Paragon Xpress-KM36 Furnace W5.5"xD36"xH4.25"
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Paragon Xpress-KM-36 Knife Makers Heat Treating Furnace
Wherever humans have withstood severe testswhether in the steaming jungles of the South Pacific, the cruel deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, or the Chosen Reservoirthey have depended upon great knives. Wherever explorers have gone, they have taken great knives with themover the prairies and mountains of the American west, across the desolate plains of the North Pole, through the silence of deep space.
Knives have always accompanied explorers on great journeys. Yet knife making, itself, is an adventure all its own. It begins when the future owner shares the dream of a special knife with the maker. They talk excitedly over the first rough sketches. Then the maker retires to his shop and loses himself in the creation of the knife. Time disappears; the hours tick by as he grinds, heat treats, polishes.
New higher furnace temperatures
Paragons knifemaking furnaces are now rated to 2350 degrees F, so you can heat treat as hot as you need to. In addition, you can order a furnace in your choice of two temperature controllers. The Xpress-KM-18 features the economical 3-key Sentry Xpress temperature controller instead of the full 12-key Sentry. Save on the price of the furnace and still get the same digital accuracy knife makers have come to expect from Paragon.Click here for links to all the Paragon knifemaking furnaces.
Test exotic heat treating formulas
When you own a Paragon Xpress-KM-36 furnace, you can live the knife making adventure to the fullest. The soul of the blade is born in the crucible of the furnace that resides in your own shop.
Many knifemakers enjoy owning a furnace, because they can test their favorite steels in many ways. After altering the heat treating formula, they put blades through severe tests. Yes, they test for Rockwell hardness, but they dont stop there. The serious knifemaker tests the knife against hemp rope and 2x4s. They bend the blade to 45° or even 90°. Then they straighten the blade, slap on a handle and test it in the real world.
The knife maker with a KM-series furnace can try exotic heat treating methods at his leisure. Does quenching in dry ice improve blade performance? What happens when 52100 steel is triple-quenched with a one-day wait between each quench? After this treatment, will a 52100 blade bend to 90° without chipping?
With a Paragon furnace in your shop, all questions about heat treating formulas are settled. Theory is changed to fact, which becomes part of the soul of your blades. You find out for yourself what works. Testing and heat treating is at the heart of the knife making adventure. Here is where your confidence as a knife maker takes root.
Experiment with differential hardening, an ancient bladesmith technique. Try out the newest tool steels. Are they really as good as the tried and true D2 and A2?
A message from Ed Fowler, Master Blade Smith, (Member, American Bladesmith Society)
Paragon offered me no financial rewards or free equipment for this endorsement. I recommend Paragon furnaces only because they make an excellent, reliable product.
I've made knives off and on since the sixth grade. I enjoy every second in the shop making knives. I used to harden and temper with a torch. As my skills increased, my testing of knives revealed the benefit of longer and more uniform soak times during the annealing and tempering cycles than were possible with a torch.
I finally bought a Paragon furnace. It is extremely beneficial to bladesmithing, because it allows us to do things with our blades we couldn't do otherwise. If I had known how good they are, I would have bought one years before I did.
You don't want to introduce any variables into your blades by accident, and temperature is one such variable. With a Paragon, you know exactly what causes what and why. My advice to beginning knifemakers is to use the best equipment you can as soon as you can add it to your shop. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to make knives with less than the best equipment for the job. Invest in quality equipment, learn how to use it right, and use your time seeking the best knife you can make.
Without my Paragon oven, I would have never made the discoveries about steel that Ive made. I love my Paragon. That Paragon sure made a big difference in my knife making. Any experiment I want to run is right there. If I want to change a heat treatment, I know exactly how. With every knife, I learn more.
Thermal cycles, commonly known as heat treating of blades, are the most significant single aspect contributing to the quality of a knifemakers blade. Knifemakers who wish to explore the absolute frontiers of the world of knives in search of the Excalibur of their dreams must have the ability to design thermal treatments specifically intended to push their steel to the highest limits of performance. Absolute control of the temperature of their blades is absolutely essential to success.
