How to Move a Pottery Kiln: Essential Tips and Techniques

  • By: homeshacks
  • Date: March 27, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Moving a pottery kiln can be a complex and delicate process, as it requires a great deal of care to ensure the kiln is preserved and not damaged during transportation. Whether you’re relocating your pottery studio or simply rearranging your workspace, following specific steps and precautions can make the process much smoother.

Before beginning the move, it is essential to understand the type and size of your kiln, as these factors will dictate the methods and equipment needed for a successful relocation. Gathering the necessary tools and planning ahead will significantly reduce the risk of accidents and damage.

Preparing the Kiln for Moving

Disconnecting Power and Gas

Before moving your pottery kiln, it is important to disconnect the power and gas lines. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the main power and gas supplies
  • Unplug the power cord from the outlet
  • Disconnect the gas line from the kiln, using an appropriate wrench

Removing Shelves and Accessories

Remove all shelves, supports, and accessories from the kiln to prevent damage during transportation. Use caution, as these items may be heavy and fragile:

  1. Wait for the kiln to cool down completely
  2. Wear protective gloves and eyewear
  3. Carefully remove shelves and supports one at a time
  4. Place the removed items in a safe and secure location

Securing Kiln Sections

Secure the kiln sections to prevent any movement or potential damage:

1Inspect the kiln sections for any visible damage
2Use ratcheting straps or rope to secure the sections together
3Make sure the straps or rope are tight and secure
Steps To Action

Gathering Necessary Tools and Equipment

Moving a pottery kiln requires careful planning and the right tools to ensure a safe and efficient process. In this section, we’ll discuss important factors such as choosing an appropriate vehicle, using proper lifting equipment, and packing materials for protection.

Choosing the Appropriate Vehicle

Transporting a kiln requires a vehicle capable of handling its weight and size. Factors to consider when selecting a vehicle include:

  • Weight capacity: Choose a vehicle with a weight capacity that exceeds the kiln’s total weight, including packaging materials.
  • Dimensions: Ensure the vehicle has enough space to accommodate the kiln’s dimensions, including height, width, and depth.
  • Accessibility: Pick a vehicle with easy loading and unloading capabilities, such as a truck with a lift gate or a trailer.

Using Proper Lifting Equipment

Proper lifting equipment is essential for safely moving a pottery kiln. Some recommended lifting tools include:

  • Furniture dolly: A furniture dolly can help transport the kiln across flat surfaces without unnecessary strain on your body.
  • Pallet jack: A pallet jack is a helpful tool for easily raising and lowering the kiln, as well as moving it along the ground.
  • Lifting straps: Use lifting straps to safely distribute the kiln’s weight and make it easier to handle during the moving process.

Packing Materials for Protection

Ensuring the kiln’s protection during transport is crucial. Here are some packing materials to consider using:

Bubble wrapUse bubble wrap to protect delicate parts of the kiln, such as the control panel.
Stretch wrapStretch wrap can help secure the kiln to pallets or other transportation aids to prevent shifting during transit.
Blankets or paddingBlankets or padding can be used to cushion the kiln against impacts and protect it from scratches.
Material & Description

By carefully selecting the appropriate tools, equipment, and packing materials, you can ensure a successful and safe pottery kiln move.

Moving the Kiln

In this section, we will discuss the process of moving a pottery kiln, including lifting techniques, loading the kiln onto a vehicle, and securing it for transport.

