New Kiln Checklist

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a glass fusing kiln! You will find yourself learning much more quickly now that you can fire glass more often.
Here are some tips for preparing the kiln for use:
  • Paint the floor of the kiln with a heavy coat of shelf primer (kiln wash).  This protects the fire brick from glass that lands on the floor of the kiln.  Make sure NOT to get any shelf primer on the elements/coils.
  • Make sure all the elements are in place.  Once you fire a kiln the elements – which are flexible when new – they will get brittle and are more difficult to reposition.
  • glass kiln safety zoneThe kiln should be on a non-flammable surface (like concrete) with at least 12” clearance around it in all directions.
  • You should level the kiln.   For a floor-standing kiln, the easiest way to do this is set the feet of the kiln on concrete pavers and shim the pavers  — using a bullseye level to see when it is level.  This step will be critical when you slump – especially into deeper molds.  You’ll also want to level the shelf and the mold – the bulls eye level will come in handy for that too.  You can get them at Home Depot for just a couple dollars.
  • Make sure that your power cord hangs without hitting the side of the kiln.
  • Start making sample tiles to gauge the temperatures at which your kiln fire polishes, tack fuses, soft fuses, full fuses, slumps, etc.  Small pieces of  white and black on a piece of clear is ideal since the black and white represent the ends of the spectrum for hardness/viscosity of glass and the clear will help you understand how design elements melt into a base piece of glass.
  • Get in the habit of doing a visual inspection of the space around the kiln before hitting the start button.  The outside of a kiln can get over 200° F – I’ve lost a couple vacuum hoses that were leaning against the kiln when it fired.

IMPORTANT:  The above are general guidelines only.  Always read your owners manual and follow you kiln manufacturer’s instructions.

Most of all enjoy and welcome to the wonderful world of glass kilnforming!


Leave a Reply