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#1 Abstraction

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:44 AM

Hello everyone! I have just graduated college & I spent my time here as a cermaics student. My family is talking about a graduation gift & have suggested a kiln. I'm excited & want to get as much information & helpful hints as possible from people with experience. So here's the deal ... I work mostly in porcelain & some stoneware. I'm thinking that oxidation will be the best bet for me now & I'll need to experiment with it now. I'm wondering which kilns are best for that & which glazes/companies make good oxidation glazes? Also ... I'm thinking to get a shed for it to keep in the backyard. Does that sound like a plausable idea?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

#2 OffCenter

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:46 PM

Hello everyone! I have just graduated college & I spent my time here as a cermaics student. My family is talking about a graduation gift & have suggested a kiln. I'm excited & want to get as much information & helpful hints as possible from people with experience. So here's the deal ... I work mostly in porcelain & some stoneware. I'm thinking that oxidation will be the best bet for me now & I'll need to experiment with it now. I'm wondering which kilns are best for that & which glazes/companies make good oxidation glazes? Also ... I'm thinking to get a shed for it to keep in the backyard. Does that sound like a plausable idea?

Thanks for any help you can give me!


Congrats! Do a search of the forum to find lots of threads about buying new or used kilns. Your best bet is to look carefully at all available kilns. Don't limit yourself to what your closest ceramic supply store stocks. You'll probably get a better deal online with free shipping and even if you buy locally it will probably still ship from a factory far away. Unlike used kilns where this is not the case, for new kilns you pretty much get what you pay for. L&L are expensive but worth it if the extra isn't extreme (under say ~15%). Olympics are inexpensive and good basic no frills kilns. All the others are in the middle. Don't forget Baily. They copy everybody but sometimes they also improve on what they copy. As for the shed, Dolomite Neal (an L&L rep and kiln expert) reminds people not put a kiln where you wouldn't put a computer but I like the shed idea. I have 3 sometimes 4 kilns in a tin roofed shed that all the sides are tarps that roll up and down. It's great because I can control the air so easily in the shed from no tarps open to all four open and it's like firing outside so I don't need an expensive vent on each kiln and I can do sagger firing in them producing lots of smoke. I'm in Georgia where the humidity is always high so I usually keep a bit of plastic over one the computers on two of the kilns, but doubt that is necessary.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:53 PM

Welcome Abstraction,
Go to a showroom of kilns and see what size is best for you. If you are short,
you may want a low but wider shape that is easier for you to reach. Go for sturdy and well insulated. Make sure you can lift the lid.
I have a very large oval and the lid does not have a counter weight. It can be a strain to get it open.

Marcia

#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:07 PM

Marcia makes a good point ... My traditional three section electric is very difficult to load at the bottom ... A wider shorter oval would be easier. A front loader is even sweeter but they sure cost a lot!

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#5 OffCenter

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

Marcia makes a good point ... My traditional three section electric is very difficult to load at the bottom ... A wider shorter oval would be easier. A front loader is even sweeter but they sure cost a lot!


When I was teaching in Denver, I had a student loading an elec kiln and she was way too short to load the bottom and I didn't know she was doing it, but, long story short, she used a crate to stand on and it fell causing her to fall into the kiln which was bad enough breaking bricks at the top but then she panicked, thinking she would be electrocuted and really tore up the kiln getting out.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#6 TJR

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:13 PM


Marcia makes a good point ... My traditional three section electric is very difficult to load at the bottom ... A wider shorter oval would be easier. A front loader is even sweeter but they sure cost a lot!


When I was teaching in Denver, I had a student loading an elec kiln and she was way too short to load the bottom and I didn't know she was doing it, but, long story short, she used a crate to stand on and it fell causing her to fall into the kiln which was bad enough breaking bricks at the top but then she panicked, thinking she would be electrocuted and really tore up the kiln getting out.

Jim


Jim;
For some reason this makes me laugh. You can't make this stuff up, although I know you would be capable of this.
TJR.:lol:src="http://ceramicartsda...ult/laugh.gif">

#7 OffCenter

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:31 PM



Marcia makes a good point ... My traditional three section electric is very difficult to load at the bottom ... A wider shorter oval would be easier. A front loader is even sweeter but they sure cost a lot!


When I was teaching in Denver, I had a student loading an elec kiln and she was way too short to load the bottom and I didn't know she was doing it, but, long story short, she used a crate to stand on and it fell causing her to fall into the kiln which was bad enough breaking bricks at the top but then she panicked, thinking she would be electrocuted and really tore up the kiln getting out.

Jim


Jim;
For some reason this makes me laugh. You can't make this stuff up, although I know you would be capable of this.
TJR.:lol:src="http://ceramicartsda...ult/laugh.gif">


It was funny and not funny at the same time. Fortunately, her father was loaded and she insisted that he replace the kiln (which I later repaired) with a new, bigger one.

