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Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:55 pm
by Matthew900
Hi, I bought a kiln this week at auction and when I got it home I discovered it's actual a kiln for heat treating metal. It's a paragon PMT21 and it has a sentry 2.0 controller that looks the same as the ones on the cermic/glass kiln. When I looked it up on line it appeared that only diffrence was that it could go to a higher temp but I wanted to make sure there isn't an other possible issues before I give it a try. Thanks!

Matt

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:37 pm
by Valerie Adams
Others with more experience my join in but as far as I can tell, there's no reason you can't use it for glass (and ceramics too, if you want to make your own molds at some point). Many people are using pottery kilns for glass, and they don't have the benefit of the controller you've got. Paragon offers great customer service; Arnold Howard is a frequent contributor to several FB groups and has posted here too. I'd download the manual for your kiln if you don't have it, and also the manual for the GL-24, since your kiln looks similar.

Get your hands on some scrap glass and begin practicing. Take good notes and check back with questions.

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:31 pm
by Morganica
I'm with Val; if you can use that kiln to control temperature precisely for any given period of time, you can fuse and slump and cast glass with it. There are some great online resources (this is one; head over to the Bullseye Glass website and subscribe to their video tutorials, too), and then start practicing.

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:34 am
by Arnold Howard
Thanks Valerie!

I agree that the kiln can fuse glass. I would run test firings to determine if the area near the front is cooler than the rest of the firing chamber. If so, place pieces near the front that are designed for a lighter fuse. Place pieces toward the back that need a fuller fuse.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:38 pm
by Matthew900
Thanks for the responses everyone! I successfully slumped a bottle and plan to try fusing some scrap glass this week.

I did have one question, is there any way for me to add a viewing window or a peep hole to the kiln? I figured since it doesn't have coils in the door it would be a possible to add one there. Is a there a generic viewing window that I could use? Or could I remove the door and send it to Paragon to have it altered? I think it would be really helpful to be able to watch what is going on since I'm learning.

Thanks!

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:56 pm
by Arnold Howard
I agree that it would be helpful to watch the glass as it fuses. Yes, you can install a window. Here are instructions:

http://www.paragonweb.com/ManualInfo.cfm?CID=130

Be sure to wear green #3 firing safety glasses when you look through the window. Please let me know if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:31 pm
by Valerie Adams
Matthew900 wrote:I think it would be really helpful to be able to watch what is going on since I'm learning.



Or, you could do what many of us do: open the door (slowly!) a tiny bit and peek!

I know there are lots of temperatures where you're not supposed to do that, but I've been peeking inside my kilns for over 15 years, and at various temperatures, and nothing bad has happened (knock on wood!).

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:34 pm
by Matthew900
I ran my first fuse last night and it took everything I had not to open it and look. I'm going to order the window, for the price it's worth it. Since I'll be mostly working with bottle glass the trial and error will be a lot easier if I can see what's happening.

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:01 pm
by Valerie Adams
Why wouldn't you look?

I'm not suggesting throwing the door open and reviewing every square inch of your piece, but cracking the door a little and taking a quick glance won't be an issue.

Re: Can I use this kiln for glass?

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:23 am
by Arnold Howard
You can open the door 1/4" as the glass turns orange. Watch the glass a few seconds at a time as it begins to fuse. You will know exactly when the glass has finished fusing.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com