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Thinking of buying a small to medium sized electric kiln


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#21 Diane Puckett

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:35 PM


Make sure you figure in delivery and sales tax, as these could vary. If you order from someplace outside of Georgia, you may not need to pay sales tax. I was warned to make sure delivery would be to inside my garage by a friend whose new kiln was left at the curb. I also got a discount for paying by check rather than credit card.

I am wondering if you see yourself staying in that studio long term or hope to have your own studio. A kiln can be a lifetime investment, so consider getting what you will want in five or ten years.

For what it's worth, I have an L&L Easy Fire. I have been very happy with it.

Diane- great suggestions! I will make sure to find out about sales tax, I've already figured in shpg where I could. I did find out with shipping I need to allow for lift gate service for delivery and NOBODY delivers to my door in a truck it's a one lane dead end road so I always have to drive down to the end of the road and flag down the driver and unload and bring big stuff up in my pick up myself. I will also ask about paying by check thank you.

I do see myself staying at the group studio long term. I am also a painter and they have asked me to teach some classes there as well as teach some classes in some of the things I am doing in ceramics that nobody else there is doing and have told the director they would like to learn how to do. That said I have also read that even people that have large kilns say having a small one around to run tests and stuff through is helpful so the size I am focusing on could in the future become my test kiln if I decided I am successful enough to need a large kiln to keep up with my out put. Be nice to be so successful I ned another kiln LOL.

Do you mind my asking which model you have? What is it that you like about it?

Thank you again for your suggestions and really appreciate your input.

Terry


I have the L&l Easy Fire 23T with 3 inch brick. It was very easy to take apart and move from the garage to the studio. They make it very simple. The kiln has been reliable. Tech support has been available and helpful. Documentation is prolific, both in a notebook which came with the kiln and online. I really like the element holders. Even though I am very careful, I have occasionally bumped one with a kiln shelf and have been relieved that element was protected. This will most likely be the only kiln I ever purchase, so I wanted a good one. L&L came highly recommended by several friends.

As far as picking it up in your truck, unless it is a very small kiln, that may not work. Mine came packed in a huge box on a pallet. It was very well packed, but the box was truly enormous. The trucker had a small fork lift which he used to take the kiln off his truck and bring it down my very steep driveway into the garage. Another option would be to have several people ready to unpack it and move it one piece at a time to wherever you are putting it. It is not difficult, and the individual pieces are not very heavy. It is just bulky and somewhat fragile.

I know L&L makes the same model with two rings rather than three, so it must be about 18" high inside. I wonder what the price difference is and whether or not you could add another ring in the future if you needed a bigger kiln. Neil would probably know.
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#22 Pugaboo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:39 PM



Make sure you figure in delivery and sales tax, as these could vary. If you order from someplace outside of Georgia, you may not need to pay sales tax. I was warned to make sure delivery would be to inside my garage by a friend whose new kiln was left at the curb. I also got a discount for paying by check rather than credit card.

I am wondering if you see yourself staying in that studio long term or hope to have your own studio. A kiln can be a lifetime investment, so consider getting what you will want in five or ten years.

For what it's worth, I have an L&L Easy Fire. I have been very happy with it.

Diane- great suggestions! I will make sure to find out about sales tax, I've already figured in shpg where I could. I did find out with shipping I need to allow for lift gate service for delivery and NOBODY delivers to my door in a truck it's a one lane dead end road so I always have to drive down to the end of the road and flag down the driver and unload and bring big stuff up in my pick up myself. I will also ask about paying by check thank you.

I do see myself staying at the group studio long term. I am also a painter and they have asked me to teach some classes there as well as teach some classes in some of the things I am doing in ceramics that nobody else there is doing and have told the director they would like to learn how to do. That said I have also read that even people that have large kilns say having a small one around to run tests and stuff through is helpful so the size I am focusing on could in the future become my test kiln if I decided I am successful enough to need a large kiln to keep up with my out put. Be nice to be so successful I ned another kiln LOL.

Do you mind my asking which model you have? What is it that you like about it?

Thank you again for your suggestions and really appreciate your input.

Terry


I have the L&l Easy Fire 23T with 3 inch brick. It was very easy to take apart and move from the garage to the studio. They make it very simple. The kiln has been reliable. Tech support has been available and helpful. Documentation is prolific, both in a notebook which came with the kiln and online. I really like the element holders. Even though I am very careful, I have occasionally bumped one with a kiln shelf and have been relieved that element was protected. This will most likely be the only kiln I ever purchase, so I wanted a good one. L&L came highly recommended by several friends.

As far as picking it up in your truck, unless it is a very small kiln, that may not work. Mine came packed in a huge box on a pallet. It was very well packed, but the box was truly enormous. The trucker had a small fork lift which he used to take the kiln off his truck and bring it down my very steep driveway into the garage. Another option would be to have several people ready to unpack it and move it one piece at a time to wherever you are putting it. It is not difficult, and the individual pieces are not very heavy. It is just bulky and somewhat fragile.

