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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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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.

 

 

Mea

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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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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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I know enough about appliances and products to know you are wrong on the quality, better do some research

 

 

What exactly am I wrong about? Am I wrong to say not all kilns are built the same? Is that what you're saying? It's hard to tell since you sound like an ad for Olympic Kilns. Yes, except for dimensions most firebrick are pretty much the same. You've already made it clear that you know that. So are construction bricks but that doesn't make every house the same. As Neil points out much better than I did, there are a lot of differences between kilns. And, as far as doing research, you may know toasters, but I've used almost every major American electric kiln made and repaired many of them and rebuilt a couple of them, so maybe it's you who needs to do the research. You could start by reading Neil's post.

 

Jim

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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

 

 

Yeah, judging from that ... i wouldn't touch it for that price. If they can answer my questions I posted earlier and show you photos of the inside and that still satisfies you ... go for it. otherwise I know I would pass. It's got a kiln sitter and they added an extension to the top of the kiln that you can take off if you don't need a full load fired but other than that it's probably been abused to snot or left to rot with heavy junk on top of it killing the kiln lid.

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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

 

 

Yeah, judging from that ... i wouldn't touch it for that price. If they can answer my questions I posted earlier and show you photos of the inside and that still satisfies you ... go for it. otherwise I know I would pass. It's got a kiln sitter and they added an extension to the top of the kiln that you can take off if you don't need a full load fired but other than that it's probably been abused to snot or left to rot with heavy junk on top of it killing the kiln lid.

 

 

Looking at the kiln, not a bargain. Last used kiln I purchased was an Amaco Gold, 3 section 23". Price was $125 at school district I was working for. They were tearing down two Junior High Schools to consolidate into one. I was in the building last after everything else had been stripped. I was scrounging for my own classroom when I ran across the kiln. I didn't need one in the classroom as I had gotten the one from the other JH, and had a new L&L(8yrs old). The Amaco happened to be a 220V, not a 208 as the other one which was an L&L. A lot of times if you keep your ears to the ground, make good relationships with local districts and teachers, and make your need known you will be surprised at what comes your way. Only problem with this approach, is it takes time.

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Wolff,

I don't know which firebrick company you're talking about, but "BNZ Insulating Fire Brick have been manufactured continuously at Zelienople, Pennsylvania for over 60 years". So I think there is probably more than one company, unless BNZ has another plant in Georgia. I honestly don't know. If they do have a plant in Georgia, then we're both right and wrong. Second, there are dozens of different types of IFB. Besides their firing temperature, there are huge differences in composition, particle size, strength, etc. So you can't make a blanket statement that all bricks are the same. Having purchased many bricks for my own personal kilns, and having been the manager for Alpine kilns, where I was in charge purchasing bricks among other things, I can tell you that not all bricks are the same. Many kiln companies also treat their bricks with hardeners, of their own formulation, to add durability. And L&L also uses hard ceramic element holders to further increase the longevity of their kilns.

 

The the thickness and construction of the outer stainless jacket makes huge difference in the stability of the kiln, which directly affects how long the bricks last. Thinner steel means more shifting of the kiln sections, which means more broken bricks. The length of the hinge mounting plates also determines how much the sections shift. A poorly designed hinge can cause a great deal of damage to a kiln. I have had to replace entire rings of bricks and add steel to hinges many times because of poor hinge design and thin steel.

 

As I said before, there is a lot of engineering that goes into the elements. The diameter of the wire, the size and spacing of the wraps, and how they sit in the bricks all affect their function and longevity. While many manufacturers do not roll their own, many do. Those who source them out have them made to their own specs. They are not buying a stock coil off the shelf. There is a great deal of electrical engineering that goes into element design.

 

I don't mean to be rude to you in any way, but blanket statements about kilns, or most things in ceramics, just don't hold up for me. I have repaired kiln for 10 years, and I can honestly say that there are huge differences in quality and longevity. All kilns will get as hot as they say they will. They have to, or no one would buy them. But durability and ease of repair is drastically different from brand to brand.

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Guest RDWolff

What exactly am I wrong about? Am I wrong to say not all kilns are built the same? Is that what you're saying?

Jim

 

 

I didn't say all kilns are exactly identical, the same, I said they are all BASICALLY the same- THE major component of which is nothing more than firebrick, the other major component is the controller and there's VERY few choices on those, even the L&L kiln Neil here sells is nothing more than a custom BARTLETT controller with a different face plate.

