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Removing Kiln Wash

from the Kiln Shelf

This is part two of a multi-part tip on removing kiln wash from the kiln shelf.  Click here to go to part one.

One way to minimize the dust that arises when you remove kiln wash from the kiln shelf is to scrape (rather than sand) the wash off the shelf.

1.  Begin by spraying the shelf with water from a spray bottle prior to scraping.  This keeps the dust down and makes the scraping a bit easier.

2.  Alternatively, you can prepare the shelf by wiping with a damp sponge or paper towel.  The key is to moisture all the dust particles to keep them from flying into the air when the scraping begins.

3.  There are a number of different tools that can be used for scraping, ranging from a putty knife to a paint scraper with a razor.  Most will work fairly well, but one of the best tools is a simple scrap strip of glass.  Use it as a scraper, and you'll be surprised at how quickly it can remove the kiln wash from the shelf.

4.  Taping the nozzle of a shop vacuum to a putty knife or paint scraper is one way to suck away the dust as soon as it is created.  Just make certain that the vacuum has a HEPA filter.

5.   Even more high tech, consider building a down-draft table.  This is basically a table with a grid of holes in it and a box attached underneath the table that connects to a vacuum with a dust collector.  The constant downward air flow will capture most of the dust before it can become airborne and be inhaled.

Above all, don't forget to wear a mask or respirator when cleaning kiln wash from your shelves.  Even the best dust minimization technique might not catch all the particles.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Most of these tips came from posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board. 

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Clemmons, NC  27012   USA

Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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