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Kaiser Lee board priming

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Deive Butvila
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Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Deive Butvila » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:21 pm

I am using KL board in my fiber kiln instead of shelf paper but am not sure if or how the KL needs to be primed. I can't find any instructions on the KL web site. What I've done so far is:

I fused some small pieces directly on the KL board without priming and got good results. However, I did not care for the rough texture on the bottom of my pieces so I sanded the KL board smooth.

I was not sure if the sanded KL needed to primed. To be on the safe side I used 4 coats of primo primer. Then fixed the primer by firing to 500F and held it there for 20 minutes.

I fused successfully on the primed KL five times, but the sixth time I had some pieces stick. Some of the KL came up with the stuck pieces.

I reprimed the KL with 2 coats of primo primer and again fixed the primer at 500F for 20 minutes. After this I fused pieces successfully three times. The fourth time ALL my pieces stuck to the KL

Now the KL board will need to be sanded smooth again - a rather messy business.

What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right?

Thank You

Kevin Midgley
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Kevin Midgley » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:57 pm

bullseye kiln wash

Brad Walker
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Brad Walker » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:23 pm

Primo Primer is a ONE TIME kiln wash. If you use it more than that, the glass will eventually stick.

Kaiser-Lee recommends either dry kiln wash powder or shelf paper. They don't recommend using Primo Primer or boron nitride and aren't that high on regular kiln wash like Bullseye either. They claim you can use no kiln wash, but I suspect that's not perfect either, the texture will be a bit rough and it probably won't perform as well at temperatures above full fuse.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby JestersBaubles » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:57 pm

Typically, if you are using no kiln wash, they recommend your bottom layer be irid glass, irid side down.In this instance, the irid acts as the separator. And yes, you will get a lot of texture.

KLB is great for molds where the result is more organic, but for long term use, I would get a ceramic shelf.

2 cents, Dana W.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Valerie Adams » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:01 am

You're using the KLB instead of a kiln shelf? Why? That stuff's fairly expensive whereas a kiln shelf should last you quite a few years (I've got some that are 14 years old).

Deive Butvila
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Deive Butvila » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:31 pm

Thank you all for your input. A few clarifications. I am using a new top firing fiber kiln. This kiln does not have or need a kiln shelf. Instead of firing on the base of the kiln with release paper or dry wash, I instead invested in 12x12 KL board to avoid dealing with the residue of these release agents. I also wanted the ease of assembling my project on the KL at my workbench which then simplifies loading the kiln.

That being said, I am a total newbie as it comes to the kiln and appreciate all input from those so much more knowledgeable.

Below is an extract of tech notes on KL. It clearly states that there are multiple release options including Primo Primer, even using no release at all. My basic questions are these:

1. Once the KL is sanded to remove original texture is applying a release agent necessary?

A YouTube video shows Petra Kaiser spraying on MR97 boron nitride after smoothing the board. I didn't have MR 97 so instead used Primo Primer as noted in my original posting.

2. Once Primo Primer is applied how do I maintain this on the KL?

As noted in my original posting, after several firings I experienced glass sticking and pulling up some of the KL after firing. To remedy I just applied more primo on top of the old, but now see this was probably not the way to go.

I now have to re-sand the KL to smooth it out again, but am not sure how best to proceed to avoid future sticking.
ThanQ!

Extract from KL board tech notes:

"We recommend the use of Primo Primer kiln wash or release paper. Sanding the board lightly with a fine sand paper block and priming it with primo primer will give it a very smooth surface. Leaving the texture and using it as a design element is another option. It is so easy to carve, that you can actually create your own texture which will also be seen with the use of release paper.

Kaiser Lee Board provides 4 additional release options.
“1. No Kiln Wash - the surface of an uncoated fiberboard is course and the bottom surface of the glass will be rough and some of the fiberboard particles may stick temporarily to the glass (it comes off easily). I usually do not like this surface texture, except when I’m making tiles, as the rough surface improves the grip when installing.
2. Iridescent Side Down - The iridescent coating on glass functions as its own release and does not stick to fiberboard. In addition the fiber particles actually intensify the iridescent look (this is also true when using fiber paper).
3. Kiln Wash Powder - I keep a nylon ‘knee-high’ sock filled with dry kiln wash powder with my release supplies and I use it to ‘sift’ powder on my fiberboard and fiber paper molds. This enhances the release effect on previous kiln washed fiber molds and increases the number of firings I can get out of a fiber paper release before it disintegrates.
4. Mica Powder - This product is available in assorted colors and is normally used to create surface decoration effects. However Patty Gray (a fusing celebrity) gave me a wonderful hint - spread mica powder on the uncoated surface of fiberboard and rub it into the porous surface. It will prevent sticking, make the glass surface smooth and gives the surface a nice shine.” (This text is taken from “Fuse It – A Continuing Journey in Kiln Worked Glass by Petra Kaiser)"

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Valerie Adams » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:43 pm

I've got a couple fiber kilns too (probably the same one you do). Since I don't like firing without a shelf too often--I really don't find the fiber smooth enough, nor do I want to keep apply wash and sanding it--I use pizza stones. Any time I see one at a thrift store or garage sale I snap them up, usually for a buck.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Brad Walker » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:44 pm

I think there's some inconsistency about what KL recommends.