I know L&L makes the same model with two rings rather than three, so it must be about 18" high inside. I wonder what the price difference is and whether or not you could add another ring in the future if you needed a bigger kiln. Neil would probably know.



Diane, thank you it is very helpful to hear WHY you like your kiln. I will revisit the L&L catalog and see if there is a kiln that is close in size to what I am looking for. I'll keep all you have said in mind. Usually I have to uncrate everything at the end of the road and bring it up piece by piece so that is not an issue but it does remind me that I have to do this and maybe a kiln that comes in sections is better than a solid jacket kiln. I hadn't considered that aspect of it and the fact that you say the kiln can be dismantled and moved easier due to this feature is also something to take into consideration. This is just the type insight I need from someone that has used a particular kiln again many thanks!
I'm off to comb through the L&L options once again.
Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#23 oldlady

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:02 AM

okay, pug lover, after the great success of your pug tray and remembering all the fun you had making it it is time to further consider the size of the kiln you will eventually buy. i know you are asking for advice about a small (test) kiln and you really want a new one. i know you are scared of looking at used ones because you have read all the opinions of the people you consider experts here and think you could wind up with a lemon. it is hard to realize that opinions are such a strong part of what has been said about kiln quality that your own opinion seems negligible. i have never known anyone who had a lemon kiln. my opinion.

all that said, your budget is still a primary concern.

so add a few other ideas to the mix. i looked up Helen on mapquest and see that you are only about 40 miles from Brasstown, nc, a great site for craft people. can you call them and ask for a tour if appropriate to gain more info to make a decision? maybe you will meet someone who has just what you want and you can see it for yourself and hear another opinion.

you are currently paying (i assume) for lessons at a center nearby where the work is currently fired. what happens if it closes down in a year or so and you are left with only a tiny test kiln for all your firing?

i can't remember if you indicated you will be able to work in clay fulltime or if you have a job that keeps you away from clay most of each day. it doesn't matter what amount of time is available you will be making more things as you gain experience and confidence. your sense or "what if i do this" will lead you rapidly to making more and more things that you will want to fire without waiting for the trek to the big kiln. you may decide to work on lots of things at home and bisque them at home so that the time in the communal studio will be used to glaze the many things that you have brought in.

i am thinking that in a single year you will regret buying a tiny kiln. in my opinion, you would be happier in the long run with a used kiln whose dimensions are at least 18x18. put the rest of your money in the bankand save it.

if you outgrow it you can always put it on craigslist and recover your money, then get the new one.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#24 oldlady

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:33 AM


please read all of the posts under "kiln options" if you have not already done so.

Thanks oldlady ( it really bothers me to call you that it seems rude lol) I have been watching that topic as well gathering as much data as possible.

Terry


i chose the name oldlady because it is sort of who i am. i am nearly 73 so EVERYONE seems younger. i have never really acted like a lady but i would like to think i am one, hence, the name. i do not spell out much on a wide open to the wierdos internet because i live alone in a tiny town where some people could find out where i live by asking for the potter.

i think i just insulted both of my cats and the dog!Posted Image
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#25 Pres

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

Make sure you figure in delivery and sales tax, as these could vary. If you order from someplace outside of Georgia, you may not need to pay sales tax. I was warned to make sure delivery would be to inside my garage by a friend whose new kiln was left at the curb. I also got a discount for paying by check rather than credit card.

I am wondering if you see yourself staying in that studio long term or hope to have your own studio. A kiln can be a lifetime investment, so consider getting what you will want in five or ten years.

For what it's worth, I have an L&L Easy Fire. I have been very happy with it.


Good thought there Diane. I bought my CXC years ago from Bennetts because they had free shipping. I know you usually won't get that sort of deal with kilns, but it is a consideration these days with shipping charges so high.

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


#26 Pugaboo

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

Thank you everyone! All great ideas and suggestions. I have decided 18x22 is the smallest I will go, there are a lot of kilns in this size range. I even made a mock up of the interior with a shelf too and placed a bunch of items on it and inside the "kiln" to see how it "felt". Looking at it it just feels like the right size for me to start with... I think... Oh dear there I go dithering again. Okay how about this... This is the size I will start out planning on but stay open to other options if I come across them. Whew that was close almost fell off the train again there. Also need to remember possible amperage issues that might limit me in size as well. Will know more on this once I get the electrician to come by hopefully this next week.

I have seen a 28x27 interior kiln and how much it holds and even though I may be wrong just find it hard to believe I will fill something that size up every week. If the art center goes belly up... Hmmm that could be a problem, but I might be able to grab a kiln real cheap on closing day! Lol no seriously I hope it doesn't happen and they have been around for a long time and are doing well enough to expand their operations a bit so hopefully it'll be around for a long time to come. I am going to look at the Olympic factory since it is very close to me and I will be able to see other size kilns to hopefully tell if a different size would be better, don't plan to buy anything right away but it's the only place I can get to easily to see a bunch of different sized kilns. I am hoping once I see additional differently sized kiln I'll be able to focus more on the other details.

