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Stephen

shelf on wall next to kiln

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Ok the kiln is 20 inches from the wall. I am tired of a pile of kiln post piled on floor and having to sort through for size. My solution is to put 3  2' shelves on the wall next to the kiln. This would  make the edges of the lowest wood shelf just over 12" from the top lid of kiln at a slight downward angle. The kiln is vented and it does not seem to be getting that hot in that space on firing.

Seems OK to me from reading around but wanted to consult the brain trust.  The reason I don't want that lowest one higher is I want the bottom two to be easily reachable by my 5'2" partner for most common post.

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Stephen, I would still be concerned about a possible over firing the area, that may start a fire. Remembering especially that wood constantly exposed to hot temps becomes drier and more prone to flame. 

My personal suggestion would be to make the frame of bolt together angle metal and concrete board. Neither would burn, and if designed correctly would have no problem lasting forever.

 

best,

Pres

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4 minutes ago, Pres said:

Stephen, I would still be concerned about a possible over firing the area, that may start a fire. Remembering especially that wood constantly exposed to hot temps becomes drier and more prone to flame. 

My personal suggestion would be to make the frame of bolt together angle metal and concrete board. Neither would burn, and if designed correctly would have no problem lasting forever.

 

best,

Pres

What about if I raised that lower shelf up to be 18" from lid, essentially drop the lower shelf shown?

Edited by Stephen

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Might help, but then again, I have had an overfire in the studio where the ambient temperature near the kiln . . . within 4 feet was 500F. Only happened once, but all I would have needed. 

However, you may find yourself within limits when you look at the following chart.

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-ignition-temperatures-d_171.html

So yes, you should be alright. My biggest concern is the effect on the wood over time.

 

best,

Pres

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Definitely do not use wood shelves there. Metal brackets with cement board shelves would work great, or get one of those bolt-together all metal floor units. Ideally, your kiln should be at least 16 inches from the wall. Because those shelves are above the kiln, and heat rises, they should be even further away, like at least a couple feet. Like Pres said, the wood will dry out over time, lowering its flash point.

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Thanks guys! 

I guess I knew it was a bad idea and was trying to convince myself it was fine.

That extruder 2x4 pressure treated 2x4 board is 23" away from kiln and kilns are 19" at closest point. 

Pres you brought up the over-fire temp and that really grabbed me because we have had several post lately of folks that over-fired by accident. The post and answers all seemed geared toward the pottery being ruined and kiln being damaged. I hope some folks see your answer on this post because that is a great point to make so everyone understands it is never OK without lots of fore thought to leave a kiln just firing until you think it will end.  It sounds like even following best min practices like Neil mentions above, you are not remotely safe if the kiln just continues getting hotter and hotter for hours on end. 

When I installed the three kilns I made sure they  were at least 18" from anything combustible,  plastic 24" but not 4-5 feet? Not even possible with the space we have and 3 kilns. The electrical receptacles would still be exposed if I blanket the area with cement board (which this post may cause me to consider :-) 

We never ever trust it to turn off to the point of getting up a 3-4 in the morning if we for some reason have to fire when the complete time would be then. Me I don't trust timers or anything else over just physically seeing the kiln power down. We just don't fire if we can't do this no pottery need trumps this.

 

Edited by Stephen

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I have had a electric kiln keep firing once-no timer on it ,it had a stuck sitter rod. Back then it was on my back porch.The setback was enough from the wall not to be a problem. It can happen .

The wire rack is the best fix. Stilts on the ground is no way to store and work with them.

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54 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

I have had a electric kiln keep firing once-no timer on it ,it had a stuck sitter rod. Back then it was on my back porch.The setback was enough from the wall not to be a problem. It can happen .

The wire rack is the best fix. Stilts on the ground is no way to store and work with them.

That is so true, had a shelf in last studio and it took about 6 months of this mess to finally deal with it. Should have dealt with it when I installed the kilns :-)

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I think code in our area is a minimum 18" from any combustible material for a kiln. I agree that with heat rising, your gonna want more clearance above, than say to a floor beneath.

Metal shelves is the answer here; Either a full shelving unit from the floor up, or fashion some brackets to hold the shelves. I buy a lot of the chrome/stainless wire "metro" style shelving units off C-list quite regularly. They come in all kinds of depths from 12"-36", and widths from 24"-60". As far as your shelf brackets, dont get the cheap, flimsy brackets that cost less than $2 from the hardware store; your're gonna be putting a lot of weight (if you have kiln posts like I do) on these shelves. Amazon carries some very economical, but very solid brackets made for free floating counters. Hardware stores will have them too, but at a cost of $15 or more.

If you have any welding experience, some 1" x 3/16" flat stock can be turned into some brackets in the matter of minutes, for pennies compared to manufactured ones. You'll have to figure out a way to affix the  metal shelving unit to the brackets though. Lots of easy options for that though.

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When I sheet rocked my kiln room I left it off of the opposite wall from my kilns and put shelves between the studs and a thin piece of wood to keep the stilts from tipping out.   We also cover the walls around the kiln with concrete board.   Denice

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On 1/30/2019 at 11:21 AM, Bill Kielb said:

I always try and follow the simple effective rule don’t use combustible stuff in a non ncombustible area. It has served me well for many years especially building various buildings. Wire shelves definitely  accumulate less dust, so there is that.

Yeah going with wire.

Ya know I certainly agree with you but I am trying to define the combustible area. The two companies that I bought the kilns from both list 12-18 inches and I have nothing under 18" so I follow all the kiln company set back requirements and if I dropped that bottom shelve the other two would be arguably out of the combustible area, according to them.

I can also see how some feel that its best to add some additional buffer due to heat rising, wood drying out etc BUT the klln manufacturers don't mention that so I'm not sure its just folks being extra cautious.

AND there is absolutely nothing wrong with being extra cautious!    

 

Thanks again everyone! I was trying to talk myself into a not so smart move.

Edited by Stephen

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I find that minimum guidelines are just that. You should do what you are comfortable with based on experience, recommendations and the amount of risk you can tolerate.

Personally I have restored buildings damaged by fire so I tend to be very cautious not to add any fuel to an area that has any elevated risk of fire after seeing the near irreversible damage a fire often does to a business or residence.

just my experience, though, best of luck - stay safe

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4 hours ago, Stephen said:

Yeah going with wire.

Ya know I certainly agree with you but I am trying to define the combustible area. The two companies that I bought the kilns from both list 12-18 inches and I have nothing under 18" so I follow all the kiln company set back requirements and if I dropped that bottom shelve the other two would be arguably out of the combustible area, according to them.

I can also see how some feel that its best to add some additional buffer due to heat rising, wood drying out etc BUT the klln manufacturers don't mention that so I'm not sure its just folks being extra cautious.

AND there is absolutely nothing wrong with being extra cautious!    

 

Thanks again everyone! I was trying to talk myself into a not so smart move.

I think you're right to intuit that overhead heat "clearances" might be different from the sides and floor, due to heat rising. Do you have a little wall thermometer to put, during a firing, where you want the shelf?

Possible that overhead clearances were never calculated by the kiln company because they assumed that nobody in their right mind would want to put anything above it? ;) 

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