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Paragon KM45T Knife-Making Kiln With A Sentry 12-Key Digital Programmer
Cherry Heaven TV
Sentinel Smart Touch Digital Controller
Sentry Digital Controller
Sentry Xpress Digital Controller
Paragon KM45D Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM36D Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM24D XL Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM24D Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM18D XL Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM18D Knife-Making Furnace
Paragon KM14D Knife-Making Furnace
Cherry Heaven TV
UK To EU Plug Adapter
Ceramic Block
Ceramic Cloth
EU Plug
UK-EU Adapter
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 Open
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
KM-14T Knife-Making And Heat Treating Kiln
KM-14T Knife-Making And Heat Treating Kiln
KM-18T Double Barrel XL Knife-Making Kiln
KM-24T Knife-Making And Heat Treating Kiln
KM-24T XL Double Barrel Knife-Making Kiln
KM-36T Knife-Making Kiln
KM-45T Knife-Making Kiln
KM-45T Knife-Making Kiln

Paragon KM Kilns For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM kilns are generally used for making knives, blades, cutters, and tools, heat-treating metals, and annealing glass, although they have other applications. They're 1290°C kilns with digital programmers, in Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Learn all about the Paragon KM kilns on this page.

There are seven: the KM14T, KM18T, KM18T XL, KM24T, KM24T XL, KM36T, and KM45T, in ascending order of firing chamber depth, the number being the approximate interior depth in inches. The KM18T XL and KM24T XL are twice as wide as the KM18T and KM24T. In the US, the XL kilns are called double-barrel.

The KM14T, KM18T, KM24T, and KM36T have a Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer, and the KM18T XL, KM24T XL, and KM45T have a Sentry 12-key digital programmer.
The Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer can be upgraded to a Sentry 12-key or a Sentinel Touch Screen, and the Sentry to a Sentinel. The Sentry and Sentinel both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.


For prices, use the shop link below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. They're for UK-EU voltage, CE-marked, TUV tested, and CL and CSA approved kilns.

Internet retail is an unchecked arena: everything is the best, the newest, or the cheapest, and is being sold by the premier dealer. Very often, the final price is deliberately and misleadingly obscured until you have to pay.

Prices here include comprehensive instructions, a heat-treating guide, a door safety switch, UK VAT, and free continuing support from a top-tier international distributor. So you can start work straight away.

Your on-line privacy is important: you won't have to create an account, register, log on, remember a password, or accept cookies. We don't harvest email addresses or personal details, and nothing is kept, re-used, or given to third parties. And no ads, follow-ups, newsletters, or promotional offers.


Cherry Heaven TV has made an on-line photo book featuring these popular kilns: click the Cherry Heaven TV player above. It starts with the KM-14T, and continues with the larger KM-18T, KM-18T XL, KM-24T, KM-24T XL, KM-36T, and KM-45T, and the Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer, Sentry 12-key programmer, and Sentinel Touch Screen programmer.

THE PARAGON KM KILNS: PHOTOS

Paragon KM Furnaces For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

To look at the pop-up photos, hold your mouse over the zoom buttons below: you don't need to click.


Paragon KM14T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM14T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM14D Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM14T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM18T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM18T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM18D XL Double Barrel Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM18T XL Double-Width Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM24T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM24T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM24D Double Barrel XL Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM24T XL Double-Width Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM36T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM36T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM45D Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM45T Knife-Making Kiln.

Paragon KM45T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM45T Knife-Making Kiln.

Orton-Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Controller Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer.

Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Controller Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer.

Bartlett-Paragon Sentinel Smart Touch Digital Controller Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen Digital Programmer.

THE PARAGON KM KILNS: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Paragon KM36T Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM24T XL Double-Barrel Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM24T Double-Barrel XL Knife-Making Kiln Paragon KM45T Knife-Making Kiln

Paragon KM Kilns For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM kilns are 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, table-top, firebrick kilns, with ramp hold Sentry Xpress 3-key or Sentry 12-key digital programmers. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. Customised kilns are made to order, so can't be returned if the colour isn't exactly the same as in the photo.

There are seven: the KM-14T, KM-18T, KM-18T XL, KM-24T, KM-24T XL, KM-36T, and KM-45T, in ascending order of firing chamber depth, the number being the approximate interior depth in inches. The KM-18T XL and KM-24T XL are twice as wide as the KM-18T and KM-24T. In the US, the XL kilns are called double-barrel.

