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kathi

Cracking Up!

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I just bought a new (used) large Cress Kiln. When I got it to the studio, I noticed that what looked like some surface cracks in the lid, appear to run all the way through the thickness of the lid. After just laying out money for the kiln, I cannot purchase a new lid at this point.

Does anyone have any brilliant ideas about keeping this lid from cracking up?

Thanks, Kathi

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congrats on your first kiln.  i have yet to see a used kiln lid that is not cracked somewhere. the stress on a is extreme when lifted so cracks are inevitable.   if it is the size of a single thread, forget it and just be careful by supporting it fully whenever you use it.  if it is bigger or drops pieces as you open or close it, put a solid shelf above any glaze work you fire so nothing lands on your work.  you lose an inch or so in glaze firing. it is not likely to drop chunks of brick onto your work.  bisque firing doesn't matter. 

 

or the lid can be repaired by using kiln cement.  call and ask a Cress tech if they are available.

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I finally replaced the lids and some bottoms of my kilns, my large Skutt had big chunks falling from it before I fixed it.  I bought used lids from the local ceramic shop here and they probably had at least one crack in them.  The owner of the shop said I shouldn't invest in new lids because my kilns are so old but the used ones should last quite a while.   Denice

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Thank you for your thoughts on this, Oldlady and Denice.

Btw, this is not my first kiln, but it is my first BIG kiln. The cracks go pretty much all of the way across the lid and intersect in the center. I have kiln cement and I will try that.

Does anyone know if there is a way to attach or add anything to the lid to contribute to its structural integrity?  I am worried because the cracks are the entire width of the lid. Even though I am not using chunks, I have this morbid fantasy of the lid just caving in......yikes....

Kathi 

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Kiln lids are basically held together by the pressure  from the steel band around the lid as well as the cement brick to brick. Heat in the kiln while firing causes the bricks to expand slightly an contract on cooling. All kilns, whether gas or electric will have bricks cracks.

My Olympic oval 16 cu ft kiln is 17 yrs old and has had a cracked lid for as many years as does the floor and some bricks on the sides, it still works fine.

The band going around the side of the lid is strong enough to keep all the bricks in place.

Hope this helps

Wyndham

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