Jen-Ken

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
Seems all the talk is about Evenheat and Paragon, but the Jen-Ken vertical air bath kilns seem ideal. Am I missing something? Talk me off the cliff or I am ordering this week.
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
I agree. The only negative I have heard is that when you open the lid, 2,000 degree heat hits you in the face. Seems to me like you just wouldn't stand over it peering inside!
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
Seems all the talk is about Evenheat and Paragon, but the Jen-Ken vertical air bath kilns seem ideal. Am I missing something? Talk me off the cliff or I am ordering this week.
Educate me, why does Jen-Ken vertical seem ideal?
 

Heikki

KNIFE MAKER
Gene Kimmi runs one and says he likes it. I'm sure he'll chime in.
I was looking at one, but wasn't able to run the 220v it needed from my current service panel. The blades hang in the kiln and get even heat all around. Also supposed to reduce chances of warpage.
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
The only down sides I have found are if you want to heat treat 1 blade, you are heating a larger kiln, no big deal to me. And, foil pouches can be a little interesting to hang. It also takes a long time to cool down if you want to temper in it after austenizing. I will run a quick temper at a lower temperature in my toaster oven until it cools down.

I haven't been around an Evenheat or Paragon, but I'd buy the Jen-Ken again if mine quit. It shines when doing larger batches. I've normalized/thermal cycled and tempered at least 16 blades at one time.
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
I would guess the cool down is a problem with them all, so not just this one?
Educate me, why does Jen-Ken vertical seem ideal?
Sure. You hang the blades so there is no contact with any surface, which seems like the best possible option. Ideally that is a very even heat, but not sure if it is better or so close to other styles that it doesn’t matter.
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
The only down sides I have found are if you want to heat treat 1 blade, you are heating a larger kiln, no big deal to me. And, foil pouches can be a little interesting to hang. It also takes a long time to cool down if you want to temper in it after austenizing. I will run a quick temper at a lower temperature in my toaster oven until it cools down.

I haven't been around an Evenheat or Paragon, but I'd buy the Jen-Ken again if mine quit. It shines when doing larger batches. I've normalized/thermal cycled and tempered at least 16 blades at one time.
you have the 21? I don’t know what they cost to rub, but assume a few dryer loads equivalent. Good idea to not run a single if you can, but should be fine. Assume the cool down is a problem with them all. I need to get something and this requires me to have a breaker added, so trying to decide. I really liked that it comes on wheels, so you can move it around. I would think that trying to figure out how to hang things was solvable. On the foil, any way to make a wire cradle? Never used foil, but it was in the future plans once I had an oven.
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
I do have the 21". The cool down takes around 5-6 hours to get to 350 or so. That is cooling with the lid closed. I've heard some say they cool with it open, but I was told by Jen-Ken to not do that as it could shorten the life of the coils.

It comes with a base that has wheels on it and works great. I'm constantly moving it around the shop. On the foil pouches, I make one end longer than needed and roll a 3/16" pin up in the foil and use that to hang them. One caution, the springs that come with it to hold blades with, only use them for tempering (if that, I don't like them and tossed them) they won't stand up to high heat and will drop the blade.

Here's how the pouches hang.

2020-05-09 20.29.58.jpg
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
I make mostly hidden tang knives and nothing needing foil yet, so was thinking just drill a hole and hang it. Decisions decisions! I like this, but have to back down to a 110 oven. I hate spending too much money when losing a job in a couple months. Thanks!
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
I was going to order one today and then I had a water leak distract me. This afternoon, someone an hour away posted an oven almost new, so I hopped on it. Saves me money and I can have it tomorrow night rather than waiting.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I just ordered a Paragon 24 Single Barrel with the Sentinel controller. I was not aware of this one but it would be to large for my shop. I bought the Paragon over the Evenheat because of some standard features the Evenheat didn't have the Electronic Relays and the Door disconnect. I do like the TAP control better but I have no experience with either so if I learn the Sentinel I'm sure it will be fine.
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
I just ordered a Paragon 24 Single Barrel with the Sentinel controller. I was not aware of this one but it would be to large for my shop. I bought the Paragon over the Evenheat because of some standard features the Evenheat didn't have the Electronic Relays and the Door disconnect. I do like the TAP control better but I have no experience with either so if I learn the Sentinel I'm sure it will be fine.
If I might ask, who did you buy your kiln from?
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
I just ordered a Paragon 24 Single Barrel with the Sentinel controller. I was not aware of this one but it would be to large for my shop. I bought the Paragon over the Evenheat because of some standard features the Evenheat didn't have the Electronic Relays and the Door disconnect. I do like the TAP control better but I have no experience with either so if I learn the Sentinel I'm sure it will be fine.
I hear the sentinel is desired by some folks. The tap is just simple and clean as I have that to speak of, but the folks at kiln frog thought highly of the Bartlett controllers.
 
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