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L&l Kiln Or Skutt?


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#1 AndyL

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 12:40 PM

I'll be buying my first kiln soon and so far the choice seems to between a Skutt or L&L. Any opinions about either??

#2 MadMudder

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:46 PM

Good question. I am thinking about selling my gas kiln and getting an electric kiln instead.
I too would like to know which one people prefer.
MM
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Remind me why I'm doing this????
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#3 Old Mike

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:25 PM

I am the clay studio manager for a local art center. We recently got a new Skutt 1227 with 3 phase hookup. It works great. I am also familiar with L&l as we wore one out after many years of service. They are also a fine kiln. We got the Skutt because our local distributor gave us a good deal on it. For most situations the 1227 might be a little big. I have recently begun doing Macro Crystalline glazing and a good controller is an absolute must. Both kilns have one. This topic was discussed on another forum that I am on and it was about 50/50 with no one having anything bad to say about either but all have their own preferences. I plan to build a studio in my home this summer and will probably end up with an L&L as a supplier has a great package deal on a smaller L&L and the wheel that I want. My choice would be based on which one I could get the best deal on. You can't go wrong with either company.
Mike

#4 suchecki

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:06 PM

L&L hands down. Steve Lewicki and the folks at L&L really have it together. Our art center has used L&L kilns for years, and they are our first choice when we need to replace an old one. For heavens sake get the computer control. It will save you grief in the long run. I have recently purchased a used L&L and it works great. Best of all, L&L not only back their products, but give back to the clay community. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Good people.

#5 AndyL

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 09:14 AM

L&L hands down. Steve Lewicki and the folks at L&L really have it together. Our art center has used L&L kilns for years, and they are our first choice when we need to replace an old one. For heavens sake get the computer control. It will save you grief in the long run. I have recently purchased a used L&L and it works great. Best of all, L&L not only back their products, but give back to the clay community. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Good people.


Thanks everyone for your opinions. Sucecki can I pick your brains a little more?? I get the impression the L&L computer controller is preloaded with 4 ramps. Can you remember if a Bisque, Cone 04, Cone 6 and Cone 10 is preloaded?

#6 Cindy in SD

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:14 PM

I have an old L&L where I work and it's a great kiln. I love the element holders--that alone would sell me. Although it was a PAIN the first time I changed elements because the old ones were sooooo old they came out in little short pieces. I used a pair of needle nose pliers and some tweezers. Sheeesh! But if you're firing ^6, the elements won't last long enough to get that brittle. I have Paragons at home and I wouldn't buy them again. Have used the Skutt and like it, too.

For what it's worth, I never use the pre-set ramps. You'll want to program your own anyway.

#7 cmoore

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:43 PM

Hello.. brand new to this forum and I have two L and L kilns, both superb and a Skutt 1227.. Love it as well.. I am just now changing elements on my larger L and L .. I bought it used and it had been sitting in a basement for many years, but I fired it for two more years with corroded elements and it worked fine.. I've got a small J 214 L and L and it's still firing after buying it used as well.. still going strong.. My Skutt had the elements changed in 2004 and is now showing a slow down in the firing schedule.. I've used all the kilns for both bisque and cone 6.. I purchased a controller that is mounted on the wall and have changed all the plugs so that I can use it on all the kilns, but I now use it for glass fusing only.. I prefer to use cones in the kilns for my pottery.. Hope this helps.. This is a great Board and absolutely love the Ceramic Art Daily and all that it offers!. Great to know we now have a forum.. Pot On potter friends.. Carolyn

#8 suchecki

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:42 AM


L&L hands down. Steve Lewicki and the folks at L&L really have it together. Our art center has used L&L kilns for years, and they are our first choice when we need to replace an old one. For heavens sake get the computer control. It will save you grief in the long run. I have recently purchased a used L&L and it works great. Best of all, L&L not only back their products, but give back to the clay community. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Good people.


Thanks everyone for your opinions. Sucecki can I pick your brains a little more?? I get the impression the L&L computer controller is preloaded with 4 ramps. Can you remember if a Bisque, Cone 04, Cone 6 and Cone 10 is preloaded?


The Dynatrol comes with a few ramp settings loaded, slow bisque, fast bisque, slow glaze, fast glaze...every time you input the cone you want to fire to. It is really easy to adjust the ramp and also easy to soak at certain temps, fired down, etc. What I appreciate is the directions are very well though out, and L&L also has a very explicit book on any firing question that you might have. I am not at all techno inclined but they make it easy. Haven't overfired a bisque accidentally since I got one, and no longer need to worry about the kilns where I teach.

