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#1 larryinalabama

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 10:27 AM

I found a used kiln on craigslist, its an older evenheat 24" wide and 30" deep. They are asking 450$ and it includes shelves and some furnature. Do yall think it would be worth it?

#2 Mark C.

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

You need to see what shape its in are the bricks cracked-shell rusted?
Is the stand ok-elements hanging out or looking good?
How is the controller-need more info.
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#3 AtomicAxe

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

ugh, i hate CL kiln listings ... does the person know anything about the history of the kiln? Ask questions to the seller about the kiln. Here is my go-to list;

How often was this kiln fired?
What temps did it get fired to?
Did you fire lead based glazes in the kiln?
Did you fast fire, or slow fire the kiln?
What brand/make/model is the kiln?
Features of the kiln? (i.e. kiln sitter, full manual, vent, stand, etc?)
How old is the kiln?
Is there any damage to the kiln brick?
Does the kiln even turn on?
Where the elements ever replaced?
If so, which ones and how many firings ago?

If they can't answer those basic questions ... most I offer is $50 ... price out replacing the kiln elements and rewiring the kiln ... it will make that $450 kiln more expensive than a new kiln.

#4 Mark C.

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:43 PM

Which model?
http://evenheat-kiln.com/ceramic/
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#5 mregecko

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

Agree with AtomicAxe here. If you can get some good details from someone that knows what they're talking about? Then awesome!

But more often than not, these are just something that someone came across in a barn, or picked up from a friend of a friend, has been laying around forever, and have no idea of the history of.

#6 AtomicAxe

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:42 PM

Man, calling it how it is mregecko ... I contacted one person about a kiln who actually was the 7th person in a row to buy it and not use it even once ... not even to see if it turns on. Shenanigans.

#7 larryinalabama

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:28 AM

Thanks a bunch for the replys, heres a link to the kiln. I dont know the model number, it still uses firing cones so Im sure its fairley old. The Lady sain the inside is in good condition and the elements all work.

http://bham.craigsli...3747505212.html

#8 Stephen

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:01 AM

Not sure if you're like me or not but when I get involved in something new I tend to go all in and move very quickly and with a used kiln that can mean getting three, four hundred dollars worth of junk. The thing about small, medium electric kilns is that some get used to death by folks who are serious about pottery and others linger for years, hardly ever getting used. Have you been out to see the kiln, open the lid and examine the inside? Judging from the link you sent it looks like this one might have been used a lot but appearances can certainly be deceiving. I watch CL a lot for studio equipment and it seems that the obvious lightly used decently priced stuff both shows up frequently and sells quickly so if your patient I bet you can snag one that has been used lightly. Also remember there are certain abuses such as salt, soda firing that can/will pretty much wipe out an electric kiln for future firings even thought he kiln may look OK. Maybe someone here can tell you how to visually check for that.

Good luck and be cautious!

#9 mregecko

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:12 AM

Thanks a bunch for the replys, heres a link to the kiln. I dont know the model number, it still uses firing cones so Im sure its fairley old. The Lady sain the inside is in good condition and the elements all work.

http://bham.craigsli...3747505212.html


My immediate reaction upon seeing this photo....

I don't trust any kiln that has that much heavy stuff piled on it.

Kiln brick is fragile, and any time I see a sale for a kiln that is upside down or has tons of &@!$ on it, I close the page.

Maybe I'm just too paranoid.

#10 OffCenter

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

I agree with Mregecko. If it looks that bad on the outside and they know so little as to pile a hundred pounds on the lid, there's a good chance the inside is beat up, too. Of course, it may be a good deal because a kiln can look pretty bad on the outside and still be in good condition. It's a gamble I wouldn't take.

Jim
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#11 neilestrick

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 12:22 PM

I wouldn't pay $500 for it unless the bricks are really clean.
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#12 GEP

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 12:58 PM

I found a used kiln on craigslist, its an older evenheat 24" wide and 30" deep. They are asking 450$ and it includes shelves and some furnature. Do yall think it would be worth it?


