars allow air under the wood, increasing combustion rate several times compared to burning wood directly on the ground. This level is the area above the grate bars where the wood is placed Finally this layer is the floor of the ware chamber where the bricks will be fired The finished firebox Using ordinary mud as a mortar, the first layer of the ware chamber is built Vertical and horizontal brick joints are plastered with mud Finished brick firing kiln Collecting un fired bricks to take to the kiln The kiln is about 30 meters from the hut in the clearing, near the creek For the first layer, just turn the bricks sideways rather than burning them on a grate made of bricks (fits more in this way I decided) Make the next layer of bricks at right angles to the first Alternate layers in this fashion 4 layers of 10 bricks = 40 bricks per firing Cover top with 6 bricks to help hold the heat in Collecting firewood, thin 35-75 cm long sticks are good for this sized kiln Better to have too much than not enough Making fire with fire sticks, the simplest primitive method in my opinion Transfer hot ember on leaf to tinder bundle Ember ignites tinder With wood already in the fire box, kindle a small fire underneath in the ash pit Then transfer burning sticks to the second firebox Load wood into the back of the kiln also so it may catch fire here too

Feed wood into the 4 entrances (2 back, 2 front), leave the space under empty so air can move under the burning wood This kiln burns wood fast so feed wood in as fast as it consumes it This is about 1 hour in and the bricks are already starting to glow red Feed back and front of the kiln Strong draft is apparent Total firing time: 2 hours 30 minutes This is enough so the bricks wont dissolve in water afterwards The next day after the kiln cooled Fired brick ready for water test Fired brick remains intact Un-fired brick for comparison Un fired brick disolves Conclusion: To make bricks resistant to rain and water fire them in a kiln Unloading kiln 40 fired bricks Brick firing kiln

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