I intend to build a kiln in my free time over the next few months and am trying to avoid my past mistakes (heated too quickly, the kiln started cracking, the kanthal element melted and it was just plain terrible). So I'm thinking of using element holders. I have two ideas in mind. Either I use a ceramic tube around which the heating element is wound or I use ceramic grooves.
The second idea (Fig. 1) increases the usable space which is why I prefer it. However the price being prohibitively high (almost tripling the price of the kiln), I am considering using refractory cement to make them. It's cheap and also does not require firing the holders which is a huge advantage.
The question is three fold:
- Should I use inset element holders such as in Fig. 1 or do offset tubes offer some advantage such as possibly quicker temperature increase due to the walls heating slower.
- Will refractory cement survive hundreds of cycles in such close proximity/contact with the heating elements?
- Can ceramics be used above the temperature at which they were fired without sustaining damage? Meaning, can I use the local pottery to make element holders (they can fire up to about 1350°C and I intend to be able to go to 1400°C (the bricks are supposed to be able to go to 1440°C).
If you need more specific information, I will answer the best I can. Thank you.