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For want of a press

Drilling a hole through a piece of wood seems simple. But I keep doing it wrong. I've been trying to make 1cm holes to fit my 1cm dowels. Since I don't have a drill press, it is impossible (at least with my level of skill) to be perfectly vertical and stable while drilling. This means that the side where I started is slightly larger than 1cm. The dowels still fit snugly but you can see the shadow around them. On the back side, the wood kept splintering as the large bit poked through. I tried putting a piece of tape, but that didn't help. I managed one or two times to drill from both sides, but that meant that both sides had that slightly larger radius from the drilling inaccuracies. 
However, the shadow line disappears after sanding because it gets filled with sawdust.


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Kiln Stacking

Oval kiln with rectangular bricks, Castel Viscardo, Italy

Hoffman kiln, near Radzymin, Poland

Stacking a kiln with bricks to allow for ventilation and even firing is quite an art. As well, the places where they are touching during firing often get 'kiss marks', lighter patches of colour, so the stacking influences the final appearance of the brick.

One thing about having a non-rectangular brick, though, is that it is very easy to stack them in a way that allows the passage of air.

I ended up just laying them directly on top of each other, in two layers of three courses. This allows me to fire 105 bricks per kiln
Now, I just have to hope for the best...