When considering the size of your new kiln you should ask yourself 4 questions:
What will fit in the space I have designated for the kiln?
Kiln manufactures generally recommend you have 18” of clearance from any combustible wall and that the kiln be placed on a non-combustible surface such as concrete or ceramic tile. Make sure the space you have designated meets these requirements and is large enough to fit the kiln you choose.
What is the largest piece I want to fire?
Kiln chambers vary greatly in size. Consider the length width and height of the pieces you wish to fire when selecting a chamber size. Take into account that most manufacturers recommend the following clearances:
- 1” from the floor.
- 1 to 2 “ from the sidewalls.
- 2” from the thermocouple.
- 2” from the lid.
How many pieces do I want to fire at once?
If you are teaching or involved in production you will want to consider how many items you can fit in your kiln to meet your production requirements. The shape of the chamber can also be important to avoid wasted space. For example, square chambers are more conducive to efficiently loading tile.
What will my needs be in the next 5 years
What are your plans for the future? Kilns can last a long time if you take care of them. Make sure you do not pick a chamber size you will grow out of in 5 years.