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Ray Bright

Lid Prop?

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I'm firing a new (used) Skutt kiln. My load is glazed greenware. I have no idea as to the best procedure to prop open this kiln. Are there some guidelines? Have yet to see anyone posting who fires green.

 

I'm glazing with Amaco Velvets. The items are simple 4" round discs. Green because I'm giving them away, they are a joke of sorts, and I don't have the resources in time and money to bisk first. Am I crazy? My research leads me to think not, which is of course exactly what I like to hear.

 

Deluded?

 

Ray

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If the kiln is vented, no need to prop open the lid.

 

If the kiln is not vented, prop it until 800 to 1000 degrees F -- time to allow steam to evaporate (around 250 degrees F) and organics/nasty clay gases/carbon monoxide to burn out (800 to 1000 degrees). After that, drop the lid and let it go. Don't need to prop it open much . . . maybe a half inch or so. Be sure windows or garage door is open to allow air circulation.

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if you don't have any spare fire bricks around, just use a kiln post or stilt.

Keep open until there is no steam coming out. You can check that with a mirror or a glass jar by holding it where the prop is and seeing if any fog appears on the mirror.

Marcia

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in our studio, 95% of our stuff is once-fired work (mostly is low-fire to mid-range, and almost always sculpture). the only time we really have to prop the lids is when the work is wet (like leather-hard), or a very thick piece that's putting off lots of steam during the purge/pre-heat. when we do prop, it's just with a piece of soft-brick. some kilns have a prop-arm with notches for varying heights for doing this, can't remember which brand it is off top of my head though.

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if you don't have any spare fire bricks around, just use a kiln post or stilt.

 

 

 

Using kiln posts to prop is the number one reason I always have to replace bricks on the top row of my customers kilns. The hard posts slowly chip away at the soft brick. Be very gentle if you use this method.

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"Using kiln posts to prop is the number one reason I always have to replace bricks on the top row of my customers kilns. The hard posts slowly chip away at the soft brick. Be very gentle if you use this method."

 

If I use a kiln post, I lay it on its side, not on ends. That way the sharp edges of the post do not dig into the soft kiln brick. A wedge of soft brick, however, is preferable although it can deposit some brick dust.

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