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  • The Kitiki MiniKiln For Art Clay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamelling, And Glass
    UltraLite Or Mail Or Call Cherry Heaven For your convenience I ve separated all the kilns into two very general groups on two separate internet resources although there s cross over To switch resources use the links above the menu bar near the top of the page Electric Kilns is generally for smaller plug in table top kilns usually used for small scale work such as annealing beads Art Clay metal clays dichroics enamels glass fusing jewellery lampwork PMC silver clay porcelain and vitrigraph Paragon Kilns is generally for larger wired in floor standing or table top kilns usually used for business scale work such as annealing casting ceramics earthenware glass panels heat treating making knives porcelain pottery and raku After looking at the kiln in detail I ll introduce the accessories options and upgrades THE KITIKI MINIKILN METAL CLAYS DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS FUSING AND HEAT TREATING The Prometheus Pro 1 MiniKiln For Firing ArtClay PMC And Other Metal Clays Dichroic Glasses Enamelling Fusing Glass And Heat Treating The Kitiki Mini Kiln Pro 1 is a 1000 C rectangular front opening plug in table top ceramic fibre kiln with an AX4 4 key digital controller It s typically used for making jewellery lampwork annealing beads and glass firing bronze and copper clays painting china applying decals dental work fusing dichroic glasses enamelling fire polishing glass art glass casting fusing sagging and slumping glass clays glass panels gold clays heat treating knife making laboratory testing lamp work lost wax casting melting silver moulding gun and model parts pâte de verre sintering gold and silver clays staining glass hardening and tempering blades cutters dies and tools and many other materials and processes You can use most popular small scale materials such as Accent Gold Art Clay metal clays BullsEye glasses dichroic glasses enamels GlasClay Image Transfer Solution Metal Clay Veneer PMC silver clay Prometheus bronze clay ProCopper clay and SilverEtch And there s an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays such as Cinter Clay Mania Creative Goldie Hadar Jacobson Metal Adventures Meteor Noble and PMC Sterling The UK EU kiln is rated at 230V 700W so it can use a regular mains socket To comply with EU safety regulations the element is embedded an important safety feature However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 224mm x 244mm x 274mm high and is slotted for air circulation so it keeps cool The door is hinged on the left opens 90 has a positive action ball catch and has a small vent hole for processes that release fumes The vent also serves as a peephole it s not a glass window The ceramic firing chamber enclosed in an inner steel case measures 113mm x 135mm x 66mm high internally and heats from the top sides and bottom with the fast firing element safely embedded in the fibre important if you re working in a public space or you like to open the kiln whilst you work The accessories for this kiln are in the on line shop stacking shelf kit and shelf paper charcoal for the stainless steel box used for firing some metal clays ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Kitiki MiniKiln is a reliable robust well made kiln at a good price It s small enough to use in your home school craft workshop jewellery studio or course venue as it only weighs about 6Kg It s guaranteed for a year and there s an informed and supportive user base and international spares and repair centres The Kitiki MiniKiln is sometimes called an Art Clay kiln a craft kiln an enamelling kiln a glass fusing kiln a jewellery kiln a hobby kiln a metal clay kiln a PMC kiln a Prometheus Kiln a Prometheus Pro 1 Kiln a SilverClay kiln or a trinkets kiln a measure of its popularity THE KITIKI MINIKILN NOTES The Kitiki MiniKiln Notes It s very important to understand that the Kitiki Mini Kiln has a digital controller not a comprehensive digital programmer such as the Sentry Xpress on the Paragon SC2 or the Orton AutoFire Express on the Prometheus Pro 7 There are limitations although you might be perfectly happy with what it can do rather than unhappy with what it can t Unlike a digital programmer a controller doesn t offer sequences and segments it heats to a set temperature and stays there until you turn it off For most people doing small scale work that s enough although it helps if you buy a small digital timer to remind you that time s up You can buy a digital timer in the on line shop For example the Paragon SC 2 digital programmer allows you to set up and re use four accurate drying heating holding and cooling sequences and do something else whilst the sequence is running A sequence can consist of up to eight segments A segment is one step in a sequence often the time it takes to reach a target temperature For example a segment could take 50 minutes to reach 650 C could hold at 850 C for 12 minutes or could cool down over two hours The MiniKiln has a smaller firing chamber than that of the Paragon SC2 so you can t fill three shelves with twenty four pieces of jewellery just four or five average things on the floor of the firing chamber on a ceramic fibre cloth or shelf And it heats to 1000 C not 1095 C Some bronze and copper clays can be fired in activated charcoal granules in a stainless steel container The MiniKiln will hold a small container The SC2 SC3 E9A E10A 1193 and Caldera hold a one litre container the E12A E14A and J14A hold a three litre Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with charcoals ceramic fibre blocks cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln wear glare resistant glasses which protect your eyes from IR and UV The kiln is fired in the factory to harden the ceramic so it may not look bright white It s also important to understand that all ceramics develop hairline cracks or tiny bits may flake off this does not affect its safety or use In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault it s reassuring to know that home repairs are easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers If you need help an engineer can guide you on the phone THE KITIKI MINIKILN KILN FURNITURE The Kitiki MiniKiln Kiln Furniture There s a recommended shelf included in the price one ceramic fibre shelf 75mm x 118mm x 6mm for metal clays enamels and glass There s an extra recommended kit not included in the price one ceramic fibre shelf 75mm x 118mm x 6mm and four 12mm shelf posts You can buy extra shelf kits in the on line shop Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for two If extra kits are packed with the kiln the delivery charge doesn t increase Ordered later not with the kiln they need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools KITIKI PROMETHEUS KILNS MADE FOR CHERRY HEAVEN FOR THE UK AND EU Kitiki And Prometheus Kilns Made For Cherry Heaven For The UK And EU The Kitiki MiniKiln has been re engineered and comprehensively tested for the UK so will work in the EU and most other countries It s CE Marked and complies with EU safety standards It uses regular single phase 230V mains and has 230V EU elements The heating element is embedded in ceramic fibre an important and legally necessary safety feature However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The Kitiki MiniKiln has a UK three pin plug If you re not in the UK use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own it won t invalidate the guarantee WHY BUY A KITIKI MINIKILN The Kitiki MiniKiln Pro 1 Compared to Similar Kilns The internet like any other unchecked resource is open to claims that whatever is being sold is the best the newest or the cheapest and it s being sold by the largest dealer or the premier distributor So why buy a Kitiki MiniKiln from Cherry Heaven Cherry Heaven internet resources will help you choose the right kiln and avoid an expensive mistake especially if later you discover new materials or processes win a challenging commission want to make larger pieces decide to run courses or find a promising business niche The MiniKiln is made for Cherry Heaven by Odak the maker of Prometheus kilns to our own design It s a smart black finish with an attractive apricot and grey fascia Black doesn t discolour easily with use so the kiln looks better for longer In November 2014 one on line shop was selling a red version without a shelf for considerably more With other shops you had to register to find the price With others they were out of stock And I suspect that none of them offers free competent technical support a prompt service and repair workshop and telephone time if you have to fit spare parts The digital controller allows you to set a target temperature When it s reached it holds at that temperature until you turn it off There are no restrictive features such as pre set fixed programmes Pre set fixed programmes might seem to be an advantage However having experimented and diversified many people fire materials or combinations of materials at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended So pre sets soon become a serious limitation The MiniKiln heats from the top both sides and the botton This minimises the front to back temperature difference that s common with smaller kilns The element is embedded in ceramic fibre an important safety feature if you run classes or like to open the kiln whilst you work However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault it s reassuring to know that home repairs are easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers If you need help there are on line repair videos or an engineer can guide you on the phone Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven This concludes the part of this page about kilns The remainder is just general imformation about glass glass clay and metal clays If you re a beginner it s a condensed explanation of common materials and processes I ve not included ceramics as the MiniKiln isn t hot enough RECOMMENDED READING Kilns Programmers Kiln Furniture Options Upgrades Firing Kiln Logs Accessories Materials Processes And Tools The remaining sections are about digital programmers options upgrades materials and processes Unless you re already successfully using a kiln they re recommended reading If you need help you can mail an experienced technician or call Alternatively to learn more about how your kiln works find the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL CLAYS What Is A Metal Clay Metal Clays are clay like materials made of fine metal powders and water soluble organic binders Out of the packet they feel like modelling clay so can be shaped using anything appropriate If you don t like what you ve made you can roll it up and start again Any scraps can be wrapped up and re used so there s almost no waste When you re happy with your work it s dried so that the moisture can evaporate At this stage it feels like a plaster so you can still refine the shape and even add more clay As it s fired the binders vapourise releasing very small amounts of non toxic carbon dioxide and water and the metal powder sinters leaving solid metal real metal not something that just looks like metal The firing temperature isn t high enough to melt the metal otherwise your work would lose it s shape and liquify Although Art Clay and PMC silver clays were first to market there s now an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays such as Cinter Clay Mania Creative Goldie Hadar Jacobson Metal Adventures Meteor Noble and PMC Sterling I sometimes get asked if there s a platinum metal clay there is but it s an industrial product Platinum melts at 1772 C so a platimum clay would probably need to fire at around 1600 C beyond the maximum temperature of conventional kilns All our tools have been chosen for their engineering excellence and clean functionality to help you manage a creative and efficient work environment And you ll enjoy using good tools rather than continually improvising To learn more use the accessories tools link below the menu bar near the top of the page SILVER CLAY Aida Art Clay Silver And Mitsubishi PMC Silver Clay There are two popular makes of silver clay Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in Japan They re both clay like materials made of fine silver powder and water soluble organic binders Art Clay Silver and PMC Silver sometimes just called silver clay metal clay or precious metal clay are easy to fire put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold time As they re fired the binders vapourise releasing very small amounts of non toxic carbon dioxide and water and the metal powder sinters leaving solid 999 silver real metal not something that just looks like metal All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit cost of firing so you might want more than one Although we chose to work with sell and provide classes in Art Clay both makes fire in a similar way So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC If you re currently using PMC try Art Clay There are differences in the feel the shrinkage the strength the surface lustre the product range the pricing and the general commercial setup if you re running a serious business To learn more use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page You can buy ArtClay bronze clay copper clay glass clay gold clay and related products in the on line shop BRONZE CLAY Bronze Clay And BronzClay There are three popular makes of bronze clay Bronze Clay made by ClayMania BronzClay made by Metal Adventures and Prometheus Bronze ProClay made by Odak They re all clay like materials made of fine bronze powder and water soluble organic binders However they re fired in different ways Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth put it on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold time It can also be fired in charcoal Clay Mania Bronze Clay and MetalAdventures BronzClay fire in a special way Fired normally the surface would oxidise so to minimize this they re embedded in activated charcoal granules in a covered stainless steel container Charcoal made from coconut shells produces a natural bronze colour and charcoal made from coal produces a colourful range of patinas As they re fired the binders vapourise releasing very small amounts of non toxic carbon dioxide and water and the metal powder sinters leaving solid bronze an alloy of 89 copper and 11 tin real metal not something that just looks like metal The stainless steel container for the Paragon SC 2 measures 162mm x 176mm x 100mm and holds 1 litre of charcoal To fire larger pieces or more pieces at the same time you ll need a larger kiln such as the Paragon Xpress E 12A The container for the E 12A measures 265mm x 162mm x 152mm and holds 3 litres of charcoal The 1230 C firebrick E12A costs more than the 1095 C ceramic fibre SC2 However it s two and a half times larger than the SC 2 and is a versatile mixed media kiln suited to continual high temperatures Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with charcoals ceramic fibre blocks cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit cost of firing so you might want more than one I can t recommend one clay as being the best There are differences in the feel the firing the shrinkage the strength and the surface patinas so try them and experiment they re not expensive However as Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire and costs less than the others

    Original URL path: http://www.electrickilns.co.uk/mini.htm (2016-04-27)
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  • The Prometheus Pro-7 For Art Clay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamels, And Glass
