A small kiln for batch & continuous firing
• Capping slabs
The capping slab ties in the final brick courses and prevents bricks being dislodged when
working at the top of the kiln.
Infrastructure and Accessories
• The buttress on side B-C is a constant rectangular section built to the full height of the
kiln. It is used to hold the loading platform which is otherwise supported by timber poles.
Depending on the site of a particular kiln, this structure may not be needed – for example
where a kiln is built into a hillside.
• The loading platform has a safety handrail made from wooden poles.
• A hoist is used to lift limestone and fuel to the top of the kiln. At other sites a ramp may
be a more suitable option.
• Access to the loading door and inspection holes is provided by a portable ladder. A
second, strong ladder is used to gain access to the loading platform.
For planning purposes the following programme can be used as a guide. It assumes a team of
2 skilled builders, 4 assistants and 1 carpenter.
1 Site clearance, excavation of foundations,
2 – 3 Build foundations to about 150 mm above
ground. Make ladders.
4 – 5 Build fireboxes.
6 – 8 Build outer, insulation and inner skin, plus
buttresses to course 12.
9 – 10 Prepare shuttering and reinforcing. Cast first
11 – 12Build to course 24. Prepare scaffolding.
13 Prepare shuttering and reinforcing. Cast
second concrete beam.
14 – 15Build to course 33.
16 Prepare shuttering and reinforcing. Cast third
17 Build to course 42.
18 Prepare shuttering and reinforcing. Cast
fourth concrete beam.
19 – 20Build stepped courses to course 48. Cast
reinforced concrete cap.
21 – 23Point outside of kiln. Erect poles for
24 – 25Point inside of kiln (mud mortar). Begin
26 -28 Prepare bricked area outside fireboxes.
Complete wooden platform.
In 1996 the total cost of building the kiln was 18,355 Malawi Kwacha (approximately £730)
excluding design, supervision and material transport costs. This was made up of MK 11 455
for materials and MK 6 900 for labour. Transport costs for materials may be a significant
factor at some sites.