All too often we tend to look at manufactured products today, and just assume that they were made using some type of complex machinery or, processes that are out of our reach. The truth is however, that quite often this just isn't so, and clay roof tiles are a fine example.
No Gas Fired Kiln Required
Would you believe that you can make your own ceramic products just the same way that they have been made for centuries, and in fact you don't even need a gas fired kiln. It's the same way that bricks, and tiles are still being made to this day in wood stoked ovens in Mexico.
You Need to Locate a Cheap Source of Clay
The first thing you're going to need, is a voluminous supply of good quality clay, and if you're willing to look around in the area where you live, you'll most likely locate a natural source somewhere. Just dig it up, load it in garbage bags, and lug it home in the back of a truck.
It Has to Be Worked Well Prior to Being Formed
The clay has to be worked well prior to being formed, and this is traditionally done with the feet in some type of large container or, containment area. To make the tiles it's then rolled out on a table, using ¾ inch sticks on each side as guides to regulate the thickness.
After the sheet is rolled out, the next step is to use a plywood template to scribe out, and cut out the overall shape of the clay roof tiles you plan on making. If they are to be flat then stack them to dry flat. If they are to be curved then place them over a curved drying surface.
Use a Template to Cut Out the Clay Roof Tiles
After they have dried for several days the next step is to arrange them min piles in such a way that they are safe from breakage. After that dried firewood is arranged around the piles of tiles, being careful not to damage the unfired ceramic pieces.
Build a Brick Oven Around Your Product
Then the way they do it in Mexico, is they then build a kiln out of brick around, and above the tiles. So where do they get the brick? The answer is simple. They form them with molds out of the very same clay they make the tiles from. They then ignite the wood, and allow the clay roof tiles to fire.