    guarantee WHY BUY A PROMETHEUS PRO 7 The Prometheus Pro 7 Compared to Similar Kilns The internet like any other unchecked resource is open to claims that whatever is being sold is the best the newest or the cheapest and it s being sold by the largest dealer or the premier distributor This comprehensive internet resource will help you choose the right kiln and avoid making an expensive mistake especially if as you learn more you discover new materials or processes want to make larger pieces decide to run courses or find a promising business niche So why buy a Prometheus Pro 7 from Cherry Heaven Let s look at what else is available Cherry Heaven is a distributor for the Prometheus Pro 7 it s in a smart black finish However at least one company is selling the same kiln as the Prometheus Pro 1 and painted red that costs about 44 more The Orton AutoFire Express digital programmer allows you to set up multiple sequences each one with multiple heating holding or cooling segments you can choose the heating rates target temperatures hold times and cooling rates save the sequences and re use them There are no restrictive pre set programmes Pre sets might seem to be an advantage However having experimented and diversified most people fire materials or combinations of materials at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended The Pro 7 heats from the top both sides and the botton This minimises the front to back temperature difference that s common with smaller kilns The element is embedded in ceramic fibre an important safety feature if you run classes or like to open the kiln whilst you work However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains Although there s cross over 1100 C front opening ceramic fibre kilns that heat and cool quickly such as the Pro 7 are preferred for Art Clay and PMC metal clays dichroic glass enamelling glass clays and mixed media jewellery And generally 1230 C to 1290 C front or top opening firebrick kilns that heat and cool evenly such as those in the Caldera and Xpress series are preferred for ceramics porcelain pottery and stoneware especially as firebrick kilns are better suited to continual high temperatures In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault it s reassuring to know that home repairs are easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers If you need help there are on line repair videos or an engineer can guide you on the phone Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven Kilns from competing manufacturers typically don t have built in controllers don t come with a shelf have out dated features use restrictive pre set programmes aren t in stock or there are no spares They re generally more expensive but smaller and don t get as hot so less versatile Mis leading first sight prices often exclude a shelf kit delivery and VAT Here are a few facts that you can easily check for yourself based on net shop specifications and prices in June 2011 for Efco Evenheat and KilnCare kilns However buy a Paragon and with the saving you can treat yourself to a luxury five star weekend break The Efco 110 135 150 and 180 kilns don t have rotary controllers or digital programmers without one they ll just heat up and burn out The KilnCare EN 1 EN 2 and EN 3 kilns have built in manual rotary controllers So they re all usually sold with a KilnCare KCR1 digital programmer probably made by Stafford Instruments It s a separate box with a separate mains cable a separate thermocouple and a separate stand so more stuff on your worktop This adds about 300 to what might appear to be the price of the kiln The Paragon SC series kilns have built in comprehensive automatic digital programmers with just three keys you set the ramps and holds in sequence you re not stuck with pre sets that will restrict you sooner or later So remember this when someone tells you that some programmers have confusing menus and masses of buttons If you want a kiln specifically designed for batch annealing beads look at the Paragon BlueBird series especially as the regular BlueBird is wider than the Maxi and costs about 95 less The BlueBird XL is a professional batch annealing kiln it s 230 C hotter than the Maxi so more versatile If you need help choosing or have a specific project mail or call However all the kilns are described on their own pages use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page MAKING A CHOICE Making A Choice To help you make a choice there are three important things to consider the maximum temperature the internal size and the type of door or lid If you want a simpler cheaper kiln look at the Pro 1 MiniKIln or the SpeedFire Pro If you want a similar kiln with a comprehensive programmer look at the popular SC 2 If you want a hotter kiln for ceramics look at the Xpress Q11A If you want a larger hotter kiln look at the Xpress E12A Finally for glass work start with the Fusion CS 14D I ve included a specification table below To learn more about other kilns use the electric kilns link above the menu bar near the top of this page then choose the appropriate link Or mail or call VERSION DESCRIPTION MAX C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM MiniKiln 1000 700 6 ceramic fibre 113 x 135 x 066 Pro 7 1100 1950 22 ceramic fibre 230 x 205 x 155 SpeedFire Pro 980 440 5 ceramic fibre 114 x 114 x 076 SC2 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145 SC2B bead door 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145 SC2W window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145 SC2BW bead door and window 1095 1680 16 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 145 SC3 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195 SC3B bead door 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195 SC3W window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195 SC3BW bead door and window 1095 2000 18 ceramic fibre 199 x 204 x 195 Fusion CS14D square lid and body opening 925 1800 71 firebrick 356 x 356 x 165 Xpress Q11A 1290 1440 20 firebrick 147 x 153 x 159 Xpress E12A 1230 2700 38 firebrick 216 x 305 x 222 The Orton Paragon digital programmers allow you to set up multiple sequences each one with multiple heating holding or cooling segments you can choose the heating rates target temperatures hold times and cooling rates save the sequences and re use them There are no restrictive pre set programmes Pre sets might seem to be an advantage However having experimented and diversified most people fire materials or combinations of materials at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended For help or in the unlikely event of a fault you can mail or call an engineer in the UK However home checks adjustments and repairs are quick and easy needing little more than a screwdriver and you can watch on line videos Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven Finally Owners call them Art Clay kilns beading kilns bronze clay kilns clay kilns copper clay kilns dichroic glass kilns enamel kilns enamelling kilns glass kilns glass fusing kilns heat treating kilns home hobby kilns jewelry kilns jewellery kilns lampwork kilns metal clay kilns mixed media kilns PMC kilns silver clay kilns small kilns or studio kilns This diversity is a good reflection of their popularity RECOMMENDED READING Kilns Programmers Kiln Furniture Options Upgrades Firing Kiln Logs Accessories Materials Processes And Tools The remaining sections are about digital programmers options upgrades materials and processes Unless you re already successfully using a kiln they re recommended reading If you need help you can mail an experienced technician or call Alternatively to learn more about how your kiln works find the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page KILN FURNITURE A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT Kiln Furniture Shelves And Posts Most kilns have a recommended furniture kit Delivery companies have a low rate for parcels less than 30kg so for smaller kilns weighing less than 30Kg the kit is generally one shelf and four posts included in the price because it fits in the box and doesn t add much to the shipping weight You get a professional durable cordierite shelf with four 12mm high posts You don t get a soft ceramic fibre shelf often described as free that will gradually break up and need replacing Shelf kits usually include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm shelf posts When flat they re 12mm high on their sides they re 25mm Other sizes up to 150mm high are available so you can choose the shelf spacing that suits your kiln and your work The recommended kit is usually the simplest that works not an expensive collection that I ve put together for you However extra shelf kits allow you to stack your work optimising your use of the firing chamber volume the unit cost of firing and your time And extra half shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg it s not included in the price because you ll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves half shelves smaller shelves and assorted height posts One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic fibre or firebrick Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln You need finger space all round and they mustn t scrape the kiln walls every time they re put in or taken out Although they look tough most ceramics break if they re dropped so it s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln or you re running courses During firing sequences with heating holding and cooling segments the elements turn on and off repeatedly In a small kiln with little residual heat the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts A thick heavy shelf stores heat and because it s resting on posts the air circulates helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations If you re buying your first kiln you re probably interested in one material such as silver clay or one process such as enamelling However after a few successes and failures most people want to try different materials make larger pieces experiment with combinations fire more at a time and soon become interested in something else or everything else Some start a business or run classes You might want a full shelf two half shelves several mixed shelves a set of shelf posts a bead mandrel holder glass separator hot gloves kiln wash a knife making rack pyrometric cones a tile holder or other accessories Shelves are heavy so Kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools For dichroics enamelling and glass fusing put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking it s simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper probably the most popular ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf One side feels slightly smoother than the other that s the glass side Generally glasswork needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf than between closely stacked shelves although experienced glass artists often use several shelves succesfully Delicate pieces can be fired on a puffed up ceramic fibre cloth on a shelf Round pieces that could roll to one side can be fired on a hollowed out ceramic fibre block However if the kin has elements in the bottom as with the Mini Kiln and Pro 7 a cloth or block will act as insulator and the kiln might overheat Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with ceramic fibre blocks ceramic cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln even briefly wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV If your day to day work depends on your kiln and down time will be disruptive or expensive it s a good idea to have spares extra shelves a selection of posts elements a relay and a thermocouple You can learn about ceramic blocks and cloths charcoal dust masks glare resistant glasses glass separator heat resistant gloves kiln vents kiln wash programmers protective glasses USB interfaces shelf paper tools and other accessories using the accessories link below the menu bar near the top of the front page And they re all in the on line shop Shelves are checked before despatch and are wrapped protectively But they re not guaranteed and we cannot be responsible for any later damage FIRING CHARACTERISTICS How Electric Kilns Work Generally as soon as a programmable kiln starts its firing sequence it begins to heat up at a rate set by the programmer It can t heat up quicker than it would do with the elements full on The thermocouple tells the programmer the current internal temperature and depending on the sequence you ve chosen the programmer turns the elements on or off to control the sequence segments the heating rate the target temperature the hold time and the cooling rate It can t cool down quicker than it would do with the kiln turned off When the sequence is complete the kiln beeps and the sequence stops For safety the programmer doesn t switch the full mains voltage Instead it drives a relay an electro mechanical switch The programmer uses a low voltage to activate the switch which turns the high voltage elements on or off When the target temperature is reached the programmer switches the elements off However residual heat in the firing chamber allows the internal temperature to overshoot the target temperature briefly before starting to fall back This overshoot is more evident at low temperatures than at high temperatures and in small kilns rather than large kilns For example 300 C will probably overshoot to 330 C whereas 800 C will probably only overshoot to 805 C before starting to fall back During the hold time with the elements still off the temperature starts to fall When the programmer switches the elements back on the firing chamber will initially absorb some of the new heat before the temperature recovers The continual switching of the elements on and off causes the internal temperature to oscillate either side of the target temperature This is similar to central heating If you set it for 21 C it probably oscillates quite slowly around 20 C to 22 C and you won t notice The accuracy will depend on where the thermostat is sited how quickly it responds how accurate it is how long it takes for the radiators to heat up and if you have doors and windows open The temperature will probably be slightly different in each room So regardless of the thermocouple temperature the actual temperature of your work will be slightly different depending on its position on the kiln shelf the vertical spacing of any stacked shelves and its nearness to the elements a lid a door a bead door or a window Learn to take it into account if you re working with temperature critical materials or processes Remember that glass needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf at the bottom than between closely stacked shelves Kiln doors and lids are not meant to be a perfect fit otherwise at high temperatures there d be no room for expansion and movement and the door could stick and the ceramic fibre or firebricks could crack All kilns smell a bit and even produce whisps of smoke during the first firings just like a toaster or a fan heater If you re worried about fumes open a window Eventually with normal use kilns discolour slightly inside and outside and some firebricks might develop hairline cracks Your kiln is a versatile robust red hot tool not an ornament KEEPING A KILN LOG Keeping A Kiln Log Using your kiln successfully needs critical research and frequent tests especially as things that work for your friends and teachers might not work in the same way for you It s also very important to learn how to creatively use unexpected effects So keep a firing log Buy a durable notebook Use a new page for every firing and draw diagrams of the shelves their vertical spacing and the position of your work on the shelves Along with your work put a few scraps at different places on the shelves to learn how things change Describe the material the shape of your work the firing cycle and the end result Add a few photos and sketches and mark the page corners with coloured dots or

    Original URL path: http://www.electrickilns.co.uk/prop.htm (2016-04-27)
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  • Paragon SC-2 Kilns For Art Clay, PMC, Beads, Enamels, And Glass Fusing
