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Andrea843

Need advice on recently purchase kiln

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I hope this is the correct area for my topic. 

I recently purchase three kilns for $150.  I was more interested in the bigger one but for $150 for all three plus pottery, books, etc. I thought what the heck. 

However. I soon realize that the kilns were used for China painting and not firing ceramic. Which is what I intended to use it for.   I have done a little pottery at a friends house, but didn’t realize there were different kilns for different things. Yeah, I know.  I’m also a crazy researcher, but purchased these on a whim.  

The seller had them listed as ceramic kiln.  He didn’t know much about it since it belonged to his mother in law.  Guess the  China painters kiln on the control should have given it away, but I didn’t know China painting on already fired and glazed pottery was a thing. 

I’m not having any luck finding any information on this kiln.  I visited a pottery supply place and was told that I could only use it for China painting or copper enameling.  I was also told my kilns were very old.   According to the label the max temp is 1700. However on the front dial it goes up to 2200.  She didn’t seem to have an explanation for this.   So my question is, if the dial clearly has 2200 as the highest temperature than why does it say max temp 1700?   It’s a 220V Paragon 14-9 kiln.  Below is a picture  will try to add more  

Thanks in Advance 

 

68930A59-C882-43E8-A4BE-3CB5083F5F3E.jpeg

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The firebricks appear to be in perfect condition. I suggest using the kiln for low-fire ware. The kiln is a gem.

I'm sorry about the confusing temperatures printed on the switch box. The kiln's maximum temperature is 1700°F in spite of the temperature scale shown behind the switch. The kiln has a blue switch box, which means it can't be older than 2002.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard / Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

 

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2 hours ago, Arnold Howard said:

The firebricks appear to be in perfect condition. I suggest using the kiln for low-fire ware. The kiln is a gem.

I'm sorry about the confusing temperatures printed on the switch box. The kiln's maximum temperature is 1700°F in spite of the temperature scale shown behind the switch. The kiln has a blue switch box, which means it can't be older than 2002.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard / Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

 

@Arnold Howard would she be able to swap out the elements and make any necessary wiring upgrades so it could run to cone 10? I was thinking something like the Xpress 66 elements?

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Thank you Mr. Howard for taking the time to respond.  I’m assuming you work for Paragon?  Is there a reason why the temperature gauge goes up to 2200?!

Following what neilestrick has asked. Is there a way to “upgrade” the kiln so it can go up to 2200?! 

 

Thanks again. 

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In your description you list it as being 220V however the identification plate on the kiln says 120V.  If you go to use this, make sure you have it wired properly. Running a 110 V kiln on 220V would be a bad experience...If it was a 220V kiln and you were running it on 110V it would just likely never get to temp.

China paints are fired around 022-018; normal bisque temps are 08-06 (1830'ish). Seems like this kiln will do you no good if you're wanting to bisque and/or glaze fire anything even at low fire temps.

  Check the other two kilns out; even though they may be smaller, they may have a use for you. However, if not, turn around and sell them. $150 for three kilns, if they are in good shape, and relatively new, is a good deal. You can buy a used kiln for "pottery" purposes in the $300-800. Id think you could probably get $200-300 for your three little kilns.

  If you havent considered it yet, do you have 220V supply to run this kiln off? If you get an average sized "pottery" kiln it will likely need at least 50 amps of dedicated 220V service, closer to 100 amps if it is a cone 10 kiln. If you dont have the space in your elec panel, then that upgrade in elec service is going to be very costly. If you do have the space in the panel, are you prepared to spend the money to run the #8-#4 wire? Depending on the amperage of your kiln, and how far away it is from your panel, you may have to run a serious piece of electrical wire and it aint cheap. When I ran my 60' run of #6 for my bisque only kiln it cost me about $400 in materials. Not trying to deter you, but just something to consider. Seems like you jumped into this purchase and just want you to consider these other costs before you spend any more money.

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5 hours ago, Andrea843 said:

Thank you Mr. Howard for taking the time to respond.  I’m assuming you work for Paragon?  Is there a reason why the temperature gauge goes up to 2200?!

Following what neilestrick has asked. Is there a way to “upgrade” the kiln so it can go up to 2200?! 

 

Thanks again. 

You are very welcome. Yes, I work at Paragon. In fact I was the one who created the silk screen film for the switch box on your 11-9 kiln. It's a small world, isn't it?

The kiln has a Pactronic temperature controller, which is a lot more expensive than an infinite control switch. That's why it has a detailed temperature scale instead of several lines marked low, medium, and high. I should have masked off the higher temperatures on that scale to avoid confusion.

I think it's possible to install higher amperage elements as Neil suggested, and run the kiln on 240 volts. The elements would pull 17 amps and run on a 6-20, 240 volt circuit.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard

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

 

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6 hours ago, hitchmss said:

In your description you list it as being 220V however the identification plate on the kiln says 120V.  If you go to use this, make sure you have it wired properly. Running a 110 V kiln on 220V would be a bad experience...If it was a 220V kiln and you were running it on 110V it would just likely never get to temp.

China paints are fired around 022-018; normal bisque temps are 08-06 (1830'ish). Seems like this kiln will do you no good if you're wanting to bisque and/or glaze fire anything even at low fire temps.

