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Lookiing For A Wholesale Source For Advancer Kiln Shelves

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My firing buddy. Steve, just came back from holiday in the states. He purchased one advancer kiln shelf for $300.00 Canadian from Minnesota clay.

We would like to purchase about 20 more but can't afford this exorbitant cost.

Where do you buy your shelves? Can we go directly to the manufacturer. There is a rumour that these shelves come from India.

I have no idea where to get a cheap price.

Thanks.

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I can't even find, that they list kiln shelves, on their website.  What size of shelf?

 

I use Continental Clay, which I'm told used to be associated with Minnesota Clay (One split off from the other).  Here is a link to their Advancer Shelves:  https://www.continentalclay.com/detail.php?cat_id=413&sub_categoryID=43&PID=895

 

I'd be wary of those shelves from India.  I remember posters here saying they got some Advancer knock-offs from China for cheap.  They didn't last.

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Benzine:  The website says no kiln wash needed for the Advancer. This, at least to me, implies that if a glaze runs the pot will lift off with no adhesion to the shelf. Is my assumption correct?

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You will not find these at true wholesale prices but the distributor who sells the most (and the cheapest)(at one time all advancers went thru them)is Smith-Sharp
They are at www.kilnshelf.com
I dealt with Donna for 2 decades on these. They are a bit cheaper in lots of 10 and thats what I bought each time. They foam pack them and they ship insured and I have bought over 50 with zero breakage in shipping. Most of mone are 12x24 but I have a few other sizes as well.
I think they are around $180-$200 now-when I started with them they where $110-I bought 12 used a few years ago from a Ceramic monthy add for around $100 each-they where shipped from New England to me.
Call kilnshelf and ask for bulk pricing.
good luck
Mark

PS thier are two kinds of nitrogen bonded shelves-the other ones are cheaper and will warp over time-nothing is as good as advanchers.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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Benzine:  The website says no kiln wash needed for the Advancer. This, at least to me, implies that if a glaze runs the pot will lift off with no adhesion to the shelf. Is my assumption correct?

 

I can't say for sure, as I've never used them, but I believe so.

 

Mark C. could say for sure, as he has used them extensively.  

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Guest JBaymore

Advancers are made by Saint Gobain.  http://www.refractories.saint-gobain.com/aNSiC.aspx

 

20 pieces is not a "wholesale order" magnitude....it is normal retail...and a small amount even for some sort of "price break" point.

 

They only sell thru distributors, not direct... unless maybe you wanted 10,000 pieces of the same thing.

 

Yes, they are expensive compared to other shelf possibilities... there is a reason.

 

I use them in woodfire.  I can clean them with a putty knife.  Glaze (in general... this is ceramics... it depends ;) ) pops right off.  They stay FLAT.  I mean laser level flat.  They are VERY light weight... saving backs.  They are very THIN ..... getting more ware in a load.  They are low thermal mass........ saving firing costs.  They last a LONG time.... I've beaten up some in the wood kiln since they just were being produced... which I think was about 20 years ago or more.. and they pretty much look like new.

 

The down sides.......

 

They are FRAGILE .  Don't bang them around. 

 

And they have a unique property of if they get wet....... they explode.  Like fragmentation grenade explode!   I have to store them indoors in the studio, not under the large kiln shed roof outside between firings.... even long term humidity can be an issue.

 

There are other thin silicon carbide products made by other sources..... they are NOT Advancers.  The surface quality of Advancers does not even look all that much like what potters think of as 'silicon carbide'....... looks more like some sort of sheet metal or something.

 

I have about 45-50 18 x 18 shelves.  (Lost a few to explosions before I figured out the moisture issue.) A "King's Ransom" in money...... but pays for itself.  And as I get older...... my back is lovin' loading back chamber and top shelves.

 

best,

 

....................john

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I've bought those Advancers from kilnshelf.com.   for both of my glaze kilns.  I get one extra shelf full of wares in every load.    Yes they are expensive.   They cost almost as much as my L&L Quad Pro kilns.  But I run a kiln 3 times a week.  $80-$90 of wares on each shelf.  $80 x 3 =$240 of additional wares per week.    A set of 14  cost me about $2800.   In 12 weeks they have generated enough to cover cost.  Just say you have a 25% cogs ....  in  16 weeks they are paid for.  Now consider that from then on you putting out that extra $240 every time you run a load.     I get an extra $10k plus ($240 x 40 weeks minimum .. more like 45 weeks) of product each year from using these shelves (since I'm at full production this is significant).  The extra shelf does not take longer to fire.  Thinking about it I suppose I could add 3% for saved electricity back in.

