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Ginny C

Ruined Kiln Shelves - Any Uses For Them?

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I gave up and ordered new kiln shelves and now need to do something with the 2 ruined ones. They have glaze embedded in them in several places, but parts of them are okay. If I want to use pieces of them as supports for pots in future glaze firings, how do I break them in pieces?  

If I decide to just throw them out, should they just go in the trash?? 

My husband doesn't want them for stepping stones...any other uses?

 

Ginny

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You can take a cold chisel and wear safety goggles to break them up for kiln props. You will have a lot of them though. You could use them to put on pots that you think will run. Some potters use kiln shelves as a bag wall in a gas kiln.

TJR.

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Yeah, I use the busted bits of kiln shelves I have for a number of things. :) My stupid, evil, devil cat decided to break my single-layer kiln shelves--BOTH of them in one go--and after I got over the sudden urge to make cat stew, I decided to make the best out of a poop situation. The shelves I had essentially looked like big stop signs, and one of them broke pretty cleanly in half. So, I got a couple new wonky kiln shelves I could use in a pinch. I also use the busted bits for when I'm testing glazes out, so the broken bits get ruined if the glaze sucks--saves my good shelves! :) There was this one triangle-shaped piece that broke off, and I use it as a little "table" to cut my handles with. Pulling handles kills my back, so I handbuild 'em. ^_^

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if the glaze spots are not too bad, try covering them with silica sand and use the rest of the shelf in a firing.  after the first glaze firing, the silica sand should sink into the glaze and you can then cover it again with a small amount that will not sink into the melt.  kiln wash over all of it and use as normal.

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if you really want to break them, put a dowel on a concrete or other hard surfaced floor and place the shelf on the dowel.  step on the shelf with both feet and it will break in the middle where the dowel is placed.  works just like a tile cutter would, but bigger.  once that is done you can break off smaller pieces the same way.  

 

gets hard when you have Shaq sized feet and a tiny piece of shelf.

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There was this powdery stuff my instructor used to act as a resist for stuck-on glaze to shield the ware from it. Those carbon shelves are 'spennnnnsive, so we did what we could to extend their lifespans. Something alumina? I can't remember the name off the bat. It was white, haha!

#guineabrain

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I have tried putting a thick layer of kiln wash over glaze spots that I cant' get off the shelves, but the glaze bleeds through in the next glaze firing.  Will silica sand to a better job of fusing into the spots?

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tile saw will cut a line. Then break with rubber mallet over a dowel. I have used broken shelves for years in stacking, making small shelves where needed. You can even drill holes in them and use old setter rods for beads and such. I also use them in circular stacking of 1/2 shelves when doing plates as they are needed to even levels up. So don't throw them out, make them useful.

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if the glaze spots are not too bad, try covering them with silica sand and use the rest of the shelf in firing.  after the first glaze firing, the silica sand should sink into the glaze and you can then cover it again with a small amount that will not sink into the melt.  kiln wash over all of it and use as normal.

Is silica sand different from regular Lake Michigan beach sand? I have some of that...  If it's different, please tell me what to look for as a place like Lowe's...are there different sizes or qualities?  

Also, do you mean to do the process of putting the sand on the glaze spots for two separate firings and then putting kiln wash over it, or do you mean firing it just once, followed by a second dose of silica sand with kiln wash immediately over that?

 

And how does this compare with using alumina hydrate, as the Guinea potter suggested? 

 

I plan to clean off loose kiln wash on one shelf and use it bottom, unused side up in the bottom of the kiln. It was actually 3 shelves damaged, but I bought two new ones.  I will be more careful in the future!  

Thanks for everyone's help!

Ginny

 

Adding this question:  Two of the ruined shelves are clean on the other side. I'd like to use one upside down in the bottom of the kiln, of course on 1 inch stilts.  I cannot get the glaze spots off and don't want to spend the time and money to get a good tool to do it!  Will the glaze spots drip down onto the floor of the kiln if I put that side down??  Here are photos of the spots, if I am able to add photos to this, post. If not, I'll add them in a new post. post-1066-0-27875500-1422654517_thumb.jpgpost-1066-0-99338200-1422654530_thumb.jpg

 

post-1066-0-27875500-1422654517_thumb.jpg

post-1066-0-99338200-1422654530_thumb.jpg

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I'm tellin' ya...a layer of that alumina hydrate will keep the glaze off. :) Handy stuff to have around!

 

Those are the same kinda shelves my dang cat broke. Two of them at once--little fart!

 

You gotta be careful to keep that AH off your ware, though. Bad things will happen!

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if the glaze spots are not too bad, try covering them with silica sand and use the rest of the shelf in firing.  after the first glaze firing, the silica sand should sink into the glaze and you can then cover it again with a small amount that will not sink into the melt.  kiln wash over all of it and use as normal.

Is silica sand different from regular Lake Michigan beach sand? I have some of that...  If it's different, please tell me what to look for as a place like Lowe's...are there different sizes or qualities?  

Also, do you mean to do the process of putting the sand on the glaze spots for two separate firings and then putting kiln wash over it, or do you mean firing it just once, followed by a second dose of silica sand with kiln wash immediately over that?

 

And how does this compare with using alumina hydrate, as the Guinea potter suggested? 

 

I plan to clean off loose kiln wash on one shelf and use it bottom, unused side up in the bottom of the kiln. It was actually 3 shelves damaged, but I bought two new ones.  I will be more careful in the future!  

Thanks for everyone's help!