The KM14, KM18, KM24, and KM36 have a Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer, and the KM18 XL, KM24 XL, and KM45 have a Sentry 12-key digital programmer.
The Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer can be upgraded to a 12-key Sentry or a Sentinel Touch Screen, and the Sentry to a Sentinel. The Sentry and Sentinel both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

In February 2016, Paragon changed the design of the KM series, giving the programmer an easier-to-use tilt, so they've removed the suffix D which meant depth and replaced it with T which means tilted front. So, for example, a KM24D became a KM24T.

They're ideal for your knife studio, machine shop, metal-work business, engineering works, technical facility, arts centre, ceramics showroom, college, course venue, shared craft units, dental lab, glass works, medical laboratory, or university.


Use them for knife-making, heat-treating, hardening, and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics, earthenware, porcelain, pottery, and stoneware, china paints, applying decals, dichroic glass, enamels, fire polishing, glass-art, glass casting, fusing, moulding, sagging and slumping, forming glass panels, glazes, lab testing, lamp-work, lost-wax casting, jewellery making, melting gold and silver, firing bronze and copper metal clays, moulding gun and model parts, pâte de verre, sintering gold and silver clays, stained glass, and many other materials and processes.

Although smaller kilns are more economic for jewellery-making, you can still 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 KM series firing chamber sizes are ideal for blades, from pocket knives to ceremonial swords. But, with their maximum temperature of 1290°C, you could also make architectural pieces, badges, beads, bracelets, candleholders, ceramic-art, decorations, dolls, figurines, fingerprint keepsakes, glass-art, gun parts, jewellery, medals, miniatures, models, ornaments, pendants, porcelain beads, pet id-tags, souvenirs, stained-glass designs, tableware, tiles, and tools, as unique hand-crafted pieces or repeatable stock for sale.


If you're not sure that a KM kiln is the right choice:

Glass kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 925°C. For these, look at the top-opening Fusion:CS Series or Pearl Series, or the front-opening F Series or GL Series. These are not hot enough for ceramics.

Ceramics kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1230°C to 1290°C. For these, look at the small Caldera Series, the medium Xpress Series, and the large Janus Series and PMT Series. These can also be used for glass work.

The 1095°C HT Series and 1290°C PMT Series look similar: except the HT kilns have bottom-hinged doors and the PMT kilns have side-hinged doors. The HT kilns can be upgraded to 1290°C.


To learn more about other kilns, use the appropriate links above and below the menu bar near the top of the page. Each series has kilns of different sizes with different options, so I've only included one of each in the table below:


VERSION DESCRIPTION PROGRAMMER MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
KM14T drop or side door 3-key 1290 1920 50 firebrick 140 x 368 x 108
KM18T drop or side door 3-key 1290 2000 59 firebrick 140 x 457 x 108
KM18T XL drop or side door 12-key 1290 3073 59 firebrick 279 x 457 x 108
KM24T drop or side door 3-key 1290 2600 63 firebrick 140 x 610 x 108
KM24T XL drop or side door 12-key 1290 4100 78 firebrick 279 x 610 x 108
KM36T drop or side door 3-key 1290 3600 80 firebrick 140 x 914 x 108
KM45T drop or side door 12-key 1290 4560 95 firebrick 140 x 1143 x 108
Caldera-A top-opener 3-key 1290 1800 20 firebrick 203 x 203 x 171
HT-22D front-opener 12-key 1095 7200 140 firebrick 533 x 533 x 337
PMT-21 front-opener 12-key 1290 9600 290 firebrick 533 x 533 x 330
Xpress-E12A front-opener 3-key 1290 2700 41 firebrick 196 x 295 x 219

All the digital programmers allow you to set up sequences, each one with multiple heating, holding, or cooling segments: so you can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them.

There are no restrictive features such as single-sequence use or pre-set programmes. Pre-set 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.


For help, or in the unlikely event of a fault, you can mail or call an engineer in the UK. However, checks, adjustments, and repairs are simple, needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver: watch the on-line videos using the watch-videos link or read the help pages using use the help link, both below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. Alternatively, we can service the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.