 

Now consider the longevity of the Advancers.  I have a kiln shelf graveyard of those cordite shelves (or whatever they are called).  With Advancers you've taken a consumable expense and turned into a life time fixed asset. (not sure about Canada but in the US you can take a direct write off, single expense, on your taxes for this item).  Consider how long a set of other shelves last ... and calculate payback.

 

I've never used kiln wash on mine and I don't put green ware on them.  Never had a shelf explode.  0% warping.   But I keep them in a dry place and have constant exhaust fans running.   I've had one piece of pottery break in the last 2 years from run off on the bottom and the glaze line was way too far on the item.  I had way more breakage on those cordite shelves .

 

The kiln cools a little quicker with these shelves.    I have 28 half shelves.   I consider them to be one of my best investments and one of the best ideas I have gotten on this forum.

 

I use that little scraper thing to clean them.  I bought 2 at Mark's suggestion and use that for smoothing the bottom of wares as well (I  wish I had 4 of them to keep at all areas of the operation).  About once every 6 months I use a dremel to clean the few left over spots. 

 

http://glazeeraser.publishpath.com/glazeeraser-hand-tool

 

Purchased my last L&L kiln in December and when I was allocating my budget, the Advancers were calculated as a necessary expense.   I won't have a glaze kiln without a set of Advancers.

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Benzine:  The website says no kiln wash needed for the Advancer. This, at least to me, implies that if a glaze runs the pot will lift off with no adhesion to the shelf. Is my assumption correct?

My buddy Steve said that you don't wash these shelves. Mark Cortnoy would know.

Tom.

I guess John Baymore would know.

T.

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Tom
For stoneware no need to wash as the feet will not stick
Glaze does not stick-in fact nothing stickes to them.
I do wash mine lightly as my porcelain will pluck as you say.
I have a friend who uses them in his electric to cone 10.
These shelves pay for them selves in a very short while buy the space you gain is their thiness.
since a 12x24 only wieghs 9 #s the Old back really likes them as well.
I have been speaking thier praiuse for decades and a few pros I know do as well.
They make the most sense for anyone who fires alot.No matter what kind of kiln.
Just do not let them get wet and slow fire them if you do.
Do not store them on a concrete floor (use wood under them)and keep them dry
I have cracked a few that got wet but have yet to have one explode. Mine are all long pasid off with the pots that went into all that saved space.

I may have to change my last name to Cortnoy as it has a certian ring to it .
Mark Cortright

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One last note Tom

there are actually 3 kinds of silicon bonded nitrates-

The ones made in china (I have test 4 of them-the ones with and without the corner cuts) they both warped at cone 10

The cheaper thicker nitrate bonded ones-they are alos a poor choice.

most can be seen here(except the advancers which bailey no longer carries)

http://www.baileypottery.com/kilnfurniture/carbidekilnshelves.htm

http://www.baileypottery.com/kilnfurniture/oxidebondedsiliconcarbidekilnshelves.htm

Bailey no longer carries advacers but you can see the care instructions here

http://www.baileypottery.com/kilnfurniture/advkilnshelves.htm

 

I would buy direct from Kilnshelve(smith-sharp)-tell Donna I set you and ask for quiity pricing and also about the shipping to Canada deal-talk it all out 1st so you know whats the total costs will be(better use my real nane not cortnoy as they do not know that name-Donna may be retired by now??)

Mark Cortright

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Tom

For stoneware no need to wash as the feet will not stick

Glaze does not stick-in fact nothing stickes to them.

I do wash mine lightly as my porcelain will pluck as you say.

I have a friend who uses them in his electric to cone 10.

These shelves pay for them selves in a very short while buy the space you gain i thier thiness.

since a 12x24 only wieghs 9 #s the Old back really likes them as well.

I have been speaking thier praiuse for decades and a few pros I know do as well.

They make the most sense for anyone who fires alot.No matter what kind of kiln.

Just do not let them get wet and slow fire them if you do.

Do not store them on a concrete floor (use wood under them)and keep them dry

I have cracked a few that got wet but have yet to have one explode. Mine are all long pasid off with the pots that went into all that saved space.

 

I may have to change my last name to Cortnoy as it has a certian ring to it .

Mark Cortright

I apologize. Cortright.Sorry about that.

Tom.

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I looked into Advancer shelves about 2yrs ago when I was looking to buy some new shelves for our gas kilns.  I was considering the Advancers because of all the advantages everyone praises them for. Ended up NOT getting the Advancer shelves due to the way we stack our kilns by using full hard brick as opposed to posts and in a 2/4-point vs 3-point support configuration - I didn't know of this being a problem before, but do now.  May help someone else's decision in the future.

