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ConeArt kilns - or Euclid?


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#1 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

Hello,
I live in Toronto and about to make the plunge and buy a new kiln. Locally, ConeArt and Euclid are available to me. I am wondering if anyone has opinions about these two brands. I know ConeArt has a "double walled" kiln - not sure if that is really a benefit or not. I've spoken with them about the kiln and seen their video and it looks like a very good quality kiln. But I know some say that the double wall isn't really that big an advantage in electricity saving etc. Just wondering what others might think.
I fire stoneware - bisque to 04 and glaze fire to cone 6 -- I do this about once a week -- sometimes less, sometimes more. I need a good, reliable kiln!

#2 TJR

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

HEY, CLAYSHAPES;
WELCOME TO THE BLOG. I AM FROM WINNIPEG. CONE ART IS A [caps lock on, sorry], very good kiln. I have the large one in my high school classroom. I fire it every day for three weeks, twice a year, during the clay unit. It has a solid metal jacket[sounds like a movie title], which reduces wear and tear from the students.I also had one in my previous studio, but didn't want to move it down a flight of stairs, so I sold it.Give Frank Tucker a call at Tucker Ceramics in Oakville and see what he says. Nice guy.
I can't comment on the Euclid. I have never seen one.
Tom Roberts[TJR]

#3 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for your review of ConeArt Tom - sounds like a very good recommendation (BTW -I'm actually from Winnipeg too, but have been in Toronto for 30 years!) I've chatted with Frank and visited the store and can see the quality of the kiln. Wish I knew more about the Euclids though. They are less expensive - the difference being the double wall feature -- and likely some of the hardware. I know the ConeArts are all stainless steel. In my limited experience though, it's the elements, couplers etc. that go -- not the jacket etc. I'm going to assume that the elements in both brands are equal. So is there really a reason to pay the extra for double wall? I have no doubt that the ConeArt is top quality - just wondering how Euclid compares.
I have a home studio- I'm the only person using the kiln and am busy working towards craft shows on a regular basis. I also have very limited space.
Any Euclid users out there?

#4 neilestrick

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

Any brand of kiln will do the job when it comes to firing. But if you can get zone control, it's worth it. Your firings will be much more even with it.

The biggest difference between brand of kilns is the durability and ease of maintenance. Both those kilns you've mentioned will be similar in durability. For maintenance, any kiln that is not sectional will be a real pain when it comes to changing bricks, which will need to be done at some point. Bricks will get broken. Sectional kilns are also nice for changing elements, since being able to unstack the top ring makes it a lot easier to access the bottom elements.
Neil Estrick
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#5 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

That's a very good point about sectional. I hadn't thought of that. The ConeArt also has an element on the bottom -- which is supposedly better for even heating as well.
Thanks for the info.

#6 OffCenter

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

You seem to wonder if the extra fiberboard insulation is worth extra money. When comparing compare total inches of insulation. Some kiln walls are 2.5 inches others 3. That makes a big difference. Cone Art is 2.5 with 1 inch fiberboard. so if the Euclid is 3 of firebrick, it is only 1/2 inch less insulation and I don't think fiberboard is as good insulation as soft brick so insulation would be about the same. I think the bigger advantage of the cone art (if the Euclid has 3 inch of brick) is the element on the bottom. I have a Cone Art and am pleased with it. Mine is sectional. I didn't know they stopped making sectional kilns. Another thing to remember is that the info you're getting here is a little unfair to Euclid because most of us are unfamiliar with it.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#7 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Yes - I'm surprised that no one is familiar with Euclid -- they are widely available in the US as far as I can tell from the website. I'm sure it's a good kiln. I've visited the shop and seen them.
I guess the advantages ConeArt has is the element in the bottom and all the stainless steel parts. And yes, they do still make sectional kilns (as does Euclid). There's not a big difference in price, really, between them -- so I guess it's really going to be a coin toss. And yes, Euclid is 3 inch brick -- so it sounds like the same difference, really.
The funny issue for me -- and I can hear the lectures coming on -- is that I like to get my kiln open as quickly as possible. I fear that the cool down will be even slower in the double walled kiln -- which will test my patience! I won't even tell you the chances I've taken (with NO bad results...yet) at opening the kiln too early. This is a hazard of having a kiln at home where you can sneak down in the middle of the night and crack the lid....

#8 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

I should have mentioned one other thing -- I use an old Duncan kiln now with a kiln sitter and three settings -- high fire, ceramic and overglaze. My new kiln with have a digital controller -- which will be a whole new learning curve. A little nervous about moving out of the dark ages into the digital age -- and concerned about all the new things that can go wrong with a modern kiln...I'm even considering not getting the controller -- but think that's likely a dumb idea!

#9 OffCenter

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

...but think that's likely a dumb idea!


You are correct.
E pur si muove.

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

#10 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for confirmation! (I wasn't really considering it -- it would have been too embarrassing when I ordered it!)

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

There are some nice simple kiln designs out there on the market, and those kilns work very well, last a long time, and are easy to maintain. Call me a pessimist, but I'm not convinced that most of the bells and whistles on some brands are really any benefit.
I'm not a big fan of floor elements. They're a pain to keep clean since everything falls to the floor, and they increase the maintenance costs (one more element to pay for). Plus a well designed kiln shouldn't need a floor element. The only time it should be necessary is if you're doing very dense loads like tiles.

