Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Paragon SC-2 or SC-3 Kiln?


#1

Hello again,

Well, I’m happy to say that I just found out that did end up getting
one of the grants offered this year by my local guild, although it’s
only for $200 (I was hoping for the highest one, the $500, of
course!). Still, that’s nothing to sneeze at & it will certainly
help out as I get my kiln & all the related stuff to go with it. I’m
very excited to get going will all of this, of course, so now it’s
coming down to the final selection. Basically, it’s between the
Paragon SC-2 or SC-3, and then the options are a bead door and a
peep window.

I think, since I only got the $200 grant, I’m not going to spend the
extra $120 for the 8" (inside) high SC-3, I think the 6" high SC-2
will be sufficient. I hope to do lampworking eventually, so I’m
planning to spring for the bead door. The remaining question, then
(unless I change my mind again on the other things!) is the window.
First of all, I should say that I want to be able to use this kiln
for pretty much everything for which it’s potentially useful-
enamelling, PMC, fused glass, lampworking. Yes, I can never do enough
different things! The only one of those I haven’t ever done is
lampworking, but since I love glass, I’m sure I’d like it. It’s a
WHOLE lotta stuff, though, lots of new tools & equipment, so it may
be a while.

The other things are ones I’m more familiar with (relatively
speaking), though, and do plan to do very soon. Particularly because
of the enamelling, I like the idea of the peep window in the kiln, I
don’t know that it’s too big of a deal for anything else. I read on
one of the supply sites, though (and I’m curious why no other sites I
looked at mention this) that the window is only good for up to 1700
degrees. I’m assuming that means that higher than that risks the
window breaking, not that it’s just not useful above 1700. So, with
my plans for all of these different kiln uses, does that temperature
limit me in any real way?

When I learned glass fusing, we only took the kiln up to 1500. It’s
been a few years since I’ve done enamelling, so I kind of forget (and
it was in the land of Celcius, anyway), but in looking at the books I
have it seems that for small pieces, 1500 is also a likely temp, with
only large pieces needing something like 1800 or higher (although,
I’m not sure what “large” means in this case). The only place I’ve
seen even a potential problem is if I decide to use PMC Gold, it
requires a temp above even 1800, let alone 1700. I don’t know that
I’ll use that, but I don’t like to restrict myself. Among the uses I
mentioned - glass fusing, enamelling, PMC and lampworking - am I
going to find a need to go above 1700? And I guess another question
is, is this restriction really the case? Any other insight to be
shared?

Thanks so much, you guys are a great source of :slight_smile:

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.designsbylisag.com


#2

Hi Lisa,

First of all, congrats on the grant…go you :slight_smile:

Second, I actually do have the SC-2 with both the bead door and the
peep window. I’m quite happy with my Paragon-which I use mostly for
PMC, but I do plan on branching into lamp working and other glass
work, and when I feel more confident in my enamel work, to do some of
that as well in my kiln.

Anyway, both the bead door and the window are nice features, but I
can’t say I use them all that much (yet.) I was actually disappointed
to find that the glass window limits the temp that the kiln can be
fired at to about 1700. However, since 24K PMC was discontinued, it’s
no longer an issue for me at this point (the 22k is fired at PMC3
temps.) However, had I realized this beforehand, I might have just
done without the peep window. It’s a nice feature, but not all that
essential to the work that I do. I suspect that the only people who
might get some serious use with that feature are enamelists and glass
fusers-since the people using a kiln to anneal lampworked beads
probably don’t need to see the visual. Also, a problem with the
window is it’s fairly high up the door, so it’s rather difficult to
see things being fired, unless the shelves are propped up to the
correct height off of the floor.

What you MIGHT be able to do, at some point, is perhaps buy the
basic model, and perhaps later, purchase a replacement door with the
extra bells and whistles? I can’t recall how much of a price
difference there is, but my kiln was in the high $600, and I think
the standard SC-2 is in the low to mid $500s.

Ultimately, so far, I’m quite satisfied with my kiln. I fire both
mine and my students’ works and it’s been doing quite well for me for
over a year without any problems [knock on wood.]

-colin


#3

Hi Colin,

Thanks for the reply. I actually ended up ordering my kiln today &
I’m VERY excited! I got the SC-2 and with just the bead door. You
mentioned that probably enameling would be one of the only reasons
I’d really need the window, and actually that’s the main reason I
was thinking of getting the window, I do plan on enameling. However,
Shauna at Mud In Mind (where I ordered it) mentioned that with the
bead door I can always peek in if really necessary without losing as
much heat as with opening the full door (assuming the items are not
up on stacked shelves). The price difference wasn’t too great
between with or without the window, but it could take an additional
TWO WEEKS to get it with the window, and I just didn’t like that idea
at all. So, sold! on the one without the window. Quandry solved. :slight_smile:

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.designsbylisag.com


#4

I have an SC3 with the bead collar and window in the door and I just
love it. It has not limited me for doing anything. I do all glass
beads and a lot of enameling. I am also making my own colours of
glass in the kiln to use for stained glass works.