My new “Tin Can” Kiln

After many years of designing and custom building kilns I wanted to create a super low tech and totally inexpensive way to fire my Chawan, Yunomi and Guinomi and other Teaware.

I located a small old Duncan electric kiln that I stripped of everything and preserved only the shell. Next I drilled 2 burner ports near the bottom just above the level of the floor. I then cut a flue vent in the lid of the kiln approx. 1.25 times larger than the combined area of the burner ports. I use an old broken kiln shelf as a damper to facilitate reduction. I drilled a small hole through the wall of the kiln to insert a K-Type thermocouple that I use to estimate when to start reduction. I start my reduction at a relatively low temp. @1560F, this start point is necessary for the carbon trap glazes that I use.

I fire using two 5 gallon propane tanks with two venture type burners running of a 12 WC regulator. I fire to ∆10 (2345F) in less than 6.75 hours on 4.9 gallons of fuel.

Take a look at the short video below to see and hear this kiln as it approaches 2300F…Let me know what you think and if you should have any questions.


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5 Responses to My new “Tin Can” Kiln

  1. Roy Strassberg says:

    very cool Michael..thanks for sending…hope all is well…miss you on Facebook




  2. Love this. Thanks for sharing. donna

  3. Dick Capps says:

    Hello Michael:
    You mention you use two burners. Your video only shows the one, I imagine the other is directly opposite. Do you use any sort of baffle/bagwall arrangement to direct the flame?
    Nice work, your glaze combos are amazing.
    Regards Dick

  4. John Dorsey says:

    Hi Michael – thank you for posting this. I have two students who are interested in firing in this manner. We have an old kiln ready to go but I am trying to figure out the burner system. I have a Ward MR-100 Raku burner system. Do you think adding a second one would give the necessary power to reach Cone 10? Thanks so much!

  5. robinmackay says:

    Hi, I think I sent a reply to the wrong spot. How big a shell do you think would work for this set up? sometimes easier to find bigger, like 24X27. I’m inspired. Thanks.

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