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My question is about burnout. Sigh, I cannot afford an
independent kiln for it and I tried the method suggested in the
forum archives, but my hot plate would just not get hot enough.
The flowerpot did wonders but the plate itself wouldn’t keep the
heat :frowning: My question is, I have a ceramics kiln…but my concern
is that procedures like salt firing forever dedicate a kiln to
salt firing and no more, so I don’t do it. Would burnout of wax
coat or damage a kiln permanently? I read in “The Complete
Metalsmith” that wax vaporizes at a certain easily obtainable
temperature by a ceramics kiln, but would there be aftereffects
for future clay or glaze fires?? Please let me know, I’m not sure
of how else to accomplish a burnout on my very limited budget …
Thanks , Terry

Hello Terry:

When I was in High school,the art teacher used the ceramics kiln
to do all the jewelery burnouts.It always worked just fine for
both. The average ceramic kiln is pretty big and will require
more time to heat.You should use a longer burnout cycle,and since
most ceramic kilns are top loaders insulative gloves and a pair
of long tongs are a must.

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA


Several ideas. Did you line the flowerpot with aluminum foil?

If you want to use your pottery kiln for burnout, it will work
OK. A little stress in opening it when hot, but this shouldn’t
be that bad. Steam dewax and you will keep your fumes to a
minimum — just use a veggie steamer in an old pot and put your
flask in so’s the wax can drip out — steam as long as you see
wax dripping out, as the moisture will actually help in burnout
— you don’t want the flask dry.

You might be able to use your hotplate and some fiberfax or
other ceramic blanket around a flowerpot or even freestanding.
Try local AP Green for the castable or the blanket fiber

Look in Tim McCreight’s Complete Metalsmith where he gives
directions for kilns for melting metal. Any of these would
probably also work for burnout.

Roy (Jess)

 Steam dewaxers only work with waxes with melting temperatures
below about 190F.  All carving waxes melt at over 200F and
will not steam dewax.

If you really need to steam dewax carved models, you might try
an old used pressure cooker. These will allow the water and
steam to get to higher temps than in normal atmospheric
pressures. Depending on the exact temp your pressure cooker
reaches, and the exact type of wax you’re using, this will
sometimes work successfully. Found that out when I needed to
steam dewax, and that old garage sale pressure cooker I had
happened to be the only available vessel, and it worked fairly
well for the waxes I was using. Only later, in another shop,
where the steam dewaxer happened to be a commercial unit, did I
discover that I wasn’t supposed to be able to steam out carving
waxes. The main problem with a pressure cooker is that you’ll
need enough water to allow it to continue to cook long enough,
and pressure cookers let off steam fast enough to boil dry if
you’re not careful. This is especially true of carving waxes,
which often melt sluggishly and flow out of a mold much less
readily. Setting the stove/hot plate temp just hot enough to
barely get the cooker to reach full pressure, without pumping
much more excess heat into it helps some… Try it. Might work
for you if you really need to do this…

Peter Rowe

I used to use two flower pots, one inside the other plus a heat
reflector of heavy weight aluminum foil lining the inside pot.
Worked fine.

J. Holt
Dark Island
Kodiak, Alaska