L&L Special Furnace Co. Inc. delivered a high-uniformity box furnace to Soil Lab, a community-based workshop based in Chicago, as part of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. The front-loading, refractory-lined furnace has an effective work zone measuring 34 inches wide x 34 inches high x 32 inches deep. There is a horizontal double pivot door with a safety power cutoff switch. A ceramic hearth and standoffs are provided as a workspace for various ceramics and ceramic-based products. The furnace was delivered with a fast-track shipment of four weeks to be able to be part of the biennial workshop program, where local community groups will experiment and gain knowledge of ceramic production and various processes.
The furnace has a series of inlets on the side and an outlet on the top. These can be capped off when not in use to preserve heat, and they can provide a “candling” effect where various ceramic byproducts can be removed from the furnace. Some of these byproducts can be corrosive and need to be removed from the system.