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Buying a used kiln (Duncan v. Jenken?)

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I would love some advice on buying my first kiln. I am looking at two used kilns and am wondering if I should lean toward the Duncan or Jenken. They are both for a home-based (basement) studio - beginner setup. I plan on firing small to medium size pieces, since that's all I can build so far! They are each $150 and are in decent working order. The Duncan: Duncan DK 820X-1 Max temp is 2345 The Jenken: Jenkins mod.2318 23" wide by29" tall inches on the outside 240 volt/20 amp Max Temp 2300 degrees.

 

Any info. would be great! Thanks.

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Locate the operation manuals for these kilns. You will need them so search for them, ask the companies for them. It is very important for you to read them. They are your true guide to your new kilns. They will tell you about the kilns, the elements, thermocouples, parts, and etc. that you will need so, don't fire up without them!

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Locate the operation manuals for these kilns. You will need them so search for them, ask the companies for them. It is very important for you to read them. They are your true guide to your new kilns. They will tell you about the kilns, the elements, thermocouples, parts, and etc. that you will need so, don't fire up without them!

 

 

 

Thanks Lucille; I will do that. I'm still trying to decide which I will purchase. Do you have advice on which brand is better -- more reliable, easier to use, etc.? Thanks.

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I would buy the ducan. But before buying any kiln check what your electric service can handle. You may not have room on your panel or some kilns will require an added service, e.g. having your service boosted from a 100 amp to a 200 amp service. These kilns are small so they should be fine. If you do not know what you are doing have an electrician hook it up and certainly make sure you have a proper kiln vent. Ventilation is an important issue!

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The ‘best kiln’ it is not hard to say but I hesitate in doing so. What may be the best to me may not be the best for you.

 

The most important thing is knowing how to fire the one(s) you will have. The older models are simpler to operate with setter/timers and pyrometers but the newer models are more accurate with controllers and programmers.

 

You will have to decide which is the best for you; what you can afford and for which you have the electrical capacity.

 

Do some research read, read, read. Contact different kiln manufacturers and get their brochures, for parts and price lists; read everything you can find. You can get books from the library on how to fire the kiln you are planning to purchase. Your kiln is your most important purchase and most important piece of equipment in all your clay work. Treat it with care and with a mind for safety.

 

 

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In your research, specifically check availability and price of elements and other electrical components. Even in 'good working order' you may find yourself needing to replace components fairly soon, for used equipment. Also, compare brick thickness - thicker brick is used for higher temps, and the ones you describe are essentially the same capability, but thicker provides more insulation, so if there's a difference, factor that in. I haven't used either of those, so can't offer specific advice.

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I have a Jenken (Jen-Ken? Jenkins?) 2318. It was my first electric kiln; I bought it used several years ago. I haven't had any problems with it. The company gave me great telephone support, helping me figure out general firing issues and issues related to that specific kiln -- really above-and-beyond customer service for which I remain very grateful.

 

Good luck and have fun with your first kiln, whatever you get!

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