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Unfortunately, I have some bad glaze drips. I have 3 coats of kiln wash on the shelves, but when I went to pop the glaze off with a cold chisel, part of the shelf came with it. I have a couple of gouges in the shelf now and still more glaze to get off somehow.

 

Before I continue trying to remove the drips, I would like more advice. My drips are pretty thick, so grinding will take a long time...and I actually have a lot of drips on one shelf. (I have nearly a complete ring from a really bad run. Obviously, I shouldn't have applies a particular glaze over another.)

 

Is there a special way to chip glaze off? I wonder if my kiln wash wasn't thick enough, even with 3 coats.

 

Where I have dug into the shelf, so long as I am able to get all the glaze off, is it still safe to use the shelf?

 

Does anyone have some advice or suggestions for saving the shelves?

 

Thanks

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what type of tool are you using to remove the glaze. I have a chisel with a knuckle guard. More simple chisels are fine.

Remove what you can with the chisel. Then an angle grinder next. You need to remove all the glaze. Otherwise it will continue to melt into the shelf in future firings.

 

Marcia

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In the future, put untested glaze combinations (or known runny ones) on a glaze catcher.  I have a variety of bisqued sizes that I have made and was so glad I did on several occasions.  I make something that looks like a candleholder and set my piece on the inner rim.

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 My drips are pretty thick, so grinding will take a long time...

 

Is there a special way to chip glaze off?

 

Not with an angle grinder it won't - try a continuous diamond blade.

 

I used an old (but still reasonably keen) wood chisel, hold chisel at about 45° to the shelf and tap the blunt end with a hammer.

 

Those that didn't come off easily got the angle grinder treatment.

 

I'm no expert at grinding shelves but one glaze I used recently as a detail overpour (I used a slip trailer) mostly spat off of the pots it was on and left me with my first shelf grinding job,  it left a couple of depressions here and there - I filled them with kiln wash.

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An angle grinder isn't expensive ($30-40) and makes pretty short work of glaze drips. (And the shelf if, if you're not careful.) Just be sure to wear good eye protection. A full-face shield isn't very expensive, either.

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I just use a cold chisel and small hammer, with the shelf on a piece of foam so I don't break it.  When the glaze stick really bad I bust out the grinder - I haven't upgraded to a proper diamond wheel, as my 4" cup seems to work fine as long as you don't let it glass over.

 

3 coats of wash may not be enough for some glazes.  I typically keep washing shelves and build up a nice thick layer (1/8"+ sometimes). I don't fully remove old wash to the shelf unless it's coming off in big chunks or is severely uneven.  The only glazes that really make their way through anymore are the ones that eat through almost anything - like glazes with lots of lithium. 

 

A tip: on pieces where you need to glaze to the bottom and don't/can't have a drip tray -- prop up the piece on pucks/kiln shelf pieces and then make a small "moat" of silica under the perimeter - this way the drips fall into the silica and you can clean up the bottom edge better.

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