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protecting your building from kiln heatl

updated wed 17 aug 05


David Hendley on mon 15 aug 05

Cheap metal roofing is the cost-efficient way to protect your structure
from kiln heat. Cement board is also OK, but why pay the extra $$,
and you will have extra weight and more work installing it.
Of course a big custom made hood is OK, but the cost will be way more.

The key is the air space behind the thin metal - at least an inch, a couple
of inches is better. And, do not cover a wall or ceiling completely. The
idea is that the air can circulate behind the heat shield, so you need open
areas at the bottoms and tops of walls, and on the ceiling, in areas
far enough from the kiln that there is no heat.

Ceiling heat shields can be suspended from small chains, probably the
better choice, or nailed or screwed to the rafters.
Wall heat shields will be nailed or screwed to the wall studs.
Two inch long kiln shelf posts are perfect for the spacers that hold the
heat shield away from the wall. Drill a small hole in each corner of
the metal, put a 4-inch wood screw through it, put the kiln post on
the other side, and then screw it in place.
Of course if you don't want to sacrifice your kiln posts, just make
some with any old clay you have on hand and bisque-fire them.

I rate "heat-resisting paint" as a worthless waste of money.
AIR is the BEST insulator. Air is actually what you are buying when
you buy Fiberglas batts or foam board. The Fiberglas does not
insulate at all. Sheet metal does not insulate at all.
Anything you paint directly on wood cannot possibly protect it as
well as air.

I'm glad when this subject comes up on Clayart because it is very
important. Remember, if you have the luxury of building a building
or shed specifically for a kiln, build it with all non-combustible

David Hendley
I don't know nothin' but the blues, cobalt that is.

Ingeborg Foco on tue 16 aug 05

David said:

"Remember, if you have the luxury of building a building
or shed specifically for a kiln, build it with all non-combustible

I have regretted my stupidity ever since I installed the kiln and looked up
at all of that wood. Boy I don't know where my head was when I designed and
had the building built. My previous location I had a metal shed roof with
metal supports. No Wood.

I guess I got so caught up with the idea of building a "Charming Key West"
style building I completely lapsed on the safety and practical issue in the
kiln room. Hence the rough sawn plywood ceiling with open beams; and it is
really charming! The plywood is painted white in the rest of the building
and gallery and one corner where the Kiln Room sits is painted with fire
paint when in fact I could have and should have done something totally
metal. The fire paint was expensive and now I have a constant peeling

Surprisingly the walls don't seem to be a major problem. The only
combustible wall area is the
screen framing. You would think the screens would melt but it isn't a
problem. Well, fortunately there is a Lowe's and Home Depot off island and
I had best get there to purchase some metal.

I really appreciate everyone's input on something so important and something
which I have been trying to come to grips with ever since I noticed the
paint bubbling.

the Potter's Workshop & Gallery
P.O. Box 510
3058 Stringfellow Road
St. James City, Florida 33956