I fired off the wood kiln today, it was a nice day and seemed to be a good firing. The cones were even throughout which tends to be a bad omen but I have a good feeling about this one, we'll see in a couple days! I left my camera at home...didn't really have any good shots anyways. Maybe I'll get them up tomorrow.
I used pallet slats for all the stokes above the grates(1600F - cone 9/10)...450 slats to be exact, I counted for curiosities sake. Approximately +/- 12 slats to a pallet that is about 38 pallets. I found there to be two positive aspects to this:
1) The kiln fired remarkably even, my guess is because of the consistent size of the wood (pallet slats vs. chopped wood.) I'm used to having to adjust the dampers or wood size to even it out, not this time!
2) The pallet wood was primarily oak and there wasn't any dense smoke like there is with pine. No fire department this time!
The negative aspects:
1) Oak has a shorter, harsher flame than pine. Pine has a slow lazy flame that penetrates all parts of the kiln, this means I get good surface on all sides of the pots. Not sure how the oak will do.
2) Nails, lots of them. I just bend them over but they still get caught on everything.
3) I can get about 10 pallets in the back of my truck, my source isn't too far but that's still several trips.
4) Stripping pallets is a bitch. A lateral move from chopping I guess. Most slats have nails that have to bent over and the slats still have to be cut to length.
Overall I think for now I prefer stripping the pallets. I'll let the pots be the final judgement.
It's a bit foolish to have a wood fired kiln in a region where there's not much wood except mesquite.
It's my misery that I HAVE to wood fire. So it is.