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Setting Up a Glass Kiln

Setting Up Your Glass Kiln

Getting your new glass kiln delivered is exciting. Here are our tips on what to do when it arrives. 


Before your kiln arrives, think about where you will position it. Is there enough space? Will it fit through the door? Is the room or shed well ventilated and dry? Is the power source close by? Never use an extension cable to plug in a kiln. Larger kilns will need to be wired in by a qualified electrician.

FB8 in studioKilns are heavy, so get help when positioning it. Small bench-top kilns are fine sitting on a heatproof work surface. Larger kilns can stand on the floor, or on their own stand.  In all cases you should ensure the the kiln is positioned in a well ventilated room, away from the wall and any other obstructions. 

When unpacking your kiln check for any damage. Please note that it is common for brick kilns to have small chips or cracks in the brickwork because they are made from a natural material which is soft and light (and very insulating); This is normal and will not affect the firing of the kiln. Larger cracks or transit damage should obviously be reported to us immediately, but this is rare.

Kiln controllerYour kiln will already be programmed with some pre-set firing schedules. Take some time to read through the manual, and also take a look at our Video Tutorials page for useful guides on how to program and use your kiln controller.

Test Firing

Once you have positioned your kiln and connected it to the electricity supply it is a good idea to run a test firing to settle the kiln. We recommend putting a small, simple piece such as a coaster into your kiln when test firing. This should not be an important piece as the kiln may drop a small amount of brick dust during the first firing. Kiln-wash your shelf with Bullseye Shelf Primer (or line it with Thinfire Paper instead), put it in your kiln on some props, with your test piece on the shelf. Fire to a full fuse with any bungs removed and any vents open. The kiln may smell as the binders burn out during this initial firing. These may contaminate your test piece so do not be alarmed if this happens.

Kiln Test KitAllow the kiln to cool to at least 60C before opening to avoid undue stress to the glass or kiln. Check the piece to see if your kiln is over or under firing. All kilns fire slightly differently and you may need to adjust your firing schedules if you find your kiln fires a little hotter or cooler than expected. If you are not sure, you can use a Kiln Test Kit to check the firing temperature.

After firing it is a good idea to clean out your kiln with a brush or vacuum, but DO NOT brush or vacuum the lid, as this may encourage brick dust to fall the next time you fire the kiln.

Glass Kilns in studioFurther Information

For more information on using your kiln, take a look at the Kiln Preparation section of the guides in our Knowledge Base.

The Bullseye Glass Company have a nice video on setting up a home glass studio which you may find useful. It can be viewed here on the Bullseye Glass website.

Haven't bought your kiln yet? Read our guide to choosing a glass kiln. To compare the different kilns we sell, take a look at our Kiln Comparison page.


Registered office: 5 Havyat Park, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5PA, UK
Company Reg No. 5365166. VAT No. 791350132
© Warm Glass UK, 2015-2018
Registered office: 5 Havyat Park, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5PA, UK
Company Reg No. 5365166. VAT No. 791350132