|kilns: catalogue||or tumblers at electrictumblers.co.uk|
Paragon Kilns are used for bead annealing, making jewellery, enamelling, fusing and slumping glass, sintering metal clays, heat treating, knife-making, firing ceramics and porcelain, and vitrigraph, although they have many other applications.
The current catalogue includes the Paragon SC2, SC2 Pro, SC3, and SC4, and continues with the BlueBird, Caldera, CS ClamShell, Dragon, F Elite, FibreFuse, FireFly, Fusion, GL, HomeArtist, HT, Janus, KM, Ovation, Pearl, PMT, TNF, Trio, Vitrigraph, Vulcan, and Xpress.
|BUYING A KILN FROM CHERRY HEAVEN|
Cherry Heaven is a UK-EU top-tier distributor for kilns, furnaces, and ovens, providing comprehensive advice, free competent technical support, a prompt repair workshop, and telephone time if you have to fit parts: all valuable services. If you need help, call or mail.
The internet is an unchecked arena: almost everything is the best, the cheapest, or the newest, and is being sold by a premier dealer. To add to the lack of clarity, final prices often only appear at the checkout.
Prices here are transparent: they're for UK-EU voltage, CE marked, CL CSA approved, and TUV tested kilns, and include comprehensive instructions, UK VAT, and free continuing support from a top-tier international distributor. Smaller kilns include a pro shelf kit: larger kilns have several optional kits.
For prices, trading terms, and secure on-line shopping, use the shop link below the menu bar near the top-right of any page. The order form is after the price list, near the bottom.
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As a distributor for kilns, furnaces, ovens, tumblers, and polishers, we provide comprehensive advice, competent technical support, a prompt repair workshop, and free telephone time if you have to fit parts: all valuable services. If you need help now, ask an expert using , or call .
A QUICK GUIDE
Bead-annealing kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 650°C. For these, look at the BlueBird. However, other kilns have bead doors: the small 1290°C Caldera B and 1095°C SC2B, the medium 1290°C Xpress E12B, and the larger 925°C Fusion 14B. These are all hotter than the BlueBird, so more versatile.
Glass kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 925°C. For these, look at the F Series, Fusion:CS Series, GL Series, or Pearl Series. These are not hot enough for ceramics and porcelain.
Jewellery, silver clay, and enamelling kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1095°C. For these, look at the small SC Series or the medium Xpress Series. The SC series are not hot enough for ceramics and porcelain.
Vitrigraph kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1095°C. For these, look at the small Caldera or the medium Vitrigraph.
Ceramics kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1290°C. For these, look at the small Caldera Series and FireFly Series, medium Xpress Series, or large Janus Series, PMT Series, and TNF Series. These can also be used for glass work.
Heat-treating kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1095°C or 1290°C. For these, look at the HT Series and PMT Series. Although they look similar, the HT has a bottom-hinged door and the PMT has a side-hinged door.
Knife-making kilns generally have a maximum temperature of 1290°C. The KM Series are made for depth rather than width. You can choose a guillotine, drop-down, or a side-hinged door.
The W Series have a top vent so are usually used for jewellery moulds and lost-wax burnout. For lost-wax casting there are optional wax trays. The small SC Series and most of the medium Xpress Series also have top vents.
To learn more about these and other kilns, use the appropriate links below the menu bar near the top of the page. And remember that each series has kilns of different sizes with different options.
|THINK ABOUT IT|
Most people want a kiln for the material or process that's enthused them, such as annealing beads, casting, firing ceramics, crucible work, dichroic glasses, enamelling, fusing glass, heat treating, knife making, lampwork, pottery, or silver clays.
After a few successes, and a few failures, many experiment with other materials, make larger pieces, try combinations, fire more at a time, and become interested in everything else. Some start a business, run classes, or open a shop.
There are lots of kilns to choose from so, before buying one, think about it's wider future use. Fortunately, although kilns are usually designed for a specific material or process, there's always flexibility. For example, the Paragon SC2B is a 1095°C bead-annealing kiln but, as silver clay fires at between 800°C and 900°C, it could also be used for Art Clay and PMC. And glass fusing, dichroics, enamelling, and other metal clays.