#9 kdavitt22

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:12 AM

What ever you do do not buy an L&L kiln. I have one and will never own another L&L product again. It is unbelievably poorly built. Even with the heavy duty elements my e28T-3-240 CANNOT get to cone 6 when fully loaded. I bought it for a glaze kiln but only use it to bisque and even at that I use only 3 levels. I just purchased their kiln wall replacement kit. I followed the directions, put my pieces of kiln wall in place and there was no adhesion whatsoever. I did it again, using more moisture. Seemed to work. I fired the kiln, as per instructions and the pieces had fallen out. Utterly useless. The control box is mounted off kilter, the kiln arrived with cracks everywhere and in fact the entire piece is a piece of crap. I also have a Skutt and a Cone Art kiln and they are both great. My next purchase will be a Skutt PK kiln. I cannot condemn sufficiently the L&L products. They disgust me.



#10 Pres

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:55 PM

I have just finished making a series of repairs to my L&L. I have been firing this kiln since 1983. I bought it new, with no kiln setter, J236-48" deep with ability to handle a 5th section. Over the years I have replaced kiln elements, easy job. I have replaced the phenolic blocks, changed an occasional switch, and just yesterday replaced my first brick and element holder. The Hot kilns folks, helped me out with all of the repairs, using my serial # to make certain to get proper replacement parts. I also ordered 4 elements for backup as my present elements are holding within 10% of the 32 ohms expected. Al in all, this kiln has been fantastic, firing up and down as I wish, holding wherever I decide to hold, and able to fire^6 or ^6.5 easily for one who baby sits their kiln. In the day, programmable controllers did not exist. If I order a new one, it will be an L&L with full electronics. 

 

This has been my only personal kiln until I bought used Skutt that I have to repair the bottom bricks on. I am not looking forward to the job, but It will be nice to bisque in. At school I had used an Amaco for the first few years, then went to an L&L, and just before leaving the job had a new one running with the old also. All of these were 4 stacks high, and could fire a heck of a lot of student pots.

 

Yeah, I am an L&L fan, but then with my experience with them, why not.

 

best,

Pres


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 11:27 AM

What ever you do do not buy an L&L kiln. I have one and will never own another L&L product again. It is unbelievably poorly built. Even with the heavy duty elements my e28T-3-240 CANNOT get to cone 6 when fully loaded. I bought it for a glaze kiln but only use it to bisque and even at that I use only 3 levels. I just purchased their kiln wall replacement kit. I followed the directions, put my pieces of kiln wall in place and there was no adhesion whatsoever. I did it again, using more moisture. Seemed to work. I fired the kiln, as per instructions and the pieces had fallen out. Utterly useless. The control box is mounted off kilter, the kiln arrived with cracks everywhere and in fact the entire piece is a piece of crap. I also have a Skutt and a Cone Art kiln and they are both great. My next purchase will be a Skutt PK kiln. I cannot condemn sufficiently the L&L products. They disgust me.

 

Yes, L&L does admit that the E28T is underpowered, and they are very clear about it in all of their literature. That said, I have many customers who fire their E28T to cone 6 every week with no problems. They are on 240V single phase power, and even though it's a cone 8 kiln, it handles cone 6 just fine. There's obviously something going on with your specific kiln, or you're loading it with very dense loads which it just can't handle. It's also possible that you have a low service voltage problem or something like that. I'd be happy to work with you to try to figure out the problem. What year was your kiln made?

 

This is not just an L&L issue, though. Any 28x28 inch kiln that only pulls 48 amps, whether it's an L&L or Skutt or Paragon or whatever, will only be rated for cone 8 at 240V 1 phase service, or cone 5 at 208V 1 phase. These models are all part of their 'plug and play' series', where you don't have to hard wire them. Anything over 50 amps has to be hard wired. The L&L E28T and the Skutt KM1227 have the exact same temperature ratings.

 

If you want more power in a large kiln like that, you'll need to go up to an 80 amp breaker, which requires hard wiring. All brands offer higher power models like that. The Skutt PK is one example, but all brands make higher powered models. And you can't compare a Skutt PK to an L&L E28T or Skutt KM1227. That's apples to oranges.


Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

[email protected]





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