Paragon A-66B Glass Firing Schedule - WarmGlass.com

Paragon A-66B Glass Firing Schedule

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DPEARSON
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Paragon A-66B Glass Firing Schedule

Postby DPEARSON » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:20 pm

I have a Paragon A-66B kiln, which I would like to use for fusing glass. The kiln has a kiln-sitter (for use with pyrometric cones) but is not programmable. There is one kiln switch which can be set to Low, Med or High. Other "controls" are a lid which can be vented and 2 peephole plugs which can be open or plugged. I have the firing schedule for the 90 COE glass I am using but do not know how to implement the firing schedule using the controls I have. My needs are simple; I am mostly making jewelry and ornaments. However, I would like to be able to tack fuse, contour fuse, full fuse and fire polish. I have used the kiln before to slump wine bottles. I could just buy a microwave kiln (sorry - I'm sure you are cringing!) but I figure I might as well use this kiln as long as I have it. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Brad Walker
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Re: Paragon A-66B Glass Firing Schedule

Postby Brad Walker » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:33 pm

Back in the dark ages of fusing (the 1990's) I used a kiln with a kiln sitter. It worked fine for simple coasters or jewelry sized pieces. Basically I would fire and then let the kiln sitter turn off the kiln. After that, I'd just let the kiln cool naturally without opening.

The main issue with this approach is that cones are spaced about 20 to 80 degrees apart (depending on cone). Because of that you can't fine tune a firing, you just have to hope that there's a cone for the specific temperature you want. The A-66B is a very old kiln (according to Paragon's website the last manual update was in 1985), but you can still use it if you're willing to experiment to find out how particular cones fire for you. Firing at different rates will cause the kilns to bend at different temperatures, and if you're present at the end of the firing (when the cone turns off the kiln) you can also vent the kiln a bit to cool it more quickly and give you even more varied results. You won't have as many -- or as fine-tuned -- options as you would have with a newer kiln with a controller, but you can definitely fuse, slump, and fire polish with some experimentation to find the right cones.

As for microwave kilns, I think the kiln you have will work better for you.

DPEARSON
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Paragon A-66B Glass Firing Schedule

Postby DPEARSON » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:47 pm

Thanks, Brad. I slumped the wine bottles successfully using a 016 cone. Seems like I can get a selection of cones & just experiment. Is a quick cool-down (by venting the lid) required? For the bottles I just let the kiln cool on its own overnight. You're right, the kiln is very old; my mother purchased it in 1984!

Brad Walker
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Paragon A-66B

Postby Brad Walker » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:55 pm

Normally, when the cone trips the kiln and turns it off, the kiln takes a while to cool from there to below 1100F or so, where it will no longer move. If you open the lid after the cone trips, then you're cooling it faster. Just close the kiln before it gets to 1100 or so. You don't need to do this at all unless you find that leaving the kiln to cool naturally overfires your piece. Most likely, you'll be fine just cooling naturally, the only time you'd want to open the kiln is if you're really specific about exactly how you want a tack fuse to look and just letting the kiln cool naturally isn't working. In my experience, I rarely opened the kiln during the firing.

You're right to just get a bunch of different cones and experiment. Just remember, the rate at which you fire (especially above 1100 or so) is important, too. For instance, according to the Orton Chart an 016 cone can fire to 1368, 1422, or 1465, depending on the rate. (That's self-supporting cones, other kinds of cones fire to different temperatures.) Lots of possible temperatures, you just have to experiment to find the one that works for you.


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