    what you might want to do with it in the future Even if you don t use the bead door and window very often as you gain experience they do make learning easier and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence THE PARAGON SC 2 PRO 3 ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 2 Pro 3 For Art Clay And PMC Silver Clays Annealing Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The SC2 Pro 3 is very stylish kiln it has a stainless steel door stay cool wooden door handle silent long life solid state relay and tilted easy view ramp hold 3 key digital programmer Otherwise it s similar to the SC2 THE PARAGON SC 2 PRO 12 ART CLAY BEADS DENTAL DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS METAL CLAYS AND PMC The Paragon SC 2 Pro 12 For Art Clay And PMC Silver Clays Annealing Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The SC2 Pro 12 is a very stylish kiln it has a stainless steel door stay cool wooden door handle silent long life solid state relay and tilted easy view ramp hold Sentry 12 key digital programmer Otherwise it s similar to the SC2 The programmer can be connected to your computer through a factory fitted RS232 interface The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing and analyse arrange print out and save the data If you want this feature make sure you order the RS232 interface in the on line shop THE PARAGON SC 2D PRO 3 DROP DOOR ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 2D Pro 3 For Art Clay And PMC Silver Clays Annealing Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping THe SC2D Pro 3 a very stylish kiln it has a stainless steel drop door stay cool wooden door handle silent long life solid state relay and tilted easy view ramp hold digital programmer Otherwise it s similar to the SC2 THE PARAGON SC3 ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING FUSING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 3 For Art Clay And PMC Metal Clays Clays Annealing Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The Paragon SC 3 is a 1095 C square front opening plug in table top ceramic fibre kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches However for this kiln 3 means it s the third in the series It s about 8 inches wide 8 inches deep and 8 inches high The kiln is rated at 230V 2000W so it can use a regular mains socket To comply with EU safety regulations the elements are embedded an important safety feature However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 336mm x 311mm x 432mm high It s slotted for air circulation so stays cool and doesn t need an extra stand There s a removable stopper in the top vent for lost wax casting and other processes that might release fumes The shipping weight is about 18kg The ceramic fibre firing chamber enclosed in an inner steel case measures 199mm x 204mm x 195mm high and heats from both sides with the fast firing elements safely embedded in the fibre The kiln has an electro mechanical relay and a long life nickel chromium K type thermocouple The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a right hand door hinge factory fitted a 165mm x 64mm letter box style bead anealing door factory fitted a 50mmx 50mm heat resistant glass viewing window in the centre of the door factory fitted a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Paragon SC3 is ideal for classrooms course venues schools and commercial jewellery studios It s 1 35 times larger inside than the SC2 and will hold four 178mm x 178mm shelves yet it still heats up quickly You can fire lots of metal clay at one go use jewellery moulds cast glass and paint china figures THE PARAGON SC3 KILN FURNITURE The Paragon SC3 Kiln Furniture SC kilns normally leave the factory with one small economy ceramic fibre shelf We ve replaced it with a more expensive professional kit a solid thick tough shelf and four posts So There s a recommended kit included in the price one durable 178mm x 178mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts There s an extra recommended kit not included in the price one 178mm x 178mm x 15mm shelf and four posts You can choose 12mm 25mm or 50mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for four THE PARAGON SC3B BEAD DOOR ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 3B For Annealing Beads Art Clay And PMC Metal Clays Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The Paragon SC3B door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter box style bead anealing door and a bead mandrel holder Otherwise it s the same as the SC3 The bead door is hinged at the top and opens outwards Normally glass beads on bead mandrels or rods are pushed through the bead door and rest on the mandrel holder so that an annealing programme can toughen the glass The bead door is often used to take a quick peep at china paints enamels glass and glazes to check on their progress or to adjust or move pieces of work It gives you a wider view than a window but the kiln will heat unevenly if you keep it fully open for too long although not as much as opening the main door Purists might tell you not to leave the bead door open but remember when you re using bead mandrels it s slightly open all the time As always it s important to experiment and find the simplest or most successful way of working If you touch hot bead mandrels even very briefly it s important to wear heat resistant gloves to protect your fingers Hot gloves are in the on line shop THE PARAGON SC3W WINDOW ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING FUSING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 3W For Enamelling Art Clay And PMC Metal Clays Annealing Beads Dichroics And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat resistant glass viewing window The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints enamels glass and glazes to check on their progress you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence Otherwise it s the same as the SC3 If you look into a red hot kiln even very briefly it s important to wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV radiation Hot glasses are in the on line shop THE PARAGON SC3BW BEAD DOOR AND WINDOW ANNEALING BEADS ENAMELS FUSING GLASS AND METAL CLAYS The Paragon SC 3BW For Annealing Beads Art Clay And PMC Metal Clays Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The Paragon SC 3BW door includes a 165mm x 64mm bead anealing letter box style door a bead mandrel holder and a 75mm x 25mm heat resistant glass viewing window Otherwise it s the same as the SC3 The bead door and window version makes the SC 3BW the most versatile of the series combining the advantages of the SC2B and the SC2W described above It s a good choice if you re buying your first kiln and you re not sure what you might want to do with it in the future Even if you don t use the bead door and window very often as you gain experience they do make learning easier and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence THE PARAGON SC4 ANNEALING ART CLAY BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELLING FUSING GLASS AND PMC The Paragon SC 4 For Art Clay And PMC Metal Clays Annealing Dichroics Enamelling And Glass Casting Fusing Sagging And Slumping The Paragon SC4 is a 925 C square front opening plug in table top ceramic fibre kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches For this kiln 14 means that the inside is about 14 inches deep more accurately 13 inches Paragon also call this kiln an Xpress J14 2 The kiln is rated at 230V 2400W so it can use a regular mains socket To comply with EU safety regulations the elements are embedded an important safety feature However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 457mm x 546mm x 521mm high It s slotted for air circulation so stays cool and doesn t need an extra stand There s a removable stopper in the top vent for lost wax casting and other processes that might release fumes The shipping weight is about 49kg The ceramic fibre firing chamber enclosed in an inner steel case measures 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high and heats from both sides with the fast firing elements safely embedded in the fibre The kiln has an electro mechanical relay and a long life nickel chromium K type thermocouple The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a right hand door hinge factory fitted a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Paragon SC4 made for Cherry Heaven is ideal for course venues schools and commercial jewellery studios it s 4 24 times larger inside than the SC2 and will hold three 305mm x 305mm shelves yet it still heats up quickly You can fire lots of metal clay at one go use jewellery moulds cast glass paint china figures and make lampshades and tiaras It s large enough for 300mm bowls plates and tiles a 330mm doll or 280mm knife blades and can hold 16 painted pottery mugs on two shelves THE PARAGON SC4 KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon SC4 There s a recommended kit included in the price one durable 305mm x 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts There s an extra recommended kit not included in the price one 305mm x 305mm x 15mm shelf and four posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for three WHY BUY A PARAGON SC SERIES KILN The Paragon SC Kilns Compared To Kilns From Cromartie Efco Essex Evenheat Kilncare Nabertherm PotteryCraft And Skutt I can t always compare like with like so i ve just done my best to compare broadly similar kilns However much I would like to be able to recommend UK made or EU made kilns Paragon kilns are such good value buy Paragons and save enough to treat yourself to a luxury five star weekend break If you think anything here is incorrect please mail THE PARAGON SC2 AND SC3 AND THE EFCO KILNS The Paragon SC Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Efco The Efco 110 135 150 and 180 kilns don t have rotary controls or digital programmers unattended they ll heat up and burn out So they re usually sold with a KilnCare KCR1 digital programmer probably made by Stafford Instruments In May 2015 this was about 300 extra It s a separate box with a cable a separate thermocouple with a cable and a separate stand more stuff on your worktop The Paragon SC2 is 5 39 times larger inside than the Efco 110 and 145 C hotter It s 3 01 times larger than the Efco 135 but costs about the same It s 2 22 times larger than the Efco 150 but costs about 220 less It s 1 20 times larger than the Efco 180 but costs about 140 less So every reason to choose an SC2 The Paragon SC3 is 50mm taller inside than the SC2 It s 7 21 times larger inside than the Efco 110 and 145 C hotter It s 4 03 times larger than the Efco 135 It s 2 97 times larger than the Efco 150 but costs about 105 less It s 1 60 times larger than the Efco 180 and costs about 70 less So every reason to choose an SC3 The SCs come with a professional shelf kit a tough shelf on posts rather than a metal gauze stand The SC2 can hold three shelves and the SC3 can hold four The Efco 110 135 and 150 don t have room for a second shelf unless they re very close The SC2 and SC3 can have a bead door a door window or both The SCs are large enough to accommodate the charcoal filled stainless steel container needed to fire some makes of bronze clay and copper clay both described on this internet resource The Efco 110 135 150 and 180 aren t high enough THE PARAGON SC2 AND THE EVENHEAT KILNS The Paragon SC Series Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Evenheat The Paragon SC2 has been broadly copied as the Evenheat KingPin 88 Evenheat PMC Kiln Evenheat Set Pro Evenheat E 360 and Evenheat Sierra The Set Pro is about the same size inside but costs at least 150 more The prime web site is misleading as VAT isn t added until you check out The KingPin on Amazon was 317 more than the SC2 which is probably why so few people sell them or own them The Paragon SC2W the version with a window costs about 150 less than the Evenheat Set Pro Their description says it will fire ceramics that s incorrect as it s not hot enough For small ish ceramics kilns look at the Paragon Xpress Series One Evenheat reseller advises you to remove shelves with tongs don t The ceramic fibre interior could be damaged and the tongs could then touch the live elements A replacement interior is about 275 Paragon kilns are made for a UK EU voltage so can use a regular mains socket whereas US voltage Evenheat kilns would need an expensive converter They have restrictive pre set programmes don t include a pro shelf kit and have an irritating door ball catch And copy kilns don t have Paragon s international informed and supportive user base or EU spares and repair centres THE PARAGON SC2 AND THE KILNCARE EN1 EN2 AND EN3 The Paragon SC Series Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Kilncare The KilnCare EN1 EN2 and EN3 kilns have built in manual rotary controls not digital programmers So they re all usually sold with a KilnCare KCR1 digital programmer probably made by Stafford Instruments In May 2015 this was about 300 extra It s a separate box with a separate mains cable a separate thermocouple and cable and a separate stand more stuff on your worktop The Paragon SC2 is 3 80 times larger inside than the KilnCare EN1 and 95 C hotter but costs about 305 less The Paragon SC3 is 33mm less tall inside than the KilnCare EN2 but 95 C hotter and costs about 525 less The Paragon Xpress E12A is 2 36 times larger than the KilnCare EN3 and 230 C hotter but costs about 500 less The Paragon SC4 is 2 10 times larger inside than the KilnCare EN2 It s 3 86 times larger than the KilnCare EN3 and costs about 50 less but more importantly the SC4 firing chamber floor is 330mm x 330mm whereas that of the EN3 is only 190mm x 340mm All the Paragon kilns include a professional shelf kit Also it s a personal thing but I prefer the mains cable to exit from the back of the kiln as with Paragon rather than from the side where it gets in the way as with KilnCare THE PARAGON SC2B AND THE KILNCARE MAXI AND MAXINE The Paragon SC Series Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Kilncare The Paragon SC2B the version with a bead door is about 5 40 times larger inside than the KilnCare Bead Cube and 175 C hotter It s about the same size inside as the KilnCare Maxi and Maxine and 445 C hotter but costs about 275 less If you want a kiln just for batch annealing beads look at the Paragon BlueBird Series especially as the regular BlueBird is 83mm wider inside and over 250 cheaper The BlueBird XL is a professional batch annealing kiln its 83mm wider inside and 74mm deeper so it can hold many more beads And as it s 165 C hotter it s hot enough for other materials and processes so more versatile THE PARAGON SC2 AND THE LILLY KILN The Paragon SC Kilns Compared To The Lilly Lilly Ollo and Lilly SC2T The rather gaudy Lilly kiln or Lilly Ollo or Lilly SC2T is based on the Paragon SC2 It has a fiddlesome ball catch rather than the easier to adjust Cherry Heaven lever catch and a fibre shelf Fibre shelves crumble over time and unlike the heavy tough Cherry Heaven shelves included with the SC2s don t stabilise the heat as uniformally for enamelling and glass work It s described as a 1415W kiln whereas the Paragon SC2 is 1680W so will heat up more slowly and might struggle to stay at full temperature It s also described as heating from the top sides and bottom This is not correct There are no bead door or bead door and window door options or different colours to choose from And it s nearly 60 more expensive THE PARAGON SC2 AND SC3 AND THE SKUTT KILNS The Paragon SC Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Skutt Although the Skutt FireBox 8 costs slightly less than the Paragon SC2 there are several disadvantages Some versions of the FireBox don t have a built in programmer The SC2 is 1 26 times larger inside so can hold two or three shelves The SC2 is a front opener which for jewellery is generally preferred The SC2 is a ceramic fibre kiln so it weighs less and doesn t need kiln wash THE PARAGON SC AND OTHER MAKES The Paragon SC Series Kilns Compared To Other Makes Other companies don t seem to make anything comparable And with most kilns it seems diificult to find all the information you need before making your choice For example on the internet in May 2015 the Cromartie HobbyCraft front page seems to be promoting piggy banks soup bowls and unicorns The CFL012 which is only a few centimetres larger than the Paragon SC3 costs about 620 more without a programmer The CFL012 is a plug in kiln so why A site survey is often required for this type of kiln this is accomplished by us requesting the completion of a questionnaire or a site visit is a mystery Northern Kilns make the NK Mini and NK Midi However they only heat to 1000 C and cost considerably more Essex kilns don t seem to make anything comparable RECOMMENDED READING Kilns Programmers Kiln Furniture Options Upgrades Firing Kiln Logs Accessories Materials Processes And Tools The remaining sections are about digital programmers options upgrades materials and processes Unless you re already successfully using a kiln they re recommended reading If you need help you can mail an experienced technician or call Alternatively to learn more about how your kiln works find the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page THE PARAGON SENTRY XPRESS 3 KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER The Sentry Xpress Digital Controller The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer allows you to set up several firing sequences each one with up to eight heating holding or cooling segments You can choose the heating and cooling rates target temperatures and hold times save the sequences and re use them It s easy to use far easier than a central heating programmer Here s a Cherry Heaven TV programme about setting a simple ramp hold sequence The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same UK EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius Cherry Heaven TV provides on line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven TV Player To use the player click the controls or drag the time line slider or volume slider to a new position 00 00 00 00 KILN FURNITURE A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT Kiln Furniture Shelves And Posts Most kilns have a recommended furniture kit Delivery companies have a low rate for parcels less than 30kg so for smaller kilns weighing less than 30Kg the kit is generally one shelf and four posts included in the price because it fits in the box and doesn t add much to the shipping weight You get a professional durable cordierite shelf with four 12mm high posts You don t get a soft ceramic fibre shelf often described as free that will gradually break up and need replacing Shelf kits usually include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm shelf posts When flat they re 12mm high on their sides they re 25mm Other sizes up to 150mm high are available so you can choose the shelf spacing that suits your kiln and your work The recommended kit is usually the simplest that works not an expensive collection that I ve put together for you However extra shelf kits allow you to stack your work optimising your use of the firing chamber volume the unit cost of firing and your time And extra half shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg it s not included in the price because you ll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves half shelves smaller shelves and assorted height posts One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic fibre or firebrick Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln You need finger space all round and they mustn t scrape the kiln walls every time they re put in or taken out Although they look tough most ceramics break if they re dropped so it s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln or you re running courses During firing sequences with heating holding and cooling segments the elements turn on and off repeatedly In a small kiln with little residual heat the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts A thick heavy shelf stores heat and because it s resting on posts the air circulates helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations If you re buying your first kiln you re probably interested in one material such as silver clay or one process such as enamelling However after a few successes and failures most people want to try different materials make larger pieces experiment with combinations fire more at a time and soon become interested in something else or everything else Some start a business or run classes You might want a full shelf two half shelves several mixed shelves a set of shelf posts a bead mandrel holder glass separator hot gloves kiln wash a knife making rack pyrometric cones a tile holder or other accessories Shelves are heavy so Kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools For dichroics enamelling and glass fusing put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking it s simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper probably the most popular ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf One side feels slightly smoother than the other that s the glass side Generally glasswork needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf than between closely stacked shelves although experienced glass artists often use several shelves succesfully Delicate pieces can be fired on a puffed up ceramic fibre cloth on a shelf Round pieces that could roll to one side can be fired on a hollowed out ceramic fibre block However if the kin has elements in the bottom as with the Mini Kiln and Pro 7 a cloth or block will act as insulator and the kiln might overheat Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with ceramic fibre blocks ceramic cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln even briefly wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV If your day to day work depends on your kiln and down time will be disruptive or expensive it s a good idea to have spares extra shelves a selection of posts elements a relay and a thermocouple You can learn about ceramic blocks and cloths charcoal dust masks glare resistant glasses glass separator heat resistant gloves kiln vents kiln wash programmers protective glasses USB interfaces shelf paper tools and other accessories using the accessories link below the menu bar near the top of the front page And they re all in the on line shop Shelves are checked before despatch and are wrapped protectively But they re not guaranteed and we cannot be responsible for any later damage OPTIONS AND UPGRADES A GENERAL INTRODUCTION Options And Upgrades Individual kilns are described on this this page However it s important to learn about options and upgrades as some have to be factory fitted The photo shows a Paragon SC2 customised for a PMC studio hot pink a right hand door hinge and a maximum temperature set to 925 C so that students couldn t accidentally melt their silver An option is cosmetic or practical such as a black respray a right hand door hinge a peephole vent a bead annealing door a door or lid viewing window or an EU plug An upgrade extends the standard specifications such as a higher temperature a 12 key programmer an electric kiln vent or a USB interface Not every option or upgrade applies to every kiln so mail or call if you need help However if they re appropriate they re listed in the on line shop so just add up the ones you want but order them with your kiln as they re often difficult expensive or impossible to implement afterwards It might help if you make a few notes of your own as you read Kilns use regular single phase 230V 240V mains so have 230V EU elements not 120V US elements The smaller kilns have UK 13A three pin plugs so they re ready to go If you re not in the UK use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own it won t invalidate the guarantee Alternatively a special order kiln can have a factory fitted EU plug Most kilns can be re engineered for 110V 200V 208V or 220V single phase or three phase or 440V three phase If you re interested mail or call Although standard EU and US kilns have the same maximum temperature set by the design and the programmer some 1095 C firebrick kilns can be re engineered to run at 1230 C 1260 C or 1290 C making them versatile mixed media kilns However to use 1290 C full on hour after hour choose an industrial or professional model Also to maintain 1290 C some upgraded kilns might need thicker firebricks so they ll be slightly smaller inside about 12mm on each side Mail or call if you re interested or need help deciding The UK factory set maximum temperature is based on a reliable average voltage of 240V If there s a regional national or temporary voltage drop high temperature kilns might take longer to reach their specified maximum or not reach it Some kilns are normally blue but can be factory painted berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise However as they re made to order they can t be returned if the colour isn t exactly the same as in the photo The door hinge is usually on the left However a right hand hinge might be better if you re left handed unless the kiln will be in the left hand corner of your studio or there s an obstacle that will make access difficult Give this some thought Most of the medium size top opening kilns have a standard lift up lid Firebrick lids seem heavy to some people so if you feel that a ceramic fibre lid a hydraulic assisted lid or spring assisted lid would be easier mail or call If the kiln comes with a Sentry Xpress 3 Key ramp hold programmer you can upgrade to a Sentry Xpress 3 Key cone fire ramp hold programmer usually preferred for ceramics Cone fire is implemented in the programmer s software and is very easy to use just set a cone number and start the firing sequence Depending on the kiln you can upgrade a Sentry Xpress 3 key programmer to a Sentry 12 Key ten segment ramp hold or cone fire ramp hold programmer with advanced firing features and connection options The 3 key has a 12 month guarantee and the 12 key has a 30 month guarantee A Sentry 12 key programmer can be connected to your computer through a factory fitted RS232 interface The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing and analyse arrange print out and save the data If you want this feature make sure you order the RS232 interface in the on line shop Depending on the kiln the 12 key programmer has a power ratio feature you can adjust the heat balance between the top and sides in 10 steps and control the heat distribution over larger pieces Kilns which only heat from the top as opposed to the top and sides don t have the power ratio feature However the initial cost saving has to be offset against fewer firing options With larger kilns serious glass artists are always concerned about firebrick dust from the lid falling onto their work so you could upgrade the standard firebrick lid to a factory fitted ceramic fibre lid with the elements threaded through pinless grooves in the fibre or as a luxury upgrade with the elements completely embedded in the fibre Most kilns come with a standard long lasting electro mechanical relay However if extra long life and reliability are vital you can upgrade to a mercury relay which has a lifetime of several million on off cycles The relay can switch 30A so if you have a kiln that needs 50A you ll need two relays Most kilns come with a standard K type nickel chromium thermocouple However if extra long life and reliability are vital especially at temperatures above 1100 C you can upgrade to an S type platinum rhodium thermocouple Some front opening kilns are just too large and too heavy for a regular worktop so Paragon makes a strong steel table 768mm x 768mm x 718mm high with two shelves for your accessories The luxury version with castors is 63mm taller If you decide to buy on old wood table the rigidity of the legs is vital otherwise it will collapse like a parallelogram Some bronze and copper clays and some metals need to be fired in activated charcoal granules in a stainless steel container The SC2 and SC3 the Caldera A and the Xpress E9A E10A and 1193 can hold a one litre container most other kilns can hold a three litre but check the internal size before you buy the container It s important that the container doesn t touch the thermocouple Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with charcoals ceramic fibre blocks cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln wear glare resistant glasses which protect your eyes from IR and UV Paragon kilns made in the US have been re engineered and comprehensively tested for the UK the EU and most other countries They re CE Marked and comply with EU safety standards They re guaranteed for a year and Paragon has an international informed and supportive user base and spares and repair centres The EU digital programmer shows degrees Celsius not degrees Fahrenheit as in the US If you need to convert this is how to do it However if you want to work in Fahrenheit you can make a simple change to the programmer For help or in the unlikely event of a fault you can mail or call an engineer in the UK However home checks adjustments and repairs are quick and easy needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver and you can watch on line videos Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven As with a lot of heavy consumer products made in the US but sold elsewhere Paragon s guarantee covers replacement parts not a return to the distributor or factory and not any labour costs However as an example replacing a programmer takes just

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  • The Speed Fire For ArtClay, PMC, Dichroics, Enamels, And Glass Fusing
    your use of the firing chamber volume the unit cost of firing and your time And extra half shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg it s not included in the price because you ll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves half shelves smaller shelves and assorted height posts One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic fibre or firebrick Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln You need finger space all round and they mustn t scrape the kiln walls every time they re put in or taken out Although they look tough most ceramics break if they re dropped so it s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln or you re running courses During firing sequences with heating holding and cooling segments the elements turn on and off repeatedly In a small kiln with little residual heat the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts A thick heavy shelf stores heat and because it s resting on posts the air circulates helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations If you re buying your first kiln you re probably interested in one material such as silver clay or one process such as enamelling However after a few successes and failures most people want to try different materials make larger pieces experiment with combinations fire more at a time and soon become interested in something else or everything else Some start a business or run classes You might want a full shelf two half shelves several mixed shelves a set of shelf posts a bead mandrel holder glass separator hot gloves kiln wash a knife making rack pyrometric cones a tile holder or other accessories Shelves are heavy so Kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools For dichroics enamelling and glass fusing put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking it s simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper probably the most popular ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf One side feels slightly smoother than the other that s the glass side Generally glasswork needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf than between closely stacked shelves although experienced glass artists often use several shelves succesfully Delicate pieces can be fired on a puffed up ceramic fibre cloth on a shelf Round pieces that could roll to one side can be fired on a hollowed out ceramic fibre block However if the kin has elements in the bottom as with the Mini Kiln and Pro 7 a cloth or block will act as insulator and the kiln might overheat Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with ceramic fibre blocks ceramic cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln even briefly wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV If your day to day work depends on your kiln and down time will be disruptive or expensive it s a good idea to have spares extra shelves a selection of posts elements a relay and a thermocouple You can learn about ceramic blocks and cloths charcoal dust masks glare resistant glasses glass separator heat resistant gloves kiln vents kiln wash programmers protective glasses USB interfaces shelf paper tools and other accessories using the accessories link below the menu bar near the top of the front page And they re all in the on line shop Shelves are checked before despatch and are wrapped protectively But they re not guaranteed and we cannot be responsible for any later damage OPTIONS AND UPGRADES A GENERAL INTRODUCTION Options And Upgrades Individual kilns are described on this this page However it s important to learn about options and upgrades as some have to be factory fitted The photo shows a Paragon SC2 customised for a PMC studio hot pink a right hand door hinge and a maximum temperature set to 925 C so that students couldn t accidentally melt their silver An option is cosmetic or practical such as a black respray a right hand door hinge a peephole vent a bead annealing door a door or lid viewing window or an EU plug An upgrade extends