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I'm A Glass Worker Buying A Ceramics/glass Kiln, And I Have A Q About Porcelain Vitrification...


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#1 sinnae

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:30 AM

Hi, I'm looking at either

 

http://www.clay-king...ess_11_9_3.html

 

or

 

http://www.clay-king...janus_1613.html

 

for my new studio. We have both 120 and 220 v electric with 30 amp breakers.

 

My question is: will porcelain FULLY vitrify at 2300°F (the first kiln) or 2350°F (the second)?

 

I know 2300°F is the low range of Cone 10/high fire. I want any porcelain I fire in my new kiln to really "get there." I'm having a hard time figuring out if vitrification is guaranteed at the low end of that temperature or if clay folks like to err hotter. Basically, I'm wondering if the extra heat capability (a similar glass kiln would only need to hit 2000°F) is worth paying for.

 

Any insight is helpful, thank you!



#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:08 AM

There are porcelains that vitrify at cone 10, some at cone 6 . . . and even at low fire temperatures -- see this thread:
http://community.cer...orcelain/page-3

So, it will depend on what porcelain clay body you choose to fire.

One difference in the kilns: the express is UL rated; the other is not. Might make a difference to your insurance company.

#3 neilestrick

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:08 AM

You can use a cone 6 porcelain, which will vitrify at 2232F. It's better for the kiln if you only fire to cone 6. The elements will last twice as long as if you fire to cone 10. Personally, I'm not a big fan of lid elements. They sag and fall out and require a lot of maintenance, especially when you start firing at the higher temperatures needed for clay work. However the kiln with the lid elements has a better controller. The 3 button controller on the other kiln is not nearly as user friendly, and may not have all the features, either. Check out the little L&L, Olympic and Skutt test kilns, too. They have the Bartlett V6-CF controller which is the most user friendly.


Neil Estrick
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L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com

#4 Arnold Howard

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:17 AM

Hi, I'm looking at either

 

http://www.clay-king...ess_11_9_3.html

 

or

 

http://www.clay-king...janus_1613.html

 

for my new studio. We have both 120 and 220 v electric with 30 amp breakers.

 

My question is: will porcelain FULLY vitrify at 2300°F (the first kiln) or 2350°F (the second)?

Thanks for considering a Paragon kiln. Of the two kilns you are looking at, I recommend the 1613, but not in the Janus series. The reason is that since you will fire porcelain, you need a high amperage kiln. The TnF-1613-3 and the Xpress-1613-3 pull 27 amps (6,400 watts). The Janus-1613 pulls only 20 amps (4,800 watts). The TnF-1613-3 was designed by Seeley during the mid-1990s. They tested literally hundreds of porcelain doll heads in the prototypes of that kiln.

 

The only difference between the TnF-1613-3 and the Xpress-1613-3 is the controller. The TnF-series controller has 12 keys, and the Xpress-series has 3 keys. The Sentry Xpress 3-key controller seems to be gaining in popularity over the Sentry 12-key controller, because the 3-key is less expensive and has most of the features of the 12-key. However, programming the 12-key is faster, because you can type the temperatures from a keypad. The temperatures in the Sentry Xpress 3-key are selected by scrolling.

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#5 sinnae

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for considering a Paragon kiln. Of the two kilns you are looking at, I recommend the 1613, but not in the Janus series. The reason is that since you will fire porcelain, you need a high amperage kiln. The TnF-1613-3 and the Xpress-1613-3 pull 27 amps (6,400 watts). The Janus-1613 pulls only 20 amps (4,800 watts). The TnF-1613-3 was designed by Seeley during the mid-1990s. They tested literally hundreds of porcelain doll heads in the prototypes of that kiln.

 

Thank you for reply! I'm limited in my choice because we're working with a 30 amp breaker and re-wiring is not currently an option. I'm not completely up on my electrical knowledge...will pulling only 20 amps mean that it'll take longer to hit max temp, or that there is a chance it will not hit it at all?

 

Porcelain is only secondary to my glass work so I would not be firing clay in the kiln frequently.

 

Thanks to everyone for helping out a complete novice :)



#6 Mark C.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:19 PM

You have advice from the best two guys in this field on this forum

since 30 amps is your maximum which is #10 wire size I would suggest the 27 amp kiln over anything less. I also would fire it to cone 6 not 10 as that will be hard on it's long term life as Niel says

If you are going to buy a Pargon go with Arnolds advice on which one as he is the man on that advice

Myself I'm a fan of the L$L kilns but they cost more up front

Just make sure your kiln will draw less than 30 amps max-if it 20 amps it will take longer and usuuallt not fire as hot.

You want to have a kiln that you are not firing to the maximun Temp just as say a car has a top speed but you should not always drive at that speed as its hard on it.

Mark


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#7 Arnold Howard

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:21 PM

Thank you for reply! I'm limited in my choice because we're working with a 30 amp breaker and re-wiring is not currently an option. I'm not completely up on my electrical knowledge...will pulling only 20 amps mean that it'll take longer to hit max temp, or that there is a chance it will not hit it at all?

I didn't realize that glass was your primary medium. In that case, the Janus-1613 may be a better choice than the TnF- or Xpress-1613-3. At any rate, the 27-amp TnF- and Xpress-1613-3 kilns can fire on a 240 volt, 30 amp circuit. The circuit must be wired with #10 copper or heavier.

 

By the way, I hope it doesn't seem that I'm trying to sell Paragon kilns on this forum. I rarely answer posts that ask for purchasing recommendations.

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#8 neilestrick

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:39 PM

No worries, Arnold. You're the Paragon expert! It's good that you can make recommendations when he's trying to decide between two Paragon kilns.

 

Sinnae, make sure you order the kiln according to the voltage of your electrical service. 220 volts is a generic term. You actually have either 240 or 208 volts. If you're in a typical single family home then you have 240 volt service. Anywhere else and you should have your electrician confirm what you have.


Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com




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