Paragon Kilns Paragon Kilns
the paragon tnf ceramics kilns smaller kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk
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Paragon TNF243 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Cherry Heaven TV
Paragon TNF 28-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 27-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 24-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 23-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 82-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 1613 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 66-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Cherry Heaven TV
The French Flag The Italian Flag The Spanish Flag The Swedish Flag
Paragon TNF 1613 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 82-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 24-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 27-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 66-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 23-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
Paragon TNF 28-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln
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 A Closed
Paragon Caldera AB Closed
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
Stainless Steel Pans
Paragon SC-2 Black Open
Paragon SC2 Open
Paragon SC2B Open
Paragon SC2W Open
Paragon SC4 Closed
Paragon SC1 Closed
Paragon SC1 Open
Paragon SC1W 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 2.0 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 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

The Paragon TNF Kilns For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

Paragon TNF kilns are generaly used for ceramcs, earthenware, glass, porcelain, pottery, and raku. They are, with one exception, 1290°C cone 10 kilns with digital programmers, in Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise. The exception is the 1175°C TNF 283. Learn all about the Paragon TNF kilns on this page.

There are seven in the series: the TNF 66-3, TNF 1613-3, TNF 82-3, TNF 23-3, TNF 24-3, TNF 27-3, and TNF 28-3. TNF means Touch 'n' Fire.


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, with safety switches, and include comprehensive manuals and UK VAT.


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 Paragon TNF 66-3, and continues with the larger TNF 1613-3, TNF 82-3, TNF 23-3, TNF 24-3, TNF 27-3, and TNF 28-3.

THE PARAGON TNF SERIES: PHOTOS

The Paragon TNF Kilns For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

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


Paragon TNF 66-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 66-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 1613-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 1613 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 82-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 82-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 23-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 23-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 24-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 24-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 27-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 27-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Paragon TNF 28-3 Ceramics Kiln Paragon TNF 28-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln.

Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Controller Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer.

STAY ON THIS RESOURCE, OR SWITCH TO ANOTHER?

Paragon Kilns, Electric Kilns, Kitiki Kilns, or Prometheus Kilns? 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. If you want 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.

THE PARAGON TNF SERIES: A GENERAL INTRODUCTION CERAMICS, GLASS, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE

The Paragon TNF Kilns For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF series comprises, with one exception, 1290°C cone 10, multi-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kilns, with cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-key digital programmers. The exception is the 1175°C TNF 283. In Paragon blue, or customised berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise.

There are seven in the series: the top-opening seven-sided TNF 663, eight-sided TNF 1613, eight-sided TNF 823, ten-sided TNF 233 and TNF 243, and twelve-sided TNF 273 and TNF 283.

The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface.

They're ideal for your arts centre, ceramics studio, college, course venue, craft centre, engineering workshop, glass works, home, pottery business, research unit, school, technical facility, or university.


Use them for firing ceramics, earthenware, porcelain, pottery, and stoneware, annealing beads and glass, bisqueware, ceramic art, painting china, crucible glass work, making dolls, fire polishing, glass art, glass fusing, sagging, and slumping, forming glass panels, glass stringers, heat treating, knife making, laboratory testing, lampwork, lost-wax casting, mixing custom glass colours, pâte de verre, raku, staining glass, hardening and tempering blades, cutters, dies, and tools, and many other materials and processes.

You can make architectural features, bowls, ceramic-art, decorations, figurines, flat panels, garden ornaments, plant pots, platters, porcelain dolls, raku vases, tableware, and tiles, as unique hand-crafted pieces or as repeatable stock for retail.


Ceramics kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1230°C to 1290°C. For more, 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.

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.

The TNF kilns usually have a higher power rating than similarly-sized Janus kilns: so heat up more quickly. But the Janus kilns have independent top and side elements so might be better for some glass work.


