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a better way of fixing broken kiln brick


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#1 docweathers

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

I finally gave up on my Olympic gas kiln when I found a good used Skutt 1227 with computer controller on craigslist. Though it was in good shape, one of the top bricks had a crack in it about 4 inches long and about an inch in from the inside edge. It looked as if someone had thoughtlessly press their hand down on this weak thin edge. The prior owner had tried unsuccessfully to fix it by squirting some kiln cement in there and clamping it. Given that just kiln cement had proven an unsuccessful strategy, I tried another strategy which apparently is working quite well.

Given the theory that kiln cement sticks very well but has very little tensile strength I set about the following:

I carved a channel a half inch wide extending about a quarter inch on either side of the crack and about a 16th of an inch deep for the length of the crack. Like my predecessor, I squirted thin kiln cement down into the crack and worked it in as far as I could. Then I took a small amount of high temperature ceramic blanket soaked in kiln cement and filled my half-inch wide channel and smoothed it so that it was even with the other bricks. I have done one 06 bisque firing and the patch appears to be stronger than the original brick, though I have not done any destruction testing
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The ceramic blanket soaked in kiln cement is very easy to work. If necessary, I think you could easily handbuild a missing chunk of kiln brick.

Larry

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#2 perkolator

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:10 PM

seems like it would work just fine. on the other hand the replacement brick is only like $10 for the "proper" repair....

i'll keep this in mind though as i've got 3, 1227s that have many chunks broken off from undergrads leaning on the top edge. kilns still fire great though!

#3 eoteceramics

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:35 AM

I finally gave up on my Olympic gas kiln when I found a good used Skutt 1227 with computer controller on craigslist. Though it was in good shape, one of the top bricks had a crack in it about 4 inches long and about an inch in from the inside edge. It looked as if someone had thoughtlessly press their hand down on this weak thin edge. The prior owner had tried unsuccessfully to fix it by squirting some kiln cement in there and clamping it. Given that just kiln cement had proven an unsuccessful strategy, I tried another strategy which apparently is working quite well.

Given the theory that kiln cement sticks very well but has very little tensile strength I set about the following:

I carved a channel a half inch wide extending about a quarter inch on either side of the crack and about a 16th of an inch deep for the length of the crack. Like my predecessor, I squirted thin kiln cement down into the crack and worked it in as far as I could. Then I took a small amount of high temperature ceramic blanket soaked in kiln cement and filled my half-inch wide channel and smoothed it so that it was even with the other bricks. I have done one 06 bisque firing and the patch appears to be stronger than the original brick, though I have not done any destruction testing
Posted Image

The ceramic blanket soaked in kiln cement is very easy to work. If necessary, I think you could easily handbuild a missing chunk of kiln brick.

Larry



#4 eoteceramics

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:37 AM

Hi Larry, interesting must try this since I have a brick ready to fall in.

I have tried shoving ceramic blanket into the cracks before but found that after about two firings it became hardened and brittle and was falling out again, so hopefully your suggestion will work, thanks,

Julia

#5 docweathers

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

I suspect that it is important to carve away some broken brick to get a large bonding area for the kiln cement soaked ceramic mat to adhere to.

As to perkolator's comment about a "proper" repair, I would astound myself if I ever did anything the "proper" way. I think I am akin to Rube Goldberg.

Larry

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