I think this kiln is worth going to look at. The things you need to know are not in the photo. How old are the elements? Are the bricks inside in good shape? Are all the kiln-sitter parts in working order? If all of these things check out, then you will get a steal at $450 including furniture. If the only problem are old elements, ask the seller to reduce the price by the cost of a new set of elements. If you find problems with the bricks or the kiln sitter, walk away.

For what it's worth, the outside of my kiln looks worse than this, but the inside looks pristine. Then again, I wouldn't pile all that stuff on top of a kiln, that doesn't indicate a knowledgeable owner.


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#13 neilestrick

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

A few broken bricks are not a big deal. But if the all look old, worn, crumbly, walk away. A new set of elements is $300. The seller won't come down that much. But if the bricks are good, you've still got a pretty cheap kiln even if you replace the elements. Wiring is cheap. Switches are not cheap, if you need more than one. A sitter is not all that cheap, either.
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#14 Stephen

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:19 PM

New kilns run $600ish and up and the size your looking at with furniture is a couple of grand. The difference between this and a new one is enormous as far as technology. Have you evaluated what you need and/or want out of a kiln and then matched up those criteria with new kilns first? I would do this first then look at the used market for one that meets those needs. There really are a lot of considerations and it would be a shame to go drop $450 and even if the kiln works and has some life left in it, turns out to not meet your needs.

Wiring and size have not been discussed, does this kiln fit your situation on those fronts? If it needs repair do you know how to do it or are you going to have to take or send it somewhere?

#15 larryinalabama

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:32 PM

Thanks for the additional, Yall are real helpful and I apprecate it very much.

THe Lady told me that she had extra elements and the kiln was fired last fall, its about a 2 hour drive to go look at so it will kill most of a day, and a good bit of fuel. From what I can gather a new kiln similar size with shelves and such is gonn run about 2500$ , and Im not sure if Im rady to invest that much. I think the kiln would be a nice size for what Im trying to get started.

#16 OffCenter

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:56 PM


I found a used kiln on craigslist, its an older evenheat 24" wide and 30" deep. They are asking 450$ and it includes shelves and some furnature. Do yall think it would be worth it?


I would not buy a used kiln, by the time you pay that, take it apart, haul it home, find out this or that needs replacement or repair, hunt down the parts and on and on, and you STILL have a used kiln whose controller can fail at any time and there's NO warrantee at all.
I bought a new Olympic freedom kiln package and was VERY impressed, it came with literally everything but the person to install it for me!

The complete vent kit, furniture kit, box of posts, stilts, 2 replacement spare elements, the crimp tool used to replace them, kiln was, box of sample cones, electronic controller already installed, holes for the vent kit installed, I mean what more could I need!
It was literally ready to connect to the power, turn on and go.

It was about $1800, warrantee


If the used kiln in question is still in working order then I'd MUCH rather get 4 kilns like it for $1800 than one brand new similar Olympia kiln for $1800. Olympia kilns are okay but definitely not the best built kilns on the market and, big deal, you have a 1 year warranty. When that year is up your kiln will be worth about half of what you paid for it. Take care of it and the used kiln for $450 will still be worth $450 in a year. The most important thing about electric kilns is that any moron can replace elements (which is the main maintenance needed) and most of the things that need replacing. I've seen kilns that don't have any of the original parts except some of the bricks and some of the shell and the outside looks like the last guy to fire them was a suicide bomber, but they are still firing away. For some things it is best to always buy new, but electric kilns are not one of those things.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#17 justanassembler

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:56 AM

just as a side note, there are a variety of grades and qualities of refractory materials out there, this includes IFB used in electric kilns. All are not created equal, and some are better suited for certain purposes than others... Additionally, kiln companies vary from brand to brand in terms of the coatings they use, how the wiring is done inside the control boxes, and other seemingly small (but ultimately kind of important) details... As someone who makes his living repairing and maintaining kilns in and outside of academia, i can say with certainty that there are certain brands I enjoy working on more than others for their ease of access, layout, and build quality.

