View Full Version : Kiln HELP

Glassy Scot
05-22-2004, 11:15 PM
Hi.... I was cleaning my studio today and found that my kiln had turned itself on at some point and melted a bunch of nylon garden flags on top. I have one of those computers that when the kiln looses power will start it's first firing program. When the power went out, I don't have a clue. Typically this has never happened to me before and I have had stuff resting on this kiln for years....

I know I was lucky that my studio didn't catch on fire!!! But now I have a bunch of black melted nylon imbedded in the firebrick.

Any suggestions about removing it and then repairing the top?

05-23-2004, 12:15 AM
you should not have anything close to the kiln for that reason. most controlars will reset to the set point temp when the power is lost and comes back on. you should always turn the switch off.


05-23-2004, 12:36 AM
Yikes, I don't keep stuff on my kiln just because I know I'm ditzy enough to do it while it's on or something. Never woulda thought it'd just cut on on its own though :)

I have gotten kiln wash or glaze drips on my kiln before. I took a butter knife and just lightly scraped until it was all up and that worked wonders. Yeah, so my top isn't all pretty any more and you can see little divots where I've scraped, so what :D It still works. :) I'd try scraping it off a little at a time :)

Hope that helps :)

05-24-2004, 10:12 AM
I assume your kiln top is soft insulating brick, not hard firebrick which would require a diamond saw to cut. If the plastic is melted into the brick you're going to need to cut beneath it, if it's just stuck to the top you might be able to scrape it away. To scrape, get a sharp-edged wall scraper from the hardware store. It looks just like a 3 or 4 inch putty knife but the blade is stiff and has a sharpened edge. Just work the scraper in under it, a bit at a time. If the plastic is soaked in deep, I would take a thin, flexible blade like a hacksaw or bowsaw blade and bend it into a curve, then try sawing beneath the plastic with it. If that doesn't work try a chisel or a serrated-edge window tool. The tool of last resort would be a wide (like 1 1/2") spade or paddle bit in a dill, but be careful and go slow. The important thing is to get out all the plastic without cracking the bricks. The plastic will give off toxic fumes otherwise.

You're going to lose some brick but don't worry about it, you can repair it pretty easily with furnace cement. (Do a search for "kiln repair cement.") There are a number of different products available that come as either dry powder or premixed. Just follow the directions. The trick is, they're all designed to be heated up pretty hot (at least 800 degrees F, maybe more) to set properly and develop full strength. Since you will be patching the outside of the kiln I would suggest covering the patch with 2 or 3 inches of fiberboard or ceramic fiber insulation after it's dry then run the kiln for at least 12 hours. Use a pyrometer to check the temp beneath the insulation if you have one.

Good luck!

Glassy Scot
05-26-2004, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the replies. Of course I did know better than to put things on top of my kiln...... but apparently I had a brain f**t and did it anyway.

Thanks for the advice about removing the stuff and the repairs.