After looking at the kilns in detail, I'll introduce the accessories, options, and upgrades.

THE PARAGON KM14T KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM14D Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM14T Knife Making Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer Sentry Digital Controller Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM14T is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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 14.5 inches.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 1920W, so can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 432mm x 686mm x 432mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 50kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 140mm x 368mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the back and sides, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key: more useful features: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 368mm is deep enough and that a KM18T wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM14T: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM14D Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 125mm x 125mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for two shelves, one behind the other.

THE PARAGON KM18D KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM18D Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM18D Knife Making Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM18T is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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, 18 means that the inside is about 18 inches deep.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 2000W, so can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 432mm x 787mm x 432mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 59kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 140mm x 457mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the back and sides, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key: more useful features: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 457mm is deep enough and that a KM24D wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM18D: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM18D Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 125mm x 125mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for three shelves, one behind the other.

THE PARAGON KM18D XL KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM18D Double Barrel Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM18D XL Knife Making Kiln Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM18T XL is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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, 18 means that the inside is about 18 inches deep. In the US, it's called a double-barrel.

The KM18D XL has a Sentry 12-key programmer and is twice as wide inside as the KM18T: otherwise it's the same. However, for the small extra cost, the kiln holds twice as much so you'll have a faster turnaround and be able to complete more pieces at one go.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 3073W, so can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 762mm x 762mm x 368mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 66kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 279mm x 457mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the sides and the top, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry 12-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 610mm is deep enough and that a KM36D wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM18D XL: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM24D XL Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 214mm x 432mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts.

THE PARAGON KM24D KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM24D Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM24D Knife Making Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM24T is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, plug-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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, 24 means that the inside is about 24 inches deep.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 2600W, so can use a regular mains socket. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 432mm x 940mm x 432mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 63kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 140mm x 610mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the back and sides, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key: more useful features: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 610mm is deep enough and that a KM36D wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM24D: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM24D Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 125mm x 125mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for three shelves, one behind the other: more than three might make them hard to put in and take out.

THE PARAGON KM24D XL KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM24D Double Barrel For Making Knives, Blades, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM24D XL Knife Making Kiln Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM24T XL is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, wired-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.

The Sentry 12-key can be upgraded to a Sentinel Touch Screen. Both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.


Paragon's kiln names often use a suffixed number to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches. For this kiln, 24 means that the inside is about 24 inches deep. In the US, it's called a double-barrel.

The KM24D XL has a Sentry 12-key programmer and is twice as wide inside as the KM24: otherwise it's the same. However, for the small extra cost, the kiln holds twice as much so you'll have a faster turnaround and be able to complete more pieces at one go.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 4100W, so it needs a 20A wired-in power supply. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 762mm x 762mm x 368mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 77kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 279mm x 610mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the sides and the top, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry 12-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 610mm is deep enough and that a KM36D wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM24D XL: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM24D XL Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 216mm x 432mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for two shelves, one behind the other.

THE PARAGON KM36D KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM36D Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM36T Knife Making Kiln Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM36T is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, wired-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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, 36 means that the inside is about 36 inches deep.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 3600W, so it needs a 16A wired-in power supply. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 432mm x 1245mm x 432mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counterbalanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 80kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 140mm x 914mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the back and sides, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentry 12-key: more useful features: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade: Sentry Xpress 3-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. However, make sure that 914mm is deep enough and that a KM45D wouldn't be better.

THE PARAGON KM36D: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM36D Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 125mm x 125mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for four shelves, one behind the other: more than four might make them hard to put in and take out.

THE PARAGON KM45D KNIFE-MAKING, ANNEALING, CERAMICS, GLASS, GUN PARTS, HEAT-TREATING, AND TOOLS

The Paragon KM45D Kiln For Making Knives, Blades, Cutters, Dies, Tools, And Gun Parts, Heat-Treating Metals, And Annealing Glass.

Paragon KM45T Knife Making Kiln Sentry Digital Programmer Sentinel Digital Programmer

The Paragon KM45T is a 1290°C, rectangular, front-opening, wired-in, table-top, firebrick kiln, with a ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmer. Choose Paragon black, or customised berry, blue, 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, 45 means that the inside is about 45 inches deep.


