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The Kiln Loading Table

Mel Jacobson built a kiln loading table from the crate of his new Paragon.


The Kiln Loading Table

Reader Response: Kiln wash and glass bubbles

Recent Q&As: 208 and 240 volt kilns; batter’s gloves

A Kiln Story: The Kiln That Was Named After a Pet

Memorable Quote

News: Kiln Shelf Promotion for Glass Kilns



A kiln loading table is easy to build and improves efficiency. When you fire many loads in your kiln, saving even one or two steps will save a lot of work.

This week a friend named Mel Jacobson received a new Paragon S-24-3 top-loading kiln. Instead of throwing away the crate, he used the wood to make a loading table. One of his standard ware boards became the permanent table top.

As you can see from the photo, the table top is even with the top of the kiln walls. (This height includes the kiln stand but not the closed lid.) As you reach down into a top-loading kiln, you will be able to keep adding more ware to the kiln from the loading table. This is faster than picking up ware from drying shelves and carrying loads to the kiln.

In the photo, the table is next to the kiln. After you finish loading, move the table away from the kiln before firing.



Glass bubbles were discussed in the Q&A section of a recent Kiln Pointer. Gloria Conwell of Enfield, Connecticut wrote, “Regarding bubbles from the kiln shelf, kiln wash mixed with distilled water works the best. I first started firing when I had a well (the most wonderful water for drinking but not for kiln wash). Later, after moving twice, I have learned that even filtered city water can induce minerals which can, when mixed with kiln wash, cause bubbles in your glass.

“When in doubt, use distilled water (bottled spring water will not necessarily work) when whipping up the next batch of kiln wash. It is not expensive and definitely worth the effort.”

Rose-Marie James of New Prague, Minnesota wrote, “I wish you and your family and also those employees a wonderful Thanksgiving. No matter how bad things are around us, we are still blessed with good things, smaller maybe, but they are still very good compared to others. Let's remember that and be thankful.”



Q. What is the difference between using a kiln wired for 208 in a 240 environment, and using one wired for 240 in a 208 environment?

A. If a 208 volt kiln is plugged into a 240 volt outlet, the elements will receive too much power. This usually shortens the life of the elements. If a 240 volt kiln is plugged into a 208 volt outlet, the kiln will not receive enough power and will fire slower than intended. In some cases, a slower firing will not matter, especially with large glass kilns that have plenty of power. Usually, especially with pottery kilns, a 240 volt kiln will not reach temperature on a 208 volt circuit.

Q. I would like to wear leather gloves when I handle kiln shelves, but there is not enough room in my kiln for gloves. Any suggestions?

A. Wear batter’s gloves. They are thin yet will still offer your hands a measure of protection. Wait until the shelves have cooled before removing them from the kiln.



Several years ago we found a 24” long, bright green iguana in a crate from Venezuela. We wondered how the iguana had survived its four-month journey. The company president, John Hohenshelt, took it home as a pet for his kids.

Some time later we were naming a new front-loading kiln, and someone suggested, “Let’s call it the Iguana. This kiln is smaller than the Dragon,” the name of another Paragon kiln. The iguana is smaller than the mythical dragon, so the name stuck.



"It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery, but the friction. Fear secrets acids; but love and trust are sweet juices." -- Henry Ward Beecher



Effective through Friday, December 28, 2012, the following kilns will come with a free furniture kit:

Fusion-6, -7, -8, -10, -14, and -16; CS-14S, CS-14D, CS-16S, CS-16D, Q-11-A, Xpress-Q-11-A, E-9AX, E-10A, E-14A, Xpress-E-9A, Xpress-E-10A, Xpress-E-12A, Xpress-E-12T, and Xpress-E-14A.


Two months ago a large carton box covered with tape was delivered to my office. The box was from the American Ceramic Society. Inside was the computer server that ran the Clayart email discussion forum for over ten years. When I turned on the server, cooling fans whirred, and green lights blinked.

Clayart, a world-wide discussion forum for potters and ceramists, is accepting subscriptions once again. Clayart is running with a newer, more reliable email program. Visit to join Clayart. There is no charge.

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 2012, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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