Paragon makes a nice piece of equipment. I recommend it very highly to anyone who asks and to many people who don't ask. In order to make knives that my customers can depend upon, I have to be able to count on my equipment to provide consistent performance. My Paragon heat treating oven has always provided the degree of dependability I can count on to support my commitment to provide my customers the best functional knife possible.
Believe me, I'm much richer knowing I'm making the best knife I can. I'm much happier with myself.
A bond of trust between you and the knife owner
The knife makers credo is simple: to create a knife that represents the knife maker himself. Quality of work is a way of life for him. The challenge of never-ending improvement is a passion.
The buyer of a custom knife appreciates fine detail. He or she marvels at the lines and curves the maker coaxed from the steel in the same way that an art critic admires a painting. There is a bond of trust between the owner of a fine knife and its maker. This is why the knife maker sleeps better when he controls every step in creating a knife.
The knife maker derives joy from working with his hands. He makes knives that are treasured perhaps for generations. When the knife owner wipes a rag across such a knife, he is caressing as much as cleaning it. Part of this spirit of knife making is lost when you send the blade out for heat treating and await its return, because you are entrusting the very soul of your knives to someone else. Every time you, the maker, release one of your knives to the world, your reputation goes with it. This is why makers feel compelled to control every step in the blades journey from initial design through final polishing.
No more waiting for commercial heat treating
A Paragon KM-series furnace sets the knife maker free. No more wrapping blades and shipping them to your heat treater. No more waiting until you have a dozen blades to get the best price on heat treating. No more turning away orders for last-minute gifts.
While your furnace is hardening and tempering blades, you can busy yourself grinding more knives or fitting handles. After youve used your Paragon furnace awhile, you will wonder how you ever got along without it. When asked to make a knife on short noticewhether for a Marine Corps awards presentation, a soldiers retirement party, or an archaeologist going to Africayou will be ready. When a custom knife is needed as a going away gift, and the recipient is leaving in three days, you will be ready. Your Xpress-KM-series furnace might even pay for itself on rush orders you would otherwise have missed.
Own a furnace and you alone decide when you will complete a knife. If you stay up one Friday grinding a knife, you can heat treat it that evening and deliver it Saturday morning. Just in time for a grateful wife to present to her husband on his birthday.
Finishing a knife whenever you want will excite you. You will find yourself working into the night to complete a new design. When you send the blade out for heat treating, the excitement of making it is forgotten. By the time the blade returns, you hardly remember it.
A full range of Paragon furnace sizes
The KM-series knifemaking furnaces come in five interior sizes:
- KM-14T and Xpress-KM-14: 14 ½ long, 5 ½ wide, and 4 ¼ high
- KM-18T and Xpress-KM-18: 18 long, 5 ½ wide, and 4 ¼ high
- KM-24T and Xpress-KM-24: 24 long, 5 ½ wide, and 4 ¼ high
- KM-36T and Xpress-KM-36: 36 long, 5 ½ wide, and 4 ¼ high
- KM-45T: 45 long, 5 ½ wide, and 4 ¼ high
Your choice of two temperature controllers
The Sentry 12-key controller is faster to program and has more features than the Sentry Xpress 3-key controller. However, the Sentry Xpress is more economically priced. Now you can choose the controller that fits your budget.
Models with the 3-key Sentry Xpress controller: Xpress-KM-14, Xpress-KM-18, Xpress-KM-24, Xpress-KM-36.
Models with the 12-key Sentry controller: KM-14T, KM-18T, KM-24T, KM-36T, KM-45T.
Solid furnace construction
The door opens downward with one-handed operation. A counter-weight handle holds the door securely closed. The furnace is insulated with refractory firebrick. The elements are mounted in dropped, recessed grooves machined into the firebrick. Paragon invented this type of groove in 1952. This groove protects the element for long life and low maintenance. Elements are simple to replace because theyre exposed rather than embedded. You can thread new elements into place following clear instructions in the manual.
The temperature sensor (thermocouple) is sheathed for long life. The thermocouple wire is kept inside the control box for protection from the harsh environment of the typical bladesmith shop.