the standard specifications such as a higher temperature a 12 key programmer an electric kiln vent or a USB interface Not every option or upgrade applies to every kiln so mail or call if you need help However if they re appropriate they re listed in the on line shop so just add up the ones you want but order them with your kiln as they re often difficult expensive or impossible to implement afterwards It might help if you make a few notes of your own as you read Kilns use regular single phase 230V 240V mains so have 230V EU elements not 120V US elements The smaller kilns have UK 13A three pin plugs so they re ready to go If you re not in the UK use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own it won t invalidate the guarantee Alternatively a special order kiln can have a factory fitted EU plug Most kilns can be re engineered for 110V 200V 208V or 220V single phase or three phase or 440V three phase If you re interested mail or call Although standard EU and US kilns have the same maximum temperature set by the design and the programmer some 1095 C firebrick kilns can be re engineered to run at 1230 C 1260 C or 1290 C making them versatile mixed media kilns However to use 1290 C full on hour after hour choose an industrial or professional model Also to maintain 1290 C some upgraded kilns might need thicker firebricks so they ll be slightly smaller inside about 12mm on each side Mail or call if you re interested or need help deciding The UK factory set maximum temperature is based on a reliable average voltage of 240V If there s a regional national or temporary voltage drop high temperature kilns might take longer to reach their specified maximum or not reach it Some kilns are normally blue but can be factory painted berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise However as they re made to order they can t be returned if the colour isn t exactly the same as in the photo The door hinge is usually on the left However a right hand hinge might be better if you re left handed unless the kiln will be in the left hand corner of your studio or there s an obstacle that will make access difficult Give this some thought Most of the medium size top opening kilns have a standard lift up lid Firebrick lids seem heavy to some people so if you feel that a ceramic fibre lid a hydraulic assisted lid or spring assisted lid would be easier mail or call If the kiln comes with a Sentry Xpress 3 Key ramp hold programmer you can upgrade to a Sentry Xpress 3 Key cone fire ramp hold programmer usually preferred for ceramics Cone fire is implemented in the programmer s software and is very easy to use just set a cone number and start the firing sequence Depending on the kiln you can upgrade a Sentry Xpress 3 key programmer to a Sentry 12 Key ten segment ramp hold or cone fire ramp hold programmer with advanced firing features and connection options The 3 key has a 12 month guarantee and the 12 key has a 30 month guarantee A Sentry 12 key programmer can be connected to your computer through a factory fitted RS232 interface The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing and analyse arrange print out and save the data If you want this feature make sure you order the RS232 interface in the on line shop Depending on the kiln the 12 key programmer has a power ratio feature you can adjust the heat balance between the top and sides in 10 steps and control the heat distribution over larger pieces Kilns which only heat from the top as opposed to the top and sides don t have the power ratio feature However the initial cost saving has to be offset against fewer firing options With larger kilns serious glass artists are always concerned about firebrick dust from the lid falling onto their work so you could upgrade the standard firebrick lid to a factory fitted ceramic fibre lid with the elements threaded through pinless grooves in the fibre or as a luxury upgrade with the elements completely embedded in the fibre Most kilns come with a standard long lasting electro mechanical relay However if extra long life and reliability are vital you can upgrade to a mercury relay which has a lifetime of several million on off cycles The relay can switch 30A so if you have a kiln that needs 50A you ll need two relays Most kilns come with a standard K type nickel chromium thermocouple However if extra long life and reliability are vital especially at temperatures above 1100 C you can upgrade to an S type platinum rhodium thermocouple Some front opening kilns are just too large and too heavy for a regular worktop so Paragon makes a strong steel table 768mm x 768mm x 718mm high with two shelves for your accessories The luxury version with castors is 63mm taller If you decide to buy on old wood table the rigidity of the legs is vital otherwise it will collapse like a parallelogram Some bronze and copper clays and some metals need to be fired in activated charcoal granules in a stainless steel container The SC2 and SC3 the Caldera A and the Xpress E9A E10A and 1193 can hold a one litre container most other kilns can hold a three litre but check the internal size before you buy the container It s important that the container doesn t touch the thermocouple Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with charcoals ceramic fibre blocks cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln wear glare resistant glasses which protect your eyes from IR and UV Paragon kilns made in the US have been re engineered and comprehensively tested for the UK the EU and most other countries They re CE Marked and comply with EU safety standards They re guaranteed for a year and Paragon has an international informed and supportive user base and spares and repair centres The EU digital programmer shows degrees Celsius not degrees Fahrenheit as in the US If you need to convert this is how to do it However if you want to work in Fahrenheit you can make a simple change to the programmer For help or in the unlikely event of a fault you can mail or call an engineer in the UK However home checks adjustments and repairs are quick and easy needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver and you can watch on line videos Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven As with a lot of heavy consumer products made in the US but sold elsewhere Paragon s guarantee covers replacement parts not a return to the distributor or factory and not any labour costs However as an example replacing a programmer takes just a few minutes FIRING CHARACTERISTICS How Electric Kilns Work Generally as soon as a programmable kiln starts its firing sequence it begins to heat up at a rate set by the programmer It can t heat up quicker than it would do with the elements full on The thermocouple tells the programmer the current internal temperature and depending on the sequence you ve chosen the programmer turns the elements on or off to control the sequence segments the heating rate the target temperature the hold time and the cooling rate It can t cool down quicker than it would do with the kiln turned off When the sequence is complete the kiln beeps and the sequence stops For safety the programmer doesn t switch the full mains voltage Instead it drives a relay an electro mechanical switch The programmer uses a low voltage to activate the switch which turns the high voltage elements on or off When the target temperature is reached the programmer switches the elements off However residual heat in the firing chamber allows the internal temperature to overshoot the target temperature briefly before starting to fall back This overshoot is more evident at low temperatures than at high temperatures and in small kilns rather than large kilns For example 300 C will probably overshoot to 330 C whereas 800 C will probably only overshoot to 805 C before starting to fall back During the hold time with the elements still off the temperature starts to fall When the programmer switches the elements back on the firing chamber will initially absorb some of the new heat before the temperature recovers The continual switching of the elements on and off causes the internal temperature to oscillate either side of the target temperature This is similar to central heating If you set it for 21 C it probably oscillates quite slowly around 20 C to 22 C and you won t notice The accuracy will depend on where the thermostat is sited how quickly it responds how accurate it is how long it takes for the radiators to heat up and if you have doors and windows open The temperature will probably be slightly different in each room So regardless of the thermocouple temperature the actual temperature of your work will be slightly different depending on its position on the kiln shelf the vertical spacing of any stacked shelves and its nearness to the elements a lid a door a bead door or a window Learn to take it into account if you re working with temperature critical materials or processes Remember that glass needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf at the bottom than between closely stacked shelves Kiln doors and lids are not meant to be a perfect fit otherwise at high temperatures there d be no room for expansion and movement and the door could stick and the ceramic fibre or firebricks could crack All kilns smell a bit and even produce whisps of smoke during the first firings just like a toaster or a fan heater If you re worried about fumes open a window Eventually with normal use kilns discolour slightly inside and outside and some firebricks might develop hairline cracks Your kiln is a versatile robust red hot tool not an ornament KEEPING A KILN LOG Keeping A Kiln Log Using your kiln successfully needs critical research and frequent tests especially as things that work for your friends and teachers might not work in the same way for you It s also very important to learn how to creatively use unexpected effects So keep a firing log Buy a durable notebook Use a new page for every firing and draw diagrams of the shelves their vertical spacing and the position of your work on the shelves Along with your work put a few scraps at different places on the shelves to learn how things change Describe the material the shape of your work the firing cycle and the end result Add a few photos and sketches and mark the page corners with coloured dots or symbols as a quick reminder of your success rating A kiln log is vital if you re experimenting with temperature sensitive materials or working with coloured dichroic glasses enamels glazes or china paints and a skilled artist will use the kiln log to advantage to re create effects It ll be particularly useful if you have to repeat a commission or you have a long holiday before returning to your studio Some Paragon kilns have a Sentry 12 key programmer which can be connected to your computer through a factory fitted USB interface The Control Master software allows you to control and monitor the firing and analyse arrange print out and save the data If you want this feature make sure you order the USB interface in the on line shop A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL CLAYS What Is A Metal Clay Metal Clays are clay like materials made of fine metal powders and water soluble organic binders Out of the packet they feel like modelling clay so can be shaped using anything appropriate If you don t like what you ve made you can roll it up and start again Any scraps can be wrapped up and re used so there s almost no waste When you re happy with

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  • The UltraLite Studio Kiln For Metal Clays, Enamels, Fusing, And Keum Boo
    for either metal Pure silver usually needs no preparation Sterling silver needs treating to remove other metals from the alloy and leave a layer of pure metal on the surface NOTES The UltraLite Studio Kiln Firing Characteristics It s important to understand that the UltraLite Kiln doesn t have a controller or a programmer There are limitations although you may be perfectly happy with what it can do rather than unhappy with what it can t Although it s not programmable it s perfect for short stop start processes that aren t temperature time critical and are within its size and temperature limits It heats up to its maximum temperature and stays there until you turn it off For many people doing small scale work that s enough although it helps if you use a timer to remind you that time s up You can buy a digital timer in the on line shop Due to the cut out at the front work placed near the front won t get quite as hot as work placed near the back Slight variations won t affect metal clays but might affect enamels and glass so if you work with temperature critical materials or processes you ll need to experiment at the beginning The maximum temperature about 845 C is a function of the kiln s design it stabilises when the heat being supplied is equal to the heat being lost Moving the lid off centre will allow heat to escape and reduce the temperature You can t over fire silver clays as silver doesn t melt until about 962 C For firing Art Clay and PMC don t use the included disc as a firing disc For keum boo work use the red brass tops You can work with dichroic glasses enamels and fused glass but you ll need to experiment If you want to know the exact temperature you ll need a pyrometer with a thermocouple You can buy a digital pyrometer in the on line shop A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL CLAYS What Is A Metal Clay Metal Clays are clay like materials made of fine metal powders and water soluble organic binders Out of the packet they feel like modelling clay so can be shaped using anything appropriate If you don t like what you ve made you can roll it up and start again Any scraps can be wrapped up and re used so there s almost no waste When you re happy with your work it s dried so that the moisture can evaporate At this stage it feels like a plaster so you can still refine the shape and even add more clay As it s fired the binders vapourise releasing very small amounts of non toxic carbon dioxide and water and the metal powder sinters leaving solid metal real metal not something that just looks like metal The firing temperature isn t high enough to melt the metal otherwise your work would lose it s shape and liquify Although Art Clay and PMC silver clays were first to market there s now an increasingly diverse range of other metal clays such as Cinter Clay Mania Creative Goldie Hadar Jacobson Metal Adventures Meteor Noble and PMC Sterling I sometimes get asked if there s a platinum metal clay there is but it s an industrial product Platinum melts at 1772 C so a platimum clay would probably need to fire at around 1600 C beyond the maximum temperature of conventional kilns All our tools have been chosen for their engineering excellence and clean functionality to help you manage a creative and efficient work environment And you ll enjoy using good tools rather than continually improvising To learn more use the accessories tools link below the menu bar near the top of the page SILVER CLAY Aida Art Clay Silver And Mitsubishi PMC Silver Clay There are two popular makes of silver clay Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries and PMC made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in Japan They re both clay like materials made of fine silver powder and water soluble organic binders Art Clay Silver and PMC Silver sometimes just called silver clay metal clay or precious metal clay are easy to fire put your dried work on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold time As they re fired the binders vapourise releasing very small amounts of non toxic carbon dioxide and water and the metal powder sinters leaving solid 999 silver real metal not something that just looks like metal All jewellery kilns include a durable shelf kit so that you can start work straight away but several shelves can be stacked to make better use of your time and reduce the unit cost of firing so you might want more than one Although we chose to work with sell and provide classes in Art Clay both makes fire in a similar way So any kiln suitable for Art Clay will be just as good for PMC If you re currently using PMC try Art Clay There are differences in the feel the shrinkage the strength the surface lustre the product range the pricing and the general commercial setup if you re running a serious business To learn more use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page You can buy ArtClay bronze clay copper clay glass clay gold clay and related products in the on line shop BRONZE CLAY Bronze Clay And BronzClay There are three popular makes of bronze clay Bronze Clay made by ClayMania BronzClay made by Metal Adventures and Prometheus Bronze ProClay made by Odak They re all clay like materials made of fine bronze powder and water soluble organic binders However they re fired in different ways Prometheus Bronze Clay is easy to fire wrap your dried work in kitchen tissue or ceramic cloth put it on a kiln shelf and programme the temperature and hold time It can also be

