I’ve wanted one of these for ages, so I decided to buy one a couple of weeks ago. I went for a “Prometheus Pro-1 PRG” which is a small, comparatively cheap desktop kiln: Its ideal for a beginner. I paid a bit more for the programmable controller since I need some multi-stage programmes for some of what I want to do (ie more complicated than just heating it up to a single temperature for a bit).
Since this kiln will be running at >800C, it needed a step up in safety equipment:
- Uvex W166-3 welding protection goggles. These are EN166 + EN169 compliant and provide protection from UV and IR. UV ain’t really a problem for a kiln, but high intensity IR is. I don’t intend to take up staring into an ~850C source for any length of time, but I may have to open it some times to add/remove pieces.
- A cheap steel fish slice I found in a local shop for moving hot stuff about. I’ve got more things along this line, but I forgot to include them in this picture.
- Portwest Welding Gauntlets. These are EN388 + EN511 + EN12477 compliant and provide hand protection against accidental brushes against high temperature items.
- Fire Blanket
- Powder Fire Extinguisher
- 3M 6200 series respirator fitted with 3M 2135 filters (EN143). Although just firing a kiln doesn’t require these, some of the pre-processing I want to do will involve very fine particles so this is essential.
I also acquired some safety items to place the kiln on:
- I acquired a set of Calcium Silicate bench mats to put things on – they’re the things you run a Bunsen burner on at school if you don’t want to burn the desk.
- I also acquired two sheets of 3mm mild steel to use as a heatproof working surface.
- The kiln and the steel are both sitting on the bunsen burner mats.
I may be being slightly paranoid: the kiln does not get hot at the bottom as that would ruin the control circuitry… but why risk it? Calcium Silicate bench mats are really cheap.
As usual for kilns, programming it is pretty horrendous using a three button “User Interface”. This problem isn’t unique to this kiln: I’ve used a Paragon SC-2 in the past and it was just as nasty.
I did find a project using a raspberry pi to provide a web interface which I might try sometime, but for now, I’m going to stick with the supplied controller. This is generally how I work: buy something, figure it out using the supplied stuff. Then improve!