This is also from their website's FAQ's: "... use either Boron Nitride or Primo Primer. But we do not recommend it for reasons explained below. " To add to the confusion, there are no "reasons explained below."

I do know this: Primo Primer is a ONE USE kiln wash. If you use it, use it one time, then wipe clean and reapply.

Boron nitride (i.e. MR97) is a lousy choice over a fiber board. It works inconsistently at best. I wouldn't use it.

I would use a regular mullite/cordierite kiln shelf or use thinfire paper over fiberboard. Any other option will not work as well.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Morganica » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:43 pm

Deive Butvila wrote:Thank you all for your input. A few clarifications. I am using a new top firing fiber kiln. This kiln does not have or need a kiln shelf. Instead of firing on the base of the kiln with release paper or dry wash, I instead invested in 12x12 KL board to avoid dealing with the residue of these release agents. I also wanted the ease of assembling my project on the KL at my workbench which then simplifies loading the kiln.

Well...I think you've pretty much put paid to the claim that the kiln does not need a kiln shelf, right? ;-)

If the ONLY reason to use kiln shelves was overinsulation from the bottom of the kiln, then sure, having a fiber kiln bottom would eliminate the need for a kiln shelf. But as you've pointed out, there are a lot of other reasons to use shelves, and I wish manufacturers would stop positioning their marketing messages with "use ALL the space, you don't need a shelf."

(me, being a Sunday afternoon grump)
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Fiona Collins
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Fiona Collins » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:33 am

I'm using 17" KL boards as kiln shelves (expensive, yes, but totally worth it to me, clay shelves to heavy for me to handle) and use primo primer recoating every 2 firings. I just blow off any loose dust and recoat, they get smoother after every coat. Cheers, Fiona

Deive Butvila
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Deive Butvila » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:33 am

ThanQ to all!

I am going to follow Fiona's process and trust it will work for me.

This is a wonderful forum and hope some day to contribute advise instead of just posing questions.

Be well,
Deive

Don Burt
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Don Burt » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:29 pm

A total newbie who asks articulate questions, courteously, reads directions with an analytic skepticism, and is willing to experiment. Makes me wish I could answer the questions. But anyway, in my little kiln I have a collection of small vermiculite shelves. If you're going to use kiln wash, you'll probably want a number of shelves that you can wash have ready-dried. Vermiculite is cheap as shelving goes. and it's a good substrate for a kiln wash surface. In a small 12" square it's fairly durable. But I also have 19" squares of it I use and I have to handle it really carefully because it will crack easily in a big span like that.

Deive Butvila
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Deive Butvila » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Don Burt wrote:But anyway, in my little kiln I have a collection of small vermiculite shelves. If you're going to use kiln wash, you'll probably want a number of shelves that you can wash have ready-dried. Vermiculite is cheap as shelving goes. and it's a good substrate for a kiln wash surface. In a small 12" square it's fairly durable. But I also have 19" squares of it I use and I have to handle it really carefully because it will crack easily in a big span like that.


Hi Don,
After seeing your posting I checked out vermiculate and it certainly is significantly more affordable than KLB.
Two questions:
1. Due you use kiln posts with your vermiculate? I see that as a recommendation at Delphi.

2. Are you using fiber paper and/or kiln wash with the vermiculate?

ThanQ

Valerie Adams
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Valerie Adams » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:29 pm

I've got the 16" square fiber kiln and the 15" round fiber kiln by JenKen. I've used both of them without the shelves and they fire perfectly fine but I don't like the idea of scraping wash off the fiber since it'll eventually erode or become scratched.

Instead of kiln shelves, I pick up pizza stones for a buck or two a piece at garage sales and thrift stores. I've even bought new pizza stones on Amazon. The round kiln comfortably fits the 14" stones I see everywhere. The square kiln has a 14" square shelf I bought at Bullseye, in addition to a couple 15" square pizza stones, one which was used for a buck and another new one I bought for $12 at a thrift store.

The only downside to pizza stones is that they're a bit thinner than kiln shelves so once in a while I'll break one if I'm ramping too fast.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Don Burt » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:12 pm

Deive Butvila wrote:
Don Burt wrote:But anyway, in my little kiln I have a collection of small vermiculite shelves. If you're going to use kiln wash, you'll probably want a number of shelves that you can wash have ready-dried. Vermiculite is cheap as shelving goes. and it's a good substrate for a kiln wash surface. In a small 12" square it's fairly durable. But I also have 19" squares of it I use and I have to handle it really carefully because it will crack easily in a big span like that.


Hi Don,
After seeing your posting I checked out vermiculate and it certainly is significantly more affordable than KLB.
Two questions:
1. Due you use kiln posts with your vermiculate? I see that as a recommendation at Delphi.

