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China Voodoo's Invertebrate Kiln

Tobaccofieldsforever

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@ChinaVoodoo is your fan running constantly in your kiln or wired to go off when your heat source (light bulbs) do? Also, does it take a long time to get your kiln up to goal temp from room temp? It has been 5 or 6 hours for me and I’m at 122 (set to 127 with 4 degree differential). Granted I have thinner walls and A slightly greater volume to heat. Since I have found it impossible to buy incandescent light bulbs anymore, I went with two 40 watt equivalent halogens (actual wattage of 29 w). I may have to step up the bulbs I’m using.
 
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Tobaccofieldsforever

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Thank you…I already switched to 75 equivalent, 53 actual and am noticing a HUGE difference. What is your opinion on the fan? Constant or off with heat source?
To be clear, I realize that running a fan constantly could only be helpful to the uniformity of the enclosed environment but I worry about the lifespan of the fan and if running it constantly is not necessary, it would be nice to try and preserve it when I can.
 

deluxestogie

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You are correct about the effect of the fan running. My kiln's fan (bathroom exhaust fan) has lasted for over 5 years of running all the time, whenever the kiln is operating. Besides, saving the fan, while spoiling the tobacco seems like a less than optimal plan.

Bob
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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You are correct about the effect of the fan running. My kiln's fan (bathroom exhaust fan) has lasted for over 5 years of running all the time, whenever the kiln is operating. Besides, saving the fan, while spoiling the tobacco seems like a less than optimal plan.

Bob
Thanks again!! This is how it is setup but of course I have to worry about every little thing…thank you!
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I let the fan run constantly for a year, then I needed the cord that was running it, then I switched to coming in with the lights and I haven't noticed a difference.

Mine is 80w. Period. And I can't mathematically say an extra 2" of thickness in the walls makes a big difference, but as a Canadian homeowner, I am pretty sure it would.
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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I let the fan run constantly for a year, then I needed the cord that was running it, then I switched to coming in with the lights and I haven't noticed a difference.

Mine is 80w. Period. And I can't mathematically say an extra 2" of thickness in the walls makes a big difference, but as a Canadian homeowner, I am pretty sure it would.
I couldn’t even find any 4 inch to be honest…I looked. It was available as special order but not in stock anywhere. Incandescent light bulbs are also a near impossibility to find. With the new energy policies being put in place for light bulb manufacturers (at least 43 lumens per watt I believe) halogen and incandescent bulbs may become a relic of the past (depending on specific state regulations apparently). Anyway, I cannot feel any heat escaping my kiln around any of the seams and yet it is still cycling more than I would prefer. Luckily I have the option to run it indoors as I am not sure it would be efficient enough to function properly in colder outdoor temps. Whether this is the 2 inch xps or some spot heat is escaping I haven’t located yet is yet to be determined. Either way, it works and I now have a functioning kiln!! Thanks again everyone!!
 

Byronodmon

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I recently put together an exoskeletal kiln haha. I'm kind of wishing I would have bought the super thick foam. I went with 1" and it did great through the summer but it's getting cold now and it's affecting the inside temperature more than I'd like. It's outside for now. So I'll either have to bring it inside the shed or house or go buy more foam and make it some form of vertebrate kiln. Haha
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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Btw, I wanted to add that the biggest issue I had while replicating @ChinaVoodoo ’s invertebrate kiln was cutting the 2” XPS foam board cleanly. If I was doing it over again, I would have used one of my fillet knives (for cleaning fish) to make the cuts. I used a fillet knife to cut the hole out of the side where the wires go and was happy with the results. I tried utility knives, pocket knives etc., the cheap break away utility knives are what I did most of the cutting with. These can provide a very clean sharp cut but they dull very quickly and you must stay on top of that. It may have something to do with the fact that I used the 250 xps rather than the 150 (same R but 250 provides greater compression strength of 25 psi vs 15 psi) anyway, most of my cuts came out sloppier than I would have preferred, leaving more gaps for me to fill in during the construction of the box phase. Fillet knives are generally extremely sharp, thin (very important) and long making them the perfect candidate for such a task. In the search for the perfect foam board clean cut I have heard of many different methods. Turning the blade around on a circ saw, etc… the perfect tool, in my experience, is an extremely sharp, thin, long blade.
Edit: I used to have some disposable type scalpels but could not find them during construction of the kiln! A scalpel would be perfect due to thin handle. An exacto knifes cylindrical handle would get in the way when the cut must go deep into the foam.
 
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ChinaVoodoo

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Thinking of using emergency Mylar blankets to line and or wrap the inside/outside of kiln. It is said to be able to redirect up to 90% of radiant heat and withstand extremely high temperatures. They are also very inexpensive.
Also, if it's on the inside, less visible light will escape the kiln through the walls, resulting in more infrared radiation inside.
 

Byronodmon

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Thinking of using emergency Mylar blankets to line and or wrap the inside/outside of kiln. It is said to be able to redirect up to 90% of radiant heat and withstand extremely high temperatures. They are also very inexpensive.
That's a really good idea actually, I think I might have a couple already lying around so I might try that and post about how it goes.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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