Non-sectional kilns are also much more difficult to set up if you're going into a basement. Kilns are not light! And replacing a brick in the bottom ring can take an hour instead of 10 minutes. That's lot of money if you're paying to have it done.

I think 3" walls are a good choice, but I'm not convinced that added fiber insulation is really going to save that much. When the walls are increased from 2.5 to 3 inches, so are the lid and floor. But the extra fiber is not added to the lid and floor, where a large percentage of the heat loss actually happens.
Neil Estrick
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#12 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

Another very good point about stuff falling to the floor near a floor element. Very true in my kiln. I have a shelf on 2 inch posts just above the kiln floor, and somehow there are all kinds of drips and splatters on the floor...not to mention dust and bigger chunks that can sometimes fall (I vacuum it regularly). But if a cone, for instance, fell onto a floor element, that would not be a good thing. (I've had cones fall off shelves -- but assume, actually, that the elements are not that close to the edge. but still...) And wouldn't you have to raise the bottom shelf quite high, and give up vertical space, to get clearance from the bottom element? I may have just been talked out of bottom elements....

Both kilns I'm looking at are sectional, so that's covered.

Thanks for all these helpful points.

#13 OffCenter

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

Another very good point about stuff falling to the floor near a floor element. Very true in my kiln. I have a shelf on 2 inch posts just above the kiln floor, and somehow there are all kinds of drips and splatters on the floor...not to mention dust and bigger chunks that can sometimes fall (I vacuum it regularly). But if a cone, for instance, fell onto a floor element, that would not be a good thing. (I've had cones fall off shelves -- but assume, actually, that the elements are not that close to the edge. but still...) And wouldn't you have to raise the bottom shelf quite high, and give up vertical space, to get clearance from the bottom element? I may have just been talked out of bottom elements....

Both kilns I'm looking at are sectional, so that's covered.

Thanks for all these helpful points.


Neil's points are good and he is an expert on kilns, but stuff falling on the kiln floor has never been a problem for me with my cone art. A good kiln doesn't need the extra element in the bottom but given the choice between the exact same kiln with the only difference being that one has an extra element in floor and one doesn't, I'd take the one with the element in the floor. a cone falling would not fall onto the bottom element (unless it took a lot of crazy bounces) because the element is covered by the bottom kiln shelf. No, you don't have to raise the bottom shelf high. I place the bottom shelf in exactly the same place in my Cone Art as I do in my other kilns -- on two-inch posts.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#14 timbo_heff

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

The cone arts are excellent: the board is a better insulator than soft brick so it's quite a bit more efficient than 3 " brick: it's more like 4".
They do not make solid jacket kilns. they are all sectional except for the test kiln.
Use a full shelf on the bottom so stuff doesn't fall into the element.
They have 3 zones standard which is great.
They have a great lid new hinge design that is not only safer but it disperses the weight of the lid when lifting it so it does not stress the bricks where the hinge attaches.
The lid goes behind the kiln a bit when opening it so it is much easier to reach for those of us who are somewhat vertically challenged.
The bottom element is not an extra element: they moved one down from up high where it already the hottest part of the kiln.
Because the extra insulation does indeed give greater efficiency, and since the zone control really works to send power where needed, you will find that the elements last quite a bit longer.
The extra money for these kilns is worth it ! You will save it quite quickly through lower energy bills and fewer element changes.

Can you tell I want one? :)

#15 clayshapes

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

Thanks everyone -- lots to think about! I really appreciate all the first hand as well as the "wishful wanting" comments. I can see it's not black and white so I'll be weighing all the options.

#16 neilestrick

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I agree that it's good to buy locally, and I think you'll be happy with either of those kilns, but if you decide you don't want either of those kilns, by all means shop around elsewhere. It's not difficult to have a kiln shipped to you. It happens to me all the time since I only sell one brand. I've even uncrated and set up kilns locally that were purchased elsewhere. It's the way of the market. But don't buy a Cone Art or Euclid anywhere else.
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#17 OffCenter

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

Can you tell I want one? Posted Image


...or work for them.
E pur si muove.

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

#18 neilestrick

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

I don't trust a bottom shelf to keep stuff from getting into the bottom element. I clean out a couple kilns a week and always find crud under the bottom shelf.
Neil Estrick
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#19 Iforgot

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

I love cone art kilns, I'm partial to shimpo.
Derek VonDrehle

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#20 Iforgot

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

Another very good point about stuff falling to the floor near a floor element. Very true in my kiln. I have a shelf on 2 inch posts just above the kiln floor, and somehow there are all kinds of drips and splatters on the floor...not to mention dust and bigger chunks that can sometimes fall (I vacuum it regularly). But if a cone, for instance, fell onto a floor element, that would not be a good thing. (I've had cones fall off shelves -- but assume, actually, that the elements are not that close to the edge. but still...) And wouldn't you have to raise the bottom shelf quite high, and give up vertical space, to get clearance from the bottom element? I may have just been talked out of bottom elements....

Both kilns I'm looking at are sectional, so that's covered.

Thanks for all these helpful points.



I have had a peephole plug explode and a cone fall off the shelf during the corse of the same firing, I sold a mug with a cone melted on the rim and shards of porcelian covering it for twice the normal price of a regular mug, cha-ching!



:) Darrel :)
Derek VonDrehle

Raku, Pit fired, Majolica, and Stoneware ceramic artisit




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