Yeah, you can get softer lower priced firebrick K-23 for firing low temperatures, but a cone TEN kiln is not going to use the lower fire brick, it will have brick rated for cone ten kiln firing. I didn't buy a cheap cone 8 max kiln with 2-1/2" K-23 brick, I bought a cone TEN kiln with 3" brick.

The retail price difference for brick on one supply site between K-23 (2300 F) and K-26 (2600 F) is $4.60 v/s $5.80, a whopping $1.20 difference. On a whole kiln the price difference MIGHT be $75-$100 difference in materials cost there.

There is nothing about one model of kiln that makes it worth $3,000 against the same identical sized kiln by another brand selling for $1500. A little "proprietary" surface wash supposedly to harden the bricks more is not worth the $1,800 additional cost! Neither are the ceramic element holders instead of the usual pins or other means used worth the additional $1,500 cost in this example.

The "proprietary" wash, ceramic holders and a few other tidbit mostly cosmetic or sale pitch differences might be worth a couple or three hundred bucks difference- certainly no justification for the price to be $3,000 v.s $1,500

 

Compare the Jupiter L&L kiln the same size and 3" brick my Olympic is:

 

JD23V-3 $2495

 

Add $335 for the furniture kit that my Olympic freedom kit includes...

 

Standard feature: Automatic 24-Key DynaTrol with zone control

 

Dynatrol- a customized BARTLETT 24 key controller with a difference face plate having the L&L color and logo on it, mine came with the Bartlett 24 key controller, sans the L&L blue and logo.

 

The kiln sections are unplugged and then taken off one at a time. There is no charge for this option.

 

My Olympic kiln has the same, unplug-the-sections deal, 1 or 2 small screws and the sections simply lift out- no extra charge there either!

 

Three-year Limited Warranty

 

I got a three year warrantee too...

 

Vent-Sure Downdraft Kiln Vent System (See page 11) ... $440

 

$440 extra, gee, mine came with the complete Orton vent kit included, even the holes predrilled for it.

So let's see what we have now:

 

The L&L Jupiter the same size as mine roughly 18x23 costs $2,495, furniture is extra- $335, vent is extra- $440, total= $3,270 and you haven't even paid to have it shipped yet!

If you add another $100 for the 2 elements my kit included that you'd have to pay extra for, that $3,270 kiln becomes $3,370 plus shipping.

 

It's not a case of I bought a "cheap" kiln, it's more a case of a kiln like Jupiter being way OVERPRICED, hidden by the fact it includes nothing the kiln I bought did- not the furniture, the extra 2 elements, the extra thermocouple, the crimp tool, kiln wash, box of cones, vent system and all the rest the package included.

 

If you don't need the package included in the freedom kit, then that particular kiln kit would NOT be valuable to you, I DID because I had no vent, furniture or anything else, this one came with everything I needed- $1,800 to my door instead of $3,370 plus shipping, plus the cost for the other items that were included in my kit not included with the Jupiter.

 

You are dissing me right here in your post with your insulting comment: "you bought a CHEAP kiln," and rude "that's fine and dandy for you" you don't know what you are talking about. I have checked this kiln out with many hours of research and reading reviews on all brands of kilns over months of time. I know what I am looking at when it was delivered and I examined every part of it as someone who knows about engineering, mechanics and materials, and it's an excellent kiln and excellent package deal all around.

 

Aside from MINOR differences between kilns, they are all basically the same components- a pile of firebricks cemented together, a controller, and a cover. This is not a $5 casio v/s a $50,000 Rolex watch here, it's a Ford v/s Chevy!

 

FYI, the Olympic warrantee is longer than one year, I didn't buy the cheaper economy Medallian series, I bought the cone 10 kiln with 3" brick, that's a 3 year warrantee:

Olympic delivers Performance - we make our kilns for easy maintenance and repair. Our stackable electric kilns will come apart in sections for easy movement without removing the electrical boxes from the kiln.

 

Warranty for cone 8/2300°F kilns is 2 years and for cone 10/2350°F our warranty extends 1 year. We stand behind our product because our reputation depends on it. We are proud of our work and we want you to feel the same.

 

How dare you insult me the way you have with your "fine and dandy" dismissing comment too! I'm done with you bud, go buy a used kiln and enjoy it then, no sweat off my backside!

 

 

I don't know which firebrick company you're talking about, but "BNZ Insulating Fire Brick have been manufactured continuously at Zelienople, Pennsylvania for over 60 years". So I think there is probably more than one company, unless BNZ has another plant in Georgia. I honestly don't know.

