I want to thank everyone who responded to my call for help about the raku kiln, especially L. P. Skeen. We fired it last night and it worked perfectly. We fired about 30 pieces and only broke 5 and the breakage was our fault not the firing process, meaning we weren't too good at getting the pieces out of the kiln and into the garbage cans for reduction. Some of the glazes did some strange and some wonderful things but I think that is the nature of raku. My friend and I looked on this firing as a learning process and were just thrilled with the results.
My husband is going to take digital pictures of the kiln and some of our work and I will get back to those of you who wanted to know about the construction.
Note to L. P. Skeen, yes, he did take health precautions when building the kiln. Thank you for the diagram, it was extremely helpful.