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I want to buy a kiln. What accessories should be on my shopping list?


hantremmer
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I want to buy a kiln.  My only real option here in the UK, given the space I have, is to buy a 13amp model that just plugs into a wall.  It will go in a kitchen with a concrete floor.  (It won't be fired when there are people around.)

What should I buy along with the kiln itself?  Is there anything unexpected or 'I should have bought this to begin' with items that I should get?

I know I will need kiln furniture and kiln wash, but what else?  Also does anyone know of a products taht can help me roll the kiln out of the way when it isn't in use?

 

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my kiln has a metal stand with metal wheels that i use to roll it away.  it should be taller but i could not find a way to do that except to add a second one on top of the first.

make your own kiln wash using mark c's recipe, it is the best.  a lightweight movable table to load and unload would be helpful.  pots have to go somewhere while you choose exactly where to put them inside the kiln and while you unload and inspect each one.

Edited by oldlady
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Witness cones.

Heatproof gloves.

Chisel.

Notebook for keeping a kiln log.

A wooden ruler that is taller than the height of the kiln and long enough to span across the width of the kiln opening. Use the ruler to check how much height is left in the kiln while stacking it. If you’re not positive that a pot on the top shelf of too tall or not, slide the ruler across the opening to see if it hits the pot. 

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Metal shelving for kiln furniture.

You can make your own rolling stand for a small kiln pretty easily. Two layers of 3/4" plywood, glued and screwed, topped by two layers of cement board, 4 casters. Be sure to get casters that can sit for long periods without denting, so hard rubber, plastic, or metal.

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  • 1 month later...

Apologies for the late reply.  I've been writing  emails to a kiln supplier  asking for advice.  As in oldlady's post, I can get kiln with castors, but unlike Hulk's post I'm not able to get a ventilation system going.  It's been suggested that I could place a fan pointing towards a window to help vent, but in this case the window is actually a catflap.

However, the biggest issue is whether the my house fuses could tolerate a firing.   The fusebox is a little bit temperamental, so I'm concerned that it might trip, knocking out the kiln and also our fridge and freezer etc.

Does anyone have experience of firing 13amp small kilns in the UK in Victorian houses?  Unfortunately kiln shelves, wooden rulers and other items will have to wait for the moment?

 

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Thanks Mark.  Unfortunately I'm not able to have anyone come around to the house, so like so many of us these days, I'm having to cope without the benefit of qualified electricians and plumbers etc.    Thankfully nothing in our house has gone wrong so far, but that's at the back of my mind when purchasing a kiln.   I don't want to end up with a kiln that I can't use, because it trips my fusebox, and with soggy food (because the freezer subsequently cuts out).

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On 11/14/2020 at 3:05 PM, hantremmer said:

Does anyone have experience of firing 13amp small kilns in the UK in Victorian houses?

Not me, but.....

I do have experience of firing a 13am plug in kiln.  It lives in the greenhouse, where there are no power sockets.  No probs, I thought,  I'll run an extension lead to the outdoor socket on the back of the garage.  Several firings later, the kiln plug fused to the extension lead socket.  On further thought, we realised that the outside socket was itself on an extension lead, and that the whole of the garage was wired from one point in the dining room.  (That was how it was built in 1988.)

I now have a caravan type socket on the outside of the house, wired direct from the fuse board.  Installed by a qualified electrician.  And an arctic quality cable hard wired from the kiln controller which snakes around the path between house and greenhouse when needed.  

Lockdown rules don't prevent emergency electrical work.  If you're "working from home" you need your kiln to work.

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  • 7 months later...

I am glad you decided to wait on your kiln project.  A few years ago we had a potter on this forum wire a kiln into his Victorian house with   old knob and tube wiring.  His house nearly burned down the first time he fired it.   His neighbor who was supposedly a electrician did the work.   Finding a good electrician during the pandemic would be difficult.   Denice

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On 10/13/2020 at 7:02 AM, GEP said:

Witness cones.

Heatproof gloves.

Chisel.

Notebook for keeping a kiln log.

A wooden ruler that is taller than the height of the kiln and long enough to span across the width of the kiln opening. Use the ruler to check how much height is left in the kiln while stacking it. If you’re not positive that a pot on the top shelf of too tall or not, slide the ruler across the opening to see if it hits the pot. 

Errrrm ... what would the chisel be for?  

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2 hours ago, Pyewackette said:

Errrrm ... what would the chisel be for?  

I’ve used my chisel for two things.

When a glaze runs onto a shelf, the chisel will chip most of it off.

I have an L&L kiln with ceramic element holders. A few times I needed to replace some sections of the element holders. To get them out, you need to carefully break them with a chisel. 

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On 7/4/2021 at 6:00 AM, Chilly said:

You'll find out the first time you use a runny glaze, the wrong glaze or the wrong temp or cone for the clay. 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not much of an issue with Thermal Lite shelves.  Or whatever they're called, too lazy to check on the Bailey's site, LOL!

Anyway my kiln keeps getting shoved further back.  I can't find the under-$3 2x4x8 s any more on Home Despot.  Perhaps they were never really there, maybe it was another bad entry in their data base, left over from BEFORE wood prices skyrocketed.  $9 per 2x4 stud is tooo much.  And I was actually planing on using 2x6 s anyway.  Those are now $15 apiece (they were under $7 when I checked before, again, probably a bad entry in the database). The 10' long PT 4x4s (for the sill plate) are $22 apiece - the 8' ones are "only" $12 each.

Yowps!  The cost of the kiln is not that much compared to the cost of the lumber (at current prices) to build the kiln shed and the pottery workshop.  

:wacko:

Edited by Pyewackette
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4 hours ago, Pyewackette said:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not much of an issue with Thermal Lite shelves.  Or whatever they're called, too lazy to check on the Bailey's site, LOL!

Anyway my kiln keeps getting shoved further back.  I can't find the under-$3 2x4x8 s any more on Home Despot.  Perhaps they were never really there, maybe it was another bad entry in their data base, left over from BEFORE wood prices skyrocketed.  $9 per 2x4 stud is tooo much.  And I was actually planing on using 2x6 s anyway.  Those are now $15 apiece (they were under $7 when I checked before, again, probably a bad entry in the database). The 10' long PT 4x4s (for the sill plate) are $22 apiece - the 8' ones are "only" $12 each.

Yowps!  The cost of the kiln is not that much compared to the cost of the lumber (at current prices) to build the kiln shed and the pottery workshop.  

:wacko:

How about a metal shed

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You still need studs and sill plates and whatnot.  The metal sheds that are cheap won't stand up to the relatively frequent hail storms.  Hardiboard and Hardie lap siding are way cheaper than good painted metal anyway and more robust when it comes to things like hail.

I mean ya know.  Metal is expensive at the moment as well.  I just got my hopes up thinking I could throw this stuff together relatively soon and I now see that is not going to be the case.  I can still set up my pottery wheel on the back porch, I just can't do the whole 9 yards until construction materials come down.  Luckily Hardie board/siding/backer stuff is made stateside and that only went up something like 50c or a dollar per sheet, fairly recently.  Last I checked wallboard was still the same price, it, too, is largely mined and manufactured here.

I know these things because before I got covid I was halfway through a major renovation here.  Its been almost a year and a half and I'm still recovering LOL!

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