The firing chamber is protected by a rigid steel case painted in high temperature blue. A built-in stand lifts the firing chamber safely off your worktable, so no extra stand is needed. The door is mounted on a heavy-duty hinge shaft for smooth opening. Because of the rigid case and heavy hinge, the door is sturdy enough for years of faithful service. A chain holds the door open and out of the way so you can remove hot blades without bumping into a swinging door.
A micro safety switch shuts off the power to the elements when the door is opened, yet the temperature controller remains powered. The safety switch is standard on Paragon Xpress-KM furnaces.
We use high temperature wire in the switch box for long life. A heat shield, mounted between the switch box and furnace, helps keep the switch box components cool even during extended operation. To further dissipate heat, the switch box is extra large and generously slotted. Each furnace comes with a cord and plug for immediate installation, and a one year warranty.
Detailed heat treating instructions
Your furnace includes a wiring diagram, programming instructions, and heat treating manual. The manual gives you basic heat treating instructions for D2, 440C, ATS 34 and 154 CM. The manual is written in plain English for the beginner.
Made in America
45% of Paragons factory work force has been here over 10 years; 20% have worked here over 20 years. All paragon furnaces are made in America. We are proud to support the American worker.
Optional Gas Injection Flow Meter
During heat treating, scale forms on the surface of the steel. One way to eliminate most scaling is to wrap the steel in stainless steel foil. Another way is to install the gas injection flow meter on your furnace. It is available as either an add-on kit, or you can order the furnace with the meter installed.
The meter regulates the flow of an inert gas, such as argon, inside the furnace. The gas displaces the oxygen to prevent most scaling.
Please remember that results with the flow meter vary depending on the type of inert gas you use and your level of experience. For more details, click on the link in the Options section below.
The knifemaking Kit
In addition to the furnace, you will need a Knifemaking Kit, which separates the blades and holds them parallel inside the furnace. Please click the link below in the Options section.
Sentry Digital 3-key Glass Control Control Type
Sentry Xpress 3-Key for Glass Fusing and Jewelry
We simplify high-temperature firings so you can immerse yourself in creating breathtaking ware. The powerful little Sentry Xpress version 4 micro processor is packed with features. On glass and jewelry kilns, the controller includes Single-Speed and 8-segment Ramp-Hold modes.
- Single-Speed mode is quick and easy for simple firings that need only one speed fired to one temperature. Choose from five speeds, and enter the temperature.
- Ramp-Hold mode lets you program custom firings with up to 8 steps, or segments. Fire thick, large glass pieces such as bowls and platters. Slow the cooling through the annealing range. Trade firing recipes with friends.
- Skip Segment skips past a segment during Ramp-Hold firing without having to stop the kiln to reprogram.
- Hold (soak) maintains a specific temperature in both Single-Speed and Ramp-Hold modes. Use hold to give you greater control of the final stage in fusing or slumping.
- Add Hold Time during firing in either mode without having to stop the kiln to reprogram.
- Change Target Temperature in Ramp-Hold during firing without having to stop the kiln to reprogram.
- Program Review lets you check that the program you are about to fire is correct.
- Temperature Alarm can be programmed to sound when the kiln reaches a specific temperature. Set the alarm to remind yourself to check the kiln before the expected shutoff time so that you can watch the glass as it reaches its perfect stage of fusing.
- Storage Memory Ramp-Hold mode can store 4 programs.
- Delay can be set to turn on the kiln later to suit your schedule.
- Temperature Display throughout firing and cooling in your choice of °F or °C
- Thermocouple Offset adjusts the thermocouple readout.
- Instruction Manual is written in plain English. This colorful, illustrated manual will guide you through each step.
- Quick Start Guide shows programming instructions for both firing modes. Place it on the wall near your kiln for easy reference.
- Error Messages report mechanical problems such as a disconnected thermocouple, stuck relay, temporary power failure during firing, or a broken element.
- 12-Month Warranty
- LED Lights show whether you are in program, review, or firing mode.
- Quick Release Connectors on the back of the controller permit fast removal without tools.