Another "which HT Oven" thread or DIY instead?

IanF

Well-Known Member
Hi fellow makers


As the title says I am looking for some guidance from those that have gone down the home HT oven path. I am located in Australia and importing a HT oven is very expensive coupled with low Australian dollar. We do have a local supplier of knife making equipment and they do a great job selling the Paragon kilns but by the time they get them here, cover costs and add a little profit they are out of my reach unfortunately (over $2,400USD for the models I am looking at).

I have been getting all I need together to build my own but an opportunity has just come up that could change this tactic. I have a colleague who is moving from the US back to Australia this year and potentially could bring an oven back along with their household items so in essence shipped free. This means that a HT oven could be landed here around $1400USD and puts it into the realms of possibility.

in terms of what I think I would need in a HT oven is my blades are stainless and mostly folders but on occasion fixed blades in the smaller category and 240v is standard here. Looking at what seems to be available from the "usual suspects" a Paragon 14inch model would do most of my blades but the 18 inch single barrel model would ensure I have all bases covered or the equivalent LB18 from evenheat. I also see Jen Ken have a "fibre front loader" in 18 inch which looks very interesting especially the roof mounted quartz rod coils. Whilst I know plenty rave about the TAP controller my use probably means that is nice but no needed and a lower cost controller would be fine.

So I guess my question really is - given that I could fund a bought oven and I have never made a DIY oven would you recommend against going with a shop bought version? And if a shop bought version would there be any reason you feel that the Jen Ken would not be as good or better than the Paragon?

The Jen Ken is wider and taller which would potentially assist in giving more utility for other metal working projects but primarily this is a HT kiln for knives. I don't make a lot of knives and is a luxury purchase for me rather than a need but I know not being able to HT a blade quickly and easily myself is holding me back (it is normal for me to wait a month to get a blade HT'd).

Sorry for the long post but I hope to hear some thoughts from guys who may have been through similar thoughts before.

Ian
 

Johan Nel

Well-Known Member
Ian,
One of the considerations you need to do is the warrantee on the product you wish to procure. If you procure from the States directly, you will have to return it to the supplier in the US, should it have to be replaced/repaired under warrantee. Likewise if the product you have imported directly has an agent in Auz, the Auz based agent might not want to do repairs for you based on the fact that the product did not pass their books and a warrantee on work can not be supplied based on that.
It may be different in Australia, but in South Africa where I am from, a direct import sidestepping local agents can cause me problems for the above described reasons.
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
Ian,
One of the considerations you need to do is the warrantee on the product you wish to procure. If you procure from the States directly, you will have to return it to the supplier in the US, should it have to be replaced/repaired under warrantee. Likewise if the product you have imported directly has an agent in Auz, the Auz based agent might not want to do repairs for you based on the fact that the product did not pass their books and a warrantee on work can not be supplied based on that.
It may be different in Australia, but in South Africa where I am from, a direct import sidestepping local agents can cause me problems for the above described reasons.
That is a great point Johan thank you. I have considered this and is certainly a value that local suppliers offer. I contacted Jen Ken and they replied overnight answering some questions I had. They spoke about modularity of their ovens and the fact that if replacement parts are needed it can be easily fitted. Given I am considering making my own oven, if I buy one I think repairs down the line would be well within my capability even though I would hope that a bought unit would be reasonably maintenance free.

Im still thinking hard about options....
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
I am not sure if this is going to work but I made up a bit of a table for the HT ovens I was looking at and thought it may benefit someone else as well.

ManufacturerModelWidthheightdepthPower (W)AmpsMax Temp (F)ControllerPrice (USD)Price (AUD)Internal volume (L)
Own designDIY150100390230010TBD$ 1,2005.9
KnifedogsOrange20010035092200sentry 3key$ 1,005$ 1,3077.0
ParagonKM24-T1401086102600112350sentry 3key$ 1,374$ 1,7869.2
Jen KenFibre front 18"2752254504080152200Express 3key$ 1,450$ 1,88527.8
Jen KenFibre front 18"2752254504080152200AF4000$ 1,500$ 1,95027.8
EvenheatLB18250160450152200set-Pro 3 key$ 1,532$ 1,99218.0
Jen KenVert air bath 16"2752754003600152200TAP$ 1,596$ 2,07530.3
Jen KenFibre front 18"2752254504080152200TAP$ 1,640$ 2,13227.8
ParagonKM18 double barrel2791084573073132350sentry 12 key$ 1,668$ 2,16813.8
EvenheatLB18250160450152200rampmaster$ 1,732$ 2,25218.0
ParagonKM18 double barrel2791084573073132350Sentinel$ 1,806$ 2,34813.8
EvenheatLB18250160450152200TAP$ 1,962$ 2,55118.0
ParagonKM14T PRO3371333564840152350Sentinel$ 2,542$ 3,30516.0
Local Aust dealerKM18 double barrel2791084573073132350Sentinel$ 3,48513.8
ParagonKM18T PRO3371334577050302350Sentinel$ 2,755$ 3,58220.5
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I bought a Paragon KM24 with the digital Bartlett Sentinel controller. I did a bunch of research too (although I think you have me beat!! LOL). I picked the Paragon because of a couple of features that are standard to it. 1) It has a power disconnect switch on the door, 2) It has electronic relays, no constant annoying clicking while the oven is running. These 2 features add almost $300 to an Evenheat oven. I am super pleased with my oven and it works AMAZING! Will another work as good, probably! I came very close to building my own, decided against it because I am to busy to do it. I can build knives in my off time or build an oven. I still have a forge I'm still building for 2 years! See where I'm going with this!! LOL! Anyway whatever you decide to do you won't regret having the oven.

PS -There where other reasons for the Paragon that won't relate to you: Free Shipping with a tailgate service, the money i saved with standard features allowed me to get the Digital controller with all the features I wanted in my budget. I also got it from Boss he had the best price and the delivery went flawless!!
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
I did a bunch of research too (although I think you have me beat!! LOL)
Oh this is just a snippet of what I have done!

To be fair my table included the door switch and SSR for evenheat to allow fair comparison to the Paragons.

How have you found the sentinel controller?

Thanks for your comments and I think we are on a very similar page. If I buy anything other than a Jen-Ken it will be via USA knifemaker as I cannot fault the service and this great forum. If I can't buy locally here then they are my go-to option.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
Oh this is just a snippet of what I have done!

To be fair my table included the door switch and SSR for evenheat to allow fair comparison to the Paragons.

How have you found the sentinel controller?

Thanks for your comments and I think we are on a very similar page. If I buy anything other than a Jen-Ken it will be via USA knifemaker as I cannot fault the service and this great forum. If I can't buy locally here then they are my go-to option.
I like the Sentinel controller. Easy to program, like that I can store my HT scenarios labeled, meaning AEB-L or 1084 etc.. It will do way more than I've done with it you can do crazy amounts of steps within the individual programs. But of course we don't use a lot of those features. After you do a couple of programs its super easy!
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
So next problem is actually etting a kiln - I have a hard deadline since I am tring to buy in the US and then get it into a container that will be coming here. If I miss the container packing I am left high and dry with a kiln. It seems noone actually keeps kilns in stock - the are a made to order item and timelines are in th eorder of 6-10weeks and who knows what can happen amid the pandemic situation.

Anyone know where I might find a HT kiln on the shelf?
 
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