The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V-240V 4560W, so it needs a 20A wired-in power supply. To comply with EU safety regulations, it's fitted with a switch that cuts off the power when the kiln is opened: an important safety feature. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 432mm x 1473mm x 432mm high, and is slotted for air circulation: so it keeps cool. The standard drop-down door is hinged on the bottom and kept closed by a counter-balanced handle, although you can choose a side-hinged door. The shipping weight is about 116kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 140mm x 1143mm x 108mm high internally, and heats from the back and sides, with the fast-firing element lying in grooves in the 76mm thick bricks. 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:

List a berry, blue, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally black
List a side hinged door: normally a drop-down: factory fitted
List a programmer upgrade from a Sentry 12-key to a Sentinel Touch Screen: more useful features: factory fitted
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a USB computer interface: needs 12-key or touch: needs 12-key or touch: factory fitted
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List a knife-making kit: four blade supports, eight blocks, and hot gloves
List shelf kits and shelf paper
List ceramic fibre cloth
List ceramic block
List HEPA dust mask
List clear protective glasses
List glare-resistant glasses
List heat-resistant gloves

And finally, my opinion:

This is a professional kiln, so ideal for a blade workshop or an engineering facility: it's robustly made, fully programmable, and hot enough to work with almost anything. It'll hold very long blades such as Samurai and ceremonial swords, gun barrels, or engineering parts.

THE PARAGON KM45D: KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon KM45D Kiln Furniture.

Most knife makers make their own supports and accessories, so there's no included kit. However, there's a recommended kit, not included in the price: four knife holders, eight ceramic supports, and a pair of heat-resistant gloves.

For annealing beads and glass, firing ceramics and porcelain, fusing dichroics, enamelling, heat treating, lampworking, or sintering metal clays, you might want a shelf kit, not included in the price: one durable 125mm x 125mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and four 12mm shelf posts. This kiln has room for four shelves, one behind the other: more than four might make them hard to put in and take out.

RECOMMENDED READING
General Help and FAQ's For Kilns

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.


Cherry Heaven has been a Paragon distributor since 2002, and commended every year for outstanding performance. Paragon kilns are good value: buy Paragons and you could save enough to treat yourself to a luxury five-star weekend break.

Anyone can buy a few kilns to resell and call themselves a specialist, but a distributor understands all the kilns, options, and upgrades, will stock spares, offers free competent technical support, can help you repair your kiln, provide on-line repair videos, has a repair workshop, and can access Paragon's international, informed, and supportive user-base.

If you need help, you can mail an experienced technician or call . Alternatively, to learn more about how your kiln works, use the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page.

THE PARAGON SENTRY XPRESS 3-KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentry Xpress Digital Programmer

The Paragon-Orton Sentry Xpress Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer allows you to set up four 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.


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THE PARAGON SENTRY 12-KEY DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon-Orton Sentry Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentry 12-key digital programmer allows you to set up nine firing sequences, each one with up to ten 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 also offers advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

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 Player TV. To use the player, click the controls or drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


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THE PARAGON SENTINEL SMART-TOUCH DIGITAL PROGRAMMER
Paragon Sentinel Touch Screen Programmer

The Paragon Sentinel Touch-Screen Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentinel Touch Screen digital programmer allows you to set up firing sequences, each one with up to thirty two 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 also offers advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.

It's easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here's a Cherry Heaven TV programme about using it. 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 Player TV. To use the player, click the controls or drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


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KILN FURNITURE: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION IMPORTANT
A Paragon Kiln Shelf Kit

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, shelf kits are 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. Be careful lifting heavy shelves out of a top-opening kiln: if you drop them they will damage the firebricks.

Although they look tough, most ceramics break if they're dropped on a hard floor, 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 Prometheus 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
Paragon SC2 Jewellery Kiln: Hot Pink With A RH Door Hinge

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 silver clay 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 maximum temperature, a 3-key to a 12-key programmer, an electric kiln vent, a gas injection control system, an auxilliary power output, and a USB computer 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.

Changing the door hinge might be better if your kiln is in the 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 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.


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 an electro-mechanical long-life nickel-chromium K-type thermocouple. 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.

If extra long-life and reliability are vital, especially at temperatures above 1100°C, you can upgrade to a long-life 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 and E10A 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 UK-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.

