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yappystudent

Shopping for My First Kiln

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or rent a mechanical trencher.  do mark's idea for the sidewalk part.  rent a big pressure washer for the water hose part.  this assumes you have normal soil and not granite under the grass.

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I left my sledgehammer in Idaho, darn it. There is a concrete walkway covering the area. If it were just dirt I'd try digging it up with a shovel. Also the former owners jury rigged wiring out to the shed using a cable that goes across the ground: of course that has to be removed and redone. I doubt I will be touching/renting/doing any part of this job with my own hands other than putting in the cement board panels and adding some caulking, insulation, etc. Construction is not my area of expertise. 

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I rented a trencher and did about 100' in an 'L' shape when I built our studio and we had a bunch of small boulders that made the work a little dicey. I think the trencher ran about $150 for half a day. Finished it off with a shovel. Also hung the outlets and breaker box and then had my electrician who did as Mark mentioned and just laid the pipe and inspected the rest of the job and got it ready for inspection. Not suggesting you do all of this but it is doable and is not rocket science. I bought every single thing including the trench pipe at Lowes. I had bids in the five figures to wire my 300' studio and they were nuts, just plain nuts.  My guy after a lot of looking charges $140 for first hour and $80 an hour after. We always talked about what I could do to reduce his time and he had a great, profitable business. Very honest and honorable guy. 

I keep trying to resist venting here and I will admit I have a deep seated bad feeling about many 'professionals' that do work for home owners. I think it is absolutely disgraceful that they bid half day jobs at thousands of dollars. I don't care how they try to justify it its absurd and sleazy. I certainly understand overhead and the cost of running a business but that does not mean that they should be getting several hundred an hour per person. I know I am venting but its ridiculous.  

It sounds like you are doing your homework and I get at the end of the day you just want your kiln up and running. Good luck with it all!

Edited by Stephen

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Agreed. I had a 120' tall elm tree removed 3 yrs ago for less than the first estimate and they had to rent and bring in a CRANE. Being female and trying to hire professional help is like having a target with a dollar sign on your forehead. 

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On 3/31/2018 at 2:26 PM, yappystudent said:

Thanks for all the suggestions, it's hard to explain why/what/how at this point in regards to the electrical work as I'd just be repeating stuff I said elsewhere, when something new happens I'll add it. At least I'm now convinced it will happen. I enjoy patting (OK, hugging...) my new kiln as I walk by it in the living room. 

Have you named your kiln yet?  Once it is ready to operate, it will surely be the most loved kiln in your town!

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Successful test firing last night! I thought it was having problems drawing power until I realized I must have hit "med" firing speed instead of "fast" -derp. A review this morning confirmed this. Here's a pic at 1k F just before I pulled the brick out:

 

Skutt image first firing at 1k F.jpg

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There's no need to keep the lid cracked. Just keep the top spy open and you'll be fine. In fact, sometimes keeping it cracked can freak out the digital controllers.

It looks like the kiln is right up against a wall? Is it metal?

Congrats on the test firing.

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Yep the entire shed is metal except for an aged layer of thin plywood over the metal floor. I put two layers of 1/2" cement board under the kiln. The expensive outlet is 18" away from the back of the kiln. The wall next to it can get as hot as it likes without hurting anything. I put a mirror against the back wall and can check the readout from my bedroom window, if backwards. 

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