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Kiln Shelves for Large Kilns

This is part two of a multi-part series on alternative kiln shelves for large kilns.  Click here to go to part one.

Many large kilns, such as the "coffin" kilns made by most of the major kiln manufacturers, come with several (usually three) smaller mullite shelves that fit together to provide kiln shelf space for the kiln.  While this solution works well for firing small to midsize items, it's not a good one for situations when you want to fire items that are larger than the individual shelves.

The easiest way to deal with this problem is to use another material to hide or smooth out the seams between the shelves.  Fiber paper can work well, so long as the paper is thick enough to cover the seam entirely.  For best results, use a paper that is at least 1/8" (3mm) thick.  A rigid fiber paper such as Unifrax's 110-J paper will work better than a flexible fiber paper.

In addition to hiding the seams with fiber paper, it's also possible to fill in the seams with a refractory paste, such as Unifrax's Fibermax caulk or a related refractory cement.  These aren't perfect solutions, and they need to be smoothed after being used to fill in the seams, but they can work in some situations.

Coming next in this series -- alternative shelf materials appropriate for larger kilns.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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