Paragon 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12-sided kilns have a galvanized steel base plate under the firebrick bottom. The base plate covers the entire bottom and folds up inside the stainless steel case on all sides.
Though the base plate is made of galvanized steel, it will eventually rust if you fire moist greenware or live near the ocean. A sign of rust is dark flecks of steel under the kiln. (Do not replace the base plate if it has only minor rust.) To replace the base plate, you will need several helpers.
First, remove the screws that hold the base plate to the kiln. You will find a screw near the bottom of the kiln on each flat side. Do not disturb the other screws in the stainless steel case.
Have several people lift the kiln. The bottom and old base plate will remain on the kiln stand while your helpers lift the kiln.
Place a new base plate on top of the brick bottom. The bottom is now sandwiched between the new base plate and the old one. Carefully turn the bottom over so that the new base plate is underneath and against the kiln stand. You must use care in turning the bottom over. If it is cracked, the bottom could separate if handled carelessly.
The old base plate is now on top of the brick bottom. Remove the old base plate.
Place the kiln on top of the brick bottom. Slide the base plate edges up inside the stainless steel kiln case. Drill new holes and install the screws that you removed earlier.
This method of replacing the base plate also turns the brick bottom over, giving you a fresh side. Apply kiln wash to the brick bottom before firing the kiln.
This kiln pointer is courtesy of Tony Rodriguez, kiln technician with GSM Enterprises in San Antonio, Texas.
The easiest way to repair a rusted base is to lay a piece of galvanized sheet metal between the kiln and kiln stand. You don’t even need to remove the old base from the kiln.
You can buy the galvanized sheet metal from a hardware store. It should be large enough to protect the entire kiln bottom.