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Best way to grind away glaze drips from kiln shelves?

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I have quite a collection of kiln shelves that have glaze drips and cone melts that mar them. I want to grind as much off as possible. What's the best tool for this? And yes, I'll wear safety goggles while I do it, and a mask, too!

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I have a one inch chisel with a rubber knuckle protector..which I high recommend. First I chisel those drips that tend to pop off with a chisel and hammer or mallet. Then I use a 4 1/2 " angle iron. Use your dusk. For small spots I use a dremel ot a drill which a small grinding tip.

 

Marcia

 

 

 

 

 

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regular kiln washing is probably your best solution. for stuff that sticks, i usually use a cold chisel and lightweight hammer as well as a rub-brick for most glaze drips. make sure to place a pad/foam under the shelf when you start chipping away or you can break the shelf. for the stuff that just doesn't wanna come off, I use a pneumatic angle grinder with a masonry cup-head. electric angle grinder will also work as will numerous different grinder heads/discs made for masonry or metal work. as always, be smart and use safety gear. oh yeah, and pants that overlap your shoes! soo many times have i had glaze fly up and land in the lip my shoe next to my ankle -- can make for a painful removal of the shoe!

 

sometimes, depending on the glaze and the condition/type of shelf it's stuck to, i'll just remove most of the material, then wash over it. the wash usually cancels out the flux in the glaze and i haven't noticed any negative effects. this truly depends on the type of glaze/cone temp it originally was though and the type of shelf. i'll only do this to clay/electric kiln shelves though since they don't last so long in our studio and are cheaper to replace than spend hours grinding. i've seen low-fire glaze make its way all the way through a clay shelf when fired to higher temps. it takes repeated firings, but it definitely can happen - and is pretty awesome IMO.

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Thanks for these tips.

I do regularly wash my shelves - and in fact have brushed kiln wash over the bumps of glaze as well...but I want smooth shelves. I never quite believe the wash will stop things from sticking or the glaze stuck to the shelves from melting into a new piece sitting on top of it.

Agree it's cheaper to replace (my shelves are about $20 each), but I'd like to save them. Seems wrong to get new ones every time I have an accident (frequent - since I'm a newbie and am always experimenting). So I'd like to learn how to save the shelves.

I don't have a grinder, but have experimented a little with sanding discs attached to my drill but haven't found the right one yet. If anyone has a perfect type of sanding disc for this job, please share! (I've started another thread asking for the same info for how to sand down the bottoms of pieces that have serious glaze drip...all part of the same sad story in my studio!)

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Thanks for these tips.

I do regularly wash my shelves - and in fact have brushed kiln wash over the bumps of glaze as well...but I want smooth shelves. I never quite believe the wash will stop things from sticking or the glaze stuck to the shelves from melting into a new piece sitting on top of it.

Agree it's cheaper to replace (my shelves are about $20 each), but I'd like to save them. Seems wrong to get new ones every time I have an accident (frequent - since I'm a newbie and am always experimenting). So I'd like to learn how to save the shelves.

I don't have a grinder, but have experimented a little with sanding discs attached to my drill but haven't found the right one yet. If anyone has a perfect type of sanding disc for this job, please share! (I've started another thread asking for the same info for how to sand down the bottoms of pieces that have serious glaze drip...all part of the same sad story in my studio!)

 

 

I always would start with a chisel to remove the harsher parts of the drip/run. However, I would finish up with a hand grinding tool found in pottery supply stores. This would assure me that all of the nitty pieces were removed and the surface ready for new kiln wash. I always grind/chisel with a mask safety goggles. Many years back-eye dr. removed a piece of grit from my eye that we determined was glaze. Never, do I do any work without safety glasses now. Goes without saying-wear your gloves too.

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Having just recently had same disaster, I remembered an earlier posting about this. Go to www.toolcity.com and check out their diamond grinding disks and other diamond products. Boy! Do they make it easy. You can get a 4 inch diamond grinding disk for $30. and it takes the glaze down quickly. You have to be careful not to dig into the shelves, but this was a lot easier on me than masonry grinding disks.

 

Can't remember who did the original posting, but you have my sincere thanks!

 

Shirley

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