I have purchased and installed a used Paragon TnF kiln in my garage. I am ready to fire it for the first time and quite honestly I am nervous to fire it with pieces in it. I was thinking maybe I should kiln wash all the shelves that came with it and load them in the kiln and fire it with just the shelves first to make sure it is working properly. Any thoughts or tips or tricks???? Please!
First Firing Of A Used Kiln?
Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:12 PM
A test fire, with kiln washed shelves, seems like a good idea. Include any available extra posts so you have some density in the kiln. I believe it takes three firings for a kiln wash application to cure, so your test, plus a bisque, and then glaze will do that task. If you don't have the manual, you can get them online at the Paragon website; follow the recommendation for a first firing in a new kiln. Be there at the start and for the finish of the firing.
Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:13 PM
There's generally no harm in doing this. It's recommended for new kilns or after a new set of elements have been put in to do an empty firing to a low temperature. (To help the elements form an oxidized coating)
If you're nervous about the operation of the kiln, put in a low temperature cone (maybe up to a bisque, don't know what you're firing this to) and do a quick ramp up / down.
Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:31 PM
I am aiming to glaze fire to cone 5 or 6...still trying to figure out what I am going to do for glazes!
I have the manuals and some notes as to how the previous owner fired it.
Now I just need to begin my relationship with my first kiln!
Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:04 PM
I'd go slow at first in case there's excesive moisture in it.
Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:22 PM
No harm in doing an empty firing. Or, put it on high, if the elements all glow after 10-15 minutes, go ahead and load it up and fire it. No need to fire on the wash before putting pots on it.
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
Posted 15 September 2013 - 08:28 PM
Doing a test firing is a great idea. However, as someone who has bought, used and rebuilt new-to-you kilns I need to strongly emphasize you should never leave a new-to-you kiln unattended until it has been tested. You need to make sure it fires off properly. I have never had a used kiln I purchased fire off properly the first time. The person you purchased the kiln from may say it works properly, but that is usually not the case. It is not safe to leave a used kiln until you know it works properly. I recommend watching the kiln for the entire firing at least a few firings. Make sure to watch the kiln, check the breaker or fuse box, wiring and wall if the kiln is plugged into the wall.You want to make sure none of these parts are getting warmer than they should. Be very cautious when first firing a used but new-to-you kiln. It may smell hot,but it should not smell like something burning. It is generally a good rule of thumb to always be around when firing a kiln for safety.
Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:32 PM
Decided to load it and fire it. Fired this morning, I noted the temp. every 30 minutes and it was right on track w 300/hr and shut off right when it hit the cone 05 temp! I am pleased. Looking forward to opening it up tomorrow!
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