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Recomendations for buying a new Kiln


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#1 Simon

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

Hi,
I would like some advice as to which kiln to buy for our Elementary School Art Room.
Cost is a consideration. We would like a digital kiln that is easy to set and leave.
Large square footage. Electric. with an excellent venting system.
Any suggestions? Thanks.
Simon Paddock
Rockport Elementary School Rockport MA

#2 JBaymore

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

Hi,
I would like some advice as to which kiln to buy for our Elementary School Art Room.
Cost is a consideration. We would like a digital kiln that is easy to set and leave.
Large square footage. Electric. with an excellent venting system.
Any suggestions? Thanks.
Simon Paddock
Rockport Elementary School Rockport MA




There are a lot of good choices available. You'll have to do some figuring to come up with the correct SIZE to meet the demands that you will need to satisfy.

Make sure you order the correct VOLTAGE rating for your supply voltage. And of course have enough Amps available to wire it in correctly. I'd STRONGLY suggest hard-wiring the kiln to the electricla supply, not using a plug and box.

A big factor with whatever kiln you buy,....... make SURE to order a local pickup ventilation system along with it....like an EnviroVent. And the kiln should be in a separate room completely away from the children.

And the phrase ".....to set and leave...." yopu used there is a scary one. Kilns should NEVER be left to shut themselves off unattended with eitehr a kiln sitter or a computerized controller. That is a formula for eventual disaster.

best,

......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#3 perkolator

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

Cost is always a consideration, but what is your budget? Do you have ANY ceramics-related materials/equipment (like an old kiln or kiln furniture) or are you starting completely from scratch? Do you already have power for it?

These days the manufacturers all seem to be up to par with one another in terms of reliability, ease of use, controls, and they all pretty much operate the same. Where the difference seems to be is how things assemble - like element holders vs groove w/pins (example: L&L vs Skutt) might not make a difference, but it's an option. Since you're in a school, you most likely have 3-phase power so keep that in mind. If this is the first kiln then you will definitely need power run and expect it to cost A LOT since you will most likely have to go through the school district's facilities to have it installed. I would guess this to cost at least $10k in a school setting.

I'd probably recommend a large, standard octagon with the ~10 cu ft volume. Don't know if you NEED that much space for elementary school, but you might be able to get away with a 7 cu ft kiln since I'm assuming everything will be small. Definitely get an EnviroVent for the kiln and make sure you have a secluded location for it to keep curious kids away. I'm used to Skutts, so I'd say a model 1027 or similar product from another manufacturer should work. At the least, budget for around $5k for a kiln and furniture kit.

#4 Simon

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:38 PM


Hi,
I would like some advice as to which kiln to buy for our Elementary School Art Room.
Cost is a consideration. We would like a digital kiln that is easy to set and leave.
Large square footage. Electric. with an excellent venting system.
Any suggestions? Thanks.
Simon Paddock
Rockport Elementary School Rockport MA




There are a lot of good choices available. You'll have to do some figuring to come up with the correct SIZE to meet the demands that you will need to satisfy.

Make sure you order the correct VOLTAGE rating for your supply voltage. And of course have enough Amps available to wire it in correctly. I'd STRONGLY suggest hard-wiring the kiln to the electricla supply, not using a plug and box.

A big factor with whatever kiln you buy,....... make SURE to order a local pickup ventilation system along with it....like an EnviroVent. And the kiln should be in a separate room completely away from the children.

And the phrase ".....to set and leave...." yopu used there is a scary one. Kilns should NEVER be left to shut themselves off unattended with eitehr a kiln sitter or a computerized controller. That is a formula for eventual disaster.

best,

......................john


Thank You John,
I appreciate your advice. I agree, one should never leave a kiln running unattended. What I was meaning is to not have to manually change the heat.
Simon




#5 Simon

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

Cost is always a consideration, but what is your budget? Do you have ANY ceramics-related materials/equipment (like an old kiln or kiln furniture) or are you starting completely from scratch? Do you already have power for it?

These days the manufacturers all seem to be up to par with one another in terms of reliability, ease of use, controls, and they all pretty much operate the same. Where the difference seems to be is how things assemble - like element holders vs groove w/pins (example: L&L vs Skutt) might not make a difference, but it's an option. Since you're in a school, you most likely have 3-phase power so keep that in mind. If this is the first kiln then you will definitely need power run and expect it to cost A LOT since you will most likely have to go through the school district's facilities to have it installed. I would guess this to cost at least $10k in a school setting.

I'd probably recommend a large, standard octagon with the ~10 cu ft volume. Don't know if you NEED that much space for elementary school, but you might be able to get away with a 7 cu ft kiln since I'm assuming everything will be small. Definitely get an EnviroVent for the kiln and make sure you have a secluded location for it to keep curious kids away. I'm used to Skutts, so I'd say a model 1027 or similar product from another manufacturer should work. At the least, budget for around $5k for a kiln and furniture kit.


Hi Thanks for your help,
We have a Econo KIln J type L&L Manual Fire kiln. It has three sections. I do not know if it is 3-phase power. How do I tell? I think 10cu ft is what we want. It has a venting system attached. I will check out what type but I hope to reuse it.
Simon



#6 DAY

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

Look at the plate on the L&L kiln. (serial number is the date of manufacture) Volts, phase, amps, watt, etc are there, too.

#7 scoobydoozie

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:05 AM

I adore Skutt kilns. My opinion is that they have the easiest digital controllers to use and extremely reliable. They also have a computer linq and a next option that will text your cell to let you know when the kiln is finished. Haven't tried it or looked at price, but sounds awesome. Call it my dream kiln..... my two cents worth has been deposited.... Posted Image

#8 Simon

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

Look at the plate on the L&L kiln. (serial number is the date of manufacture) Volts, phase, amps, watt, etc are there, too.


Great! Found it. Thanks

#9 Simon

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:57 AM

I adore Skutt kilns. My opinion is that they have the easiest digital controllers to use and extremely reliable. They also have a computer linq and a next option that will text your cell to let you know when the kiln is finished. Haven't tried it or looked at price, but sounds awesome. Call it my dream kiln..... my two cents worth has been deposited.... Posted Image


Thank you, very helpful.
Sincerely,
Simon




#10 neilestrick

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:13 PM

If you have specific questions about L&L feel free to contact me directly.
Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com




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