They're frequently used at course venues, and in craft centres, jewellery studios, glass works, pottery shops, and engineering facilities, and are referred to on line and in books: so there's lots of useful user-based help and support.
do you need help choosing your kiln?
is your prime interest jewellery, glass, beads, ceramics, heat treating, making knives ...?
is it for home use, a small business, a course venue, or a commercial studio?
can you ask about any kiln from the whole range?
is a built-in digital automatic programmer included?
or is the programmer in a separate box with loose wires on your worktop?
would you like a touch-screen programmer?
would you like an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, or a USB computer interface?
what maximum temperature will you need?
do you want a plug-in kiln or a larger wired-in kiln?
do you want a front-opener or a top-opener?
is internal foor area or height more important?
would you like a choice of colours?
would you like a a bead-annealing door, a viewing window, or both?
would you like a USB computer interface, an electric vent, or a gas-injection system?
smaller kilns should come with a pro shelf and posts: not a thin fibre shelf.
larger kilns have shelf options depending on how you like to arrange your work.
can you call someone, if you're not sure what to do?
will you get detailed and prompt technical support?
if you need spare parts, who has them?
if you want to repair your kiln, who'll help you?
if you don't want to repair your kiln, who'll do it?
is UK VAT included in the headline price?
for kilns that weigh less than 30kg, is UK mainland delivery is included?
can your kiln be delivered to any country?
Choosing a kiln isn't as simple as choosing a kettle or an electric drill. There are lots of things to think about now, rather than a few days after you've started using it. So here are some pointers:
do you want a plug-in kiln or can it be wired in
do you have a voltage other than 230-240, or a three-phase supply.
a berry, black, jade, navy, pink, purple, or turquoise respray: normally blue
front opener or top opener
table-top or floor-standing
what maximum temperature do you want: annealing, heat treating, glass, metal clays, or ceramics
manual control or automatic digital programmer
an advanced 12-key programmer that can control gas injection or a kiln vent, or connect to a computer
any bead doors, windows, or peepholes
do you want to move your kiln and put it away
internal dimensions and shape: width, depth, height, round, square, tall, or flat
will the kiln go through doorways
does the room have any ventillation
fire a few things occasionally or a lot regularly
heats up quickly for classes
home hobby, small business, or commercial studio
how many stacked-up shelves
do you want a special colour
any upgrades or options
There are full descriptions, including various options and upgrades, on the appropriate pages: use the links below the menu bar near the top of the page. In addition, there's a lot of general help: use the help link.
Generally, smaller kilns can be plugged in anywhere and stand on a worktop. Larger kilns have a stonger construction, weigh more, need to be wired in, and are more expensive. They usually include legs or a stand but, if they don't, you'll need a stong table.
The following table lists most of the kilns, although almost every one is available with options such as bead doors, windows, or both, and a range of upgrades. For example, the SC series has 12 different versions, each one in one of seven colours.
|KILN||MAX °C||MATERIALS AND PROCESSES|
|14-9SSP||925||china paints, annealing, casting, fusing, slumping, lampwork, raku|
|BlueBird||650-815||bead annealing, dichroics, glass fusing, slumping, jewellery|
|Caldera||1290||beads, ceramics, enamels, glass work, metal clays, porcelain, vitrigraph|
|Dragon||1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain, pottery|
|F||650-925||annealing, glass fusing, slumping, jewellery, metal clays, lampwork|
|FireFly||1290||ceramics, china paints, enamels, glass work, metal clays, porcelain|
|Fusion, CS, and FibreFuse||925||glass annealing, fusing, sagging, and slumping|
|GL||925||glass annealing, casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping|
|Home Artist||1095||china paints, annealing, fusing, sagging, and slumping, lampwork, raku|
|HT||1095-1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|Janus||1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|Kitiki MiniKiln||1000||dichroics, enamels, fusing glass, jewellery, metal clays|
|KM||1290||knife making, annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|Pearl||925||glass annealing, casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping|
|PMT||1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|Prometheus Pro-7||1100||dichroics, enamels, fusing glass, jewellery, low-fire ceramics, metal clays|
|SC||1095||bead annealing, dichroics, enamels, fusing glass, jewellery, metal clays|
|TNF||1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|Trio||925||glass annealing, casting, fusing, sagging, and slumping|
|Vitrigraph||1290||vitrigraph, annealing, glass work|
|Vulcan||1290||crucible work, annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, porcelain|
|W||925||annealing, glass work, heat treating, lost-wax casting, jewellery|
|Xpress||925-1290||annealing, ceramics, glass work, heat treating, metal clays, porcelain|
|PARAGON'S NAMING SYSTEM|
Although there was probably a useful naming and numbering system years ago, it's now inconsistent, even within a series, making it dificult to compare models. So it's worth trying to understand the background:
Paragon's kilns are divided into series: the BlueBird, Caldera, CS, Dragon, F, Firefly, Fusion, GF, GL, Home Artist, HT, Janus, KM, Ovation, Pearl, PMT, SC, S, SNF, TNF, Viking, Vulcan, W, and Xpress.
The names often include suffixed numbers to represent one or more of the internal dimensions in inches, a series variant, the number of sides, or the thickness of the firebricks. Examples are the KM18D, SC3, Fusion 10, and TNF27-3.
