I've gone through three kilns starting from inexpensive to medium expensive.
The first two did not have digital controllers and the last one only had
manual controller...which is better than none.
I am now working with a Paragon Caldera with bead ring. It has a digital
controller with several programs. I've set up my own programs to suit my
needs and it's pretty easy to figure out. It is on 120v which was very
important to me. You can fuse and slump in this kiln and it will hold tons
of beads. I paid around $750 for my kiln with the bead door. Without the
bead door it was around $650. The bead door gives you additional height if
you are wanting to slump vases though.
For a good all around kiln with a great digital controller you can't go
wrong. It isn't too big or too small, works on regular 120v and can do a
variety of projects.
Can you tell I love my kiln?
"Karin Cernik" wrote in message
I know this has been asked before, and I have gone back and looked, but
I'm hoping for some advice for my particular situation. It seems that
there is no real consensus on kilns, as there seems to be at least a
partial consensus on torches, so I'm really having a tough time with
I need to buy a kiln. Obviously, I would rather not spend a fortune
(let's say, $500-800 if possible, going to $1000 if I have to.) I work
in my garage. In Kansas. Where it goes from -10 to +110. I would
prefer 120V, but I'm married to an electrical engineer, so I guess all
things are possible. I'm only needing to anneal beads right now, but
may want to do fusing/slumping/whatever in the future.
It appears a bead door is a necessary thing, to avoid killing yourself
with the mandrels and the heating elements. :-) But it also seems to
vastly limit the size/number of beads you can put in. Is that an issue?
It must have a computer controller. Can't be babysitting a kiln when
I'm already watching 2 kids, 2 cats, and a husband. :-)
I've heard that kilns with firebricks are possibly more efficient, in
that you can just turn them off to let them cool down - is that true?
Good practice? Safe?
I've looked at JenKen, Aim, Paragon... toolbox types, top-lid types,
guillotine door types... they all seem to have advantages and
disadvantages. If you all have the time, could you give me your
perspective as people who are actually USING the things (and have no
incentive to sell me one, which might understandably influence your
(who hopes THIS post actually makes it out to the outside world...)