Pulley System for Heavy Kiln Lids
part two of a multi-part series on setting up a pulley system for heavy
kiln lids. Click here to go to part one.
A pulley system for lifting a kiln lid has three
main components: the pulley, the rope or wire, and a way to
hold the kiln open once the pulley does its job.
1. The pulley.
Technically, a pulley is a simple machine that
consists of a wheel and some rope or wire. However, most
people think of the wheel and the rope as two separate components.
are sometimes available in a set with the rope or wire, but it's
more typical for the two items to be sold separately. A pulley
will look something like the illustration at right.
To use the pulley, it is usually attached to a
ceiling above the kiln. A long screw with a hook on the end is
one way this is commonly done (but there are other ways). Once
the pulley is securely in place, a rope is wire is strung around the
wheel of the pulley, so that it goes from the handle or handles of
the kiln lid and through the pulley.
One main thing to watch for when purchasing a
pulley is that it is capable of lifting the desired amount of
weight; for most kiln lids, a capability of 150 pounds/70kg should
be adequate. A simple pulley should cost well under US $10,
even including the screw/hook hardware required to attach it to the
Movable pulleys are more
complicated pulley arrangements that can also do the job, but they are
usually used for heavier loads than most kiln lids. The "block
and tackle" (sometimes called a "rope hoist" or a "combined pulley")
is one kind of more complicated pulley arrangement.
Click here to go to a site that has some basic information about how
a pulley works.
for a discussion of the next
element of the setup, the rope or wire.
And don't worry if you're a little
confused or overwhelmed by the details and all the various
options. There are many different ways to set up a pulley
system. Once these three major components are covered, we'll
cover step-by-step procedures on how to put them together to make a
basic pulley system for lifting the lid of a coffin kiln.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker. All rights