Wood Fired Tube Kilns

drawing of an anagama/tube kiln using google sketch up

A basic wood fired tube kiln or anagama can be made with minimal bricks by using the parabolic arch form.  This type of kiln has been popularized by Mike Weber and his students and is generally called "The Rocket Man".
 Once the size of chamber is determined, an arch form is constructed.
 A "footer wall" is set with the bricks recessed into the ground approximately 10 inches.  Note the concrete block placement at the front corners of the base to prevent brick crawl when the kiln is fired.
The arch form is placed on top of the footer wall and small 1/2 " shims are set under the form so it can be dropped down after the arch is completed.

Concrete is poured behind the first 2 feet of the arch exterior to further reinforce the front of the kiln where the kiln gets hottest.
The arch is further buttressed with concrete slabs and the rear stoke holes for heating the back of the kiln are made from refractory castable.  Note: this kiln was constructed with only 8 rows of angle cut straight bricks instead of arch brick and the arch key was made of refractory castable.
A stack is added to the back of the kiln, arch is covered with dirt, and the kiln is ready to be fired.

A later photo of the kiln after 10 firings and a shed built to prtect the kiln and wood from the elements.

An over head view of a domed fire box being constructed at The University of Iowa in 1998.

The front of the large anagama at The University of Iowa circa 2001after the front was rebuilt with a larger door.  (this kiln appears in the bottom right hand corner of the previous photo)
The Tozan Anagama at NAU in Flagstaff AZ.  This kiln has a slight dome in the arch at the fire box area and tapers down towards the rear of the kiln near the chimney.
The "small anagama" at NAU in Flagstaff AZ. This kiln bellies outward towards the center of the kiln cross section and tapers down towards the chimney.  This kiln also has a diagonal flue run before the verticle chimney stack.
A kiln with a similar design, Studio of Mica Cain and Ian Childers.
Anagama kiln at the studio of Don Reitz.  This kiln has a interior height of 5 and 1/2 foot and a interior width of 5 and 1/2 foot at the floor.  The total length of the kiln is 12 feet.
 A monster anagama style kiln at the Archie Bray Foundation.  The front of this kiln is approximately 6 foot tall and 5 feet wide and can accomodate a fork lift placing a piece in the front.
An interior view of the previous kiln.  Notice the large step upin the floor.
Anagama kiln at the studio of Trevor Dunn, Riverside, NM