Oztrain Kiln: Mouseholes

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The shelf here is located next to the exit flues and some of the first layer of bricks have been removed to allow the construction of an air intake (mousehole) under an area where side stoking could occur. We probably will not use the grate air intake at this location, but it is there if we feel the need. The floor of the mousehole is just sandy dirt which should be OK because little or no ash raking will occur there. The second layer of bricks, which form the floor of the chamber, are high quality dense firebricks.

After a few firings we decided that the mouseholes under the sidestoking ports were not necessary and tended to leak air leading to patches of oxidation on pots near them. We have sealed them off.

In contrast to the mouseholes under the side stoking  areas, the mouse hole under the firebox is subject to repeated clearing of ash so it has to have a line of seven bricks laid below ground level.

If the slots between the bricks in the grate are too wide too many coals will fall through, if they are too narrow they will clog up with clinker. An appropriately shaped metal rod can be used to clear the slots during firing. The purpose of the grate is to keep the ember bed "alive" - that is, glowing and burning.

The completed floor of the firebox
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