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  • Paragon Xpress Kilns For Ceramics, Enamels, Glass, and Metal Clays
    ceramics The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a right hand door hinge factory fitted a 165mm x 64mm letter box style bead anealing door a 50mmx 50mm heat resistant glass viewing window or a peephole vent in the centre of the door an electric kiln vent factory fitted at the side an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control factory fitted needs 12 key a USB computer interface factory fitted needs 12 key a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion It s ideal for classrooms course venues schools and commercial jewellery studios it s over four times larger inside than the SC2 and will hold four 305mm x 305mm shelves yet it still heats up quickly You can fire lots of metal clay at one go use jewellery moulds cast glass paint china figures and make lampshades and tiaras THE PARAGON XPRESS E14A KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon Xpress E 14A There s a recommended kit not included in the price one durable rectangular 305mm x 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf four 12mm shelf posts and 450gm of glass separator There s an extra recommended kit not included in the price one rectangular 305mm x 305mm x 15mm and four posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for four THE PARAGON XPRESS E14AB BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS HEAT TREATING AND METAL CLAYS The Paragon Xpress E 14A For Annealing Beads Ceramics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The door includes a 165mm x 64mm letter box style bead anealing door and a separate screw on bead mandrel holder Otherwise the kiln is exactly the same as the E14A The bead door is hinged at the top and opens outwards Normally glass beads on bead mandrels or rods are pushed through the bead door and rest on the mandrel holder so that an annealing programme can toughen the glass The bead door is often used to take a quick peep at china paintings enamels glass and glazes to check on their progress or to adjust or move pieces of work It gives you a wider view than a window but the kiln will heat unevenly if you keep it open for too long although not as much as opening the main door Purists might tell you not to leave the bead door open but remember when you re using bead mandrels it s slightly open all the time As always it s important to experiment and find the simplest or most successful way of working THE PARAGON XPRESS E14W DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS HEAT TREATING AND METAL CLAYS The Paragon Xpress E 14AW For Ceramics Dichroics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The door includes a 50mm x 50mm heat resistant glass viewing window The window allows you to take a quick peep at china paints enamels glass and glazes to check on their progress And you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence Otherwise the kiln is exactly the same as the E14 A If you look into a red hot kiln even briefly it s important to wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV radiation THE PARAGON XPRESS E14ABW BEADS DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS HEAT TREATING AND METAL CLAYS The Paragon Xpress E 14A For Annealing Beads Ceramics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The door includes a 165mm x 64mm bead anealing letter box style door a separate screw on bead mandrel holder and a 75mm x 25mm heat resistant glass viewing window Otherwise the kiln is exactly the same as the E14A The bead door and window version make the E14ABW the most versatile of the series combining the advantages of the E14B and the E14W described above It s a good choice if you re buying your first kiln and you re not sure what you might want to do with it in the future Even if you don t use the bead door and window very often as you gain experience they do make learning easier and you might find it interesting or reassuring to watch what happens during the firing sequence THE PARAGON XPRESS J14A ART CLAY DICHROICS ENAMELS GLASS FUSING SAGGING SLUMPING AND PMC The Paragon Xpress J 14A For Annealing Dichroics Enamelling Fusing Glass Heat Treating And Sintering Metal Clays The Paragon Xpress J14A is a 925 C square front opening plug in table top ceramic fibre kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches For this kiln 14 means that the inside is about 14 inches deep more accuarately 13 inches The UK EU kiln is rated at 230V 2400W so it can use a regular mains socket To comply with EU safety regulations the elements are embedded an important safety feature However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 457mm x 546mm x 521mm high It s slotted for air circulation so stays cool and doesn t need an extra stand The door opens 180 so you won t burn your hand taking work out And there s a removable stopper in the top vent for lost wax casting and other processes that might release fumes The shipping weight is about 49kg The ceramic fibre firing chamber enclosed in an inner steel case measures 330mm x 330mm x 229mm high and heats from both sides and the back with the fast firing elements safely embedded in the fibre The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a right hand door hinge factory fitted a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves It s ideal for classrooms course venues schools and commercial jewellery studios it s over four times larger inside than the SC2 and will hold four 305mm x 305mm shelves yet it still heats up quickly You can fire lots of metal clay at one go use jewellery moulds cast glass paint china figures and make lampshades and tiaras THE PARAGON XPRESS J14A KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon Xpress J 14A There s a recommended kit not included in the price one durable 305mm x 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf four 12mm shelf posts and 450gm of glass separator There s an extra recommended kit not included in the price one 305mm x 305mm x 15mm and four posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for four THE PARAGON XPRESS 1193 CASTING CERAMICS FUSING GLASS HEAT TREATING SLUMPING AND PORCELAIN The Paragon Xpress 119 3 For Annealing Ceramics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The Paragon Xpress 119 3 is a 1290 C six sided top opening floor standing firebrick kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches For this kiln 1193 means it s about 11 inches across and about 9 inches high like the similar S 1193 and TNF 1193 It s referred to as the 119 3 as the firebricks are 3 inches thick The UK EU kiln is rated at 230V 2160W so it can use a regular mains socket To comply with EU safety regulations it s fitted with an additional lid activated switch that cuts off the power if the kiln is opened an important safety feature included in the price However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 457mm x 508mm x 566mm high iincluding the programmer housing and the 241mm high legs but excluding the small safety switch fitted next to the lid hinge The case has two handles the lid has a stay open support and there s a wide view peephole vent in one side The shipping weight is about 50Kg The firebrick firing chamber measures 280mm x 229mm high and heats from all sides with the fast firing elements lying in pinless dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks It s large enough for 250mm bowls and plates The top row of bricks doesn t have an element groove so the firing chamber is stronger around the top edge where the lid closes In addition the two meeting surfaces are hardened and sealed with refractory cement The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences The optional cone fire mode up to cone 10 will simplify your work with ceramics The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a programmer upgrade from a Sentry Xpress 3 key to a Sentry 12 key more useful features factory fitted a programmer upgrade from ramp hold to cone fire and ramp hold up to cone 9 a maximum temperature upgrade from 1260 C to 1290 C up to cone 10 factory fitted an electric kiln vent factory fitted at the bottom an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control factory fitted needs 12 key a USB computer interface factory fitted needs 12 key a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Xpress 1193 is a tough high temperature kiln made for years of continual firing It s ideal for a ceramics or glass course venue studio or workshop 1193 kilns are all the same size but the Xpress 1193 has a 3 key programmer the S 1193 doesn t have a programmer and the TNF 1193 has a 12 key programmer with advanced firing and connection options There isn t a Janus 1193 There are larger high temperature kilns click on the these links The Janus Series The KM Series The PMT Series and The TNF Series Or if you need help mail or call However as some kilns are better suited for making jugs pots and vases others for blades and dolls and others for bowls panels plates and tiles you have to balance the internal size you d like for the budget you ve got THE PARAGON XPRESS 1193 KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon Xpress 1193 There s a recommended kit included in the price one durable hexagonal 254mm x 15mm cordierite shelf three 12mm shelf posts and 450gm of kiln wash So you can start work straight away There are two extra recommended kits not included in the price one hexagonal 254mm x 15mm shelf and three posts or two half hexagonal 254mm x 15mm shelves and six posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for three THE PARAGON XPRESS 663 CASTING CERAMICS FUSING GLASS HEAT TREATING SLUMPING AND PORCELAIN The Paragon Xpress 66 3 For Annealing Ceramics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The Paragon Xpress 66 3 is a 1260 C seven sided top opening floor standing firebrick kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches For this kiln 663 doesn t mean it s 6 inches or 66 inches anywhere It s about 13 inches across and about 13 inches high like the similar S 663 and TNF 663 It s referred to as the 66 3 as the firebricks are 3 inches thick The UK EU kiln is rated at 230V 3600W so it needs a 20A wired in power supply To comply with EU safety regulations it s fitted with an additional lid activated switch that cuts off the power if the kiln is opened an important safety feature included in the price However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 559mm x 648mm x 711mm high including the programmer housing and the 241mm high legs but excluding the small safety switch fitted next to the lid hinge The case has two handles the lid has a stay open support and there s a wide view peephole vent in two of the sides The shipping weight is about 67Kg The firebrick firing chamber measures 343mm x 337mm high and heats from all sides with the fast firing elements lying in pinless dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks It s large enough for 300mm bowls and plates The top row of bricks doesn t have an element groove so the firing chamber is stronger around the top edge where the lid closes In addition the two meeting surfaces are hardened and sealed with refractory cement The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences The optional cone fire mode up to cone 8 will simplify your work with ceramics The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a programmer upgrade from a Sentry Xpress 3 key to a Sentry 12 key more useful features factory fitted a programmer upgrade from ramp hold to cone fire and ramp hold up to cone 9 a maximum temperature upgrade from 1260 C to 1290 C up to cone 10 factory fitted an electric kiln vent factory fitted at the bottom an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control factory fitted needs 12 key a USB computer interface factory fitted needs 12 key a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Xpress 663 is a tough high temperature kiln made for years of continual firing It s ideal for a ceramics or glass course venue studio or workshop However the Xpress 1613 described below is 43 larger so probably worth the extra cost All the 66 3 kilns are the same size but the Xpress 663 has a 3 key programmer the manual S 663 doesn t have a programmer and the TNF 663 has a 12 key programmer The 12 key offers advanced firing and connection options There isn t a Janus 663 The Xpress 663 and a TNF 663 have 74mm thick firebricks and heat to 1260 C However there s also an Xpress 66 and a TNF 66 that have 64mm thick firebricks Although the interiors are 12mm larger all round the maximum temperatures are only 1175 C For the small cost saving I wouldn t recommend the 66 versions THE PARAGON XPRESS 663 KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon Xpress 663 There s a recommended kit included in the price one durable round 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf four 12mm shelf posts and 450gm of kiln wash So you can start work straight away There are two extra recommended kits not included in the price one round 305mm x 15mm shelf and four posts or two half round 305mm x 15mm shelves and six posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for four THE PARAGON XPRESS 1613 CASTING CERAMICS FUSING GLASS HEAT TREATING SLUMPING AND PORCELAIN The Paragon Xpress 1613 3 For Annealing Ceramics Enamels Fusing Glass Heat Treating Metal Clays And Porcelain The Paragon Xpress 1613 3 is a 1290 C eight sided top opening floor standing firebrick kiln with a ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise Paragon s kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches For this kiln 1613 means it s about 16 inches across and about 13 inches high like the similar Janus 1613 S 1613 and TNF 1613 It s occasionally referred to as the 1613 3 as the firebricks are 3 inches thick The UK EU kiln is rated at 230V 6400W so it needs a 30A wired in power supply To comply with EU safety regulations it s fitted with an additional lid activated switch that cuts off the power if the kiln is opened an important safety feature included in the price However never get careless kilns are very hot and connected to the mains The outer steel case measures 648mm x 724mm x 737mm high including the programmer housing and the 241mm high legs but excluding the small safety switch fitted next to the lid hinge The case has two handles the lid has a stay open support and there are two wide view peephole vents in two of the sides The shipping weight is about 78Kg The firebrick firing chamber measures 419mm x 337mm high and heats from all sides with the fast firing elements lying in pinless dropped recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks It s large enough for 380mm bowls and plates The top row of bricks doesn t have an element groove so the firing chamber is stronger around the top edge where the lid closes In addition the two meeting surfaces are hardened and sealed with refractory cement The programmer s electronic display prompts for heating rates target temperatures and hold times making it easy to set up and re use accurate heating holding and cooling sequences The optional cone fire mode up to cone 10 will simplify your work with ceramics The accessories options and upgrades for this kiln are in the on line shop a berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise respray normally blue a programmer upgrade from a Sentry Xpress 3 key to a Sentry 12 key more useful features factory fitted a programmer upgrade from ramp hold to cone fire and ramp hold up to cone 10 factory fitted an electric kiln vent factory fitted at the bottom an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control factory fitted needs 12 key a USB computer interface factory fitted needs 12 key a long life mercury relay upgrade factory