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How To Make A Kiln Shelf

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Hi everyone.


I want to make my own kiln shelves.  I know they won't be as good as the bought ones, but I don't mind that.  This is just an experiment to begin with.  I came across this description on another site: "A body of 50% fireclay and 50% crushed 

hardbrick.  angle iron frames for the forms. You place the claybody in the form and beat it with a large wooden mallet. We used one that was about 6 to 8 inches in diameter covered with a canvas sock to keep it from sticking. So, you just 

beat the clay fiercely into the form and then level it off with a big bow wire cutter. Then, lay very wet newspaper over the form and roll it very smooth with an iron pipe. I think the beating down of the clay is what will eliminate the possibility of warping. The body you use will affect this too. 
Let the shelves dry in the form and take them out when you can handle without distortion. You can do a bit more smoothing too, especially the underside. I used to oil the frame a bit to aid in removing the shelf. "



The trouble is, brick dust is impossible to come by here in the UK.  I've found a place in Cornwall but they don't deliver.     I'd need about 50kg, and I'm not prepared to break up bricks by hand.  Did it before, and it took a bloody long time just to get a kilo.


Presumably you just need to add some sort of grog to the fireclay, so could this just be sharp sand.  I can get plenty of that.  Or can anyone suggest some other grogs.



Thanks in advance



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I think fireclay and crushed brick or grog would make an awful kiln shelf. I think you'd have to fire it terribly high in order to get it to fuse well enough to function. There are lots of other recipes out that that are much more sophisticated and will work better. Do some more Googling and you'll find them. That said, there is no such thing as a homemade kiln shelf that is even close to being as sturdy, durable, and cost efficient as a commercially manufactured shelf. If you're not hoping to get anything out of this other than knowledge and experience, then go for it. But it there won't be any financial benefit to it.

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