 

The reasoning for this is because "Advancer shelves are so thin (5/16â€) and dense (<1% porosity), they have very little capacity to store heat.  This has led to problems with thermal shock due to the amount of heat stored in the corners of the shelves sandwiched between the hard bricks relative to the rest of the shelf.  On cooling it is possible for the rest of the shelf to cool off sufficiently to create a significant enough temperature gradient across the shelf leading to uneven contraction (1%) and breakage.   For this reason we do not recommend using anything larger than a soap for a post.  This minimizes the contact area sufficiently to avoid this problem." - Marshall Brown, SSFBS.

We could still use kiln wash on the Advancers and it was actually recommended to dip the ends of posts/bricks in wash.

 

We can't really change the way we load, due the work produced in studio and the kilns we have, so I ended up just staying with the regular Crystolon RC-4128 Oxide-bonded SiC shelves in a 12"x28"x3/4".  They are made by Saint-Gobain in India and get imported to Minneapolis.  The alternative was the Crystolon CN-192 Oxide-bonded SiC shelves made by Saint-Gobain in Worchester, MA.

 

With all quality kiln shelves, you have to pay to play...and they're only going up in price. Best pricing was from Smith-Sharpe Fire Brick Supply/kilnshelf.com and I was also looking for a few dozen shelves.  Wholesale pricing is in the thousands of units, so definitely no discounts on such a low volume such as mine/yours.  Our regular shelves still ended up well over $100 each + shipping, still not cheap but nowhere near the Advancer pricing. 

 

I will comment that the "other" kiln furniture Advancer produces look legit.  I drool every time I see some of the industrial kilns using Advancer beams, tubes, racks, etc.

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Guest JBaymore

I drool every time I see some of the industrial kilns using Advancer beams, tubes, racks, etc.

 

 

Me too.  I keep saying I am going to "bite" on some of that stuff....... but then I look at the bank account and my age and say ..... "nope".

 

I live less than an hour from Saint Gobain in Worcester.  Used to take students there for tours.  They also USED to sell seconds...... but that ended probably 25 years ago.

 

best,

 

...................john

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Perolater brought up a few points I forgot to mention this time around.

I have to wash the end of my posts as they will stick at cone 11-

I also do stack at least 6-9 soaps as stilts per fire and the ends are washed as well.

Without wash stilct can stick especially with a lot of shhelve weights (tall loads like my 3 stack car kiln) which is over 4 feet tall.

Advancers will thermo shock as I have posted about in all my previous posts on them so quick cooling these will not do. No damper pulling or lid lifting early.

As a long time advancer user (since mid 90's I'm a firm beliver in them. Not one has warped ever.

All mine (over 50) have mostly been thru Smith -Sharp(fire brick supply-also know as kiln shelve.com)

I have bought a dozen used ones for $110 each from an ad in Ceramics monthly as well.

 

I had a friend who used the advancer beams/racks in his kiln and they held up well but they did waste some space as far as vertical adjustments.They where very easy to break with a bump as well. Great for shelves that never get moved but a constant loading situation with different levels they would not be my 1st choice.

I love my advancers and feel just in a few years they where free as a space savings.

I have cracked a few and went thrugh some broken corners with uneven nerds which I cured by using flat nerds.( I call broken shelve pieces nerds and keep them in 3 thickness washed and use them every week in the stacking)

mark

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I've been curious about these shelves even though I'm not likely to own any. Are Advancers not used for bisque fire or once-fire because of the moisture in unfired clay or would a slow preheat suffice? How do you guys who use them in your glaze kilns do your bisques?

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Guest JBaymore

No problem with them in bisques.  Bisque cycles are slow up.  In fact I use them for the bisques (gas kiln) that lead up to the firings in the noborigama to make sure they are dry for that firing.  The potential issues are long term between firing storage in really high humidity situations (outside) or in physically getting wet (stacked on wet ground, rain blowing onto them, flooding, etc.).

 

best,

 

...................john

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No problem with them in bisques.  Bisque cycles are slow up.  In fact I use them for the bisques (gas kiln) that lead up to the firings in the noborigama to make sure they are dry for that firing.  The potential issues are long term between firing storage in really high humidity situations (outside) or in physically getting wet (stacked on wet ground, rain blowing onto them, flooding, etc.).

 

best,

 

...................john

 

Didn't realize you could bisque on them.    Most of you have forgotten more about clay and making than I will ever know.

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