Did you know that Marcia confuses us in another thread? You may get a laugh out of that, but, it made me cry.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#8 neilestrick

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.
Neil Estrick
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L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com

#9 Benzine

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:21 AM

If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


I've got a question about L&L Kilns!!!!

I was going to ask Jim, in another thread, as he is a fan of L&L, but I'll just ask here.

Why do L&L Kilns tend to be so tall/ deep? I'm not a tall individual, and have to stand on the corner of the kiln stand, to place shelves and projects.

At the first two districts I taught at, I used different Skutt models. I had to lean a little bit to load them, but could stay at ground level. Then I got to my current classroom, and there was an L&L, which I hadn't previously heard of. My first thought was, "Dang this thing is tall!"

Don't get me wrong, it's a good kiln, and fires well. It's just a pain in the butt to load, at times, especially when I have larger, heavier, awkward shaped works.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#10 OffCenter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:33 AM


If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


I've got a question about L&L Kilns!!!!

I was going to ask Jim, in another thread, as he is a fan of L&L, but I'll just ask here.

Why do L&L Kilns tend to be so tall/ deep? I'm not a tall individual, and have to stand on the corner of the kiln stand, to place shelves and projects.

At the first two districts I taught at, I used different Skutt models. I had to lean a little bit to load them, but could stay at ground level. Then I got to my current classroom, and there was an L&L, which I hadn't previously heard of. My first thought was, "Dang this thing is tall!"

Don't get me wrong, it's a good kiln, and fires well. It's just a pain in the butt to load, at times, especially when I have larger, heavier, awkward shaped works.


This is a question for Dolomite Neil, but I think one reason is that taller-thinner is a little more efficient than shorter-wider.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#11 OffCenter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


This is not the kind of shed I was suggesting in my earlier post. My shed is big enough for 4 kilns plus lots of shelves and when the tarps are rolled up it is completely open so that it is like firing outside. If you can build such a shed it is the prefect way to fire. Obviously, you have to be careful not to let kilns get wet or too much dampness during rain. Mine have been in such a shed in humid Georgia for 5 or so years now with no computer or other problems yet.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#12 Benzine

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:58 AM


If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


This is not the kind of shed I was suggesting in my earlier post. My shed is big enough for 4 kilns plus lots of shelves and when the tarps are rolled up it is completely open so that it is like firing outside. If you can build such a shed it is the prefect way to fire. Obviously, you have to be careful not to let kilns get wet or too much dampness during rain. Mine have been in such a shed in humid Georgia for 5 or so years now with no computer or other problems yet.

Jim


Jim, how cool does it get there in the winters? My nephew lives a little outside of Atlanta, and I know they freak out, when the get a bit of snow, so I'm guessing not terribly cold. From what I understand, it's the heat and humidity of the summers, that are terrible.

What do you have for a floor in your shed?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#13 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:04 AM


Did you know that Marcia confuses us in another thread? You may get a laugh out of that, but, it made me cry.

Jim

I get you mixed up because I think of you both as from my generation and you are both competent potters. Since I have never met either one of you and can only go by your postings, that is all I have to go by.
Marcia

#14 OffCenter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:28 AM



If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


This is not the kind of shed I was suggesting in my earlier post. My shed is big enough for 4 kilns plus lots of shelves and when the tarps are rolled up it is completely open so that it is like firing outside. If you can build such a shed it is the prefect way to fire. Obviously, you have to be careful not to let kilns get wet or too much dampness during rain. Mine have been in such a shed in humid Georgia for 5 or so years now with no computer or other problems yet.

Jim


Jim, how cool does it get there in the winters? My nephew lives a little outside of Atlanta, and I know they freak out, when the get a bit of snow, so I'm guessing not terribly cold. From what I understand, it's the heat and humidity of the summers, that are terrible.

What do you have for a floor in your shed?


Surprisingly, it does get very cold in middle Georgia, but usually not for very long. I spray my glazes and like to do that outside and have done that when the temp was low 20's or maybe even in the high teens. Cold enough that the spray turned to tiny ice balls that bounced off the pot. I had to use a small version of one of those heaters they have on the sidelines at football games. Anyway, yes, the kiln shed is cold in winter and hot and humid in summer but it doesn't bother me. Tarps down and either a kiln on or a small heater warms it in winter and tarps up and a fan keeps it tolerable in the summer. The floor is a layer of sand with large patio tiles on top of that. BTW, my studio doesn't have a floor, just play sand so every time I go in there it is like a day at the beach.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#15 neilestrick

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:29 AM


If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


I've got a question about L&L Kilns!!!!

I was going to ask Jim, in another thread, as he is a fan of L&L, but I'll just ask here.

Why do L&L Kilns tend to be so tall/ deep? I'm not a tall individual, and have to stand on the corner of the kiln stand, to place shelves and projects.