 

The source for the statement about the firebrick was taken from this line in the "about us" at Olympic:

 

Olympic Kilns started manufacturing kilns in Seattle, Washington and derives its name from the Olympic Mountains. As the company grew so did its product lines to include electric, gas and glass kilns for the hobbyist, production artist and manufacturer of finished fired ware.

Some 20 years ago Olympic Kilns moved to Georgia to be near its source of insulating firebrick, which is only manufactured in Georgia.

 

Make of that what you will, that's their published statement- they moved the whole company to Georgia because that was the only place to get the firebrick they use and it was closer to them to do that, which saves on the shipping costs of raw materials.

 

but I've used almost every major American electric kiln made and repaired many of them and rebuilt a couple of them,

 

So you are more than a toaster repairman, great, well bud, I may not know toasters well since I don't own one, I DO know how to do research on a kiln and it's maker. A kiln is an electrical appliance just like a furnace, hot water heater or anything else of a similar nature. I know how to read REVIEWS on multiple forums, web sites etc., from people who own the product. I know how to compare one product to another, not JUST by price, but by materials, includes, customer reviews, BBB history and everything else.

 

There is no perfect kiln made, and none of them lasts forever, every one of them has good points and poor points, YOU the buyer has to decide which good points and features you want, and which poor points you will accept.

If you happen to be an idiot who can't figure out how to program an electronic controller, then you'd better get one with a kiln sitter, and if anything goes wrong you'd better hope you can find someone to fix it FOR you. Me on the other hand, I know how to operate milling machines, do welding and brazing on steel, and cast iron, soldering, metal casting, sheet metal work, masonry including building brick walls, foundations, repointing, electrical, plumbing, re-roofing, tiling floors with ceramic tiles and the list goes, I figure at my age and with my experiance with all of those things, including operating and repairing high pressure steam boilers in a commercial building as the building superintendent, I can determine the QUALITY, workmanship, materials used on a product and know right away how well or how poorly it was made.

 

When my Olympic kiln arrived, the very first thing I noted was how it was shipped, on a new wood skid not a used one salvaged from the dumpster or a previous shipment, the kiln was very carefully wrapped in a heavy cardboard box, well padded, shrink wrapped, all of the includes were boxed carefully and not a thing was damaged or missing. It was all securely banded to the skid and arrived in perfect condition due to the care it was packed with- right there's a good sign.

 

Next, I looked over all of the parts, excellent fit, no cracks or damage, the controller, fit, finish all looked good. The lid was nice and secure and closes flat and smooth to the top of the kiln. I did not buy the lid spring or counter weight system because I don't need one to lift the lid.

The elements were all good and securely seated.

The elements also came with a new in the package wire cutter/crimp tool, and it was not a cheap brand it was a decent quality brand tool, surprising since it might be used ONCE in 5 years maybe.

 

The ONLY part of the whole package I was not completely thrilled with was the Orton vent, it works fine but Orton uses an all plastic housing (which I dislike) for the motor and the motor is what I call a disposable one- it has no ball bearings or provisions to grease it, the motor goes out you toss it because it's non-repairable basically. I can live with a cheap vent motor, when the motor goes out I'll retrofit the system with a quality aftermarket greaseable Baldor or equiv motor, not a replacement Orton motor.

 

I bought the kiln at a slightly higher price than another web site had, because after communicating with the owner I really liked his attitude, plus the fact his store is a family owned and operated store, there's a lot more to buying a new kiln or anything else than just price or whether it has some gimick on it, here's one of his emails:

 

 

Lets see what we can do to earn your business. My competition has given you a great price (1,675.00 including delivery). I have no way of knowing exactly but I believe I am the second largest distributor of Olympic kiln in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Consequently, I have been assured by the owners of Olympic that my wholesale cost is the best price they offer to any of their distributors. ( probably why we sell their kilns nationally).

 

With that said, I would be willing to sell the kiln for $1,551.00 however, wholesale cost on freight to you is $190.81. If we add the two together it is $1,741.81 This is my lowest cost I am willing to offer it to you.

 

However, as an incentive to do business with us I am willing to offer you a 50.00 gift certificate good for your next purchase of 100.00 or more.

 

If, the other company can truly sell you the kiln for $1,675.00 that is a great deal and I would jump on it. If they can sell it to you they must have purchased it last year when our cost was less.

 

On a personal note: My wife and I are trying our best to make a difference in the world of ceramic art supplies. We are a family owned and operated business. We have one part time employee. Literally my children sweep the floors and clean.

 

You are important to me and would love to earn your business,

Respectfully,

 

Kevin Bradshaw

The Potter's Shack

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