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 MAX °C POWER W WEIGHT KG FIRING CHAMBER INTERIOR SIZE MM
TNF 66-3 seven-sided 1290 3600 77 firebrick 343 x 347
TNF 1613-3 eight-sided 1290 6400 78 firebrick 419 x 317
TNF 82-3 eight-sided 1290 7200 103 firebrick 419 x 565
TNF 23-3 ten-sided 1290 9600 155 firebrick 572 x 565
TNF 24-3 ten-sided 1290 11500 155 firebrick 572 x 737
TNF 27-3 twelve-sided 1290 12000 190 firebrick 711 x 565
TNF 28-3 twelve-sided 1175 12000 195 firebrick 711 x 737
Janus 1613 eight-sided 1290 4800 90 firebrick 419 x 337
Janus 23 ten-sided 1290 9600 167 firebrick 572 x 514
Janus 24 square front-opening 1290 11520 185 firebrick 610 x 572 x 381
Janus 27 twelve-sided 1290 11520 245 firebrick 711 x 565
Janus Ovation ten-sided 1290 16000 304 firebrick 1041 x 572 x 572

The Orton Sentry digital programmers allow you to set up multiple 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, 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.


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

THE PARAGON TNF 66-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE
Paragon TNF 663 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 663 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 66-3 is a 1290°C cone 10, seven-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 663 doesn't mean it's 66 inches anywhere: it's about 14 inches across inside. But it does have 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 3600W, so it needs a wired-in 16A 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 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, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. There's a wide-view peephole in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 77Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 343mm x 337mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 66-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 66-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 663 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, included in the price: one round 305mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and three 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one half-round 305mm x 15mm shelf and three shelf 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 TNF 1613-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE
Paragon TNF 1613 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 1613 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 1613-3 is a 1290°C cone 10, eight-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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 inside. 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 wired-in 28A 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 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, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. There's a wide-view peephole in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 78Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 419mm x 337mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 1613 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 1613-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 1613 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one round 381mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and three 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one half-round 381mm x 15mm shelf and three shelf 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 TNF 82-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE
Paragon TNF 82-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 823 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 82-3 is a 1290°C cone 10, eight-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 823 doesn't mean it's 82 inches anywhere: it's about 16 inches across inside. But it does have 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 7200W, so it needs a wired-in 32A 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 included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 648mm x 719mm x 953mm, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. The lid has an easy-lift sprung counter-balance hinge and a stay-open support: so no ceiling pulleys and cords. There are two wide-view peephole in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 103Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 419mm x 565mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 82-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 82-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 823 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: one round 381mm x 15mm cordierite shelf and three 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: one half-round 381mm x 15mm shelf and three shelf 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 TNF 23-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE
Paragon TNF 23-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 233 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 23-3 is a 1290°C cone 10, ten-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 233 means it's about 23 inches across inside and has 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 9600W, so it needs a wired-in 42A 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 included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 775mm x 1003mm x 1054mm, including the programmer housing and other hardware, but excluding the four 229mm high legs. The lid has an easy-lift sprung counter-balance hinge and a stay-open support: so no ceiling pulleys and cords. There are two wide-view peepholes in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 155Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 572mm x 565mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 23-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 23-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 233 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 508mm x 18mm cordierite shelves and six 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 508mm x 18mm shelves and six shelf 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 TNF 24-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, RAKU, AND STONEWARE
Paragon TNF 24-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 243 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 24-3 is a 1290°C cone 10, ten-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 243 means it's about 24 inches across inside and has 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 11500W, so it needs a wired-in 50A 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 included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 775mm x 1113mm x 1219mm, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. The lid has an easy-lift sprung counter-balance hinge and a stay-open support: so no ceiling pulleys and cords. There are three wide-view peepholes in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 155Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 572mm x 737mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 24-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 24-3 KILN FURNITURE

