Kilnbuilding -


This forum is for questions from newcomers to kiln-forming.

Moderator: Tony Smith

Post Reply
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:08 am


Postby FlorianFranken » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:01 pm

Hi all, being fairly new to this hobby and on a bit of a budget, I'm looking to build a kiln myself.

Would I be able to use heating elements from washing machines/dishwashers?
Does anyone know what material these are made of?
All practical issues like wiring/control aside, are they able to reach fusing temperatures at all without breaking,
since they are designed to quickly give off their heat/energy to water without getting extermely hot themselves?

Thanks in advance for any and all answers!

Brad Walker
Site Admin
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Kilnbuilding

Postby Brad Walker » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:43 pm

Heating elements from dishwashers/washing machines are not useable for kilns. You'll need an element that can reach 1700F.

In most situations, kiln elements are made from a wire alloy, either nickel-chromium or iron-chrome-aluminum. You can find some very good information about kiln elements here: ... r_2012.pdf

In addition to the kiln manufacturers, the main companies that sell kiln elements are,, and All offer advice on buying and installing kiln elements.

Tom Fuhrman
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:44 am
Location: eastern Tennessee

Re: Kilnbuilding

Postby Tom Fuhrman » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:29 pm

IMHO: better to buy a used ceramic kiln and get started, many times you can find some of these on craigslist for under $150. buying good insulating fire brick isn't cheap. you can get a set point controller and pyrometer for another $50. that is the cheapest way to get started and then upgrade as you can afford it.

Mark Hall
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:11 pm
Location: Kasota, MN

Re: Kilnbuilding

Postby Mark Hall » Wed May 27, 2015 11:01 am

I encourage kiln building because of so many reasons. Yes, good deals can be found using ceramic relics and that's fine, too. However, it's still best (when upgrading) to build your own. Stock elements from Durolite Inc. are best because they're affordable and always available. A kiln is simply an insulated box - nothing to it, especially with modern ceramic materials. The secret is how you control the heat and that's done with controllers, with ease. My workhorse is made from a 55 gal. drum (laid sideways), containing shelves measuring 12" x 30". I first bought those new custom-made shelves for a song from a friend, then made the kiln to fit them!

Post Reply

Return to “Newcomer Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests

Warm Glass

2575 Old Glory Road, Suite 700
Suite 700
Clemmons, NC 27012
Phone: (336) 712 8003