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I wouldn't use it for low fire clay work, despite what it says. At cone 04 you'll be maxing it out. These are really made for glass work done at lower temps. Plus it has no controls other than on/off, and an analog pyrometer which is far from accurate. You certainly can't bisque fire in it.

Speed in firing isn't necessarily a good thing, especially if you're doing testing. You need your little test kiln to be able to mimic the firing schedule of the larger kiln you'll be firing your actual work in, so you get the same results. Firing quickly and cooling quickly won't mimic a larger kiln. 

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5 hours ago, Asmaa Aman-Tran said:

I want to use it as a test kiln, or for beads. It does fire up to 2000 F , I would love to know how fast it claims to fire . 

Neil is right. In addition, firing schedules follow a rate for a reason. A Typical effective bisque schedule is in the 12 - 14 hour range to burn out organics and remove chemically bound water at a safe rate. With this kiln you would need to do that manually which would probably be near impossible.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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we had one of those we gave away that was used for enameling. Also works to melt silver and gold. Not a pottery kiln. It does not 'fire' really just heats up. I have a 1cf Seattle Pottery kiln that we use for test firing and it is a cone 10 kiln that has a regular controller, couple of shelves and I think it is not much more in cost than that one. It does run on 110 with a dedicated 20amp plug.  When you use one of these for a test kiln you generally want it to run a firing schedule that is exactly like your larger kiln so the results would be essentially the same. 

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4 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

Neil is right. In addition, firing schedules follow a rate for a reason. A Typical effective bisque schedule is in the 12 - 14 hour range to burn out organics and remove chemically bound water at a safe rate. With this kiln you would need to do that manually which would probably be near impossible.

I don’t know why I thought it could be programmed the same way as the larger one. It sounded too good to be true ... thank you for the heads up!! 

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10 minutes ago, glazenerd said:

I have a Paragon 1613-3 express which fires well. Plenty of power/3" walls. Also had a Caledra which I abused in test firings- still had 1200 plus firings. Saved the controller and wiring; going to rebuild a custom test kiln with 4.5" brick.

Figure a way to get fiber in so ya don’t have to heat all that mass every time. Maybe 2” brick and 4” fiber.

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18 hours ago, Asmaa Aman-Tran said:

I don’t know why I thought it could be programmed the same way as the larger one. It sounded too good to be true ... thank you for the heads up!! 

Ya know it is a prob a fine kiln for the right application just not really right for test firing pottery or even pottery beads.

You don't really say why you picked the small one instead of a larger one but you are on the right path if you can't have a larger kiln or want a test kiln, just need to better match it up to what you are doing. I know prices have gone up but I only paid about $800ish for my small kiln a dozen years ago now and it fires no different than its big brother (9cf oval) with the same controller. The trick is the controller because otherwise it would just heat up really fast and cool really fast and that really doesn't work well as a test kiln or for most pottery glazes. The controller is also one reason the cost is so high as its the same one usually they put on the larger ones.   

My sister-in-law is a glass artist and has a huge kiln now but when she started out she was in a rental house and had a small 115v kiln with a controller like mine on a rolling cart (metal top) in a back bedroom and she fired that little kiln almost daily for a couple of years. Turned out a lot of work 2,3 pieces at a time. You just don't have much room so you are limited in size of pot is all. I can get 3 big mugs or so in a one shelf load and a couple of smallish GP bowls in a two shelf load. I use it a lot for test firing tiles these days but bought it for testing glaze recipes. Beads or jewelry pieces would be a perfect long term match. Small but certainly better than no kiln if you can't go bigger. Cone 8 will work for cone 6 firings (2 cones over regular firing) and might be easier to find if 115v is the reason you have to go small. For a test kiln I would even consider a cone 6 if you had too and fire to 4-5 with a 20-30 minute hold to get it to 6 with heat work for your mid range test work. The elements might/will wear a little more quickly and if you mostly do bead work then lower firing are fine for that. 

Good luck! 

 

Edited by Stephen
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  • 2 months later...
On 5/13/2020 at 10:38 AM, Stephen said:

Ya know it is a prob a fine kiln for the right application just not really right for test firing pottery or even pottery beads.

You don't really say why you picked the small one instead of a larger one but you are on the right path if you can't have a larger kiln or want a test kiln, just need to better match it up to what you are doing. I know prices have gone up but I only paid about $800ish for my small kiln a dozen years ago now and it fires no different than its big brother (9cf oval) with the same controller. The trick is the controller because otherwise it would just heat up really fast and cool really fast and that really doesn't work well as a test kiln or for most pottery glazes. The controller is also one reason the cost is so high as its the same one usually they put on the larger ones.   

My sister-in-law is a glass artist and has a huge kiln now but when she started out she was in a rental house and had a small 115v kiln with a controller like mine on a rolling cart (metal top) in a back bedroom and she fired that little kiln almost daily for a couple of years. Turned out a lot of work 2,3 pieces at a time. You just don't have much room so you are limited in size of pot is all. I can get 3 big mugs or so in a one shelf load and a couple of smallish GP bowls in a two shelf load. I use it a lot for test firing tiles these days but bought it for testing glaze recipes. Beads or jewelry pieces would be a perfect long term match. Small but certainly better than no kiln if you can't go bigger. Cone 8 will work for cone 6 firings (2 cones over regular firing) and might be easier to find if 115v is the reason you have to go small. For a test kiln I would even consider a cone 6 if you had too and fire to 4-5 with a 20-30 minute hold to get it to 6 with heat work for your mid range test work. The elements might/will wear a little more quickly and if you mostly do bead work then lower firing are fine for that. 

Good luck! 

 

Thank you so much for your insight. I ended up ordering a 120v skutt 9”x11” chamber  to add to my Paragon home artist. At the moment I can’t have a bigger kiln , no space :( I guess I also just want to make the jump into the porcelain and stoneware world ! 
 

 

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On 8/11/2020 at 7:47 PM, Asmaa Aman-Tran said:

Thank you so much for your insight. I ended up ordering a 120v skutt 9”x11” chamber  to add to my Paragon home artist. At the moment I can’t have a bigger kiln , no space :( I guess I also just want to make the jump into the porcelain and stoneware world ! 

Congrads, bet you have a blast. Which one did you get?

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