Wiring Cover

A project log for RepKiln

A small and inexpensive kiln for melting metals and firing clay

Matt MosesMatt Moses 10/15/2017 at 08:010 Comments

The initial kiln is going to have two four-ohm heater coils connected in series. This eight-ohm heater will be connected to 110 VAC mains electricity on a 15 amp circuit. There are slots to add another pair of heater coils if needed, but these would need to be powered by a separate circuit.

The heater wires poke out the side of the kiln, and the plan is to just connect them to the supply wires with nuts and bolts. This hodge podge needs a safety cover so that no one accidentally comes into contact with mains electricity. (Yes the coils on the inside of the kiln will be exposed, but the plan is that the kiln will be turned off before opening.)

This log shows how a prototype wiring cover was made from clay. If this really works well then I'll just use this cover. If it kinda works well, I may try making an improved cover. If it doesn't work well then I'll try something different. 

This idea of using clay to make structure and/or mechanical parts certainly isn't a new thing. However, for me it was inspired recently by watching the kind of machines that Primitive Technology Guy can make out clay with his bare hands.

This is the clay we started with. It had been stored for a few weeks in a tied-off chunk of blue jeans leg, inside a plastic garbage bag. Kind of gross but this kept it workable.

This is what the clay blob inside looked like.

A chunk of PVC pipe was used to make a form for the clay cover.

The PVC pipe form is set on a piece of cloth on top of a board. Another piece of cloth is draped over the form. All this cloth is needed so the clay doesn't stick to the form and crack as it shrinks and dries. The clay is molded over the form by hand to make the cover.

After drying for a few hours, the cover is rigid enough to stand on its own. Tomorrow it gets added to the kiln! Well, later today to be exact. We're coming up on the prize deadline ;-)