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#21 OffCenter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

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
E pur si muove.

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#22 AtomicAxe

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:28 PM

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.

#23 Pres

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:17 PM


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.

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


#24 neilestrick

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:19 PM

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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#25 Guest_RDWolff_*

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:45 PM

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



#26 justanassembler

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:56 PM


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.

Jim


You are dissing me right here with your insulting comment: "you bought a CHEAP kiln," 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 componemts- a pile of firebricks cemented together, a controller, and a cover. This is not a Yugo v/s Rolls Royce here!

FYI, their warrantee is longer than one year, I didn't buy the cheaper 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 the used kiln and enjoy it then, no sweat off my backside!


Just so you know, Offcenter (who you are addressing) was not the potential buyer... This thread has gotten pretty badly derailed.

#27 Benzine

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:36 PM



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.

Jim


You are dissing me right here with your insulting comment: "you bought a CHEAP kiln," 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 componemts- a pile of firebricks cemented together, a controller, and a cover. This is not a Yugo v/s Rolls Royce here!

FYI, their warrantee is longer than one year, I didn't buy the cheaper 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 the used kiln and enjoy it then, no sweat off my backside!


Just so you know, Offcenter (who you are addressing) was not the potential buyer... This thread has gotten pretty badly derailed.



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#28 OffCenter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:46 PM


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.

Jim


You are dissing me right here with your insulting comment: "you bought a CHEAP kiln," 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 componemts- a pile of firebricks cemented together, a controller, and a cover. This is not a Yugo v/s Rolls Royce here!

FYI, their warrantee is longer than one year, I didn't buy the cheaper 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 the used kiln and enjoy it then, no sweat off my backside!


Who is Bye?

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#29 bciskepottery

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:02 PM



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.

Jim


You are dissing me right here with your insulting comment: "you bought a CHEAP kiln," 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 componemts- a pile of firebricks cemented together, a controller, and a cover. This is not a Yugo v/s Rolls Royce here!

FYI, their warrantee is longer than one year, I didn't buy the cheaper 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 the used kiln and enjoy it then, no sweat off my backside!


Who is Bye?

Jim



My guess it is RD Wolff . . . who seems to have left the forum.

#30 larryinalabama

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:22 AM

I didnt mean to start a fuss.

I do thank everyone for their opinions.

#31 oldlady

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

I didnt mean to start a fuss.

I do thank everyone for their opinions.


don't worry about it. some folks just have sensitive natures and can't see that an honest difference of opinion is not a personal insult directed at them. if it weren't this topic to set him off, it would have been another.

keep asking questions.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#32 bciskepottery

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

It seems to me that the discussion on this thread (and a couple of others, recently) took a turn from being from more than an honest difference of opinion.

#33 Stephen

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

Something about the internet, folks who would normally not be abrasive in discussions can just let it fly when they are not face to face. It is a shame. It should also be embarrassing to the ones involved but my guess is that it seldom is as they get so caught up into it that righteous indignation takes over.

I do hope the original poster got some help from the thread before it went south.

#34 Stephen

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:19 AM

It is kind of Larry's fault for walking into a cyber room of potters and asking such a divisive question like "should I buy this used kiln?".

#35 oldlady

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

NO!
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#36 neilestrick

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

It is kind of Larry's fault for walking into a cyber room of potters and asking such a divisive question like "should I buy this used kiln?".


LOL! We get the used kiln question here quite a lot, and it's never a simple answer. Like most things in clay, it depends..... I think people were explaining that quite nicely until Wolff made his comment that all kilns are the same. He should know better. Might as well go to a music forum and say all guitars are the same. It's not true, and it's disrespectful to the manufacturers. No one should ever be afraid to post questions here, and those of us who respond have a responsibility to give the best answers we can, not vague general statements. People come here for details, not the general stuff you find in catalogs.
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#37 KathleenHamlet

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:15 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?



All my kilns are CL kiln...look for good clean bricks and a decent sitter...everything else is easily replaced...but I wouldnt pay $450 unless its perfect- here in Austin. I dont know about your area. Here we usually have at least 20 listed at a time.

#38 larryinalabama

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:25 PM

It is kind of Larry's fault for walking into a cyber room of potters and asking such a divisive question like "should I buy this used kiln?".



Thats funny, somehow I think the out come may have been similar if I posted I have 5000$ which kiln should I get.


I did get some useful information so alls well, at least for me.

#39 neilestrick

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:24 PM


It is kind of Larry's fault for walking into a cyber room of potters and asking such a divisive question like "should I buy this used kiln?".



Thats funny, somehow I think the out come may have been similar if I posted I have 5000$ which kiln should I get.


I did get some useful information so alls well, at least for me.


I can recommend several $5000 kilns....
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#40 Benzine

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

It seems to me that the discussion on this thread (and a couple of others, recently) took a turn from being from more than an honest difference of opinion.


The problem was, that RD Wolff made a blanket, black and white statement, and that besides Political "Politeness', that's the one thing that Off Center hates. It was the same with the thread on pug mills, where the claim was made, that no one needs to use pug mills, and the discussion of clay and glaze safety, where it was stated, that all of us NEED to exercise more caution, from the obviously toxic things, we work with.

In both cases, posters made matter of fact comments, on things that were just the opposite. The only way you could annoy Off Center more, is if crept into his studio, and glued a splash pan to his wheel.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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