Have you visited the Kiln Frog Kiln Academy? If you haven’t, you probably have no idea how much information is on our website. Just about anything you could ever want to know about using a kiln and how they work is contained in these pages. Let’s take a quick overview to help you get some ideas on where you might want to start exploring.
Ask Arnold – Arnold Howard is our kiln guru. He knows so much about kilns, and he has graciously committed to answering your questions about kilns and how they work. Arnold was a long-time employee at Paragon Kilns, so he really knows his stuff! If you have a question about kilns, Arnold is the guy to go to. Just fill out the form and send it off. Arnold will get back to you with an answer!
Choosing the Right Kiln – This page has a huge amount of information to help you pick out the perfect kiln to suit your needs. There are six sections on this page and each section has many links to help you out.
The All About Kilns section will take you through the steps of deciding the size, shape, and type of kiln that you need in addition to providing you with information on the different types of controllers, how to unpack and where to place your kiln, and even a list of kilns that operate on 120v household current.
Plugs and Electricity explains the difference between 120 volt and 240 volt current, gives you diagrams on the various types of plugs used, and even gives you a way to estimate your energy costs with your new kiln.
There are also sections on Firing Schedules, Shipping and Delivery, Kiln Maintenance, and Kiln FAQs. All in all, there are 32 pages full of information to help you get going in the right direction when choosing your kiln.
Preparing for Firing – In this section of the Kiln Academy, you will learn about how to prepare your new kiln for your first firing. You will also find tips on kiln safety and on how to make test tiles to help you learn about your kiln.
Glass Methods and Ideas – Did we mention there is a lot of information on these pages? Glass Methods and Ideas will give you countless hours of inspiration for new projects and tips on how to best use your new kiln. Straight from the experts at Bullseye Glass, here you will find sections on Tech Notes, Tip Sheets, Projects to experiment with, great Studio Tips, and a huge section of Quick Tips with information ranging from how to use glass powders effectively in your designs, to how to make frit balls, to how to use reactive glass for super cool effects.
Bullseye Glass Videos – Once again, from the great people at Bullseye Glass, here you will find links to lots of free videos from Bullseye on various subjects like how to cut glass, how to use glass stringers in your designs, how to prep your kiln shelves for firing, and how to cold work your glass without the use of expensive equipment. In addition to the free videos, there is a link to Bullseye’s great collection of videos that are available for a very low annual fee that covers many topics of interest.
Knife Maker’s Kiln Guide – For all of the knife makers out there, we have a special section in the Kiln Academy just for you. Here you will find all of the right questions to ask to help you choose the right kiln, and also a great description of all of the knife kilns available from our four kiln manufacturers. Each series in each line is described in a very concise way in order to help you understand each kiln’s strengths. There is even a great video of Alec Steele visiting the Paragon Kiln factory.
Heat Treating 101 – For those of you who are a bit new to knife making, here you will find a great description of each of the different phases of heat treating in addition to links to heat treating formulas for various kinds of steel.
Kiln Repair Directory – Here we have provided you with an extensive list of kiln repair resources from across the country. If you ever find yourself in need of a kiln repair resource, check here. The listings are organized alphabetically by state so it is easy to search to find someone near you.
Glossary – If you stumble across a word that you aren’t sure about, check here. We have given you a very comprehensive list of terms and their definitions to help you figure it out, and it is downloadable!
So, there you have it; anything and everything you ever wanted to know about kilns and where to find it. Check out the Kiln Academy today. There is always something new to learn!