Tophat Kiln Hoist
First, here is how the bricks are grooved. I use a drill press rather than a router because it generates much less dust.
The groove only needs to be slightly deeper than the thickness of the metal lift band.
Below are the hoist details.
A 1" shaft is used in conjunction with pillow blocks to synchronize the counter weight with the two kiln hoist cables.
The pulley directly over the lift ring is positioned so that it pulls straight up. This is easily accomplished with the aid of a plumb bob.
Here are two views of the lift ring. This earlier version used only lift tabs. Later versions use a full perimeter lift ring because after a while, the bricks break from the lifting forces caused by the small tabs.
Notice the "U" straps act to guide the kiln along the pipe but still allow easy movement.
The final view shows the counter weight which is made from concrete blocks I cast in a home made mold. I weighed every part of the upper kiln half, added the weights and mixed up the same weight of concrete. Notice that there is a piece of rebar with a flatbar tab with a screw hole bedded into the wet concrete to allow the counterweight to be fastened to the kiln counterweight hoist component.