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Securing a Loose Peephole Plug

Wrap a loose peephole plug with ceramic fiber paper.


Securing a Loose Peephole Plug

Recent Q&As: What is a down draft vent; element life; turning off the power to a digital controller

A Paragon Story: Voice Mail Hell

Memorable Quote

News: Liquid Kiln Wash



The vent holes of a kiln are are called peepholes, because they are also used to view the firing chamber. The peepholes in most Paragon kilns are tapered for a wide view with minimal heat loss.

Sometimes the vibration of an attached downdraft vent can cause a peephole plug in a kiln sidewall to become loose and begin to fall out. To solve this problem, wrap the peephole plug with a piece of ceramic fiber paper. Then insert the plug into the peephole.



Q. What is a down draft kiln vent?

A. The Orton Vent Master is an example of a down draft vent. The air exit holes are drilled in the bottom of a top-loading kiln. The vent pulls a small amount of air from the kiln to create a slight negative pressure to prevent fumes from leaking out into the room. Since air is pulled toward the bottom, the vent is known as a down draft.

Q. Friends and I have been discussing the wear and tear of kiln elements due to different types of firing. One party believes firing glass bottles to cone 015 causes elements to bulge out of their slots more readily than firing ceramic bisque to cone 06.

A. Sidewall elements that are fired only to low temperatures such as 015 do not get hot enough to conform to the shape of the grooves. So they tend to bulge more than elements that are fired to cone 05 and above. Nevertheless, the lower the temperature, the longer the elements last. So elements fired to cone 015 last longer than those fired to 05. (05 is hotter than 015.)

Q. When a firing schedule is complete, and I want to turn off the SC-2 kiln, is it necessary to press Enter until the readout indicates Stop, or can I just turn the power switch off when the readout indicates that the schedule is complete?

A. When the firing has completed, you can just turn the toggle switch to the off position. In fact you can do that at any time during a firing without harming the kiln. The current firing program will remain in active memory.



John Hohenshelt, the CEO of Paragon, answered the phone in his office. “I want to talk to the owner of your company,” began a customer. The male voice sounded emphatic, almost disgruntled. Wondering if the customer was upset, John introduced himself.

“I called, and a real person answered,” the man continued. “I wasn’t put in voice mail hell, and someone talked to me for 20 minutes and solved my kiln problem. You didn’t charge me anything for the help, and you manufacture in the U.S. I just wanted to thank you personally!”



“Doing well in art . . . builds confidence that spills over into all other areas of study and life. I have seen positive proof of that throughout my career.” --Vince Pitelka, pottery teacher at Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Tech University



For your convenience we are now offering liquid kiln wash. Merely shake the pint bottle and begin applying the kiln wash to your shelves immediately.


During the first two weeks of February, ice storms hit Mesquite. Sleet sounded like grains of sand against the windows. Employees bent into wind as they walked up to the building. One morning the power went out at the factory. As I sat in my darkened office, I heard computer batteries beeping through the walls from other offices. The weather felt more like the Chugiak, Alaska of my childhood than Mesquite, Texas.

Would you like to be featured on Paragon’s website and Facebook page? If so, please email photos of you and your Paragon kiln and pieces you have made, along with comments about your kiln and your work. I look forward to hearing from you.

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 2011, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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