Saturday, June 16, 2012
Here's What Worked on My Foaming Kiln Shelves
Remember I had that little problem with the ceramic-bonded silicone carbide kiln shelves dissolving into an icky black foam all over the pots? It's a great pain in the neck and an ache in the ass, and really what needs to happen is, I need new kiln shelves. But after some trial and error, I've found a work-around, for now.
As I did before, I scrub the shelves as completely as I can with the shelf grinder - which is down to a little nubbin now; time for a new one. Then I use the wire brush attachment to the power drill, and that makes a HUGE difference - I can do a much more thorough job in a much shorter time, without aggravating my wrists. I finish with a once-over with the hand wire brush, then wipe with a wet sponge.
Now here was the risky part: I then brushed both sides of the shelf with kiln wash, watered down to a consistency as thin as skim milk. This resists the soda enough so that the shelf does not deteriorate, but isn't enough material to start flaking off onto the pots. There were a lot of things wrong with the last firing, but neither melting nor flaking kiln shelves were among them.
I will, eventually, replace these shelves; just think how many pots I could make in the time I would save if I didn't have to dink around with all this maintenance. I keep visiting the Advancer pages, whispering, "Oh, tell me again how you don't even have to grind them!" Not to mention the weight...[sigh, swoon]