fitted a long life S type platinum rhodium thermocouple upgrade factory fitted stacking shelf kits and shelf paper ceramic fibre cloth ceramic block HEPA dust mask clear protective glasses glare resistant glasses heat resistant gloves And finally my opinion The Xpress 1613 the largest top opener in this series is a tough high temperature kiln made for years of continual firing It s ideal for ceramic or glass work in a commercial studio All the 1613 kilns are the same size but the Xpress 1613 has side elements and a 3 key programmer the manual S 1613 has side elements but no programmer the TNF 1613 has side elements and a 12 key programmer and the Janus 1613 has top and side elements and a 12 key programmer The 12 key offers advanced firing and connection options THE PARAGON XPRESS 1613 3 KILN FURNITURE Shelf Kits For The Paragon Xpress 1613 There s a recommended kit included in the price one durable round 380mm x 15mm cordierite shelf four 12mm shelf posts and 450gm of kiln wash So you can start work straight away There are two extra recommended kits not included in the price one round 380mm x 15mm shelf and four posts or two half round 380mm x 15mm shelves and six posts You can choose 12mm 25mm 50mm 75mm or 100mm posts Depending on the material or process and the sizes of your pieces stacked shelves will hold more work free up your time and reduce the unit firing cost so you might want more kits This kiln has room for five WHY BUY A PARAGON XPRESS SERIES KILN The Paragon Xpress Series Kilns Compared To Similar Kilns From Corby Efco KilnCare Nabertherm and PotteryCraft The internet like any other unchecked resource is open to claims that whatever is being sold is the best the newest or the cheapest and it s being sold by the largest dealer or the premier distributor With some retailers misleading first sight prices often exclude a digital programmer a pro shelf kit delivery and VAT With others there wasn t a price list so to discover the actual cost you have to set up an account or call With some on line order forms VAT and delivery were only evident after submitting all the personal and card details With others exactly the same kilns were a lot more expensive As an example in October 2014 one supplier assured you that their prices were the cheapest in the UK Except their kiln was 134 more than it was here Cherry Heaven internet resources will help you choose the right kiln and avoid an expensive mistake especially if later you discover new materials or processes win a challenging commission want to make larger pieces decide to run courses or find a promising business niche There s a lot to read so it s up to you Or you can just mail or call Now the general construction Most of the kilns come with a 13A UK three pin plug so they can all use a regular 230V UK mains socket If you re not in the UK use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own it won t invalidate the guarantee The fast firing elements lie in pinless dropped recessed grooves in the 64mm thick bricks The firebricks have notch joints in the corners a much stonger and more durable construction than butt joints or mitre joints generally used in small kilns Kilns in the BlueBird SC and Xpress series are normally blue but can be painted black pink purple or turquoise However as they re made to order they can t be returned if the colour isn t exactly the same as the colour on your computer To comply with EU safety regulations the kilns are fitted with an additional lid activated switch that cuts off the power if the kiln is opened an important safety feature included in the price The door hinge is usually on the left However a right hand hinge might be better if you re left handed unless the kiln will be in the left hand corner of your studio or there s an obstacle that will make access difficult Give this some thought The heavy gauge nickel plated copper wiring has high temperature glass braided insulation The thermocouple which senses temperature inside the kiln is protected with a high nickel stainless steel sheath for long life It s widely believed that glass viewing windows will cloud permanently or crack by about 925 C The glass used in Paragon kilns has been time tested at 1260 C Paragon kilns conform to the demanding UL 499 standard in the US and are CE Marked for the EU Paragon is Greek for Model Of Perfection In the unlikely event that your kiln develops a fault it s reassuring to know that basic checks adjustments and repairs are quick and easy and need little more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers And you can watch on line service videos use the main menu link below the menu bar near the top of the page then choose tee vee then choose from the guide If you need help an engineer can guide you on the phone Alternatively we can repair the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven Now some broad comments Kilns from competing manufacturers typically don t have built in programmers don t come with professional shelf kits use restrictive pre set programmes don t have an interesting range of accessories options and upgrades aren t in stock or take months to get or can t be repaired easily and quickly They re generally more expensive smaller and don t get as hot Depending on the kiln Paragon offers you left or right hand doors thicker firebricks ceramic fibre lids bead annealing doors viewing windows extra peepholes or vents 12 key programmers cone fire upgrades mercury relays S type thermocouples electric kiln vents auxilliary power outputs RS232 or USB computer interfaces and different shelf kits With some retailers misleading first sight prices often exclude a shelf kit delivery and VAT With others there wasn t a price list or you had to call to discuss the programmer With others exactly the same kilns were a lot more expensive With some on line order forms VAT and delivery were only evident after submitting all the personal and card details And now making a choice and assessing what you re going to get Here are a few facts that you can easily check for yourself based on net shop specifications and prices in July 2012 for Efco Evenheat and Skutt kilns I can t always compare like with like so i ve just done my best to compare broadly similar kilns However much I would like to be able to recommend UK made or EU made kilns Paragon kilns are such good value buy Paragons and save enough to treat yourself to a luxury five star weekend break The Efco 110 135 150 and 180 kilns don t have rotary controllers or digital programmers unattended they ll just heat up and burn out The KilnCare EN1 EN2 and EN3 kilns have built in manual rotary controllers not digital programmers So they re all usually sold with a KilnCare KCR1 digital programmer probably made by Stafford Instruments It s a separate box with a separate mains cable a separate thermocouple and a separate stand so more stuff on your worktop This adds about 300 to what might appear to be the price of the kiln The Paragon Xpress series kilns have built in comprehensive automatic digital programmers with just three keys you set the ramps and holds in sequence you re not stuck with pre sets that will restrict you sooner or later The Xpress series kilns have a solid robust construction and a comprehensive digital programmer They include a professional shelf kit and have a wide range of interesting and useful accessories options and upgrades And you can have them In Paragon blue or customised berry black jade navy pink purple or turquoise So how do they compare The Paragon Xpress Q11A is 3 36 times larger than the Efco 100 and 340 C hotter It s 1 88 times larger than the Efco 135 and 190 C hotter It s 1 38 times larger than the Efco 150 and 190 C hotter but costs about 120 less It s 2 37 times larger than the KilnCare EN1 and 295 C hotter but costs about 295 less The Paragon Xpress E10A is about the same size as the KilnCare EN2 but 230 C hotter and costs about 395 less It can be upgraded from 1230 C to 1260 C or 1290 C The Paragon Xpress E12A is is 2 34 times larger than the KilnCare EN3 and 230 C hotter but costs about 650 less Upgraded to 1290 C it s 1 24 times larger than the KilnCare 55 04 but costs about 404 less It s 1 27 times larger than the Corby WB6 and 230 C hotter but costs about 130 less The WB6 just has a rotary controller and no temperature display The Paragon Xpress E14A is about the same price as the KilnCare EN2 but 2 12 times larger It s 3 88 times larger than the KilnCare EN3 but costs about 380 less The Paragon Xpress 1193 is broadly similar to the Nabertherm Top 16R but costs about 150 less However it has a 4 sequence 8 segment programmer whereas the Nabertherm only has a 1 sequence 2 segment programmer One ramp followed by one hold is insufficient for many materials and processes The Nabertherm price doesn t include a shelf kit and to quote from Nabertherm a delivery cost of 70 will be added during check out The Paragon Xpress 1613 is broadly similar to the Nabertherm Top 45 Eco but costs about 90 less However it has a 4 sequence 8 segment programmer whereas the Nabertherm only come with a 1 sequence 2 segment programmer It s about 1 65 times larger than the PotteryCraft P59220 Mercury It s about 1 23 times larger than the PotteryCraft P59230 Aurora However the Mercury and Aurora only come with a 1 sequence 2 segment programmer RECOMMENDED READING Kilns Programmers Kiln Furniture Options Upgrades Firing Kiln Logs Accessories Materials Processes And Tools The remaining sections are about digital programmers options upgrades materials and processes Unless you re already successfully using a kiln they re recommended reading If you need help you can mail an experienced technician or call Alternatively to learn more about how your kiln works find the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page THE PARAGON SENTRY XPRESS 3 KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER The Sentry Xpress Digital Controller The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3 key digital programmer allows you to set up several firing sequences each one with up to eight heating holding or cooling segments You can choose the heating and cooling rates target temperatures and hold times save the sequences and re use them It s easy to use far easier than a central heating programmer Here s a Cherry Heaven TV programme about setting a simple ramp hold sequence The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same UK EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius Cherry Heaven TV provides on line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven TV Player To use the player click the controls or drag the time line slider or volume slider to a new position 00 00 00 00 KILN FURNITURE A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT Kiln Furniture Shelves And Posts Most kilns have a recommended furniture kit Delivery companies have a low rate for parcels less than 30kg so for smaller kilns weighing less than 30Kg the kit is generally one shelf and four posts included in the price because it fits in the box and doesn t add much to the shipping weight You get a professional durable cordierite shelf with four 12mm high posts You don t get a soft ceramic fibre shelf often described as free that will gradually break up and need replacing Shelf kits usually include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm shelf posts When flat they re 12mm high on their sides they re 25mm Other sizes up to 150mm high are available so you can choose the shelf spacing that suits your kiln and your work The recommended kit is usually the simplest that works not an expensive collection that I ve put together for you However extra shelf kits allow you to stack your work optimising your use of the firing chamber volume the unit cost of firing and your time And extra half shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg it s not included in the price because you ll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves half shelves smaller shelves and assorted height posts One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic fibre or firebrick Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln You need finger space all round and they mustn t scrape the kiln walls every time they re put in or taken out Although they look tough most ceramics break if they re dropped so it s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln or you re running courses During firing sequences with heating holding and cooling segments the elements turn on and off repeatedly In a small kiln with little residual heat the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts A thick heavy shelf stores heat and because it s resting on posts the air circulates helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations If you re buying your first kiln you re probably interested in one material such as silver clay or one process such as enamelling However after a few successes and failures most people want to try different materials make larger pieces experiment with combinations fire more at a time and soon become interested in something else or everything else Some start a business or run classes You might want a full shelf two half shelves several mixed shelves a set of shelf posts a bead mandrel holder glass separator hot gloves kiln wash a knife making rack pyrometric cones a tile holder or other accessories Shelves are heavy so Kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools For dichroics enamelling and glass fusing put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking it s simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper probably the most popular ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf One side feels slightly smoother than the other that

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  • Help, Support, And Tips For Electric Kilns
    device you buy a kiln is not designed to be run full on all the time So if you need to fire at 925 C for a long time buy a 1095 C kiln not a 925 C kiln To give you a feel for temperature here are the melting points for a few common materials MATERIAL C aluminium 659 copper 1083 glass 1700 gold 1063 lead 163 nickel 1452 platinum 1772 silver 962 steel 1371 tungsten 3399 I sometimes get asked if there s a platinum clay there is but it s an industrial product Platinum melts at 1772 C so a platimum clay would probably need to fire at around 1600 C beyond the maximum temperature of conventional kilns CENTIGRADE AND FAHRENHEIT The three main temperature scales are Celsius Fahrenheit and Kelvin The metric system used in the EU and most other countries uses the Celsius scale The everyday descriptions are In the Celsius temperature scale pure water freezes at 0 C and boils at 100 C Celsius is the international standard having replaced the equivalent Centigrade in 1948 In the Fahrenheit temperature scale it freezes at 32 F and boils at 212 F Fahrenheit is commonly used in the US and sometimes conversationally in the UK In the Kelvin temperature scale it freezes at 273 15K and boils at 373 15K Kelvin is not measured in degrees Kelvin just Kelvin so it s written K not K In the Kelvin scale absolute zero is the hypothetical but unattainable temperature at which matter exhibits zero entropy It s defined as being precisely 0K or 273 15 C Celsius and Kelvin are used in scientific work To convert Celsius to Fahreneit multiply by 9 divide by 5 and add 32 To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius subtract 32 divide by 9 and multiply by 5 KILN FURNITURE A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT Kiln Furniture Shelves And Posts Most kilns have a recommended furniture kit Delivery companies have a low rate for parcels less than 30kg so for smaller kilns weighing less than 30Kg the kit is generally one shelf and four posts included in the price because it fits in the box and doesn t add much to the shipping weight You get a professional durable cordierite shelf with four 12mm high posts You don t get a soft ceramic fibre shelf often described as free that will gradually break up and need replacing Shelf kits usually include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm shelf posts When flat they re 12mm high on their sides they re 25mm Other sizes up to 150mm high are available so you can choose the shelf spacing that suits your kiln and your work The recommended kit is usually the simplest that works not an expensive collection that I ve put together for you However