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replacing kiln lid

updated wed 15 nov 06


Claudia I Franco on mon 13 nov 06

Our kiln lid failed and we need to replace. Any options aside paying 300+
dollars for a lid? It is a Cress 23 inch octogonal.

Craig Clark on tue 14 nov 06

Claudia, I believe I already replied to this partially on the
clayhouston site, but I woke up this morning wanting to add a few more
suggestions and comments. If you go with a fiber lid you can just get a
box of the HTZ blanket, 8lb density, 2 inch thickness, 2700 degree F
duty rating. It will cost you about a hundred bucks over at Able Supply.
It is out near the ship channel. You will have more than enough material
to make a very well insulated lid, that will be as good or better than
the original. You just won't be able to put any weight on it unless you
have a stout piece of steel from which to hang your blanket.
If you just use an expanded metal lath be sure to stiffen it with
angle iron. A basic grid will work fine. Make ceramic buttons with which
to hang the blanket out of fire clay and use the tungston or incanel
wire to attach the buttons. You can buy the wire over at the Ceramics
Store. Tom may even have some of the buttons prefab, don't really know
for sure.
To make the lid the shape of the kiln just use the kiln itself as
the template. Place a large square of the lathe over the top of the kiln
and cut it to shape with enough of an overhang to give your self a
little ledge that will keep it from getting bumped off inadverdantly
during a firing. A pair of good snips is all you need to cut the lathe.
When you cut your blanket to fit make sure that you are wearing a
long sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes, gloves and even a good mask. The
fibers will make you itch if you don't and you shouldn't do any deep
breathing exercises while you work. Use sodium silicate between the
layers for adhesion. You can get the silicate from either Tom or out at
Able refractories (Supply?) as well. You will pay less for the material
at Able but Tom's place is more convienient.
If you want a lid that is more substantial you can go ahead and make
a template, once again by using the kiln itself as your guide, and then
going to any metal fabrication shop that is close to you. As you know,
they are quite plentiful in our fair city. Take them the template and
ask them how much to get a piece of either 11 guage or 1/8 inch plate
cut to the shape. It is easy to do if you, or a friend, if know how to
use a cutting torch or have one at your disposal. Doing it yourself will
save you money but not time. You can get the plate scrap at about half
the normal price out at Triple S Steel. Just go around back to the
recycle yard and look through what they have if you are so inclined. If
you like steel it is a great place to go. They can do the cutting for
you there as well. They will probably just shear it which will give you
a very clean edge.......
If you have any questions just give me a call. We are in the Heights.
Hope this helps
Craig Dunn CLark
619 East 11 1/2 St
Houston, Texas 77008

Claudia I Franco wrote:
> Our kiln lid failed and we need to replace. Any options aside paying 300+
> dollars for a lid? It is a Cress 23 inch octogonal.
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Arnold Howard on tue 14 nov 06

From: "Claudia I Franco"
> Our kiln lid failed and we need to replace. Any options
> aside paying 300+
> dollars for a lid?

How badly damaged is your lid? You might be able to repair
it by stuffing ceramic fiber into the cracks and tightening
the lid band. Sometimes lids that look terrible are still
perfectly functional. You might also be able to turn it
upside down and use the other side.

One of the most interesting areas of a kiln factory is the
lid/bottom department. The people who make the lids are
highly skilled, because they have actually cemented
thousands of bricks.

Watching them, you would think that cementing the lids is
easy. But there is a steep learning curve. The brick seams
must be thin and the brick rows perfectly even and left
undisturbed while they dry.


Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA /

Snail Scott on tue 14 nov 06

At 10:57 PM 11/13/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>Our kiln lid failed and we need to replace. Any options aside paying 300+
>dollars for a lid? It is a Cress 23 inch octogonal.

$300? Hah!

Look for a beater kiln being given away
or sold cheap. Usually it's electrical
failure or skanky wall brick that leads
to a kiln being dumped. The lid, and
often the floor (if detachable) are
genrally still useful. Non-working kilns
are often still salvagable, so you may
have to pay something, but probably less
than $75. If it's really dead, maybe $0.

You may not see one advertised, but try
posting '8-sided kiln wanted - dead' on
bulletin boards and such. You might
flush a few out of hiding.

Even if the kiln you locate does not have
compatible hinges, (or if it was a floor,
no hinges at all), this will work. The
lid (or floor) off almost any brand of
8-sided kiln will work. Just remember to
get both halves of the hinges off the
beater when you part it out, so you can
transfer the new lid's hinges to your
kiln. Or your old hinge onto the new lid,
if that's easier. Or just put big handles
on each side of the lid so you can lift
it on and off - workable for most folks,
since it's an 8-sider.

-Snail on tue 14 nov 06

Have you checked around at your local ceramics supply stores for any
slightly damaged parts? We were offered a cracked replacement lid
for 1/2 price - when we were actually looking for a bottom
replacement. We wound up taking the lid from a no longer used kiln,
turning it upside down and placing it inbetween the pitted/damaged
bottom of the working kiln and the bottom half of the octagonal kiln.
Perhaps you can check the local trade papers for someone's old used
one, or local schools?

Just a suggestion....

Debi Wichman
Cookeville, TN