  Check the other two kilns out; even though they may be smaller, they may have a use for you. However, if not, turn around and sell them. $150 for three kilns, if they are in good shape, and relatively new, is a good deal. You can buy a used kiln for "pottery" purposes in the $300-800. Id think you could probably get $200-300 for your three little kilns.

  If you havent considered it yet, do you have 220V supply to run this kiln off? If you get an average sized "pottery" kiln it will likely need at least 50 amps of dedicated 220V service, closer to 100 amps if it is a cone 10 kiln. If you dont have the space in your elec panel, then that upgrade in elec service is going to be very costly. If you do have the space in the panel, are you prepared to spend the money to run the #8-#4 wire? Depending on the amperage of your kiln, and how far away it is from your panel, you may have to run a serious piece of electrical wire and it aint cheap. When I ran my 60' run of #6 for my bisque only kiln it cost me about $400 in materials. Not trying to deter you, but just something to consider. Seems like you jumped into this purchase and just want you to consider these other costs before you spend any more money.

I only say that it’s a 220v because that’s what the guy had it listed as, and it has a plug a plug that looks like your dryer for drying clothes.  Lol.   Honestly I haven’t even been able to plug it in because I don’t have the right outlet for it  

As far as the other two kilns they only have low/high listed as temperatures. 

You’re right. I can always resell them if I don’t decide to use them. I will have my husband check them out as far as the voltage goes.  I’ll post the listing the guy put up. Again you are correct. I jumped into the purchase, but it was only $150.  

7079E608-B27B-4928-A3A5-BC49D3055DA1.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Arnold Howard said:

You are very welcome. Yes, I work at Paragon. In fact I was the one who created the silk screen film for the switch box on your 11-9 kiln. It's a small world, isn't it?

The kiln has a Pactronic temperature controller, which is a lot more expensive than an infinite control switch. That's why it has a detailed temperature scale instead of several lines marked low, medium, and high. I should have masked off the higher temperatures on that scale to avoid confusion.

I think it's possible to install higher amperage elements as Neil suggested, and run the kiln on 240 volts. The elements would pull 17 amps and run on a 6-20, 240 volt circuit.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard

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

 

How cool!! Your work sounds interesting. 

 Small World indeed!  I actually live west of Ft. worth. About an hour from Mesquite.   Looks like the world just got smaller  :)

Thanks for all your help.  

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I will take a stab at this. The easiest thing that comes to mind:  It seems likely that if you scrap the controls in favor of an electronic control and can find substitute elements , likely an equivalent diameter paragon set up for 240 V  cone 10 operation you could have a great automated kiln.

While this sounds simple and is for a kiln tech ........... it may be outside of your wheelhouse. There are many kilns out there that have had the old controls (cone sitter, timer, etc....) replaced with an automated controller so there should be local techs capable of doing this.

in practice it is really a simple project, now finding the right someone to take it on might be a challenge.

Just an approximation if I were to be doing this for myself

  • Bartlett controller $ 260.00
  • wiring and relay(s) $ 60.00
  • misc. conn.  etc...      $ 50.00
  • labor                               $ ?????

obviously if you were a do it yourself person and willing to purchase a used or discounted controller then this becomes a 300.00 - $500.00 project.

best of luck!  Nice kiln.

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Me, I would recommend selling these kilns and get a kiln that works for the type of pottery you plan to do. This is a very small kiln and will only hold a few pots at a time and will not work well for platters, larger bowls, vases etc. Even if you can put money in this kiln and get it to fire higher I can't think of a reason why you should. Yeah the kiln is in good shape but there are lots of kilns that have been taken care of that already do what you need just buy one of those or if you can buy a new one, it holds it value really well and if you take care of it it will last forever.

The most popular size for home studios I think is more like 5-7cf (will hold a number of different size pots) and most electric kiln users get a kiln that fires to cone 8 or 10 and they glaze fire to cone 5-6.  The general consensus is that you should fire a couple cones below max. Firing at max will wear everything out much more quickly.

Good luck and have fun!

 

 

 

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I honestly wouldn’t mind selling them and getting one that would be more useful to my needs.  I would have to do some more research to see what to price them at.  Even though I only paid $150 for all three it would be nice to get a little more to cover some of the cost for the replacement. Anybody have any ideas how much I could sell them for?    

I’ll attach a picture below of the other two. 

 

6052475C-022E-4782-894D-6A5125AAD363.jpeg

Edited by Andrea843
Grammer

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They're worth what someone will pay for them!

 Not to be snarky, but its a "relatively" small market for used kilns, likely even more so for low temp china paint kilns. Every year I come across a few people who want to sell me their used kilns, some in great shape, some in not so good shape. Even though their kilns may be worth a few hundred, they end up selling it for a lot less because there is no one in the near area who wants it, or is willing to spend what "its worth". Of course there are folks who are willing to drive a ways to pick up a kiln, but finding them can sometimes be hard.

 Id go with craigslist, or any of the ceramic related "classifieds", or groups on Facebook, and any local ceramics supply/community studios in your town. Ask $300 OBO, and be happy to sell them for anything more than what you put into them. You could ask more for them, but sit on them for 6 months or more looking for "that buyer".

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