Proper gas kiln maintenance and care is an easy task, if you pay attention to the small things, it can save you down time and lots of maintenance dollars.
Easy Tips to Keep Your Gas Kiln Running Smoothly
Buildup of soot and dirt on the gas pipeline occurs after many firings. We recommend that you use a steel brush to clean the gas pipeline and pilot bar periodically.
You may also need to clean the orifices after a length of time because dust, rust, kiln wash flakes, and bugs can corrode operation. You can clean the orifice with ¼” plastic or rubber tubing by blowing off residue, and/or by straightening out a paper clip and inserting into the orifice and twisting the clip around in the orifice hole.
Vacuum your kiln on a regular basis to remove dust, kiln wash, etc. from kiln.
UPDRAFT GAS KILNS
Occasionally a raku kiln frame will become stiff as you try to lift the firing chamber. Simply lubricate the bars with WD40 to maintain smooth raising and lowering of the firing chamber.
Periodically tighten the hose clamps on the stainless steel bands of the Torchbearer & Raku kilns. As you load and unload ware in the kiln and as the kiln expands when heated, rings will get out of alignment with the burners. Just tighten the hose clamp with a screwdriver when the kiln is firing to keep bands tight and rings in alignment.
If you need to replace broken brick in a Torchbearer or Raku kiln: Remove the ring in the Torchbearer that needs brick repair. Loosen the stainless steel skin on the ring slightly so that you have enough space to remove the brick but not enough to dis-engaged all the brick in the ring. Replace new brick as needed and tighten the hose clamp. For Raku kilns you will need to loosen the hose clamp on the firing chamber and work within the chamber to replace the brick.
DOWNDRAFT GAS KILNS
DownDraft gas kilns have a complex design. The frames are heavy angle iron and 1-inch thick steel tubing. Brick DownDraft walls consist of 4 ½” thick mortared brick and 1” thick ceramic fiberboard and fiber DownDraft walls are 4 inches thick consisting of 3” fiber and 1” thick ceramic fiberboard. The floors in the fiber and brick DownDrafts are built with double insulated floors made of mortared brick and ceramic fiberboard. If the walls or floors become damaged contact Olympic Kilns with the model and serial numbers for replacement parts.
If damage occurs to the door or the roof, the pyro block can be replaced. Pyro blocks are mounted on threaded stud that bolt into the frame of the kiln.
Always use kiln wash on kin shelves when glaze firing. When kiln shelves are not in use, stand shelves for longer life. Do not lay flat or stack on top of one another.