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 508mm x 18mm cordierite shelves and six 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 508mm x 18mm shelves and six shelf 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 TNF 27-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, AND RAKU
Paragon TNF 27-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 273 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 273 is a 1290°C cone 10, twelve-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 273 means it's about 27 inches across inside and has 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 11500W, so it needs a wired-in 50A 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 included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 922mm x 1265mm x 1016mm, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. The lid has an easy-lift sprung counter-balance hinge and a stay-open support: so no ceiling pulleys and cords. There are two wide-view peepholes in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 190Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 711mm x 565mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 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:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 27-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 27-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 273 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 660mm x 18mm cordierite shelves and six 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 660mm x 18mm shelves and six shelf 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 TNF 28-3 CERAMICS, DOLLS, GLASS, PORCELAIN, POTTERY, AND RAKU
Paragon TNF 28-3 Ceramics And Glass Kiln Orton-Paragon Sentry Digital Programmer

The Paragon TNF 283 Kiln For Annealing, Ceramics, Earthenware, Glass, Heat-Treating, Knife-Making, Porcelain, Pottery, And Stoneware.

The Paragon TNF 283 is an 1175°C cone 4, twelve-sided, top-opening, floor-standing, firebrick kiln, with a cone-fire ramp-hold Sentry 12-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, 283 means it's about 28 inches across inside and has 3-inch thick firebricks.

The UK-EU kiln is rated at 230V 11500W, so it needs a wired-in 50A 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 included in the price. However, never get careless: kilns are very hot and connected to the mains.

The outer steel case measures 922mm x 1156mm x 1229mm, including the programmer housing, other hardware, and the four 229mm high legs. The lid has an easy-lift sprung counter-balance hinge and a stay-open support: so no ceiling pulleys and cords. There are three wide-view peepholes in one of the sides. The electrical components, located on the front, stay cool, even at extended hold times. The shipping weight is about 195Kg.

The firebrick firing chamber measures 711mm x 737mm high internally, and heats from the sides, with the fast-firing elements in pinless dropped-recessed grooves in the 76mm thick bricks.

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 cone-fire mode, up to cone 4, will simplify your work with ceramics.


The accessories, options, and upgrades for this kiln are in the on-line shop:

List a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
List a gas injection flow meter with a controlling solenoid: factory fitted: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an electric kiln vent: factory fitted
List an auxiliary power output for automatic vent control: needs 12-key: factory fitted
List an RS232 computer interface: factory fitted: needs 12-key
List a long-life mercury relay upgrade: factory fitted
List a long-life S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple upgrade: factory fitted
List stacking 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.

The Paragon TNF 28-3 is a fully programmable professional-quality kiln for every kind of ceramic and glass work, so ideal for commercial studios. It's large enough to hold four shelves, yet it still heats up quickly. The Sentry 12-key digital programmer has advanced and time-saving features, including automatic control over an optional electric kiln vent, gas injection system, and RS232 computer interface. If you prefer a larger front-opening kiln, look at the Janus 24.

THE PARAGON TNF 28-3 KILN FURNITURE

The Paragon TNF 283 Kiln Furniture.

There's a recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 660mm x 18mm cordierite shelves and six 12mm shelf posts. So you can start work straight away.

There's an extra recommended kit, not included in the price: two half-round 660mm x 18mm shelves and six shelf 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.

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, offer 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 DIGITAL PROGRAMMER

The Sentry Digital Controller.

The Paragon Sentry 12-key digital programmer allows you to set up several 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.

There are no restrictive features such as single-sequence use or pre-set programmes. Fixed programmes might seem to be an advantage. However, having diversified and experimented, most people fire materials, or combinations of materials, at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended.

The programmer is easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here are two Cherry Heaven TV programmes about setting a 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. Of course, UK-EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius.


Cherry Heaven TV provides on-line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven Player. To play or pause the player, click the controls or, whilst it's playing, drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.


00:00  00:00
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 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 pitchers 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.

PARAGON KILNS

Paragon Kilns: A Cherry Heaven Internet Resource.

is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. Cherry Heaven is a UK-EU distributor for kilns, and has been one of Paragon's top-selling distributors consistently 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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