#18 OffCenter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:12 AM


If the used kiln in question is still in working order then I'd MUCH rather get 4 kilns like it for $1800 than one brand new similar Olympia kiln for $1800. Olympia kilns are okay but definitely not the best built kilns on the market and, big deal, you have a 1 year warranty. When that year is up your kiln will be worth about half of what you paid for it. Take care of it and the used kiln for $450 will still be worth $450 in a year. The most important thing about electric kilns is that any moron can replace elements (which is the main maintenance needed) and most of the things that need replacing. I've seen kilns that don't have any of the original parts except some of the bricks and some of the shell and the outside looks like the last guy to fire them was a suicide bomber, but they are still firing away. For some things it is best to always buy new, but electric kilns are not one of those things.

Jim


Well my take on quality of kilns is, ALL kilns are just firebrick, a cover and a controller along with elements, that's all, firebrick is firebrick, it's all made by basically one company, the Bartlet controller is made by that company and is used by most kiln assemblers, but you have an option- that controller or another one.
Elements are elements, the vent kit that came with mine is a standard Orton, that's the brand that's available and the one you see for sale.

Summed up, other than minor cosmetic differences, or size/configuration differences, a kiln by one company is the same as any other.
The fact that Olympic included TWO replacement elements is good too, especially since I read they cost around $300 to replace, so already there's $300 right there.
The vent kit was also included which I needed for this new install, that kit runs around $300-$400 to buy separately, so already there's $600-$700 of that $1,800 price in value rec'd I would have had to buy anyway at some point.
It came with a complete furniture kit, stilts, posts, shelves, I needed all that too and otherwise would have had to have bought those.
Point being the value is all there, this wasn't an $1800 kiln, it was a complete package shipped to my door, with everything required, ready to plug in and fire.

My cost included the SHIPPING to my door, it was extremely well packed too.

I would never trust anything like a used kiln's electric or electronics- the controller, you don't know how much it's been used/ abused, how many times the unit was exposed to power outtages, voltage spikes during storms or anything else.
You can turn it on now and it wrks, get it home, turn it on and the controller doesn't work suddenly or it stops mid fire, now you have to scrounge around and find the problem and fix it.

Another issue is, my kiln is installed in my building which is a commercial building, were I to put in a USED unit, and something happened like a fire, whose head do you think that liability would come down on?
I would much rather be able to tell the fire marshall that the kiln was bought brand new, any internal/wiring defects be on the mfr's head/liability than mine. Once you buy a used appliance, you take on the full risk, especially if you take it apart, replace parts etc the insurance people and others can cite the fact the unit was tampered with by an unlicensed person doing electrical work on it.

I'm real happy with my kiln package, I don't want someone elses' problem.


That's all fine and dandy for you and I'm glad you are happy with your kiln but you have posted essentially the same thing before and both times as a warning to someone ELSE not to buy a used kiln. That is where I take issue with you. Used kilns are often great buys and make much more sense for some people than buying a new kiln. (Elements don't cost $300 each and furniture comes with the used kiln in question.) BTW, I bought all three of my elec kilns new. Also, if you knew anything about kilns you'd know they are NOT all the same and the one you have is a "cheap" kiln.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#19 neilestrick

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:30 AM

Well my take on quality of kilns is, ALL kilns are just firebrick, a cover and a controller along with elements, that's all, firebrick is firebrick, it's all made by basically one company, the Bartlet controller is made by that company and is used by most kiln assemblers, but you have an option- that controller or another one.
Elements are elements, the vent kit that came with mine is a standard Orton, that's the brand that's available and the one you see for sale.

Summed up, other than minor cosmetic differences, or size/configuration differences, a kiln by one company is the same as any other.
The fact that Olympic included TWO replacement elements is good too, especially since I read they cost around $300 to replace, so already there's $300 right there.
The vent kit was also included which I needed for this new install, that kit runs around $300-$400 to buy separately, so already there's $600-$700 of that $1,800 price in value rec'd I would have had to buy anyway at some point.
It came with a complete furniture kit, stilts, posts, shelves, I needed all that too and otherwise would have had to have bought those.
Point being the value is all there, this wasn't an $1800 kiln, it was a complete package shipped to my door, with everything required, ready to plug in and fire.

