Oast Cowl Construction

Oast House Cowl Construction & Repairs by Dude & Arnette

What is an Oast Cowl?

A cowl is basically a device that’s used on a kiln to help keep the weather out of the kiln. Also, it aids induce flow of the air through the kiln. Normally, cowls are associated with Oasts. However, they may be found in breweries such as Letheringsett which is located in Norfolk, watermills such as East Linton, maltings such as Hadlow in Kent.

Construction of Oast House Cowls

A cowl will appear to be sitting on the kiln’s roof from the outside. There’s a beam located high in the roof that spans the centre. It’s commonly referred to as the sprattle beam.

Bottom of the centre post: The sprattle beam has a bearing in which the pintle at the centre post’s bottom sits.
Top of the kiln: The centre post navigates through a 2- or 3-armed top-stay iron.

Top of the centre post: This is where the back board is constructed. At the bottom, an elm curb ring is carried by the back board. Also carried is one or two curb rings constructed higher up on all, except the smallest of the cowls. We could also have a tie beam carried either at just the bottom curb level, or at each curb level, to span the cowl’s width.

Top of the backboard: A shaped top plate is carried at the backboard’s top. It’s to this top plate that the weatherboards are affixed.

The whole is usually covered in tapered weatherboards, narrowest at the top and widest at the bottom. The distinctive finger, that sometimes carries a motif, is attached to the backboard and slotted through the centre post. The distinctive finger assists in turning the cowl in light winds. Weatherboards may be attached to the cowl using copper-made nails.

Cowls are usually painted white, although some are cream. The cowl is constructed such that it covers the whole opening when looking down vertically on the kiln. Also, it covers 2/3-3/4 of the kiln opening’s circumference. The remaining section is left open to allow air to easily vent from the kiln.

Size of Cowls: The size of cowls is usually expressed as the height from the top plate to base by the width of the covered kiln opening. They vary in size from 7-inch x 5-inch to 24-inch x 15-inch.

How are Oast House Cowls Removed?

The building, as well as maintenance, of cowls is generally the job of wheelwrights. In order to remove a cowl, a cowl pole is bolted to a main beam of the kiln. The top will then protrude right from the kiln’s top. A rope is passed over the pulley, at the top of that cowl pole, and then tied around the cowl.

Afterwards, the finger is removed before undoing the coach bolt which secures the centre post to the kiln’s backboard. The cowl is then lifted off the tenon and lowered down the kiln. In case there are tie beams, ropes are tied to each end of them. The cowl is lowered inverted. Alternatively, a ladder may be placed against the kiln roof.

The cowl is finally carried down, most of the weight being taken by those working on the rope in the kiln. It’s crucial to ensure not to damage the kiln roof. Modern methods usually involve making use of mobile cranes.

Who Are Dude & Arnette

We are a leading firm in all aspects of constructing, restoring, and repairing Oast cowls. We have numerous years of experience, backed by our remarkable reputation. We paint, clean, and maintain all kinds of Oast cowls, including both fibreglass and timber structures. In addition, we can repair timber Oast cowls which have been coated with fibreglass finish.

We Offer Oast Cowl Construction and Installation Services

Besides carrying out maintenance services and Oast house kiln repairs, we can completely rebuild all kinds of Oast cowls right from scratch. With our original tooling and time-proven techniques, we make use of top quality, pre-treated timbers in creating Oast cowls which are incredibly strong and weather-resistant. Oast cowls constructed and serviced by us last for many years without requiring any more repairing, which would otherwise prove much costly.

In the case where your cowl has been severely damaged, it’d be more cost-effective to build a cowl from scratch instead of carrying out all the needed repairs. New cowls usually take 2-3 weeks to construct, and 1-2 weeks to paint. We’ll always advise you in advance and assist in discussing the best options.

We Offer Oast Cowl Repairs and Refurbishments

Repairing Oast house cowls demands great skill and accurate precision. We place great stock in important values such as integrity, trust, and honesty. We’d never risk to compromise the quality of our reputation, or that of our work. We’re a very modern firm as we’re always seeking effective methods to increase quality and conveniently minimise cost for our customers.

It doesn’t matter if your Oast cowl is made from fibreglass or timber. We’re able to repair and restore your Oast cowl to its former glory. We’re conveniently and fully qualified to operate mobile access platforms.

We’re able to quickly assess the extent of your kiln’s damage, as well as the amount of work needed to be done. Also, you could opt to have the cowl temporarily removed from the kiln roof whenever possible.

How Long Do Cowl Repair Projects Take?

Refurbishment of a cowl will usually take around a month. This is because it’s necessary to allow for the painting work and drying process. If you’ve a single cowl, we may fit your repair into our firm’s working schedule without much lead time. In case you’ve 3 or more cowls, we may need some time to book in advance. However, if you need the work done urgently, we’ll do our very best to attend to you promptly.

Why Choose Dude & Arnette for Your Oast Cowl Needs?

We are committed and always strive to provide excellent services to all clients, and at all times. We offer reliable cowl cleaning services, maintenance services, and completion of restorations and replacements.

We’ve a dedicated team of highly skilled craftsmen who ensure that all work is completed to top notch standards. We don’t use subcontractors, carrying out each job with the needed care and professionalism.

We understand the necessity and importance of providing honest and reliable services which represent the real value for your money. Our aim is to avail outstanding, satisfactory services to all clients, taking great pride in all new work done and repeat business that has been acquired from word of mouth. We’ve portrayed great responsibility to all our clients, and will definitely keep you on our records for the future.


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