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How to Mix Powdered Kiln Cement

Measure the kiln cement carefully and mix thoroughly.


How to Mix Powdered Kiln Cement

Recent Q&As: The humming sound of a kiln

Memorable Quote

News: “Clay in the Schools: Essays by Five Successful Teachers of Ceramics in the Public Schools” Now Available as an E-Book



Kiln cement is used to glue firebricks together. You can see the cement seams in a firebrick lid or bottom. When applied properly, the cement becomes stronger than the firebricks themselves.

There is an art to using kiln cement. The first step is to mix it properly. It comes in liquid and powder form; I prefer the powder, because I can mix it to the exact consistency that I want.

Paragon’s founder, the late Frances Darby, used to say, “Mix the cement to the consistency of peanut butter, and you love peanut butter.” The exact ratio of powder to water may vary depending on the brand of cement; Paragon’s “Kiln Coating and Repair Cement” should be mixed 4 parts powder to 1 part water by volume. Measure the powder and water with a small scoop such as the type that comes with protein powder. Stir the cement thoroughly.

Note: Do not breathe firebrick dust or kiln cement.



Q. I have two switch-operated kilns. The big one hums and vibrates when I turn it on. As it gets hotter, it stops vibrating. Do the wires need tightening?

A. No, the wires are probably okay. The humming is the sound of the elements. They vibrate, or hum, in their grooves. When electricity passes through the element, each coil generates a small magnetic force. This magnetism attracts the coils to each other. The electricity that powers a kiln alternates direction. In the United States, the electricity changes direction 60 times a second (60 hertz); in most countries, 50 times a second (50 hertz). With each change of direction, the magnetism in the element coils reverses. Coils that were attracted when the current went one direction repel each other when the current switches direction. This constant attraction and repulsion between the coils causes them to vibrate. Though unlikely, the humming may also be an infinite control switch that is about to fail.



"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." --James D. Miles


NEW E-BOOK: “Clay in the Schools: Essays by Five Successful Teachers of Ceramics in the Public Schools”

Mel Jacobson, John Post, Terry deBardelaben, Sean Burns, and Lynne Fox selflessly share their years of experience in this 134-page teacher's handbook. You can download an Acrobat (pdf) version at no charge from the Paragon website:

We appreciate being allowed to share this valuable book from Paragon’s website, and I look forward to hearing what you think of it.


Five weeks ago my son’s brother-in-law, Freddy, was wounded. He was on his third overseas tour when a roadside bomb in Afghanistan destroyed the Army vehicle he was driving. Freddy was flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital where surgeons treated numerous fractures and performed skin grafts. Most worrisome was his head wound. After a few weeks, his expressionless eyes could follow people in the room, but he remained in a semi-coma.

Three days ago while I was at Paragon, my wife called my cell phone with important news. From his hospital room, Freddy spoke for the first time since he was in Afghanistan. Someone asked him if he was in pain, and he said, "No, but I'm hungry." He was asked, "Who is Tiffany?" and he said, "My wife."

Even years from now, I will still remember the moment when I heard the news that Freddy spoke.

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 2010, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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