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Kiln Pointers

Casters on Kilns

Use a stand with casters to move a kiln out of the way in a cramped studio.

Many people store their small kiln on a wheeled cart. They store the kiln out of the way and pull the cart from storage to fire jewelry, metal clay, or copper enameling.


Casters on Kilns

Reader Response: The change in leadership at Paragon

Recent Q&As: Slumping glass on a mold directly on the kiln bottom; an FTC error message during cooling

A Kiln Story: Getting Past the Fear Factor

Memorable Quote

News: Two Paragon Maintenance Videos Added to Youtube



Nancy Krug of Arcana Tileworks LLC in Winter Garden, Florida suggests ordering kilns and other equipment with casters especially for “woefully undersized shops.” We, too, use dollies on wheels throughout the Paragon kiln factory.

Many people store their small kiln on a wheeled cart. They pull the cart from storage to fire jewelry, metal clay, or copper enameling. The kiln cart should be sturdy and made of steel. Keep tools and supplies on a second cart so that just by moving two carts out of storage, your entire work area is set up and ready for immediate use.

After you move a larger kiln on casters to fire it, make sure the kiln is sturdy. A stand that rocks can cause ware to fall over during firing. This can also stress the firebrick kiln floor.

Before wheeling your kiln out of the way after you fire it, wait until it has cooled to room temperature. Unload the kiln before moving it. Shelves, posts, and ware inside could fall over and damage the firing chamber.



In the last Kiln Pointer, we announced that John S. Hohenshelt has stepped down as president of Paragon. Todd Lokash is the new president.

Paul Tarlow of Austin, Texas wrote, “John has been a great supporter of the glass fusing community. Sorry to see him go, but wish him the best in his next adventure.”

Maureen James, publisher of “Glass Patterns Quarterly,” “Glass Art,” and “Flow” magazines, wrote, “The new company president seems like a wonderful new leader. I wish John the best in his new venture.”

Sherman Hall, editor of “Ceramics Monthly” magazine, wrote, “Responsible, conscientious leadership transitions are not always possible. It's really gratifying to see it happen at Paragon.”

Thank you for your kind messages. I will miss John. He is not only an employer but also a close friend. I am confident that he will succeed wherever he goes.



Q. Over the years I have come to realize that some cracking of glass during slumping is due to being too close to the heating elements. For tall pieces, I gain over an inch of height by removing the kiln shelf and posts from under the slumping mold.

A. A shelf offers partial protection to the kiln bottom from a glass overfire. You can certainly slump glass into a mold without a shelf. I would caution you, however, to coat the firebrick bottom with kiln wash since you are not using a shelf.

Q. My digital kiln is getting a FTC error message during a cooling segment.

A. FTC (Failed to Cool) should not appear during a segment that has a FULL cooling rate unless a relay has failed in the ON position. Make sure you have programmed a FULL rate. Does the kiln continue to cool after FTC appears?

FTC is not a terminating message, so the kiln will continue to operate and cool after FTC appears. Let the kiln continue to fire after FTC appears, and watch the temperature. It should continue to go down.



Anne Bellissimo of Wilton Manors, Florida wrote, “When my first Paragon SC-2 arrived for firing silver clay in 2006, it sat in my garage studio for three months because I was afraid to turn it on or try to program it. This is a kiln with a digital controller used to fire a material that technically can sinter in 1/2 hour or less. Now, seven years later, I have two SC-2s. I enamel and I also fire base metal clays and generally have one or the other going. Getting over the fear was a great benefit for my hobby.”



“I have seen rubble kilns that looked like they were falling over, yet the work that came out of them was amazing.” Mel Jacobson, potter



“How to Separate a Sectional Paragon Kiln”

Some of our top-loading kilns can be separated into sections. This may be necessary to move the kiln down a narrow staircase or through a narrow hallway.

“How to Adjust a Kiln Tilt Safety Switch”

The lid safety switch is optional on many top-loading Paragon kilns. The switch is required in Canada and Europe. It turns off the heating elements when the lid is opened. If the switch is out of adjustment, the heating elements can turn off during a firing even with the lid closed. The video shows how to remove the safety switch cover and adjust or replace the switch using simple tools.


At around 5 a.m., long before dawn, a train passes two miles from my house. Growing louder as the train comes closer, the whistle, the clatter of wheels on tracks, and the rumbling engine make me imagine people going to distant, exciting places.

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 2013, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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