And suffixed letters: A means painted, B means a stainless steel case, D means digital, E means a manual front-opening fibrebrick enamelling kiln, F means lamp working, GF means Glass Fusing. GL means glass, J means a medium-size front-loading square kiln, KM means knife-making, Q means a front-loading square kiln, S means manual, SC means digital front-opening small-ceramic-fibre kilns, not silverclay, TNF means Touch 'n' Fire, ADTSD means painted finish, digital programmer, with top, side, and door elements, X means a plain collar, and XL means extra large.
To make things worse, the KM14D has been renamed to KM14T. D meant depth and was used for some other kilns. T meant tall, but now means tilted front, even though other kilns with tilted fronts don't use T.
Some names are helpful: the 14-9SSP has a firing chamber about 14in across x 9in high and the TNF-27-3 is about 27in across and has 3in thick firebricks. However, the TNF-82-3 isn't 82in anywhere, the TNF-66 isn't 66in inches across, and the Fusion 8 isn't 8in across, but 8-sided.
To make the common variations clearer, I use B for a bead-annealing door, W for a glass viewing-window, and BW for both, for every series that has these options. And I've included the actual dimensions in each kiln description. So rely on these rather than the kiln names and numbers.
|THE POWER SUPPLY|
The hotter the kiln, the more power it needs. The larger the kiln, the more power it needs. Kilns up to 3120W can use a regular mains socket. Above that, you'll need a dedicated power supply straight from the fusebox. To learn more about power supplies, use the help link below the menu bar near the top of the page.
Kilns made for the EU use regular single-phase 230V-240V mains so have 230V-240V elements, not 120V US elements. The smaller kilns have UK 13A three-pin plugs: so they're ready to go. If you're not in the UK, use a plug adapter or cut off the UK plug and fit your own: it won't invalidate the guarantee. Alternatively, a custom kiln can have a factory-fitted EU plug.
Most kilns can be re-engineered for 110V, 200V, 208V, 220V, or 240V, single phase or three phase, or 440V three phase. If you're interested, mail or call.
Paragon kilns are made for UK-EU voltage, and are CE Marked, TUV tested, and CL and CSA approved. Paragon is Greek for Model Of Perfection.
A kiln's maximum operating temperature sets a limit on the materials and processes you can work with. 1290°C is about the highest temperature for standard kilns: above that, the materials and construction change and the cost increases.
The maximum temperature is not directly related to the wattage: so a 4800W kiln does not get twice as hot as a 2400W kiln. The temperature depends on the general design, elements, firing chamber volume, and programmer set-up.
Very generally, kilns for annealing glass heat to 650°C, kilns for glass fusing, sagging, and slumping to 925°C, kilns for jewellery and metal clays to 1095°C, and kilns for ceramics and porcelain to 1290°C. And here are the melting points for a few common materials:
|THE INTERNAL SIZE AND SHAPE|
For rectangular kilns, the internal dimensions are given as width, depth, and height. This convention is the same as that used for kitchen cupboards: for example, 900mm wide, 300mm deep, and 1200mm high. For kilns with more than four sides, it's width and height.
Sometimes people ask for a kiln with a specific internal volume. However, two cooking pans might have the same volume but one is a tall-ish milk pan and the other is a wide-ish omelette pan. So, think carefully: you might start off with panels, plates, and bowls, but then want to make jars, pots, and vases.
|DIGITAL PROGRAMMERS 00:00:00|
Most modern kilns use an electronic programmer, a 3-key, a 12-key, or a Touch-Screen, which allows you to set up accurate drying, heating, holding, and cooling sequences: and do something else whilst the sequence is running. To learn more, use the programmers link below the menu bar near the top of the page.
The Paragon Sentry Xpress 3-key digital programmer allows you to set up several firing sequences, each one with up to eight heating, holding, or cooling segments. You can choose the heating and cooling rates, target temperatures, and hold times, save the sequences, and re-use them.
It's built in, so you don't need a separate box with a cable, a separate thermocouple with a cable, and a separate stand: more stuff on your worktop. And, for temperature consistency, the built-in thermocouple is always in the same position.
There are no restrictive features such as single-sequence use or pre-set programmes. Fixed programmes might seem to be an advantage. However, having diversified and experimented, most people fire materials, or combinations of materials, at different temperatures and for different times than are recommended.
For some kilns, the Sentry Xpress 3-key programmer can be upgraded to a Sentry 12-key or a Sentinel Touch Screen. Both have advanced and time-saving features, including optional automatic control over an electric kiln vent, a gas injection system, and a USB computer interface.
The programmer is easy to use: far easier than a central heating programmer. Here's a Cherry Heaven TV programme about setting a ramp-hold sequence. The ramp is the part where the temperature increases until it reaches the target temperature: the hold is the part where the temperature stays the same. Of course, UK-EU programmers will be in degrees Celsius.
Cherry Heaven TV provides on-line radio and television programmes on the Cherry Heaven Player. To play or pause the player, click the controls or, whilst it's playing, drag the time-line slider or volume slider to a new position.
