New kiln set up

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    Lucky me! My new kiln (Olympic 18″ square, 13.5 deep) hasn’t arrived yet but I want to be ready for it. It will live in my south Florida garage. I have taken lots of fusing classes but these basic questions have never come up – I guess because I didn’t know I’d need to know these things one day.  I’ve searched on this forum but didn’t find all of my answers. I have read whatever I could find about preparing the area and setting up the kiln, but I need some practical advice from people with experience.

    • Do I need to set the attached metal kiln stand on concrete pavers or just plop it on the concrete garage floor? 
    • I’ll get a bullseye level, but what do I use to shim the kiln to level it? I’ve read that I should use metal, but what kind of metal? Just buy some sheet metal?
    • What is the best way to apply kiln wash? I’ve read about haik brushes, Preval sprayers, and airbrushing as suggestions. How about smoothing the surface once I’ve coated the shelves?
    • Aside from good gloves (should they be Kevlar or Zetex?????) and glasses (UV or IR or both???????), what else do I need just to turn the baby on? 

    If you know of a GOOD link or article about this nitty gritty stuff, I would very much appreciate your push in the right direction. Thank you in advance.



    Hi Franzesca,

    1)Plop it onto the concrete floor. As long as it is on a stand…no problem.

    2)Wood shims between floor and stand is fine. Heat is the concern. NOT between stand and kiln.

    3)Assuming you are talking about washing the kiln and not the shelf, any brush is fine. Just slather it on. Haik brush etc are for shelves and molds. Someone else would be better answering that one. i only use thinfire paper.

    4)Unless you are going into the kiln for raking, you do not need glasses. Short, incidental viewing of the hot glass (such as a quick view to see where the slump is) is not of great concern. Same is true with gloves. I use welders leather gloves but i do not go into the kiln when it is over 500°F.



    Barry Kaiser

    Web Site

    Glass Classes:


    Stephen Richard

    You can apply kiln wash to your shelf (Barry has answered about the kiln bricks) with a haik brush (horizontal, vertical, and both diagonals – one coat each).  You can spray it on – I use a pump up garden sprayer with as fine a mist as is allowed to coat the shelf.  To get a smoother fininsh you can put hot water in your sprayer and spray over a perfectly level shelf, this will give a very smooth finish as the water evaporates.  Anything more expensive than a garden sprayer is unnecessary, in my opinion of course.

    More information is available here:

    Stephen Richard

    blogs at: and

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