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tanvi504

Looking For Cress Kiln Review

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Hi guys. I am looking at buying a small kiln to fire pottery. The one I think will work for me is the Cress FX1814HPF Kiln which fires to cone 10. I wanted to ask if anyone has experience using it? I have never used a kiln before by myself. Is it easily understandable? Can I fire ceramic pottery in it? Any advice is welcome. Thanks

 

 

This is the description --

The Cress FX1814HPF electric kiln fires to 2,350°F on 208 or 240 volts. This 1.84 cubic foot kiln features a 2.5" firebrick, and high power elements.
The FX1814HPF, and all Cress Firemate kilns, is equipped with a kiln sitter, limit timer, two position lid-venting prop and insulated peepholes.
Firemate kins have a patented control with reduced heath-shock firing curve, thumbwheel power adjustment, and a automatic/manual firing mode switch.

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Yep, that'll fire pottery just fine. Is this a new or used kiln? If it's new, there's really no sense buying a kiln that's not digital. They're easier to use, easier to maintain, and give you a lot more firing options. If you're looking at a used kiln, that's a great way to save money. Just make sure the bricks are in good condition.

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FYI The kiln I just ordered is available for 208v and 240v. I went with the 240v and had a 240 circuit installed. My electrician said it would be less expensive to operate the kiln on 240 vs 208. Might be common knowledge to others, but it was news to me. :)

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thanks for the advice. I am buying a new one and hence taking your suggestions on getting a digital control. Im looking at L&L fuego, e18s or liberty belle. Thanks for the tip on 240v - will keep that in mind as well. :)

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FYI The kiln I just ordered is available for 208v and 240v. I went with the 240v and had a 240 circuit installed. My electrician said it would be less expensive to operate the kiln on 240 vs 208. Might be common knowledge to others, but it was news to me. :)

 

Wrong. You need a new electrician. The cost of firing isn't affected by the voltage or phase of the electrical service. Voltage x amps = watts. Watts are what heat up the kiln, and are also what you pay for. 208 volt kilns often pull more amperage to achieve the watts needed to heat up the kiln. Single phase or 3 phase doesn't matter, either, because the watts come out the same.

 

You don't get to choose whether or not you have 208 volt or 240 volt service to your building. You either have one or the other, and you have to order the kiln accordingly. Residential properties have 240 volt, single phase service. Commercial buildings can have 208 or 240 volt service, it just depends on how it's set up. Commercial buildings can also have single or 3 phase service, again it just depends on how it's set up.

 

The only real benefit to having 3 phase service for kilns is that you can run equipment on less amperage, which means you can run more equipment on a 200 amp panel than you can with single phase service. For instance, a kiln that pulls 48 amp on single phase service would only pull 27.7 amps on 3 phase- 48 and divided by the square root of 3 (1.73). So if you wanted to hook up 4 kilns you would max out a 200 amp panel, but only use 111 amps at 3 phase. There are other technical benefits to 3 phase but that's the big one when it comes to hooking up kilns.

 

You can change a kiln from 240V to 208V by changing the elements, but changing from single to 3 phase requires rewiring the control box.

 

So, when you order a kiln, you have to order it to match the electrical service in your studio. You also have to make sure that your breaker panel can handle the amperage draw of the kiln. Get a good electrician in to check all that out before buying a kiln.

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(So, when you order a kiln, you have to order it to match the electrical service in your studio. You also have to make sure that your breaker panel can handle the amperage draw of the kiln. Get a good electrician in to check all that out before buying a kiln.)

 

Usually in homes the voltage to your home is was it is and changing it is not an option-as Neil said hire an electrician to see what this is.

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There are a few exceptions of course, but the vast majority of residential properties are 240 volt single phase. It is possible to get into a low voltage situation, though, where for whatever reason you're not getting the full 240 volts. If it gets too low, like below 230, then you may need to get a 208 volt kiln to compensate. You'll have to talk to the kiln manufacturer to decide what's best in that situation, as it will vary from kiln to kiln. That situation is rare, but you'll still want to have an electrician verify the voltage in your studio so there are no expensive surprises when the kiln arrives.

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I never heard of Cress and this weekend a friend gave me his unused Cress FX1814P, is that different than the one we're discussing above: FX1814HPF.  It's quite small but I'm grateful to have something at home for bisque firing since the studio where I work 45 minutes away!  Does anyone know the differences between the P and the HPF?  I plan to call Cress tomorrow since today's a holiday.  Without a digital controller do I have to do everything by hand on a time based on the cones?  I've never fired an electric kiln and know nothing about them.  I would not have selected this kiln if I were purchasing one, but since it's free, and it's here in the garage -- I'm grateful and would like to learn about it.  Thanks for any tips.  Marcia, in California

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