Electric Kilns Electric Kilns
frequently asked questions about kilns larger kilns at paragonkilns.co.uk or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk
Paragon BlueBird XL Bead Annealing Kiln Paragon Pearl 22 Glass Kiln Thank-You Tick
UK To EU Plug Adapter
Ceramic Block
Ceramic Cloth
EU Plug
UK-EU Adapter
Dry Powder Extinguisher
Kitiki Cutters
Kitiki Flush Cutters
Kitiki Flat-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Pointed-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Bent-Nose Pliers
Kitiki Round-Nose Pliers
Potter & Brumfield Relay
Dorset, SW England
UK Plug
The AX-4 Digital Controller
MiniKiln Closed
Prometheus Pro-7
Bartlett V6-CF Digital Controller
Paragon BlueBird Open
Lauscha by Carrie Fertig
Activated Charcoal Granules
Paragon Caldera Digital Ceramics Kiln
Paragon Caldera Digital Bead Kiln
Paragon Fusion CS14D Open
Paragon Fusion CS14SB Closed
Paragon Caldera XL Closed
Paragon FireFly A Closed
Paragon Fusion 7 Open
Paragon Fusion 8 Open
Paragon GL18ADTSD Open
Paragon HT-14D Closed
Paragon Janus 1613 Open
Paragon KM18D
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Unassembled
Paragon-Orton Vent Master: Suction Cup
Paragon Pearl 18 Open
Paragon PMT21 Heat Treating Kiln
Stainless Steel Pans
Paragon SC-2 Black Open
Paragon SC2 Closed
Paragon SC2B Open
Paragon SC2W Open
Paragon SC4 Closed
Paragon SC2BW Open
Paragon SC2D Pro-3 Open
Paragon SC2 Shelf Kit
Paragon SC-2 Jade Closed
Paragon SC-2 Black Closed
Orton Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer
Orton Sentry Digital Programmer
Bartlett Sentinel Touch-Screen
Paragon SC-2 Pink Open
Paragon SC-2 Pro Black Open
Paragon SC-2 Turqoise Open
Paragon SC-2 Purple Open
Paragon SC-2 Navy Closed
Paragon SC-2 Berry Closed
Paragon ST-8 Table
Paragon ST-8 Table With Casters
Paragon TNF 1613 Closed
Paragon GL24 Table
Paragon Xpress 1613 Top Row Bricks
USB Plug
Paragon Xpress E-12A Open
Paragon Xpress E-12AB Closed
Paragon Xpress E-14 Closed
Paragon Xpress Q-11A Open
Paragon F500 Open

Over the years, I've answered lots of questions. Many are from beginners, so here's a selection of FAQs. If you have a question, there's a form at the bottom of this page.


Which Kiln Is Best For A Beginner?

The Paragon SC-2 kiln is the most popular. It plugs in to a regular mains socket, doesn't take up much worktop space, and, at about 16kg, is light enough to be put away. Its maximum temperature, 1095°C, allows you to work with most materials, except ceramics and porcelain, although you can use what are called low-fire ceramics.


Is The Programmer Easy To Use?

It's a lot simpler than a central heating programmner. The Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer has three buttons: the left-hand button selects the function and the other two increase or decrease the value of the chosen function. It will remember four sequences, so you can re-use any one without having to re-set all the functions.

Kilns come with comprehensive instructions, basic firing guides, and there are on-line videos. Call, if you're not sure?


Running Costs?

We all seem to pay different amounts for electricity. A half-hour firing costs about £0.14 and a two-hour firing about £0.34. Remember that, during a long hold time, the elements are continually switching on and off, so don't use full power all the time. If you fire lots of silver clay pieces on two shelves at one go, each piece costs just a few pennies.


Does It Get Hot?

It just gets warm, although the edges of the door will get a bit hotter. Don't leave anything on the top of the kiln and don't stand it next to fabric or plastic. The SC2 has rubber feet so, if it got too hot, they'd melt.

If you use it in a garage, check that you haven't got petrol fumes or a lawnmower. Also, condensation might affect the electronic programmer.


Does It Need Ventilation?

Most popular materials don't give off toxic fumes. Howewever, cork clay, wood clay, and some glasses might: so open a window. Don't use the kiln in a small cupboard.


Does It Need Cleaning?

Don't let it get really mucky. When it's cold use a damp cloth, not a kitchen cleaner spray. Clean the inside with a soft brush: wear a HEPA dust mask. Or use the cup-brush on a vacuum cleaner, but be careful not to knock and chip the interior ceramic.


Is It Noisy?

When a kiln reaches its target temperature, the relay, an electro-mechanical switch, will turn the elements on and off to hold the temperature so you'll hear the relay clicking.


The Door Catch.

In the US, all the SC series kilns have a door ball-catch and a plastic door-knob. However, the catch is often too loose or too tight, particularly when the kiln gets hot and the metal expands. It's easy to disturb your work whilst pushing the door catch closed or pulling it open, as you often need a free hand to hold the hot kiln steady. Although it can be adjusted, it's not ideal, so all the SC series kilns sold by Cherry Heaven have an improved lever catch. The lever has a much easier cleaner action, and is simple to adjust.


Repairs And Parts.

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 a distributor, we normally have parts.


A Bead Door Or A Window?

Most people want a kiln for the material or process that's enthused them, such as annealing beads, casting, firing ceramics, crucible work, enamelling, fusing glass, heat treating, knife making, lampwork, pottery, vitrigraph, or silver clays.

After a few successes, and a few failures, many experiment with other materials, make larger pieces, try combinations, fire more at a time, and become interested in everything else. Some start a business, run classes, or open a shop. So plan ahead.

Although you can open the door a crack to check on glass fusing or enamels, a glass viewing-window is easier although you should wear glare-resistant glasses. Some people use the bead-anealing door to look through.


How Many Shelves?

Always use the supplied shelf in the bottom of the kiln in case you melt or spill anything. The SC2 will hold three stacking shelf kits, so it's a good idea to buy one or two extra.

You can fit quite a few pieces on one shelf. You can buy more shelf kits so you can stack up shelves with spacers in between which allows the air to circulate and help keep an even temperature. Glass work prefers radiant heat so it's better not to stack up shelves.


Firing Things?

Most materials come with firing instructions, although nothing beats experiment. Silver will melt at 962°C but will begin to distort at about 910°C.

Some gemstones can be fired in PMC Silver, Art Clay Silver, and other metal clays. If you're firing stones into your piece, you will need a lower temperature and slow ramp-up. There's no short cut to experimenting.


Technical Note

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