extra shelf kits allow you to stack your work optimising your use of the firing chamber volume the unit cost of firing and your time And extra half shelves or smaller shelves allow you to fire a mix of shorter and taller pieces For larger kilns weighing more than 30Kg it s not included in the price because you ll probably want to choose your own mix of shelves half shelves smaller shelves and assorted height posts One shelf should stay on the floor of the firing chamber all the time in case you accidentally spill or melt anything solidified glass or metal is impossible to pick off without damaging the ceramic fibre or firebrick Shelves are not meant to be an exact fit in the kiln You need finger space all round and they mustn t scrape the kiln walls every time they re put in or taken out Although they look tough most ceramics break if they re dropped so it s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln or you re running courses During firing sequences with heating holding and cooling segments the elements turn on and off repeatedly In a small kiln with little residual heat the inevitable temperature changes can make glass crack as it expands and contracts A thick heavy shelf stores heat and because it s resting on posts the air circulates helping to even out the normal temperature fluctuations If you re buying your first kiln you re probably interested in one material such as silver clay or one process such as enamelling However after a few successes and failures most people want to try different materials make larger pieces experiment with combinations fire more at a time and soon become interested in something else or everything else Some start a business or run classes You might want a full shelf two half shelves several mixed shelves a set of shelf posts a bead mandrel holder glass separator hot gloves kiln wash a knife making rack pyrometric cones a tile holder or other accessories Shelves are heavy so Kits ordered separately need a box and protective packing and attract an extra delivery charge Outside the UK mainland this might be expensive So if you think you ll need them order them with your kiln along with any other accessories materials parts or tools For dichroics enamelling and glass fusing put kiln paper on the shelf to stop the glass sticking it s simpler and cleaner to use than glass separator Bullseye Thinfire shelf paper probably the most popular ensures easy separation between your glass and the kiln shelf One side feels slightly smoother than the other that s the glass side Generally glasswork needs radiant heat and will fuse sag or slump better on one shelf than between closely stacked shelves although experienced glass artists often use several shelves succesfully Delicate pieces can be fired on a puffed up ceramic fibre cloth on a shelf Round pieces that could roll to one side can be fired on a hollowed out ceramic fibre block However if the kin has elements in the bottom as with the Mini Kiln and Pro 7 a cloth or block will act as insulator and the kiln might overheat Particulates represent a health risk if they re breathed in so wear a HEPA mask when cleaning out your kiln mixing kiln wash and working with ceramic fibre blocks ceramic cloths and papers And ideally use protective glasses If you want to touch anything hot or move your kiln before it s cooled off it s important to wear heat resistant gloves And if you want to look into a red hot kiln even briefly wear glare resistant glasses to protect your eyes from IR and UV If your day to day work depends on your kiln and down time will be disruptive or expensive it s a good idea to have spares extra shelves a selection of posts elements a relay and a thermocouple You can learn about ceramic blocks and cloths charcoal dust masks glare resistant glasses glass separator heat resistant gloves kiln vents kiln wash programmers protective glasses USB interfaces shelf paper tools and other accessories using the accessories link below the menu bar near the top of the front page And they re all in the on line shop Shelves are checked before despatch and are wrapped protectively But they re not guaranteed and we cannot be responsible for any later damage Normally pieces are put into the kiln on a shelf When they ve been fired the shelf is taken out and put on ceramic fibre blocks in a tray of vermiculite or on some other heat resistant surface to cool A kitchen tile is not thick enough the heat will go through and might burn the work surface USING KILN FURNITURE Kinl Furniture Never fire anything on the exposed floor of the firing chamber If moulten metal glass or enamel sticks to the ceramic fibre or firebrick it will be very difficult to remove without causing damage particularly as glaze or enamelling drips can be asbsorbed into the ceramic fibre and then ruin the element Shelves and shelf paper are designed to prevent this happening Cordierite is brittle so if you drop the shelf it will usually break Although shelves can be repaired it s not worth the risk as if they break again it will be just as you put your delicate unfired pieces in the kiln It s a good idea to have spare shelves especially if your business depends on your kiln Shelf posts are made of the same material Some people use three as there s no chance of the shelf rocking although four minimises the risk of the shelf tipping if you put a heavy piece off centre If you ve washed a shelf or it s got wet you ll need to dry it before firing or the water will turn to steam and the pressure increase may crack or shatter the shelf It s unlikely but it could explode so wear safety glasses Although shelves last a long time the continual expansion and contraction will cause surface cracks this is normal Providing a shelf doesn t look as though it will break you can carry on using it Most furniture kits include 25mm x 25mm x 12mm posts They can be used flat to lift the shelf 12mm or on their edges to lift the shelf 25mm When you use four on their edges put two north south and two east west so that the shelf doesn t wobble over If you break a shelf you may still be able to use the pieces on posts for smaller work If you buy a tile cutting saw you can make a regular shaped shelf from an irregular piece For accessories options and tools such as kiln shelves and posts use the shop link below the menu bar near the top right of every page CERAMIC FIBRE CLOTHS Ceramic Cloths Fibre cloths are used to support delicate pieces in the kiln either as a flat surface or cut into pieces The cloths in the on line shop are 225mm x 150mm x 6mm For accessories options and tools such as ceramic fibre coths use the shop link below the menu bar near the top right of every page CERAMIC FIBRE BLOCKS Ceramic Blocks If you ve just dried or fired Art Clay or PMC you need to take out the hot shelf and put it somewhere safe Ceramic fibre blocks are ideal Be careful if you use any other materials plastic will melt wood will burn glass will shatter a tile will crack a firebrick is brittle and heavy and welders squares and plumbers mats are too thin On a kitchen worktop the wood will burn or the laminate will discolour and lift Metal will just conduct the heat to the surface it s resting on If you re firing anything small and rounded be careful that it doesn t roll off and break or burn something The ceramic fibre block is very soft so you could make a slight hollow on one side However if you fire two things make sure they don t roll together and touch The heat resistant block in the on line shop is made from light ceramic fibre It s 150mm x 100mm x 50mm Unlike a heavy rough cast fire brick won t scratch the work top if you move it about For accessories options and tools such as ceramic blocks use the shop link below the menu bar near the top right of every page VERMICULITE Vermiculite Vermiculite is used to support delicate work in your kiln or spread in a tray to act as a soft heat resistant surface when you take things out of the kiln It ll last a long time although it will eventually break up The vermiculite in the photo is expanded hydrated phlogopite mica the particles are very light non toxic and won t fuse until at least 1200 C about 2200 F If you use a tray of vermiculite keep it covered when it s not in use to prevent stray materials mixing and getting stuck to your work Also vermiculite particles are very light and can jump onto your clothes if your movement generates static electricity or blow everywhere if there s a window open It s not easy to find vermiculite in the high street If you do it might have plant food or polystyrene particles mixed in so be careful The Kitiki vermiculite comes in a white plastic screw top pot for convenience and safety not a plastic bag and not a pot that can t be closed properly once the seal has been broken Although it s filled to the brim during packing particles settle and it may not look quite full when you open it It s plainly much easier to fill a pot with a fixed volume than to measure out a fixed weight every time For accessories options and tools such as vermiculite use the shop link below the menu bar near the top right of every page KILN PAPER Kiln Paper Kiln paper often called shelf paper consists of compressed ceramic fibres held together with a binder It looks like normal thick paper and can be cut to size easily with scissors As with any fibrous material don t get the fibres on your hands or breathe them in During firing the room should be vented as the burning binder may smell and release a little smoke Usually the paper burns away leaving a little dust so clean out the kiln regularly The paper in the on line shop comes as single sheets each one 520mm x 520mm square or as a pack of four Although kiln paper is much simpler cleaner and quicker to use than kiln wash it does cost more And it doesn t protect the shelf against ceramic glazes which would just soak through For accessories options and tools such as kiln paper use the shop link below the menu bar near the top right of every page GLASS SEPARATOR Kiln Wash If a glaze or hot glass sticks to the kiln shelf it s very difficult to remove without pulling away part of the shelf surface To protect the shelf and make separation easy you need to brush on a coat of glass separator or use a protective layer of kiln paper Glass separator often called kiln wash consists of finely ground minerals that don t fuse at normal firing temperatures It prevents glass and glazes sticking to the shelf It s mixed with water and painted on using a soft bristle haik brush Usually several thin coats are applied in different directions A few tips don t use glass separator on ceramic fibre don t get the powder on your hands or breathe it in stir the mixture every time you dip the brush in and store it in a glass jar You need to dry the shelf before firing or the water will turn to steam and the sudden pressure increase may crack or shatter the shelf It s unlikely but it could explode so always wear safety glasses when you open your kiln You can let it dry naturally in a warm place overnight put it on a central heating radiator or stand it on kiln posts and heat it with the kiln vent open at 150 C for 30 minutes Generally glass separator will last for several firings the lower the temperature the longer it lasts However most users re coat before firing Before applying another layer smooth the shelf surface with some wet dry paper For most small pieces kiln paper is easier to use Kiln wash should never be applied to the lid door or walls of the kiln and it s especially important to keep it away from the elements PROGRAMMERS 0 0 0 Programmers Most modern kilns use an electronic programmer or digital controller such as the Orton Sentry A programmer allows you to set up accurate drying heating holding and cooling sequences and do something else whilst the sequence is running The programmers are easy to use and the sequences can be saved for the future Paragon kilns don t have programmers with pre set sequences you can choose the sequence temperatures times and heating and cooling rates As a beginner pre sets may seem to be an advantage However having experimented many people fire materials or combinations of materials at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended And later you might want to work with other processes and materials such as china painting dichroic glass dolls enamels fusing glass bead annealing glazes gold paints low fire ceramics sagging and slumping The programmer is partly controlled by a temperature sensing thermocouple However kilns on full heat will overshoot the set temperature briefly before settling back Using the kiln for low temperature processes such as baking Fimo Polymer Clay needs care The effects of this overshoot can largely be prevented by setting a lower temperature or a lower heating rate Usually this has no effect on your work but keeping a kiln log will help you learn how to set temperatures Paragon kilns usually use the 3 key Sentry Xpress 4 0 or the 12 key Sentry 2 0 digital programmer both developed by Paragon and the Orton Ceramic Foundation To learn more about programmers use the main menu link below the menu bar then choose programmers A programmer or digital controller allows you to set up and re use accurate drying heating holding and cooling sequences and do something else whilst the sequence is running A sequence can consist of up to eight segments A segment is one step in a sequence often the time it takes to reach a target temperature For example one segment could take 50 minutes to reach 650 C another could hold at 850 C for 12 minutes and another could take 90 minutes to cool down

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  • The Paragon Sentry Xpress And Sentry Cone-Fire Ramp-Hold Programmers
    listed in the Orton cone tables Cone Fire will only be successful if you understand how cones and cone numbers work Unlike a programmer a cone is a visual indicator that your work has been fired for the correct combination of kiln temperature kiln atmosphere and time To learn more about cone numbers and cone firing go to cone fire using the link below the menu bar Some of its features are Nine ramp hold programmes one with twenty segments the others with ten Stop Back goes back one step at a time to correct programming errors Add Time adds five minutes to a hold Delay starts a count down timer which sets a delayed start time Present Status shows the segment that is currently running Program Review lets you check that the programme you are about to fire is correct Temperature Display throughout firing and cooling can be set to F or C Options to set up aspects of the sequence Error Messages report problems such as a disconnected thermocouple stuck relay or broken element Three LEDs show whether you are in programme review or firing mode The programmer beeps when the set firing sequence comes to an end It connects to a computer vai an RS232 interface to monitor the sequence and produce grahical data Your kiln will come with a comprehensive instruction manual Drying and firing Art Clay is consistently easy whereas working with ceramics you ll probably need to experiment UNDERSTANDING GLASS FUSING Glass Fusing If you ve worked with with Art Clay PMC enamels or glass you ll probably know how a ramp hold programmer works but if you want to fuse properly it ll help if you understand a multipart sequence Here s a typical full fuse programme for pieces up to about 500mm square Segment 1 Ramp at 222 C per hour to 677 C and hold for 30 minutes Segment 2 Ramp at 333 C per hour to 804 C and hold for 10 minutesb Segment 3 Ramp at 999 C per hour to 482 C and hold for 60 minutes Segment 4 Ramp at 083 C per hour to 371 C and let it cool naturally This is only a suggestion so you ll need to buy a book go to classes experiment or research on line Generally if you get cracks or bubbles slow down the ramp rate UNDERSTANDING CONE FIRE Cone Fire If you ve worked with with Art Clay PMC enamels or glass you ll probably know how a ramp hold programmer works but if you want to work with ceramics it ll help if you understand pyrometric cones Although you don t have to use pre set cone programmes if you prefer just set your own Pyrometric cones are slender pyramids made from about 100 carefully controlled compositions that measure the effect of time and temperature As the cone nears its maturing range it softens and the tip begins to bend down under it s own weight

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