My cost included the SHIPPING to my door, it was extremely well packed too.

I would never trust anything like a used kiln's electric or electronics- the controller, you don't know how much it's been used/ abused, how many times the unit was exposed to power outtages, voltage spikes during storms or anything else.
You can turn it on now and it wrks, get it home, turn it on and the controller doesn't work suddenly or it stops mid fire, now you have to scrounge around and find the problem and fix it.

Another issue is, my kiln is installed in my building which is a commercial building, were I to put in a USED unit, and something happened like a fire, whose head do you think that liability would come down on?
I would much rather be able to tell the fire marshall that the kiln was bought brand new, any internal/wiring defects be on the mfr's head/liability than mine. Once you buy a used appliance, you take on the full risk, especially if you take it apart, replace parts etc the insurance people and others can cite the fact the unit was tampered with by an unlicensed person doing electrical work on it.

I'm real happy with my kiln package, I don't want someone elses' problem.



Elements are around $300 for a set of six, so you only made up about $100 there with two elements. And I can honestly say that all kilns are not built the same. Yes, they are all made of essentially the same parts, but there are drastic differences in the quality of construction, quality of materials, and quality of design, all of which affect the longevity, durability and firing quality. A kiln is not a kiln. The thickness of the sheet metal matters. The design of the hinge matters. The coating on the bricks matters. Elements are not all the same. The choice of element wire, and the thickness and the size of the mandrel used to roll the elements affects how long they last. How the control box is mounted will affect how hot the system gets and how long the controller and relays will last. The design of the control system drastically affects the how safely and quickly you can make repairs. It all matters. You generally get what you pay for in new kilns (sale prices excluded, of course). But I'm glad you're happy with your kiln, because ultimately, that's what matters.

As for a kiln starting a fire, it's next to impossible for a kiln to start a building on fire. Bad wiring in the walls start fires, but not the wiring in the kiln. Flammable objects set next to the kiln start fires, but not the kiln itself. And by your argument you should be buying a new kiln every 1 to 3 years when the warranty is up. Otherwise, you have no more liability protection than when buying a used kiln.
Neil Estrick
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www.neilestrickgallery.com

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#20 oldlady

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

I found a used kiln on craigslist, its an older evenheat 24" wide and 30" deep. They are asking 450$ and it includes shelves and some furnature. Do yall think it would be worth it?


larry,

you are a new member so i cannot read any previous posts from you. i don't know what you want to do with your kiln. i am assuming you are new to pottery as well. you are asking about one specific kiln listing.

used does not equal bad. used does not equal good. used simply means not new.

you know what is in your pocket and whether $450 is a ton of money to you or not. if two hours worth of gas equals a lot of money for you to invest in an unknown, learn more before you drive out to look. call the owner. ask for the serial number and other info printed somewhere on that kiln. call the manufacturer and ask when that serial number was assigned so you get the age of the kiln. ask what cone it was designed for so you know its limits.

ask the owner if she has used it in the past to fire only to cone 06. (i suspect it was used for earthernware greenware because that is what appears to be in the boxes near the kiln) if so, maybe the elements are not in such bad shape.

if the current owner did not use it, ask where it came from. it does not have a controller, you have already said that and the picture does not show one. so firing it might be simple but there still could be some parts needed. are you able to replace switches yourself? use the information you get from these conversations and suggest a lower price based on what you find out. some people need the space and will consider lowering the price if you give a reasonable description of what you expect to have to do. some people have no idea what a used kiln can be worth to someone else. they look up new ones and just figure a fraction of that price and put that in the ad.

i used a paragon kiln which had been fired from the early 60s to about 1990 by a very skilled potter who took care of her equipment. i bought it in 1991 and used it until 2006 or so when i ignored the ancient and sagging elements and tried for one more firing. (i had never replaced the elements at all) fire shot out of the burnt out switch box and i no longer use that kiln. my daughter has suggested that she could replace all the wiring and elements for me but i am using my wonderful L&L that i bought new in 2003 or so and no longer need the older one. my purse is much flatter than it was in 2003 and i would consider a used kiln if i needed one.
"putting you down does not raise me up."




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