Lifting Techniques

Before attempting to move the kiln, make sure to have the proper safety equipment, such as gloves and closed-toe shoes. Pottery kilns can be heavy, so it’s essential to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury:

  • Bend at the knees, not the waist
  • Keep your back straight
  • Lift with your legs, not your arms
  • Seek assistance if the kiln is too heavy for one person to lift

Loading the Kiln onto the Vehicle

When you’re ready to load the kiln, choose a vehicle with adequate space and weight capacity. Consider using a truck or van for transporting larger kilns. Follow these steps:

  1. Position the vehicle close to the kiln to minimize the distance it needs to be carried
  2. Clear a path and remove obstacles, such as rocks or uneven surfaces
  3. Use a dolly or cart, if available, to more easily move the kiln to the vehicle
  4. Ensure the vehicle’s tailgate or door is open, and enlist the help of others if necessary to carefully lift and load the kiln

Securing the Kiln for Transport

Once the kiln is loaded into the vehicle, it’s essential to secure it for transport. Properly securing the kiln can prevent damage and keep it safe during the journey. To do this:

  • Place paddings, such as blankets or foam, around the kiln to protect it from impacts
  • Use straps, bungee cords, or rope to tightly secure the kiln and prevent it from shifting while in transit
  • Double-check that the kiln is stable and unable to move before closing the vehicle’s door and beginning the journey

Setting Up the Kiln at the New Location

In this section, we will discuss how to set up the kiln at its new location. We’ll cover unloading the kiln, reassembling it, and reconnecting power and gas.

Unloading the Kiln

Before unloading the kiln, make sure that the area where you plan to set it up is clean, level, and clear of any obstructions.

Follow these steps for unloading the kiln:

  • Carefully remove the kiln parts and components from the vehicle or trailer.
  • Place each part on a protective surface, such as a tarp or a padded mat, before moving them to their final location.
  • Organize the parts close to the kiln’s designated position for easy access during reassembly.

Reassembling the Kiln

To reassemble the kiln, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult any picture or notes you took during disassembly. In general, reassembly includes:

  • Putting together the kiln’s main body and stacking the bricks or sections to their original positions.
  • Assembling the structure that supports the kiln, such as a metal frame, if applicable.
  • Reinstalling and aligning the kiln shelves and other internal components.
  • Securing the kiln lid or door, ensuring it opens and closes smoothly without any obstructions.

Reconnecting Power and Gas

Now that the kiln is assembled, it’s time to reconnect the power and gas supply. Make sure to follow all safety guidelines and local codes when performing this step.

Power SupplyGas Supply
Connect the kiln’s electrical supply to a dedicated circuit as specified by the manufacturer. Ensure that the circuit breaker is turned off before connecting the power cord. Double-check that the voltage and amperage match the kiln’s requirements.If your kiln is gas-fired, connect it to the appropriate gas supply line. Make sure all connections are secure and free of leaks. Position the gas supply valve so it’s easily accessible in case of emergency.
Power Supply/Gas Supply

After reconnecting power and gas, your kiln should be ready for use. Be sure to perform a test firing to ensure everything is working properly.

Final Checks and Preparing for Use

After you have successfully moved your pottery kiln, it is essential to perform some final checks and preparations before using it. This section will guide you through inspecting for damage, and testing the kiln for proper function.

Inspecting for Damage

Before utilizing your kiln, it’s important to inspect for any possible damage that may have occurred during the move. This includes checking:

  • The exterior for dents or cracks
  • The interior walls and shelves for damages
  • Electrical components for signs of damage or disconnection
  • The kiln’s support structure ensures stability

If you find any significant damage, it is best to consult the kiln manufacturer or a professional kiln technician before attempting to use the kiln.

Testing the Kiln for Proper Function

In order to ensure safe and effective operation, you should perform a test firing of the kiln. This can be done using a low-temperature firing to minimize potential risks. Follow these steps:

  1. Place a small amount of pottery or test pyrometric cones inside the kiln.
  2. Start with a low-temperature firing cycle according to the kiln’s manual.
  3. Monitor the kiln during the firing process to ensure even heating and proper functioning of the temperature controls.
  4. After the test firing is complete, allow the kiln to cool and assess the results.
  5. Inspect the test pottery or pyrometric cones to ensure proper heating and uniform temperature distribution.

If the test firing is successful, and there are no signs of damage or malfunctions, you can now proceed to use your kiln for pottery production.

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