Ginny

 

Adding this question:  Two of the ruined shelves are clean on the other side. I'd like to use one upside down in the bottom of the kiln, of course on 1 inch stilts.  I cannot get the glaze spots off and don't want to spend the time and money to get a good tool to do it!  Will the glaze spots drip down onto the floor of the kiln if I put that side down??  Here are photos of the spots, if I am able to add photos to this, post. If not, I'll add them in a new post. attachicon.gifIMG_4454.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_4455.JPG

 

that's s serviceable shelf     grinder from harbor freight $ 20   dust mask eye protection and gloves  followed by kiln wash       not a big deal

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Adding this question:  Two of the ruined shelves are clean on the other side. I'd like to use one upside down in the bottom of the kiln, of course on 1 inch stilts.  I cannot get the glaze spots off and don't want to spend the time and money to get a good tool to do it!  Will the glaze spots drip down onto the floor of the kiln if I put that side down??  Here are photos of the spots, if I am able to add photos to this, post. If not, I'll add them in a new post.

The glaze on the bottom will likely melt off the back side of the bottom shelf and seep into your kiln floor bricks. Enough to damage the floor ... unknown, but gravity will do its thing. To keep them in use, you will really need to remove the glaze; even if you end up chipping a chunk/grinding a groove out of the shelf, at that point you flip them and not worry about glaze dripping from the backsides onto your wares.

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if the glaze spots are not too bad, try covering them with silica sand and use the rest of the shelf in firing.  after the first glaze firing, the silica sand should sink into the glaze and you can then cover it again with a small amount that will not sink into the melt.  kiln wash over all of it and use as normal.

Is silica sand different from regular Lake Michigan beach sand? I have some of that...  If it's different, please tell me what to look for as a place like Lowe's...are there different sizes or qualities?  

Also, do you mean to do the process of putting the sand on the glaze spots for two separate firings and then putting kiln wash over it, or do you mean firing it just once, followed by a second dose of silica sand with kiln wash immediately over that?

 

And how does this compare with using alumina hydrate, as the Guinea potter suggested? 

 

I plan to clean off loose kiln wash on one shelf and use it bottom, unused side up in the bottom of the kiln. It was actually 3 shelves damaged, but I bought two new ones.  I will be more careful in the future!  

Thanks for everyone's help!

Ginny

 

Adding this question:  Two of the ruined shelves are clean on the other side. I'd like to use one upside down in the bottom of the kiln, of course on 1 inch stilts.  I cannot get the glaze spots off and don't want to spend the time and money to get a good tool to do it!  Will the glaze spots drip down onto the floor of the kiln if I put that side down??  Here are photos of the spots, if I am able to add photos to this, post. If not, I'll add them in a new post. attachicon.gifIMG_4454.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_4455.JPG

 

that's s serviceable shelf     grinder from harbor freight $ 20   dust mask eye protection and gloves  followed by kiln wash       not a big deal

 

Olay, Big Lou!  I'll buy a grinder tomorrow.  Please advise on the size and power I'll need...I see there are 3 and 4 inch angle grinders available for a wide range of price. What do you suggest?

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Guinea, that's what you get, for putting your cat in charge, of loading your kiln....

I know, right?! Smooth move, Ex-Lax...

 

Nah, the shelves were leaning against the wall , and Paco went between the wall and the shelves.... eghhh... *CRACK!* His fat butt knocked 'em down. Guinea became a volcano that day.

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the photos show a completely different situation from the one i was picturing.  yes, follow bciske's advice and save your shelf.  

 

my comments were intended to fill in spots that happens if glaze spill is allowed to stay on the shelf and be fired repeatedly. that causes a depression in the shelf which silica sand would fill.  whenever filling a hole, in the garden, in asphalt driveways in kiln shelves, overfill the hole so that the material used for filling will become level after being packed down.  melting the sand into the glaze depression in one firing  and then overfilling the resulting slight dip instead of depression in a second firing can result in a level shelf. whatever silica sand is left can be brushed off the shelf and that can then have fresh kiln wash applied. 

 

good luck grinding, do not forget that grinders are extremely fast and hold onto it firmly when it is on.

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Guinea, that's what you get, for putting your cat in charge, of loading your kiln....

I know, right?! Smooth move, Ex-Lax...

 

Nah, the shelves were leaning against the wall , and Paco went between the wall and the shelves.... eghhh... *CRACK!* His fat butt knocked 'em down. Guinea became a volcano that day.

 

 

 

I figured it was something along those lines.  I have a lot of glass sheets, in my studio, because it's an old house, and the previous owners left some, in case the old windows needed to be redone.  I'm surprised that our cat, hasn't done something similar, and knocked some of those over.

 

When I have delicate wares on my work table, I close her off from the studio.  She likes to come in, when I'm done throwing, and steal the wet throwing sponge.  I really have no idea why?

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Get the 4 inch with some masonary grinding wheels (they come in 10 packs if I recall)

grind all that goo off until you are down to clean shelve material-rewash with quility kiln wash. 

(lake sand or lowes sand is not as pure as silica sand)Lake sand is good for cactus planting and your kids sandbox but not good for ceramics work.A good alumina wash resists well use the search function on this site as there has been much said on kiln wash before.

also use a dust mask and protective googles when grinding (ear protection as well).

Mark

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the harbor freight (hazard fraught) masonry grinding wheels arnt worth the plastic they are packaged in.   The $10 4.5" grinder is a good buy tho!   Instead of the black grinding wheels, get a diamond one like this.  MUCH more effective and last forever.  (ironicly the diamond grind wheel is more than the grinder at $20, but worth it)

 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81LcT5YbleL._SY355_.jpg

 

(for the record I find it annoying I can post a jpeg to the site)

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