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Old 11-02-2015, 10:56 AM
jdale jdale is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lansing MI
Posts: 471
Buying a Kiln, big or small some insight needed

After weeks of talking to design engineers with both paragon and Evenheat as well as a lengthy conversation with Tracy Mickley over at USA Knifemaker I have decided on getting a Evenheat with the tap controller.
Originally I had set my sights on a 36" as i have always wanted to move towards making swords. But seeing that Evenheat has a 49.5 for only $284 more than the 36" model I am temped to ramp up the size to be able to accommodate basically any size I will ever want to make.

As I am usually a fan of buying the best or largest capacity I can afford to not have to buy another later this especially being the case here. I am wondering the practicality of using such a large forge to heat treat small knives.

Does anyone know the relative cost/ KWH usage of ramping up a large kiln vs a smaller kiln for heat treating something like a 5160?

I am on the ledge with this one. Jump and get the largest I can afford, only utilizing its full capabilities a few times a year. Or crawl back onto the safety of the bridge and buy a smaller kiln where it will handle everything I do now with room to handle 90% of the blades I plan on making?
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:46 AM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,792
I'm not sure why you are concerned about a few pennies in operating costs on something that is so expensive to begin with. I'd be more concerned about the cost of upkeep, specifically the cost and availability of the heating coils. I don't know what that model has in it - maybe 4 smaller coils or possibly 2 really long ones - but based on the cost of the coils for my 24" Paragon I'd would want to know before i bought such a large furnace. Heating coils can last for years or they can need replacement twice a year, just depends.

Depending on how many knives you make per year operating cost might be significant enough to notice but unless you're producing 100 or more I doubt it would be of much concern to anyone who can afford that oven. It certainly seems unlikely you would produce that many swords in a year. Even so, if the price is no object and you research the maintenance cost and find it acceptable I don't see any reason not to buy the long oven if you think you'll need it. I've used my 24" oven for 15 years and rarely make a knife more than half that long.......


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