AN ELECTRIC KILN VENT
Paragon-Orton VentMaster: Unassembled

The Paragon-Orton Vent Master Kiln Vent.

Re-freshing the air in a kiln minimises surface blemishes when firing clays, ensures brighter colours when firing glasses, and prevents colour contamination when firing different glazes.

A factory-fitted Orton Vent Master removes airborn pollutants straight away and redirects them to the outside through a flexi-pipe. The kilns can be factory-readied, so the vent just need on-site assembly.

The vent motor isn't so powerful that the heat-up time and maximum temperature are reduced, but the cooling time is, depending on the size of the kiln.


The UK-EU vent motor is rated at 230V-240V 132W, so it can use a regular mains socket. The suction cup and pipe are attached to the kiln but the motor can be remote: it doesn't get hot and the fan is easy to clean.

There's always a small gap, for expansion, around any kiln door or lid, so enough new air can be drawn in to replace the old air being drawn out. However, peepholes act as straight-through cold-air inlets: so you might not want them or block them with some ceramic cloth?

The vent can be turned on and off manually. Alternatively, if the kiln has a Sentry 12-key programmer or a Sentinel Touch Screen, the vent can be plugged into the kiln's auxilliary power outlet and controlled by the programmer. The power outlet has to be fitted during manufacture, so decide before you order.


As with Paragon kilns, Orton Vent Masters can be re-engineered for any electrical system. They conform to the demanding 1992 Uniform Mechanical Code and the UL standard, and are CE Marked for the EU. They have a two year limited warranty.

A GAS INLET FLOW METER
The Paragon Gas Inlet Flow Meter

The Paragon Gas Inlet Flow Meter.

During heat treatng, oxygen forms a scale on the surface of knife blades, metals, and tools. To minimise this, the parts can either be wrapped in heat-treating foil or an inert gas can be injected into the furnace to displace the oxygen.

Most professional knife makers use gas injection for precise control and to save time. If you have a Sentry or a Sentinel Touch Screen programmer, a solenoid kit can automatically turn the gas on or off for each segment of the firing: just programme the controller to turn on the gas at the temperature where scale begins to form on the steel.


In addition to the flow meter, you'll also need a regulator to reduce the pressure from the gas tank. This is usually bought with the gas tank: it's not part of this Paragon option. The gas pressure to the flow meter should be less than 20 pounds per square inch.

Furnaces aren't air tight and gas will leak out through the firebricks and metal seams, so you need a steady flow of gas. Gas at room temperature will expand to over twenty times its volume when injected into a firing chamber at 550°C, so a low setting on the flow meter is adequate to prevent most scaling.


Depending on how you work, gas injection might reduce the life of the heating elements slightly. However, they're easy and inexpensive to replace. If your business depends on continual kiln time, buying a spare set of elements would be sensible.

Argon gas is popular for heat treating because it's inexpensive. But, it's heavier than air and breathing it in won't keep you alive. so your workshop must be well ventilated.

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 or a Sentinel Touch Screen 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 MAKING KNIVES
Knife Blade

Steel And Knife Making

Steels are alloys of iron and carbon, generally described as mild steel, medium-carbon steel, or high-carbon steel, according to the percentage of carbon. Adding other elements such as chromium, manganese, nickel, and tungsten, change the characteristics of the metal.

There are over 3500 types of steel, most of which have been developed in the last 25 years. If the Eiffel Tower were to be built today, the engineers would only need one-third of the steel that was originally used.

Making knife blades involves many different types of high-carbon steel and a series of forming, heating, cooling, and finishing processes. Knife-making kilns come with a heat treating manual, although professional knife-makers usually adapt the processes and develop their own techniques.

HARDENING STEEL

Hardening Steel

Steel is already hard, but it can be made much harder. Blades are hardened by heating them to a hardening temperature and them soaking them at that temperature. The temperature and time depend on the steel and the result you want. Hardness is measured using Rockwell testing.

QUENCHING

Quenching Steel

After hardening, the blade is quenched by cooling it in air, water, or oil, otherwise the steel would lose most of its hardness. The way in which quenching is done is vital.

TEMPERING

Tempering Steel

After quenching, most steel is tempered, another heating and cooling process, to relieve stresses, otherwise it can be too brittle for repeated use.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO CLAYS
Clay

What Is Clay?

