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Moving A Kiln Through A Narrow Doorway

Some kilns, such as the Pearl-22, can be moved through a narrow doorway by turning the kiln sideways and carrying it through.


Moving A Kiln Through A Narrow Doorway

Recent Q&As: What to do when a thermocouple hole is too large; replacing thermocouple wires; converting a 120 volt SC-2 to 240 volts for Europe; setting up a bead rod

A Kiln Story: The Singed Eyebrow

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News: Several Spaces Left in October 2 – 3 Kiln Seminar



In the excitement of acquiring a large kiln, it is easy to forget to check the width of the door to your studio. I know of cases where a window or door frame had to be temporarily torn out to move a kiln into a school classroom.

Most kilns will fit through a 32” doorway. The larger ones require a 36” or wider doorway. Check with the manufacturer if you are not sure. You may need to remove the door to the room to get the kiln through. You can remove most doors with a screwdriver.

Some kilns are designed to be disassembled so you can move the sections sideways down a narrow staircase or through a doorway. Sectional kilns are fastened together with spring latches.

In some cases you can turn a kiln onto its back and carry it through a doorway. For instance, a customer had a 28” wide doorway in an older home. The Pearl-22 glass kiln requires 32” of doorway clearance. However, the kiln can be moved through the 28” doorway by turning the kiln sideways. Be sure the lid is secured in the closed position. Handle the kiln gently. Turning the kiln sideways for a short time will not hurt the kiln.

Before turning a used kiln sideways, vacuum the interior, especially the kiln-washed floor. After the kiln is set up, vacuum the element grooves. This is to remove flakes of kiln wash that may have fallen into the groove. Kiln wash in the grooves can burn out an element.

It can be difficult to move a kiln through a narrow hallway, especially one that has a 90-degree turn. If you are not sure the hallway is wide enough, draw a diagram. Then try to move a paper diagram of the kiln through the diagram of the hallway.



Q. If a user makes the thermocouple hole too big, what do they need to patch the hole?

A. The only repair necessary is to push ceramic fiber around the thermocouple to fill the gap in the hole.

Q. My digital controller shows FAIL. Do you have any pointers on replacing the thermocouple wires?

A. First, have you tried the paperclip test? Remove the thermocouple wires, and insert a bent paperclip. If the controller still reads Fail, the problem is not the thermocouple. Replacing the thermocouple wires: The controller is held in place with four screws. Disconnect the power, remove the screws, which are in the corners of the keypad, and carefully lift out the controller. The thermocouple wires are on the bottom of the back of the controller. The Paragon DTC 600, DTC 800, and DTC 1000 series controllers use screws to hold the thermocouple wires; the Sentry 2.0 and Sentry Xpress controllers uses push-button connectors. Screws: You will see a block where the screws fasten. As you loosen or tighten the screws, hold the block to prevent it from twisting out of place. Tighten the screws securely. Push-button: Press the connector button and insert the thermocouple wire. Tug on the wire to be sure the connection is tight.

Q. I have a 120 volt, 60 Hz Paragon SC-2 kiln. We are moving to Europe soon, where the electrical system is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Can I use my kiln with a voltage converter, or can I rewire it to handle 220 volts, 50 Hz?

A. You can rewire your 120 volt kiln to fire on 240 volts, 50 Hz. You won’t need to use a voltage converter. The two heating elements in your 120 volt kiln are wired in parallel. You will need to rewire them in series. The 120 volt kiln, which will then be wired for 240 volts, can fire on the 220 volts in your new location. You will also need a different cord set.

Q. I want to make a bead rod with high temperature wire. Is adhesive needed to hold the wire?

A. No, you do not need adhesive. Place each end of a bead rod inside the hollow part of a 1" kiln post. Then lay the 1" posts on top of two longer vertical kiln posts. The heavier the beads you are supporting, the shorter or thicker the bead rod you will need. Paragon sells the rods.



Trula Haynie of Mobile, Alabama wrote, “The very first time I fired a load of greenware, my husband kept coming out to my building to see if the kiln had cut off yet. Well, it wasn't cutting off fast enough for him. So, he removed the middle peephole and looked inside. No eyebrow for two weeks. Yep, you guessed it . . . singed that sucker right off. I laughed so hard and still laugh to this day when he tells that story. I warned him, but he wouldn't listen. He never did that again, and now he stays out of my shed and leaves the firing to me! That happened almost 30 years ago.

“He laughs now when he tells the story,” Trula added, “but at the time he didn't laugh. Especially when he had to go back to work and explain why he had only one eyebrow. We went to a local ceramic shop, and the lady that worked there was having a bad day. When he relayed the story to her, she laughed until she cried. She literally had tears! Now that's a story for the grandchildren.”



“Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.” -- Bell Hooks



The seminar covers basic kiln repair. It will be held in the Paragon factory in Mesquite, Texas. More details:


My wife and I drove 3,000 miles round trip to visit our son, Patrick, and his wife, Leni. We brought them a desk that had belonged to Bill, Patrick’s late grandfather. We took it across the 21-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge in a rainstorm, through a flood, up a flight of stairs, and struggled to get it through a doorway with just half an inch of clearance to spare. Bill would have smiled.

Thank you,

With best wishes,

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

PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstance do we share or sell your email address.

Copyright 2009, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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