Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Test run of my first water wheel.

I placed the water wheel I built into the streambed to test it out. Work out very well with only a little head pressure to turn it. I will need to make a proper raceway for it to achieve usefull power. But its fun to watch it turn endlessly.

Here is a short video of it in motion. Quality is poor, from my cell phone. I will get better vids soon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My electric kiln works great!

I have used my electric kiln today for the first time. Everything went smoothly. About 8 hrs to make 2000'F. The clays have much more reds to them, save the one creek clay brick I fired. That one may need to go to a higher temp. My first experience with electric kilns. This one has a humm or buzz sound when the elements are being electrified. Guess thats normal. Pulls about 12 amps when one coil is on, 24 amps when they both are up and running at 240v AC.

Whats easy about this, comming from wood firing, no wood stoking!!!! Dont get me wrong, I like the connection with the earth and wood firing. But sometimes its nice to just plug it in and let it buzz for 8 hrs with less effort. Lets see how good I feel when I get my electric bill! lol

I am next gonna fire a bunch of clay tiles for a house project. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Green energy from my creek.

One of my many 'other' projects is this water wheel ive been building. My plan is to put it into a water chute I will build in my creek along with a dam. If I can get this to work reasonably well, it should have enough power to spin a small generator. Depends on several things how well it will function for me.
If I can build enough head pressure at my dam to move the water down the chute forcefully.
What kind of speed will the wheel turn at and with how much torque?
Will it do as well once under load from a generator under load as well?

36" dia wheel
28" wide
1.5" output shaft dia.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More clay tiles fired. Keeping away from reduction in wood firing.

I fired some more homemade clay tiles a few weeks ago in my wood kiln. Just hadn't gotten around to posting anything about it till this morning. Pretty uneventfull firing and results were ok.

As you can see the colors vary depending on where they were in the kiln and the paths the flames took. I was hoping for a bit more reds from the clay in the tiles. No salt glazing here. Looking more for a dark terra cotta red. The attempt was to keep away from strong reduction so as not to darken them and pull to much oxygen out of the iron oxides. It kinda worked, but I think it will require a trade in order to get more deep reds. By keeping reduction in the kiln down I also cripple some of my peak temperature by stoking less fuel. So in order to get enough 'heat work' done to the clay I must lengthen the firing time in the neutral and oxidizing enviroment I create inside the kiln.

You can compare the tiles to 'real' red brick directly behind them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Got myself an electric kiln!

Hey I found a great deal on an old Duncan electric kiln off of craigslist. So now I have this to play with too. Yippie!!!!!