Wednesday, 29 April 2020

First Firing of your New Kiln

First Firing of your New Kiln

I have just been reviewing information on kiln elements. I have discovered the reason you need to do your first firing with the kiln empty of everything. No kiln wash, no kiln furniture, nothing. Vacuum the kiln to take out any dusts from travel.

The element forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide during the first firing. If there are elements of kiln wash, dusts, or glass, this will inhibit the ability of the oxide coating to be uniform. The uniform coating of the elements is important to the long life of your elements. There are other things of course, but this is the initial, essential element of preparing you kiln for use.

After this first firing you can add the other elements of kiln wash, furniture, and even glass.

In summary, fire your kiln clean and bare. No kiln wash, no furniture.

Sam Smith adds: [This] applies to kilns made with Kanthal A1 elements. Those are the good ones which last pretty much forever. Cheaper quality kilns can have nichrome elements which do not develop the coating. The firing the kiln empty allows the oxide coating to form. If you do a firing where combustion takes place such as firing fibre paper or shelf paper you should realize those combustion products are attacking your element coatings and it may be worth while venting the kiln and or firing the kiln up empty after the firing in order to protect or allow the development of a new layer of coating covering the kanthal. Kiln wash us is cheaper and safer for the long term life of your kiln elements. Smart people only purchase kilns with Kanthal elements.

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