Clays are formed naturally over millions of years as rocks break up into minute particles. They consist of hydrous aluminium silicates and other compounds such as feldspar, iron oxides, mica, and quartz. Clays are collectively referred to as ceramics.

Clays are often divided into three main categories: earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware. Generally, they needs to be fired for several hours, although the exact chemical composition affects the firing temperatures and times, and the clays' colour, porosity, shrinkage, and strength.

EARTHENWARE, PORCELAIN, AND STONEWARE
Earthenware Flower Pot

Earthenware, Porcelain, And Stoneware

Earthenware is normally beige, red, or white. It has the lowest firing temperature of the three, usually about 1150°C. It's slightly porous, and stains and chips easily, so it's often glazed to protect the surface. Its porosity means it's good for making planters and oven steamers, but not good for jugs or vases.

Porcelain is composed of kaolin, or china clay. Kaolin doesn't melt until 1800°C, so other compounds are usually added so it can be fired between 1250°C and 1400°C. For example, bone china is made by adding bone ash to the clay. It's known for its whiteness, hardness, smoothness, durability, and translucency. When tapped, it makes a distinctive ping: or ming.

Stoneware is normally beige, grey, or red-brown. It's usually fired between 1150°C and 1300°C. It's hard, durable, and resists thermal shock. Glazes bond well, so it can be made waterproof.

BISQUE
Bisque

Bisque

Bisque is clay which has been fired once, without a glaze, to a temperature just before vitrification. Firing changes the clay into ceramic material, without fully fusing it. A second, slower, firing melts the glaze and fuses it to the clay body.

POLYMER CLAY
Polymer Clay Flowers By Olga Zhukova

Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is a man-made material: tiny particles of polyvinyl chloride mixed with plasticizers and pigments. When it's baked, at around 125°C, the particles fuse and the clay hardens.

RAKU
Raku

Raku

Raku was originally a Japanese technique, but it's now become an internationally popular way to make decorative ware, with each piece having a unique blend of colours.

A bisque piece is fired to about 950°C, then glazed. It's removed from the kiln when red-hot, and put straight into a container of combustible material.

The flames, reducing atmosphere, and mix of chemicals stain the clay. When the piece is removed and quenched in cold water, interesting colours and shades remain: often unpredictable.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO GLASS
Obsidian

What Is Glass?

The main component of glass is silicon dioxide, often called silica: found naturally and plentifully as sand. When it melts, at around 1700°C, it's like syrup on a cold day. When it cools, it forms a rigid brittle glass called quartz glass.

To lower the melting point, and reduce the cost of melting, chemicals are added: typically sodium carbonate and calcium oxide. Other chemicals, and different heating and cooling processes, produce a range of colours and mechanical properties.

Chemically, glass is defined as an amorphous solid but, as it's heated, it becomes softer allowing it to be blown, cast, coated, decorated, engraved, heat-treated. moulded, poured, pressed, sagged, and slumped.

A form of glass occurs naturally within the mouth of a volcano when the intense heat of an eruption melts sand to form Obsidian, a hard black-to-brown glassy type of stone, shown in the photo. Although it was used decoratively, when it fractures it has very sharp edges, many times sharper than a steel knife-edge, so was also used for tools and weapons, and the pitiful ritual of circumcision.

ANNEALING
Annealed Beads Made Into A Necklace

Annealing.

During annealing, fabrication stresses are relieved as the molecules cool and arrange themselves into a regular stable matrix. Successful annealing is the key to creating glasswork that will remain attractive and durable. It's quite a long process, so a kiln with an automatic comprehensive programmer is essential.

DICHROIC GLASS
Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass.

Dichroic glass has two different colours: a transmitted colour and a reflective colour, both of which change depending on the angle of view. For example blue-red will be blue in transmission and red in reflection.

During manufacture, quartz and metal oxides are vapourised onto the surface of the glass using a vacuum deposition process, forming a multi-layer crystal structure.

FIRE POLISHING
Fire Polished Glass

Fire Polishing.

To fire polish glass, return the items to the kiln and melt them just enough to give a smooth polished appearance. It needs a temperature of around 700°C, and is typically used to round the edges of glass between fusing and slumping.

