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Firing Multiple Shelves at Once

In many kilns, especially deeper ceramic kilns, it's possible to "stack" several shelves on top of each other, so that multiple shelves of glass can be fired at the same time.  While this approach can be successful, it does require a knowledge of the individual kiln and the temperature variation within the kiln.

In most cases, the lower shelf will be lower in temperature than the upper shelf.  It's not uncommon for the temperature difference between the top shelf of a kiln and the bottom shelf to be as much as 50 to 75 degrees F (28 to 83C).  As a result, items that are fully fused on the top shelf of a kiln might only tack fuse on the bottom shelf. 

In a multiple shelf environment it's essential that you experiment to determine the optimum spacing for what you want to do.  Moving a bottom shelf even a few inches higher can change the heating characteristics of the kiln.  Similarly, varying the rate of temperature increase also changes the temperature variation within the kiln, with slower rates generally leading to more even temperatures throughout the kiln.

Click here for more suggestions on how to fuse with multiple shelves.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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