Use a screwdriver to remove glaze or glass that has embedded into a firebrick wall.
Removing Glaze or Glass from a Kiln Wall
Reader Response: A tough guy from the Bronx; Joseph 2bear’s kiln collar
Recent Q&As: Mixing grog and kiln cement
REMOVING GLAZE OR GLASS FROM A KILN WALL
As you unload your kiln after a glaze or glass firing, visually check the walls for contaminants. Glaze or glaze on a firebrick wall will embed deeper the next time you fire the kiln. So, remove the contaminant before the next firing. This is especially important if the defect is near an element groove, because contact with glaze or glass can burn out an element.
You can remove contaminants with a flat-bladed screwdriver. This is one of the simplest kiln repairs and takes just a moment.
As shown in the photos above, gently dig out the contaminant from the firebrick wall. Remove all traces from the firebricks, yet remove as little firebrick as possible. Then vacuum the wall.
If the damaged area is small, no further repair will be necessary. Do not fill in the gouge left in the firebrick. Small gouges do not affect the firing results.
Several weeks ago I shared a story about Phoenix, the Paragon cat. Lisa G Westheimer of West Orange, New Jersey wrote, “Phoenix reminds me of Mooch, a black-and-white tough guy from the Bronx who we adopted in 1998. He had lost a fight with a dog, and a little girl took him on the subway wrapped in a towel all the way to Queens to a vet named Dr. Fish, who fixes strays. Once a very big boy, Mooch, now 17, weighs only seven pounds but still beats up our 40-pound dog every day at 5 p.m. to remind us it's time for his supper.
“Mooch is a toughie. He has recovered from diabetes, pancreatitus, herpes in his eye, and a bum thyroid. We got him for free, but he's our million-dollar cat. He kept vigil at my dad's bedside in his final days and never left my side during my cancer treatment, so he's worth every penny.” -------------
In the last Kiln Pointer, someone asked, “What is a kiln collar?” Joseph 2bears of Lomita, California wrote, “The kiln collar question brought to mind the time I had an interference problem between the thermocouple and a custom mold in my Paragon Caldera. I cut several firebricks by hand with a tile saw (round wire embedded with silicon carbide in a coping saw frame from the tile section of the hardware store) to match the width of the Caldera walls. This raised the center section with the thermocouple and heating elements two inches, solving my interference problem.”
Joseph, I would suggest wrapping the bricks with stainless steel--just to be on the safe side.
Q. Approximately how much liquid cement should we mix with grog (powdered firebrick) to make a patch? The information on your website says to add just enough cement to hold the grog together. Should it be slightly damp like pie crust dough, sticky like cookie dough, or very wet like cake dough?
A. The grog/kiln cement mixture should have the consistency of cake dough. Use as much grog as possible while still having a sticky consistency. The grog prevents the filling from breaking out later. (Solid cement would not stay in place because of the difference in coefficient of expansion between the kiln cement and the firebricks.)
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One of our vendors has a young grandson who has just volunteered to be a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army. He is swearing in next week. A parent’s worst fear is to see a child go to war. There is no other fear like it. My heart goes out to any of you parents or loved ones in that position.
With best wishes,
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd., Mesquite, Texas 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com / www.facebook.com/paragonkilns
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