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Looking at a ConeArt kilns for my home studio


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#1 wongwaypottery

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:28 PM

I'm in the process of setting up a home studio in my garage and have been talking to a lot of potters about what kind of kiln to get. I'm convinced that something in the 6-7 sq. ft. range will be sufficient for work I'll be producing. My former teacher pointed me towards Skutt but all the potters in my new studio say that ConeArt is the brand I should go with. I looked at ConeArt kilns and I like the features they have (extra insulation, floor elements, etc). The kiln I'm considering is the ConeArt 2327. I've been trying to do some more research on their kilns to get some other people's experiences/thoughts on those kilns but haven't found much online. Has anyone ever used/owned ConeArt kilns before and can toss out their thoughts about them (good and/or bad)? Any comments related to maintenance, durability, and customer service would be great.

#2 Mark C.

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:38 AM

I know zero about cone art kilns but can recommend L&L kilns as my first choice in electrics-by the way I own 3 second hand skutt kilns and still wish I had an L&L.
My 2 cents

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#3 Darla

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

I'm in the process of setting up a home studio in my garage and have been talking to a lot of potters about what kind of kiln to get. I'm convinced that something in the 6-7 sq. ft. range will be sufficient for work I'll be producing. My former teacher pointed me towards Skutt but all the potters in my new studio say that ConeArt is the brand I should go with. I looked at ConeArt kilns and I like the features they have (extra insulation, floor elements, etc). The kiln I'm considering is the ConeArt 2327. I've been trying to do some more research on their kilns to get some other people's experiences/thoughts on those kilns but haven't found much online. Has anyone ever used/owned ConeArt kilns before and can toss out their thoughts about them (good and/or bad)? Any comments related to maintenance, durability, and customer service would be great.




I bought one in January. About 50 firings in, and no issues. Easy set up!

My only thought - do you have a local supplier? If they are more comfortable with one brand over the other? I'm thinking parts? questions? etc. No local place? Be careful where you order from. Some of the horror stories I've heard!

#4 DAY

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:36 AM

Electric kilns are like toasters: they use electricity to make something hot. Ford vs Chevy. Stick shift vs automatic. That said, I agree with Mark; get an L&L.Posted Image

#5 Kohaku

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:55 AM

I own a Cone Art BX2827D. It's the first and only kiln that I've owned- so little basis for comparison. However, the support during set-up was excellent- and I've LOVED the thing.

I bought it for some of the reasons you cite (extra insulation, etc.)... and so far the only issue I've had is that it actually cools MORE slowly that my cone 6 profile calls for. I occasionally get error messages because my cool-down phase goes over-time. This is a reflection, I think, of how well the thing holds the heat.

In short... while I can't say anything one way or the other about L&Ls, I've never regretted buying from Cone Art.
Not all who wander are lost

#6 minspargal

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

I have an L&L and it works great. Ordered it from Sheffield Pottery after xmas when they had a sale. They threw in free shipping as part of the sale. It arrived in tip top shape!

#7 wongwaypottery

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:47 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I also had some local potters say L&L's are great b/c of the ceramic holders but they did have some issues getting support from L&L. In my classes I've helped load kilns but not gotten involved with any of the firings/maintenance. Does element sagging, bricks chipping, and replacing elements happen enough where the L&L ceramic holders are a major plus?

Right now it looks like L&L and ConeArt are the top choices so I think I'll start waiting around for the holiday sales to start. Knowing my luck right after I put in the order, someone will run a sale selling the same setup for cheaper.

#8 neilestrick

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

Chances are you won't find kilns much cheaper than they are now. Kilns are always on sale, at least 25% off.

L&L bricks will out last any other kiln on the market hands down.

The biggest down side to the Cone Art design is that replacing bricks is much more difficult than other brands due to the added insulation and the way the outer sheet metal jacket is formed. It's especially obnoxious is if you need to replace a brick in the bottom row. Other than that, it will fire great and shouldn't give you any problems.

Give me a call if you have any questions about L&L.

I'm sorry to hear someone had a bad experience with L&L tech support. Stephen and Rob at L&L are typically on the ball. I'm not defending bad tech support, but the distributor who sold you the kiln should be the first one you call if there's ever a problem with the kiln. It's their job. That's why they are given such good discounts from the manufacturer. Customer support is part of the distributorship deal. This is why you should always buy from someone who knows how to fix kilns. Calling the factory should always be your last resort. If everyone with a kiln question calls the factory techs, they will quickly be overwhelmed with calls from all over the country. Your distributor can take better care of you.
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#9 OffCenter

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

I have a big Cone Art Kiln that is holding up just fine and have used L&L kilns. I like the fact that L&L emphases quality construction (even if I get a little tired of hearing about the element holders) and think they are a little better built than other kilns. But are they worth the extra money? Depends on the deals you can find. An L&L is worth paying more for but not a lot more.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#10 Pres

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:43 AM

I have a big Cone Art Kiln that is holding up just fine and have used L&L kilns. I like the fact that L&L emphases quality construction (even if I get a little tired of hearing about the element holders) and think they are a little better built than other kilns. But are they worth the extra money? Depends on the deals you can find. An L&L is worth paying more for but not a lot more.

Jim


Element holders on L&L. I love them. That said, I noticed that Bailey is now offering element holders on their line of electrics also. I think that there are a lot of advantages to the element holder idea, beyond the ease of element replacement and brick protection is the idea of the reflective quality of the holder to push the heat into the kiln, and protect the brick behind the element. All too many times I have seen elements that have become glued to the brick because of glaze or other particles becoming stuck in the groove. Many would say that is solved by proper upkeep and firing, but it does still happen. I keep my elements spotless, in the L&L, and have had occasional glaze problems, but replacing an element and holder is not nearly the problem as replacing and errant brick and element.

