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Repairing the Broken Edge of a Kiln Lid

Damage to the outer edge of a kiln lid usually does not affect the firings.


Repairing the Broken Edge of a Kiln Lid

Recent Q&As: A thermocouple error message; installing an electrical disconnect switch

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News: The Improved Bluebird XL



The outer edge is the most common area of firebrick damage on a kiln lid. Usually, a chipped outer edge is not critical, because it is over the side wall when the lid is closed. Therefore, the broken area does not drop dust into the firing chamber. As long as the damage is slight, as shown in the accompanying photo, the broken area needn’t be repaired with a firebrick patch.

It should be coated with kiln coating, though, to prevent further erosion. We sell liquid kiln coating in pint bottles. If you don’t have coating, you can use kiln cement, which can be purchased dry or pre-mixed. Mix the dry cement or add water to the pre-mixed cement until it has the consistency of coffee cream.

First, remove loose particles from the damaged area by vacuuming it or brushing with a dry paint brush. Brush the kiln coating or kiln cement onto the damaged area of the lid, and immediately wipe it off. That will leave a very thin coating, which will strengthen the surface. One application lasts indefinitely even though the coating will seem to disappear after you fire the kiln.

Coating that is applied too thick will flake off the lid after you fire the kiln. This isn’t serious, though, if the flaking area is over the side wall and thus does not drop flakes into the firing chamber.



Q. I am getting the TCR (thermocouple reversed) error message and negative temperature readings. Yet the thermocouple wires are attached to the correct terminals.

A. Visually check to be sure the thermocouple wires and lead wires are attached to the correct terminals on the oval connection block and the back of the controller. If all is correct, hold a magnet to the red thermocouple wire (the wire marked red that comes from the thermocouple and is attached to the connection block). The red wire should attract the magnet. If not, reverse the thermocouple wires at the connection block.

If you still get a TCR message after doing the above, remove the thermocouple wires from the back of the controller and replace them with a bent paperclip. You should get a room temperature reading. If you still get a negative temperature reading, the problem is with the controller itself rather than the thermocouple. (This is assuming that the room is not freezing.)

Q. Having to unplug the kiln to turn it off is a very unfriendly option. Is there a switch I can install that would prevent having to unplug the kiln?

A. The easiest way to disconnect the power to a studio-size kiln is to turn off the circuit breaker. You could also install a circuit disconnect near the kiln. Disconnecting the power when the kiln is not in use is a safety precaution. We recommend that for all kilns.



“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” --Dr. Seuss



We’ve added these improvements to the BlueBird XL bead kiln . . . without raising the price:

New ceramic fiber vacuum-formed top with "wavy" elements that will last longer than the previous elements; doors are 2" thick ceramic fiber (twice as thick as the previous doors); new flexible door gaskets; new continuous "piano" hinges; rare-earth magnets hold the doors open or closed; mandrel holders are held with magnets instead of screws; and a new stainless steel control panel.


My wife and I have been asking each other, “What do you miss about the 80s?” We decided that we missed a simpler time before the constant intrusion of news and social media.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to go back to a simpler time before the Internet? To a great extent, I found out recently . . . just by removing the Facebook app from my cell phone. I now check Facebook only from desktop or laptop computers. Not only have I saved time, but life seems to have slowed down.

I hope you are enjoying the long summer days.

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 2017, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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