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DanGibbons

Cleaning kiln shelves

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Unfortunately had an incident that led to a lot of glaze on my shelves. Looking to get it off but don’t feel like spending the money on diamond tools with a dremel. Could I not use a bench grinder to get it off? Does anyone have any low cost advise for this?

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Dan-what type of kiln shelves are these? are they yellow color or silicon carbide-dark color or the something else (a photo will help) also what thickness are they?

The bench grinder will work but its easier and leaves a flatter surface with a 4 inch masonry disc on a small hand grinder.

I have a few posts on this subject if you use the search function at the top right of Main page

Here are the types

 

Edited by Mark C.

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Did the shelves have kiln wash?

If so, the glaze should come off, relatively easy.

If not, they I imagine the glaze soaked in a bit. 

Try the aforementioned solutions, like the angle grinder. 

Ceramic suppliers, also sell a kiln shelf "scrapper" that is good for minor drips.  You can also get the same tool, at many home improvement stores, where it is sold with masonry tools.

In the future, get a good coat of wash on the shelves.  There are several recipes, that people have posted on these forums.  You can buy a premade one, but they aren't quite as good.

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Angle Grinder for sure; a 4" will work, but a 6" or 9" is what you want. Agree that a cheap harbor freight tool is what you want. Make sure you get a disc that is made for grinding ceramic/masonry. Most hardware stores will have numerous blades in the same shapes/sizes, but formulated for grinding different materials. If you pick up a disc for grinding metal it will take you much longer to grind the shelf. You can splurge for a diamond grinding disc, either continuous diamond, or a cup wheel, but they will cost twice what the cheap grinder will cost.

  Place your shelf outside on a well supported surface with plenty of ventilation. I like to put an old towel or some other "vibration" absorbing material under the shelf so it wont "walk" away on me, and minimize any chances of cracking your shelf.

If the glaze penetrated the shelf deeply (more than 1/8") its your choice whether or not to grind down deep to remove the run. If you grind through half the shelf's thickness to completely remove the glaze, then wonderful, but now you have a big divot. If you dont remove it, every time you fire it will remelt and penetrate further into the shelf, and eventually will lead to the shelf's demise. I like to grind to the surface and then coat with heavy layers of wash.

Wear a dust mask too....ground up refractories are nasty. Goggles and gloves too; hot chunks of ground glaze are sharp and hot. Lastly, some ear protection too....You'll look snazzy!

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On 12/14/2018 at 4:18 PM, Chilly said:

You might find you spend more money and time on trying to clean that shelf than a new one would cost.

Agreed; 12x24x1" cordierites at my local supplier are less than $30 a shelf. Cheap mexican junk, but when I was using them, Id get about a year before they were too warped to use anymore.

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15 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Looks like Dan (OP) never came back.Last visit was on the day he posted the 12th. We get a lot of this it seems.

Yeah, that's too be expected with forums like this.  We have a convenient supply of experts, who are happy to give great advice.

At least it was a reasonable question, as opposed to those who basically come here for free R&D.

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