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


#11 OffCenter

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:29 AM


I have a big Cone Art Kiln that is holding up just fine and have used L&L kilns. I like the fact that L&L emphases quality construction (even if I get a little tired of hearing about the element holders) and think they are a little better built than other kilns. But are they worth the extra money? Depends on the deals you can find. An L&L is worth paying more for but not a lot more.

Jim


Element holders on L&L. I love them. That said, I noticed that Bailey is now offering element holders on their line of electrics also. I think that there are a lot of advantages to the element holder idea, beyond the ease of element replacement and brick protection is the idea of the reflective quality of the holder to push the heat into the kiln, and protect the brick behind the element. All too many times I have seen elements that have become glued to the brick because of glaze or other particles becoming stuck in the groove. Many would say that is solved by proper upkeep and firing, but it does still happen. I keep my elements spotless, in the L&L, and have had occasional glaze problems, but replacing an element and holder is not nearly the problem as replacing and errant brick and element.


I didn't say element holders weren't a good idea and I'm glad Bailey is copying L&L and don't know why other companies don't. It is just that in their ads and when someone mentions the advantages of L&L, the element holders is all they talk about. L&L also coats the bricks and covers the thermocouple and does other things that make their kilns worth more than most other kilns but not worth a lot more.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#12 neilestrick

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:09 PM

If Skutt started using element holders, they would basically be admitting that their competition was doing something better than them. They should change, though, because brick life is the weakest link in Skutt longevity. Bailey will copy anything if it means increased sales.
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#13 bciskepottery

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

Bailey looks to be using a variation of L&L -- a two piece element holder that allows the front part to be removed, thus allowing easier installation of new elements. L&L has patented their element holder, so the others will have to come up with a new twist to it (or license the holder from L&L).

#14 neilestrick

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:20 PM

I think removing the front of the holder to replace the elements is just a marketing gimmick that also allows them to get around the L&L patent. The L&L elements come out very easily anyway, without that feature. Plus removing all those front plates and putting them all back would just make the process take longer.
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#15 wongwaypottery

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:49 PM

On the L&L kilns they offer the options of having quad elements per section. If I get the 23t, is it worth the extra $300 for the elements upgrade (I'm probably going to be doing cone 6 for the near future)?

#16 OffCenter

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:54 PM

Bailey will copy anything if it means increased sales.


True but they often improve what they copy.
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#17 alienor

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:58 PM

i had two l&l and thought i loved them until i got my coneart2327. cone art kilns are easy to repair. those l&l element holders were a hard to work with especially if your element melts in the holder. it seems that is what mine did very often and so i had to dig out the holder and thus break into the brick. also i do my own electrical repair and the coneart control panel is easy to get into and service. now i am comparing a fairly new coneart to two very old l&ls, both of which have gone to the great beyond. and if i had to do it agani i would still do a coneart. also my coneart has a floor element and that helps to even out temperatures. if you want any more opinions and info from me just email me and i will be willing to talk to you about my personal choice

#18 alienor

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:59 PM

i had two l&l and thought i loved them until i got my coneart2327. cone art kilns are easy to repair. those l&l element holders were a hard to work with especially if your element melts in the holder. it seems that is what mine did very often and so i had to dig out the holder and thus break into the brick. also i do my own electrical repair and the coneart control panel is easy to get into and service. now i am comparing a fairly new coneart to two very old l&ls, both of which have gone to the great beyond. and if i had to do it agani i would still do a coneart. also my coneart has a floor element and that helps to even out temperatures. if you want any more opinions and info from me just email me and i will be willing to talk to you about my personal choice

#19 Lucille Oka

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

I chose a Skutt. I am not a distributor. I have no vested interest in any kiln manufacturing company. My only interest is in a well made product with exceptional customer service.

I needed reliable information from patient folks who understood my questions and were willing to answer them. I needed a company that had printed information available for me.

I looked at the features of different kilns; the electrical specifications, largest interior capacities that I could use, ease of service and obtainable replacement parts and the warranty. I even went so far as to make a pro and con list.

I recommend you get as much information about different kilns from the manufacturers and choose the kiln that best suits your needs.


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"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#20 TJR

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:27 PM

I'm in the process of setting up a home studio in my garage and have been talking to a lot of potters about what kind of kiln to get. I'm convinced that something in the 6-7 sq. ft. range will be sufficient for work I'll be producing. My former teacher pointed me towards Skutt but all the potters in my new studio say that ConeArt is the brand I should go with. I looked at ConeArt kilns and I like the features they have (extra insulation, floor elements, etc). The kiln I'm considering is the ConeArt 2327. I've been trying to do some more research on their kilns to get some other people's experiences/thoughts on those kilns but haven't found much online. Has anyone ever used/owned ConeArt kilns before and can toss out their thoughts about them (good and/or bad)? Any comments related to maintenance, durability, and customer service would be great.


Wongway;
I had a Cone Art for years . Had to sell it because I moved studios and didn't want to carry it down a flight of stairs. I have a big Cone Art in my art roon at school. Have used it for 9 years now, no problems. You should not have to replace bricks. One issue is that the steel jacket makes it difficult to move. I just bought a used Olympic for bisquing. All of my kilns have been used. This one I paid $700.00 for. I have not bought a computerized one. They have all had kiln sitters.
You could look at Tucker Ceramic Supply for more info. Sorry I don't have the link. They are in Canada, so just look at their website

TJR.




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