Normally, kilns use single-phase 230V-240V mains electricity, so will work in the UK, the EU, and most other countries. However, they can be made for any system.
UK kilns need a 230V-240V supply or they might not reach their maximum temperature. If a 240V kiln produces 1000W, at 230V it will produce 918W and at 220V it will produce 840W. If you live in a rural area, on an island, or outside the UK, you need to check your local voltage. If you're in a 220V area, say so when ordering.
The smaller plug-in kilns come with a UK 13A three-pin plug, so they use a regular 230V-240V UK mains socket. If you're not in the UK, use a local plug adapter with an earth contact. Alternatively, cut off the UK plug and fit your own: it won't invalidate the guarantee.
If the kiln draws more than 13A it needs to be wired-in, in the same way that a kitchen hob-oven is connected at the back. Generally, a new cable will have to run from the fusebox to the kiln's location. It's not difficult: any competent electrician can change or extend wiring.
All the kilns either have their heating elements embedded in rigidised ceramic fibre, or have a legally-necessary door or lid cut-off switch: an important safety feature.
The heavy-gauge nickel-plated copper wiring has high-temperature glass-braided insulation. The kiln body is earthed and the low-voltage programmer has a separate protective fuse.
The thermocouple, inside the firing chamber, sends a tiny temperature-dependent voltage to the programmer which is converted to temperature. Most kiln manufacturers use economy bead or sheathed thermocouples. Paragon uses long-life heavy-guage K-type thermocouples. They respond more quickly to temperature changes and minimise the risk of corrosion and subsequent failure of the bi-metallic tip: sometimes caused by heat degradation, gradual corrosion from gases produced whilst heating some materials, or epoxy breakdown.
If high-accuracy and extended life are important to you, upgrade to an S-type platinum-rhodium thermocouple. The 12-key programmer can control three heating zones using three thermocouples: these are factory fitted, so order with your kiln. Thermocouples are in the on-line shop.
A relay is an electro-mechanical switch. The programmer turns it on using a low voltage on two of the terminals: without this voltage, the relay would be off. The mains voltage enters on two terminals and, when the relay is turned on, exits from the remaining two terminals to the elements. It's normal for relays to click as they switch on and off, just like a domestic light switch.
During a long process like annealing, a relay will click frequently as it turns on and off to control the heating rate, cooling rate, or hold temperature. However, if an extended and silent life is important to you, upgrade to a long-life mercury relay. These are factory fitted, so order with your kiln. Relays are in the on-line shop.
A heat-resistant glass viewing-window is popular for enamelling, fire polishing, fusing, and glazes. Depending on the kiln, you can choose to have a window in the door, the lid, or one of the sides. These are factory fitted, so order with your kiln.
It's widely believed that a viewing-window will cloud permanently or crack by about 925°C. Paragon kilns don't use regular glass but a transparent ceramic which has been time-tested at 1260°C.
If you feel that, at high temperatures, you might be losing heat through the window, cut a piece of soft ceramic cloth and fit it behind the glass. Ceramic cloths are in the on-line shop.
Generally, the smaller plug-in kilns include a pro shelf with four posts. The larger wired-in kilns have optional recommended furniture kits: one shelf with posts, two half-shelves with posts, two shelves with posts, a mix of different-height posts, kiln wash, shelf paper, or pyrometric cones. You can choose: it's not an expensive combination that I've put together for you. Furniture kits are in the on-line shop.
The shelves and posts are made of cordierite, a magnesium aluminium silicate, which resists thermal distortion and fracture. A thick heavy shelf, lifted up on small posts, heats and cools evenly: particularly important for enamelling and glass work.
To keep costs down, some kiln manufacturers use thin ceramic-fibre shelves. As they're fairly soft, they deteriorate and bits crumble off the edges. Also, if you're making glass tiles, they don't provide even heat distribution.
|REPAIR AND SERVICE|
For help, or in the unlikely event of a fault, you can mail or call an engineer in the UK. However, checks, adjustments, and repairs are simple, needing little more than a PosiDriv screwdriver: watch the on-line videos using the watch-videos link or read the help pages using use the help link, both below the menu bar near the top of any page. Alternatively, we can service the kiln in our workshop at Cherry Heaven.
|OPTIONS AND UPGRADES|
Paragon offers you customised colours, hinged, cantilevered, or drop-doors, left or right-hand hinges, bead-annealing doors, viewing-windows, extra peepholes or vents, temperature upgrades, thicker firebricks, ceramic-fibre lids, 3-key, 12-key, or TouchScreen programmers, cone-fire upgrades, mercury relays, long-life S-type thermocouples, 3-zone control, electric kiln vents, gas injection control systems, auxilliary power outputs, USB computer interfaces, and different shelf kits.