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Shelf Spacing in Gas Kilns


Hank Murrow:
I have been firing my lifting Doorless Fiberkiln for 350 fires since 1985. Since I use posts with ledges to hold the shelves, I can space the shelves any way I wish, from staggered, to a 30"x30" square surface on two shelves. The shelves themselves are 14x28x 5/16" nitride-bonded SiC from St. Gobain, and the posts are slip-cast from the same material and hollow. I have added three pics so you can see how this works. The entire array is very stable, and it maximizes the setting area since the shelves are floating and changes can be made to the spacing by simply removing or adding shelves at will. The stack of shelves has 3.5" space between them and the ceramic fiber walls of the kiln.

A few years ago, I made a series of 87 large(to 29x29x1/2" square) tiles which I fired supported on the Advancer shelves across the entire stack on each two-shelf level. I experienced no differences in atmosphere across these very large tile surfaces glazed with a very sensitive-to-atmosphere Hank's Shino(no soda ash!). The reduction was even, the distribution of heat was even, and the result was even, as one can see from the pics(the crack in one was intentional, btw).

While expensive, this setting has paid for itself several times over, and will last several more decades, and the setting and the kiln will be passed on under the terms of my Family Trust when I am finished with it. One of my kilns of this design has had 2800 firings so far, so someone will enjoy it as much as I will have done.

Some kilns may need the stagger, but my Doorless Fiberkiln does not.

Cheers, Hank in Eugene, OR


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