Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Paragon E-12T Kiln

XpressE12T Closed latch June2012W1Some like it hot and this "tool" will get me there. It is a Paragon E-12T brick lined electrically fired kiln.

While my daughter and I took 12 weeks of lost wax carving and casting lessons, I decided this was something I wanted to be able to do in my own shop. One of the hurdles to doing that is the need for a furnace (kiln) to burn out the wax and cure the investment mold. It requires a kiln to do that. The metal casting is done fresh from the kiln while the mold is still about 900 degrees in temperature.

I considered a lot of options in kilns. Paragon alone makes a huge variety for a number of purposes. I realized a kiln is not a universal tool. So I had to do a lot of homework to understand my need.

I settled into the brand Paragon for several reasons. It was the brand being used in the Dallas Art Guild where we took our lessons. Paragon kilns are also locally made here in Dallas (Misquite) Texas. Probably a big reason they were in the class. I wantred a brick kiln and Paragon makes quite a few varities. 

Prime purpose was definately the lost wax burn out. There is a hole in the top of this kiln to let vapors out. However, there are a lot more uses for a kiln and I wanted  to be able to try them out. This kiln can get over 2,000 degrees, far more than is needed for wax burnout. But that makes it just great for ceramics and pottery as well as glass melting and slumping. It is also suitable for PMC (Precious Metal Clay) burnout. So I have a hot tool that can do many things.

The interior size is rather small for serious (large or high volume) pottery and ceramic work but is certainly adequate for crfaft work. Overall I believe I made an excellent choice for my needs and future experiments.

The inside dimensions are 8.5 inches wide, 12 inches deep and 9 inches tall. That's just over a half cubic foot or 15 liters of volume. Shipping weight is 90 pounds so uncrated it is more like 85 pounds or a bit less.

A kiln this size and power is NOT expensive to operate on electric. At 20 amps it does need its own private circuit. My house is total electric so I know what it cost. (I am also a professional and certified energy engineer.) Kilns seldom run full blast unless a fast heatup is required. But once it reaches the desired setpoint, the kiln will cycle on and off. The on time is the "duty cycle". Typically that is around 50% on time but there are no absolutes as there can be many variables.

Typically a 10 hour run I calculate will cost me about $1.50. That's chump change as I have said elsewhere. Running large kilns on a contunuing basis as in business use, it could be a large expense but in proportion to the amount of product being made.

 

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 Here is a look at the label. It's 2400 watts and temperature rated for 2250 deg. F.  The base is well ventilated with over 4 inches of space but I set the kiln on a granite slab that was a sink cutout. It is not actually needed but to me it looks safe...
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 The interior shows lots of heating element. There are two separate circuits, each with its own relay. Electrically it is a very good engineering design to split the load.  The controller is very good for this class of kiln. It controls temperature but is also programmed for ramp up, hold and ramp down times. Total control of the heating process.
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 This is the only warning label on the product. Some of the exterior surfaces, front, sides and top will get quite warm. The bottom and back side are open and vented and do not get nearly as warm.  This is the vent hole in the top. There is a plug that can be inserted when venting is not desired. The computer keyboard and screen will not be stored where seen here.
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 This is what a 20 amp 120 volt plug looks like. It can not be inserted into a 15 amp (standard) outlet. The 20 amp outlet here will permit a 15 amp plug to be inserted. That's a child proof receptical with little doors (seen closed here) inside the power slots.  

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