We search the world over to find kiln furniture of the quality our customers expect. There are a lot of “cheap” shelves out on the market as well as very expensive shelves that provided little added value for most customers needs. Our primary goal is to maximize value for our customers. This means we are looking for shelves that are reasonably priced, will not warp or crack when fired to the temperatures for which they are designed and are free from major chips and scratches. If you ever receive a defective shelf from Skutt we will replace it for free within the warranty period.
Choosing A Furniture Kit
A furniture kit is a collection of properly sized shelves coupled with a post assortment that is recommended for your specific model kiln. The shape, quantity and thickness are predetermined and based on the most common practices for that model.
The quantity of the posts in the assortments included with the furniture kit are based on the number of layers of shelves common in that model and include varied height posts to give you flexibility in loading.
If your situation is unique and you have very specific needs you can order all of these items separately to make your own kit. Here are some of the factors you will want to consider:
Shelves can be round, multi-sided, square or rectangle. Round and multi-sided shelves are usually available in what is called “half-shelves”. Half shelves are exactly what they sound like, they are half of a full shelf. People like them for several reasons.
- Provide a path for convection in the center of the kiln.
- Half the weight of a full shelf therefore easier on the back to load in the kiln.
- More flexibility in loading your kiln.
- Less likely to warp or crack than full shelves.
- Full Shelves can be more suitable for larger pieces that take up more than half the diameter of the kiln because there is no gap.
The thickness of the shelf can determine whether or not it can withstand high temperatures without warping. This is usually only an issue if you are working with a large kiln such as a 1227. Since the KM1227-3PK is rated to cone 10 we only recommend 1″ thick half shelves. For kilns designed more for low fire applications it is ok to use a 5/8″ thick shelf which will be lighter.
The quantity you will need will be based on the height of your kiln, the height of the pieces you are putting in your kiln and weather you are using full shelves or half shelves. When you are contemplating how many layers of shelves you want to have on hand, remember, it is always a good idea to have at least 1 element radiating between each layer. If you have a glass kiln with elements radiating down from the lid, you can only fire on one layer because the top shelf will block the radiant heat to the layers below.
Posts are the supports that hold the shelve up. Generally you want to use 3 posts for each shelf you are supporting. Half shelves can share 2 posts on a common layer so you can use 4 posts instead of 6 posts. They come in varying heights from 1″ tall all the way to 12″ tall. The can also be stacked but are more stable when used alone.
You will need to order kiln wash to coat your shelves. Kiln wash is a material that comes in a powdered form that you mix with water to a cream consistency and paint on your shelves.The coating protects the shelves from clay and glaze sticking to them.