Art is my full time occupation, mostly painting currently. I am also a full time caregiver which limits how far from home I can get and my time is not always my own but I have learned to be flexible when he has a good day I plan a day out if its a bad day I stay close to home. Not sure if I can arrange a day away to get up to North Carolina but will keep it in mind thanks for the suggestion.

Additionally the huge tray I made I only did as a required class assignment, would never have done one that size on my own, I have no idea what to do with it. I have been selling art online for over 10 years (not pottery) and have a rule nothing gets listed online to sell that won't fit in a priority mail shipping box. I found people always had issues with the cost of shipping large packages and its really nice not to be hassled about shipping which they never seem to understand I don't get a penny of it all goes to the shipper, but everyone knows the price of a priority mail package. So over time I have gotten used to a certain size item and that's actually smaller than I can put in the size kiln i am domsidering so I can do a bit bigger stuff now to sell locally and even bigger as long as the center is still around. The things I am attracted to making are small lanterns, ornaments, utensil holders, mugs, small bowls, ornamental boxes, pug figurines, dog bowls, etc. I would like to make some dinner plates eventually but they would fit in the 18 inch kiln anyway since they are only about 12 inches and that pretty much covers it.

Ahhh oldlady so it's a title you wear with pride! So I will say it with respect Oldlady you rock and I am impressed with your get up and go!

Again thanks everyone for all the helpful input I know picking a kiln is a touchy subject but figured if I can't ask a bunch of potters their opinion on kilns who can I ask!

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#27 Stephen

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 09:51 AM


Once you figure out how much the electrical upgrade is, you can decide what you can actually afford in a kiln.L&L, Skutt, etc may be within your budget once you know for sure.



Ohhhh marketing! I always get turned off by fancy deceptive names/terms for items for sale. Chrysler and the "not cute ute" because it was %$#&^ugly, or the biggest little kiln. . . what does that mean? In the end, give me a good reliable manufacturer that sells a product line with simple name, and great reliability, even though I may pay a little more for it. 3 series BMW, Mazda 3, L&L, or Skutt, and these days even a Bailey. To not pay the little extra, and then find that after a few firings you are not satisfied because it doesn't reach temp, is not big enough, suck up a ton of electric or all of the cords and boxes heat up. . . well you get what you pay for.



Actually the 'biggest little kiln' moniker is just referring to the fact that they had the largest kiln they could get from that manufacturer that would work on a dryer plug and a very long cord. So there is a point to the tag line.

#28 oldlady

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

ok............... i promised myself i would not be an interfering old woman but today i looked at craigslist for atlanta and saw many good looking kilns for sale. they are in various places i am not familiar with but might be near you. they are so inexpensive compared to new and some look new from the pictures.

then i looked at craigslist for detroit and found even more and even better looking ones all over michigan. i cannot pm vervain to encourage her but maybe someone else in michigan needs a kiln today. don't think i am suggesting the bad ones (boy there are some doozies) what is a "coffin kiln" anyway?

if you have never used it, just go to craigslist and choose the city nearest you. it will come up with a box where you enter " Kiln" in the "for sale" box. the next screen offers additional choices to narrow it down. choose " title only" so you eliminate most of the kiln dried lumber and junk then choose " has image" so you get a picture. then hit "select" and you will see lots of things for sale in that city and nearby.

now i will shut up and go sit in the corner.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#29 Pugaboo

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:30 PM

ok............... i promised myself i would not be an interfering old woman but today i looked at craigslist for atlanta and saw many good looking kilns for sale. they are in various places i am not familiar with but might be near you. they are so inexpensive compared to new and some look new from the pictures.

then i looked at craigslist for detroit and found even more and even better looking ones all over michigan. i cannot pm vervain to encourage her but maybe someone else in michigan needs a kiln today. don't think i am suggesting the bad ones (boy there are some doozies) what is a "coffin kiln" anyway?

if you have never used it, just go to craigslist and choose the city nearest you. it will come up with a box where you enter " Kiln" in the "for sale" box. the next screen offers additional choices to narrow it down. choose " title only" so you eliminate most of the kiln dried lumber and junk then choose " has image" so you get a picture. then hit "select" and you will see lots of things for sale in that city and nearby.

now i will shut up and go sit in the corner.

Oldlady- thanks for checking I appreciate the effort you went to. Atlanta is a least 2 hours away from me one way and that would only get me to the far north outer ring and if its towards the south well that could be 4 hours depending on traffic. I looked around here and even talked to my teacher about it since he's the only person I have to ask . I showed him the new kiln I decided to get and he liked it and said its a good setup since it comes with everything I'll need since I don't have anything yet. So it'll be a new kiln for me, I had the electrician confirm I could handle a new 40 amp breaker so ordered one the other day and now just have to wait for it to be built before I can get it. I got a really good deal on the complete setup and am happy with my choice.

Thanks again for your input I appreciate it.

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau




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