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Old 05-13-2020, 04:07 PM
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Kiln floor repair

I'm (finally) nearing the end of my kiln rebuild. I'm building a boro annealing kiln from an old beat-up ceramics kiln - removed kiln-minder wiring, added an electronic step controller, cleaned up, etc.

I had to scrape copious gobs of ceramics glazes off the kiln floor to get any sort of reasonably flat floor surface. The remaining gouge marks aren't too bad - they're long crack shapes about 1/8" to 3/16" max. deep. However, the overall finish is pretty rough. I'd like to make the floor a little nicer since everything is still apart.

I found a Canadian brand Imperial Hi-Temp Stove & Furnace Cement good to about 2700F that is apparently quite spreadable and can be thinned. I'm thinking of using some of that with either crumbled firebrick, or maybe crumbled fiberboard to patch up the cracks. Maybe a skim coat of the stuff for a final finish.

Any thoughts on my patching ideas? Am I overdoing it?
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:51 PM
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2700F less the 15% For D rating ( to 2295 F) brings you down Randy. There are 3000F materials out there. I'd look for one of them.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:48 PM
Peter Bowles Peter Bowles is offline
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Hi Randy, hope all is well.
I'm a fan of kiln shelf cut to size on the bottom of pick up and putting away kilns. They hide everything and give a more durable and perfectly stable surface.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:14 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Second this. Easy fix if anything goes wrong too.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:53 AM
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[SLAPS self on forehead] Yes, of course I have the 1/2 octagonal kiln shelves that came with the kiln and I will lay a pair on the bottom. I'm lucky that the potter included the kiln furniture... Thanks guys.

I will still repair the bottom, though, before first (to me) fire. I found a source for a 3000F mortar just 5 minutes from home.

Does anyone have thoughts about crumbled firebrick vs crumbled fiberboard to thicken up the mortar patch in the floor finish? 5 or 6 cracks, 1 inch wide in spots, 6 inch long, 1/8 to 3/16 inch deep.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:10 PM
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you haven't actually said what temperature you anticipate going to regularly,

I would not be inclined to use fiberboard but the brick, or grog, or even silica would do what you want to do.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:20 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Boro annealing shouldn't have to go past 1150.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:33 PM
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Yes, as a boro annealing kiln, I was planning to keep under 1200F.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:50 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is online now
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I garage my skutt front loader at 975 for the day and never go above 1050
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:51 PM
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Experience has told me that I inevitably try to use tools at ratings far higher than I ever though I would do.
Once I took my stainless steel dish washer up to 1750F , I was pretty sure that over building was a good plan.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:29 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I "over" built my boro annealer, but made sure to test max capacity outside. Can hold 1500 just fine, but I'd prefer to keep the electric bill low. If I planned on casting or long cycles I would have gone with other materials. Sometimes a unitasker is a good thing.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:02 AM
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m electric problem now is that if I use 5000 watts in a 30 minute period, I get billed for the power plus $9.48, and that's compounded every half hour. It's not hard to use 5000 watts in a glass shop. My electric bill is now higher than the propane bill. It's not the actual power, it's what Eversource says is the "Delivery cost.
It's simply unsustainable.

Even turning my shop off for two months continues to yield bills over $300 dollars. It's the heater under the chickens water that does that along with the electric hot water heater where we get water for the horse trough in winter.

I do have the 30KW Onan generator and we're looking to refurbish it and rewire the big tooling over to it should we decide to continue. It's powered by a 300 cu inch six cylinder ford engine and runs on propane.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:12 AM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Our utility is trying to argue for a rate hike because of lack of use caused by corona. Big bunch of bullshit, I thought that's the opposite of supply and demand. I've contemplated the benefit of forcing utilities to be municipal, if I thought government was competent enough to make it better I'd argue louder.

Last edited by Shawn Everette; 05-15-2020 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:37 AM
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Back in the stone age, the Seattle Times had a business reporter (Richard Buck) who made some waves with an article titled, "The High Cost of Nothing." It outlined all the charges we face for services, and sometimes goods, even when not being used or consumed. He found that in some cases it was cheaper to keep the electricity running than to have the utility cut it off temporarily for vacations. I recall the article forced the phone company to drop some bogus monthly charge from everyone's bill.
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