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
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
next in this series -- alternative shelf materials appropriate
for larger kilns.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker. All rights
Most of these tips came from
posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board.