Fire polishing already-slumped items is more difficult because the polishing temperature is close to the slumping temperature and it can distort the appearance of the piece. So it generally works best for flat items, rather than slumped ones. It has the slight limitation that the part of the item that touches the kiln shelf won't polish.

FUSING, SAGGING, AND SLUMPING
Fused Glass

Glass Fusing.

If two or more pieces of glass in contact are heated, they begin to soften and fuse together. With careful heating and cooling, the separate pieces of glass become one.

If glass is put on a mould and heated, it begins to soften and collapse, or sag, onto the mould: a common technique for making bowls and plates.

Sagging and slumping are often thought of as being the same. Correctly: during sagging, heated glass, supported at its edges, sags down in the middle to conform to a mould; during slumping, heated glass, supported at its middle, slumps down at its edges to conform to a mould.

SLUMPING BOTTLES
Slumped Bottle

Glass Slumping.

This a simple technique but it requires good ideas. A bottle, such as those used for wine, beer, cola, or champagne, is softened in a kiln so that it begins to flatten out or conforms to a mould. There are too many moulds to stock here but there are lots available on line. Or make your own from clay.

The bottles nead to be clean and dry, with all paper labels and tops removed. Put them in your kiln on a shelf, either with shelf paper or kiln wash to prevent the glass sticking to the shelf. Paragon make a kiln designed for this: the Trio. It's wide enough for most bottles but can still use a regular socket.

LAMPWORK AND BEADS
Beads

Lampwork And Beads.

Very briefly, lamp-working is the traditional name for glasswork that uses a flame to melt glass rods and tubes. As the glass softens, it's shaped by turning and using tools.

Early lampworkers used an oil-lamp, and blew air into the flame through a pipe. Later, propane, natural gas, or butane torches replaced the lamp, although kilns are now increasingly popular, particularly for annealing.

Beads are usually made on steel rods, or mandrels. When the beads are finished, the rods are removed leaving holes for threading the beads. Cold working techniques can be used, such as etching, faceting, polishing, and sandblasting.

PÂTE DE VERRE
Pâte De Verre

Pâte De Verre.

Pâte de verre involves making a glass paste, applying it to a mould, firing it, and removing the piece from the mould. The glass paste is usually made from glass powder, a binder such as gum arabic, distilled water, and colouring agents or enamels. It allows precise placing of colours in the mould, whereas other techniques often result in the glass straying from its intended position.

I think, currently, Daum is the only large commercial crystal manufacturer using the pâte de verre process for art glass and crystal sculptures.

TACK FUSING
Tack Fused Glass

Tack Fusing.

Tack fusing is the joining together of glass, with as little change to the shape of the pieces as possible. Tack fusing may be used either decoratively, or to assemble a large piece of glass from laminations.

Where tack fusing is used to apply small decorative details to a larger piece, you might want to partially melt the small pieces so that they change shape, usually becoming more spherical under the influence of surface tension, but without changing the shape of the carrier piece. This can be done by using an increased temperature, but only briefly. The carrier piece has a larger thermal mass, so heats up more slowly than the small decorations.

VITRIGRAPH WORK
Glass Stringers

Vitrigraph.

Vitrigraph uses a Caldera-A kiln to make glass stringers. The bottom of the kiln is unclipped and set aside. The kiln body is put on a thick ceramic square with a central hole. The whole thing is lifted well away from the floor to allow moulten glass to fall through a small hole in a crucible and form long stringers. Ceramic squares are in the on-line shop.

WARM GLASS

Warm Glass.

The term warm glass refers to fusing, slumping, and other glass processes which take place at temperatures between about 600°C to 925°C. Although that doesn't sound warm, it is when you compare it to glassblower's working temperatures, which often exceed 1100°C. The term warm glass is often replaced by kiln forming.

ELECTRIC KILNS

Electric Kilns: A Cherry Heaven Internet Resource.

is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. It's a top-tier international distributor for Texas-made Paragon kilns, furnaces, ovens, accessories, and tools, and has been one of their top-selling partners from 2006 to : a pleasing outcome since the UK is only one third the area of Texas and one fortieth the area of the US.

As this is an on-line resource, there isn't a paper catalogue or a price list. However, you can mail or call a technician about kilns, power supplies, public area safety, a special project, business ideas, diagnostics, repairs, or reselling opportunities.


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