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Kiln Pointers

Reminding Yourself That the Kiln is Firing

As I’ve mentioned in other kiln pointers, Paragon recommends that you monitor your kiln during firing. In most situations this doesn’t mean constantly watching the kiln. You are undoubtedly too busy for that. But you should check the kiln occasionally. Monitor the kiln more frequently as it approaches the shut-off time.

If you are like most people, it is easy to forget that the kiln is firing. Some people use a wind-up electric timer as a reminder to check the kiln. The method that I prefer is the countdown timer on my digital watch.

To check your kiln every hour, for instance, adjust the countdown timer for 60 minutes. After the alarm goes off, press the stop button. To begin the timer again, press the reset button; then press start. The timer will begin counting down 60 minutes again. It is that simple. You can also easily change the number of minutes that count down.

When I buy a digital watch, I make sure it has a countdown timer. Almost all digital watches have an elapsed timer (the type that counts minutes/seconds like a stop watch), but many don’t have a countdown timer.

There are also situations where you should constantly monitor the kiln. For example, watch the Paragon QuikFire throughout the firing. It reaches 1000 degrees F in less than 5 minutes and can easily overfire glass. One time I answered the phone while the QuikFire was on. I returned a moment later, and the glass pendant inside the kiln was a melted puddle.

Another example is enameling. Once the kiln reaches 1450 degrees F, insert the piece. Watch it every 15 seconds. When it appears rosy red and the enamel is smooth, turn off the kiln and remove the piece with an enameling fork. Insert the next piece and turn the kiln back on.

With best wishes,

Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. - Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 /

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