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Moving a kiln around


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#1 flowerdry

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

Hi everyone. This is partly to share my excitement over receipt of my new L&L easy fire kiln!! I also ordered the wheeled kiln stand that Paragon puts out, but after poring over the huge manual that comes with the kiln, I have to wonder whether moving the kiln around is such a great idea. The kiln will be in the garage on a cement floor. I envision just moving the kiln a few inches toward the wall when not in use. How critical is it that the kiln be absolutely level? Do I need to check it every time I move it? Would it be better if I didn't move it at all? Any and all thoughts would be appreciated. This is my first kiln, so maybe I'm being paranoid.

Doris Hackworth

"Promoting the joy of handmade pottery"


#2 neilestrick

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

The kiln does not need to be level, but it does need to be firmly seated on all 4 feet of the kiln stand. If there is any flex in the stand, or the kiln can rock at all, then you run the risk of cracking the floor of the kiln. That stand from Paragon does not look to be inflexible. Personally, I think it's a bad idea. Moving a kiln is not a good idea. I would also check with L&L. Using a stand from another company, especially a rolling stand, may void part or all of your warranty.

Neil Estrick
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#3 TJR

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

I agree with Neil. Your kiln is made of softbrick. They are very fragile. The kiln is also heavy. There is not a lot of tensile strength in the floor, and so it is easy to crack. I would decide on the optimum spot for your kiln and leave it there. Better safe than sorry.
TJR.

#4 Rakuken

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Hi everyone. This is partly to share my excitement over receipt of my new L&L easy fire kiln!! I also ordered the wheeled kiln stand that Paragon puts out, but after poring over the huge manual that comes with the kiln, I have to wonder whether moving the kiln around is such a great idea. The kiln will be in the garage on a cement floor. I envision just moving the kiln a few inches toward the wall when not in use. How critical is it that the kiln be absolutely level? Do I need to check it every time I move it? Would it be better if I didn't move it at all? Any and all thoughts would be appreciated. This is my first kiln, so maybe I'm being paranoid.

All of my kilns are on wheels. The gas kiln which I move about 8 feet in and out of a shed to fire. I also, in my 38 years of ceramics have had all of my electric kilns (4) on wheels with no negative effects.

Aloha, ken

#5 atanzey

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

I have my L&L on the stand it came on, but have three-wheeled dollies under each wheel. It moves easily across the concrete floor, but there doesn't seem to be any 'flex' in the stack that would cause problems.

Alice

#6 perkolator

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

the crucial part is not whether or not the floor itself is level, it's whether or not the feet supporting the kiln stay level -- like if one foot doesn't touch the ground because of dip in the floor, which causes flexing in the stand and transfers up to the soft brick.

#7 flowerdry

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

Thanks everyone. Food for thought.
The instruction manual for the kiln actually does say to level it: "If the kiln is not leveled this could lead to the cracking of the bottom and the top."
Neil, I don't know which stand you were looking at, but the one I ordered is much sturdier than the one that came with the kiln. It is bigger and has double supports whereas the L&L has single. Aside from moveable, I wanted a good sturdy stand.


Doris Hackworth

"Promoting the joy of handmade pottery"


#8 JessicaGrayCeramics

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

If space is at a premium in your studio, you have to do what you have to do.

That being said, full support is the way to go. My Cromartie is on casters with a full sheet of steel that supports the entire floor. Mind you, I just replaced the floor in the thing, which is now over 30 years old and I can tell you first hand, it's no small undertaking. Anywhere the soft brick lacks support allows pressure and flexing, which causes break-down over time. Make sure it's cool and empty when you move it so it doesn't have any additional forces helping it to flex and crack. Keeping the kiln level allows uniform weight distribution that keeps the stress on the floor and walls minimal, so the closer to level, the better.

The 3" bricks will offer better support if you have that model but properly cared for, the 2 1/2" bricks will last just as long. Enjoy your new toy!
Jessica Gray, MFA
www.JessicaGrayCeramics.com

#9 neilestrick

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

Thanks everyone. Food for thought.
The instruction manual for the kiln actually does say to level it: "If the kiln is not leveled this could lead to the cracking of the bottom and the top."
Neil, I don't know which stand you were looking at, but the one I ordered is much sturdier than the one that came with the kiln. It is bigger and has double supports whereas the L&L has single. Aside from moveable, I wanted a good sturdy stand.



True, the manual does say that. But slightly out of level won't hurt as long as the kiln sits evenly and doesn't rock. Their concern is if it's really out of level the weight distribution would be way off and cause problems. If you can get it level, that would be ideal. But don't waste your time trying to get it perfect.


I'm glad the rolling stand is good and strong. Gives me hope that it will work for you. But don't worry about the stand that came with the kiln if you decide not to use the rolling stand. That L&L stand is super sturdy. Best I've seen for stands that come with the kiln. If the legs are attached tightly they won't budge one bit. It's also made from much heavier steel than most stands.

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

neil@neilestrickgallery.com


#10 Mark C.

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

I'm also a firm believer in the full sheet of steel or aluminum under the floor.I have used both with great results and when you replace a floor its a good time to do this or when you move a kiln or when you want a rolling stand. I have seen so many floors crack as the floors on most electrics overhang the stand. This full support makes the floor not flex and supports the walls. I never understood why kiln manufactures miss this fact. While I'm on that soap box using poor stainless wraps that rust and non stainless screws that rust out and crappy spot wields that fail is also a pet peeve.
Mark
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#11 neilestrick

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

There are several older models of kilns that have a metal sheet under the floor. Unfortunately it did little to support the floor since the metal was so thin, but instead was used as a way to attach the floor to the bottom ring of the kiln. The base metal sheet had tabs that came up the sides of the floor and attached to the metal skin of the walls. This system made it possible to move/setup/etc the kiln with the floor attached. All it really did was make the bottom section of the kiln twice as heavy and more difficult to move. Plus they used galvanized steel rather than stainless, so it rusted out over time and dropped chunks of rust all over the floor, and made it difficult to get a good connection between a downdraft vent and the kiln floor. Really bad engineering.

Mark- What thickness of metal do you use?

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

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#12 Mark C.

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

My skutt model 231 has 1/4 plate steel under it-if you get one make sure its very flat. No cutting with torch as that warps them
I'm putting this (see photo) 1/8th thick aluminum diamond plate under my skutt 1227
I picked it up for 20$ at local steel supply as they had it left over from a job-I think I'll put the diamonds up side so it can get a little air-If I bought this not as a deal I would get a thicker one.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com




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