2. Are you using fiber paper and/or kiln wash with the vermiculate?

ThanQ


I support my 18" x 18" vermiculite shelves in my larger kin with posts
I put the small pieces in my small kiln directly on the floor.
I use Bullseye kiln wash, or whatever they call it.

I should add that I rarely fire above 1325F. But I know that there are fusers on here who use it and must certainly go up in the 1500's

I got mine from:
James M. Wiles
Southern Services Company
9629 Hanover South Trail
Charlotte, NC 28210
Phone: 704 341 5577
Fax: 704 625 3687
Cell: 704 904 2401

smallbitz
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby smallbitz » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:29 pm

I am in the process of replacing my 24 x 24" kiln shelf. It's just too darn heavy for me to lift! I was probably leaning towards a KL or fiber shelf, but now seeing Don's posts re the vermiculite, I'm intrigued...

Do you have to kw the vermiculite as often as the fiber? Does it warp at larger sizes? Did you have it shipped from the place you mentioned in NC? Hmmm.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Brad Walker » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:44 pm

Vermiculite board can be used as a kiln shelf, but it does have some limitations.

1" thick board can warp, especially at larger sizes. 2" board is preferable. Of course, 2" board is also heavier and more expensive.

Kiln wash doesn't work nearly as well at temperatures close to 1500F as it works at 1325F. You may get some sticking unless you kiln wash very frequently.

Using thinfire every single firing is a viable alternative. But of course that can be more expensive.

Bigger pieces of vermiculite board can crack or chip if not handled carefully. If you continually take a board in and out of the kiln, it's a question of how soon it will crack, not if.

Also, vermiculite board comes in a number of different densities. Beware of the lower density boards. They're much more fragile than boards with a higher density. You want a density of at least 600 kg per cubic meter (37.5 lbs per cubic foot).

Jim Wiles can ship the board anywhere, but it's not cheap to ship. It has to be boxed very well or it will crack during shipment. We buy and use a lot of the board in our own operation, but I would be really reluctant to ship a full sheet for fear it wouldn't make it in one piece.

smallbitz
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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby smallbitz » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:47 pm

Thanks for the info. Didn't realize it was that fragile. Do you just keep adding kw on top of kw, or do you have to remove the old? I imagine it would damage it to remove it by sanding or scraping, right?

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:56 am

smallbitz wrote:Thanks for the info. Didn't realize it was that fragile. Do you just keep adding kw on top of kw, or do you have to remove the old? I imagine it would damage it to remove it by sanding or scraping, right?


I mostly use thinfire, but you can add quite a few layers of kiln wash if you want to go that way. Eventually it will flake off, more or less on it's on, or you can lightly sand it. Vermiculite board sands easily.

The board is plenty strong in smaller pieces, but larger ones are more likely to get nicked or to crack. Also, it's strong enough if you just leave it in the kiln, it's the moving in and out that can be problematical, especially with larger pieces.

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Re: Kaiser Lee board priming

Postby Ed Cantarella » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:20 am

Brad Walker wrote:Primo Primer is a ONE TIME kiln wash. If you use it more than that, the glass will eventually stick.
According to BUllseye "When firing to 1300°F (704°C) and above, shelves and
molds will need to be cleaned and recoated before each use." Ed Hoy(manufacturer or distributor of Primo), makes no statement on multiple uses but most retailers of it claim several uses.
So Bullseye is making an active statement of one use only, Primo is mute on the topic - putting the lowest common denominator at 1 use. So Primo "might" be longer lasting or it might be exactly the same, i.e. one use.

I typically get 4-6 uses out of Primo, more on slumps, maybe only 3-4 on full fuses and castings. On shelves I get 4-10 runs, burnishing lightly after each use with paprtowel or panyhose wad in front of the active exhaust air venting we have on our studio. Even then, I usually only brush off the loose stuff and reapply to any "scabs", unless I need a particularly smooth surface for that phase of the project. I like the purple colorant in PRimo - makes identification of thin spots while coating very evident.

I'm slightly horrified at thought of wash that needs to be scrapped off - Primo comes off easily with water and a kitchen scrubber, meaning no dust. No dust means less danger of silicosis. Re: silicosis. I'm a freak about dust avoidance - my spouse and I each have a smaller HEPA vacuum at our individual work areas for anything that is powder or fibrous, we always wear respirators at those times, all thin-fire or fiber cloth is cut directly in front of a HEPA air cleaner. AND we have the exhaust blower which is piped to each of our areas. A HEPA shop vac to vacuum the entire kiln before every firing, HEPA filter on the furnace/ac. All horizontal surfaces in studio get wiped down weekly with wet rags. Save your lungs folks, silicosis is probably the most under-appreciated danger in this activity. BOT :)
HER last words were, "I'm melting, melting . . . " Dissenting opinions generally welcome for comic relief or personal edification. Sometimes both.


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