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I want to get a heat treat oven. I have been looking at them for a while now and I notice they get more expensive every 6months never any cheaper lol. I know I will eventually get 1 so I figured why not now before they go up in price again. I was looking at the 11"wX4.25"hX24"d Paragon Double barrel heat treat furnace. I plan on using it for anything from small folder blades to maybe decent size chopper knives/Camp knives. I really want it for working with 80crv2 So I can get a good soak on it to get the full potential of that steel. Possible some stainless like ABEL. Does anybody have any input on what heat treat oven they think is the "one". Just looking for some input before I break the bank. LOL

Jason 

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I got a used big ceramic kiln off craigslist for a couple hundred bucks.  I'm sure it uses more electricity than a knife sized oven, but it works ok.  Something to consider if budget is tight. I plan on getting a real knife oven "someday" but the kiln had been doing the job for several years now. 

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You could also go the salt pot route.  Those can be heated/controlled really well with electricity or gas.  

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14 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

You could also go the salt pot route.  Those can be heated/controlled really well with electricity or gas.  

Not to turn this into a debate between the two methods, but I've been looking at these same paragon kilns and have plans to buy one soon as well. Just recently though, salt pots have caught my eye. Any good pros and cons between the two different methods? From what I've seen salt pots are more expensive and more dangerous, but I would love more details. Can you temper in a salt pot? 

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29 minutes ago, aweller said:

Can you temper in a salt pot? 

Yes, though you may need 2 different pots (but you could potentially use the same heat source, just may need different salt blends).  

The pros are that they heat the blade very quickly and evenly, prevent all scaling, and offer the option of "high temp quenching".  And by that I mean that you can quench into a pot of salt at something like 600F, quickly beating the nose of the TTT curve, but then take your time to straighten any warps and generally gently cool the blade during the martensite formation.  Times and temps are alloy dependent, of course.  The heat transfer of the salt, and stability at those temps are what make it possible.  

Cons are the cost, danger, and salt vapors causing rust.  

Note:  I do not use salt pots (but probably will some day).  Others have posted their experiences with them on the forum.  

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5 hours ago, Jerrod Miller said:

You could also go the salt pot route.  Those can be heated/controlled really well with electricity or gas.  

I have thought about salt pot. The 1 question I had about them, Can you heat treat certain stainless steels that have complex heat treat regimens with a salt pot

Edited by JASON VOLKERT

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You can, but it would take some fiddling with the controls.  They are not nearly as user-friendly as kilns.  You usually have a pair of them, the high-temp for austenitizing and a low-temp for quenching/tempering, as Jerrod said. The risk and rust factors are what keep me from using them.  I just don't have the proper space for them

Oddly enough, I am in the same boat.  I want to get into folders and kitchen knives, those sell best if stainless, and stainless doesn't do well in my muffle pipe setup because it's hard to control the heat precisely.

I would like to hear from people who have used both the Paragon and the Evenheat (or any other brand, those are just the big two).  I don't really see the need for the extra-wide double barrel since I don't do big production runs, and I suspect the 18" length is the maximum I'd want.  I have a gas-fired drum forge for swords already, and I don't plan on making stainless swords. :lol:

There are also a couple of WIP builds here, one from Daniel Gentile and one from Dee Hedges (both in the pinned Tools and Toolmaking forum down below The Way).  I am electrically challenged, however.  I'd rather have plug-and-play for this sort of thing.

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10 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

You can, but it would take some fiddling with the controls.  They are not nearly as user-friendly as kilns.  You usually have a pair of them, the high-temp for austenitizing and a low-temp for quenching/tempering, as Jerrod said. The risk and rust factors are what keep me from using them.  I just don't have the proper space for them

Oddly enough, I am in the same boat.  I want to get into folders and kitchen knives, those sell best if stainless, and stainless doesn't do well in my muffle pipe setup because it's hard to control the heat precisely.

I would like to hear from people who have used both the Paragon and the Evenheat (or any other brand, those are just the big two).  I don't really see the need for the extra-wide double barrel since I don't do big production runs, and I suspect the 18" length is the maximum I'd want.  I have a gas-fired drum forge for swords already, and I don't plan on making stainless swords. :lol:

There are also a couple of WIP builds here, one from Daniel Gentile and one from Dee Hedges (both in the pinned Tools and Toolmaking forum down below The Way).  I am electrically challenged, however.  I'd rather have plug-and-play for this sort of thing.

That is problem also besides the danger of blowing a hole in the roof of my shop with a salt pot because I have no experience with them, I also don't have the room for 1. I do have a nice big shelf for a oven though. I have been considering building a oven. I am a H_vac technician so I could probably figure out the wiring but I don't want to spend the next 4 week ends building 1. The reason I was looking at this paragon double barrel oven is because it has the coils only on the sides for more even heat they claim and it also features a solid state relay. I would love to hear from anybody how has experience with Evenheat or Paragon

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I’m gonna bump this thread back up again. As I’m looking at yet another upcoming heat treat session with my propane forge, baffle pipe, and endless tweaks on the needle valve - I’d love to hear any pros and cons on different heat treat ovens (evenheat and paragon)

Pretty sure it’s going to happen pretty soon... B) Might as well know as much as I can.

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On 1/19/2019 at 4:23 AM, Alan Longmire said:

I would like to hear from people who have used both the Paragon and the Evenheat (or any other brand, those are just the big two).  I don't really see the need for the extra-wide double barrel since I don't do big production runs, and I suspect the 18" length is the maximum I'd want.  I have a gas-fired drum forge for swords already, and I don't plan on making stainless swords. :lol:

My kiln is the vertical type, not ideal but so far it's been a game changer for me.  I always tried my best with the heat treat, got good results, but there's always the unknown.

.......not that the kiln has removed all of those...

What I find amazing is it takes a while for the outside to get hot, from 0-800C you can still touch and hold on.

Electricity consumption has been amazingly low, if I was doing this daily it would very quickly pay to get another kiln for tempering rather than the bachelor oven.

My only complaints, wish I had a bigger horizontal kiln....and two of them.  Mine just doesn't cool down fast enough to be ready for tempering.

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