At the first two districts I taught at, I used different Skutt models. I had to lean a little bit to load them, but could stay at ground level. Then I got to my current classroom, and there was an L&L, which I hadn't previously heard of. My first thought was, "Dang this thing is tall!"

Don't get me wrong, it's a good kiln, and fires well. It's just a pain in the butt to load, at times, especially when I have larger, heavier, awkward shaped works.


L&L kilns are the same dimensions as all other brands of kilns. 8 sided kilns are 17/18" wide, 10 sided kilns are 22/23" wide, 12 sided kilns are 27/28" wide. Each ring is 9" tall. It could be that the stand is a bit taller, or you've shrunk. The L&L stand is about 8" tall. Anyone got a Skutt they can measure?
Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com

#16 OffCenter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:40 AM


Did you know that Marcia confuses us in another thread? You may get a laugh out of that, but, it made me cry.

Jim

I get you mixed up because I think of you both as from my generation and you are both competent potters. Since I have never met either one of you and can only go by your postings, that is all I have to go by.
Marcia


I was just kidding TJR, Marcia. Maybe some day we'll meet. Would love to talk to your husband. When I lived in Boulder I knew two astrophysicist (one a grad student) and sitting in a micro-brewery talking with them was pretty close to heaven for me.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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

#17 Benzine

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:42 AM



If you need to put the kiln in a shed, make sure it is weather tight. If it has a wood floor, put down two layers of cement tile backer board under the kiln that extends about a foot beyond the kiln. You need about 18" clearance from all flammable materials, like the walls of the shed. A shed is a very small space for a kiln. You'll need good ventilation of both fumes and heat. That may mean leaving the door open on nice days, but with bad weather that means vent fans in the wall or roof. I could see it getting up to 150 degrees inside with the shed closed up without venting. If the circuit board on the kiln controller gets too hot, it will shut down.

If you have any questions about L&L Kilns, feel free to contact me.


I've got a question about L&L Kilns!!!!

I was going to ask Jim, in another thread, as he is a fan of L&L, but I'll just ask here.

Why do L&L Kilns tend to be so tall/ deep? I'm not a tall individual, and have to stand on the corner of the kiln stand, to place shelves and projects.

At the first two districts I taught at, I used different Skutt models. I had to lean a little bit to load them, but could stay at ground level. Then I got to my current classroom, and there was an L&L, which I hadn't previously heard of. My first thought was, "Dang this thing is tall!"

Don't get me wrong, it's a good kiln, and fires well. It's just a pain in the butt to load, at times, especially when I have larger, heavier, awkward shaped works.


L&L kilns are the same dimensions as all other brands of kilns. 8 sided kilns are 17/18" wide, 10 sided kilns are 22/23" wide, 12 sided kilns are 27/28" wide. Each ring is 9" tall. It could be that the stand is a bit taller, or you've shrunk. The L&L stand is about 8" tall. Anyone got a Skutt they can measure?


I actually do have a Skutt at home I could measure. It must just be the stand. I don't think I'm shrinking........yet.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#18 perkolator

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

All my Skutt stands are 8" tall. A 1227 kiln sits around 30" to the top of the 3rd ring (under the lid). I believe this is standard size across many brands.

Getting to the bottom of a kiln is hard even for a 6ft tall person. Downside to shorter kiln is not being able to fit much inside obviously. Usually when you get shorter, wider kilns, they have to add in floor/wall elements to compensate for getting heat to penetrate the center of the stack.

I know some artists getting older who struggle reaching the bottom of their kiln, so when I was helping them research the replacement kiln I suggested looking at a front-loading electric (like the new Skutt, Hercules, L&L, Paragon, etc. -- or even one with a "Bell-Lift" system (like those fancy raku kilns where the walls lift up with the cantilever system)

#19 Benzine

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:00 PM

All my Skutt stands are 8" tall. A 1227 kiln sits around 30" to the top of the 3rd ring (under the lid). I believe this is standard size across many brands.

Getting to the bottom of a kiln is hard even for a 6ft tall person. Downside to shorter kiln is not being able to fit much inside obviously. Usually when you get shorter, wider kilns, they have to add in floor/wall elements to compensate for getting heat to penetrate the center of the stack.

I know some artists getting older who struggle reaching the bottom of their kiln, so when I was helping them research the replacement kiln I suggested looking at a front-loading electric (like the new Skutt, Hercules, L&L, Paragon, etc. -- or even one with a "Bell-Lift" system (like those fancy raku kilns where the walls lift up with the cantilever system)


I've been looking into front loading kilns, for my classroom, sometime down the road. I don't have a problem, lifting things in there now, but my parkour loading routine, hanging off the kiln stand, isn't something I'll be able to do forever. The downside is, that those front loading kilns are a bit pricey.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#20 neilestrick

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:03 PM

Some companies make long, wide kilns, so you can get large volume without height. Oval or rectangular kilns give you the option of having decent volume without height. My L&L DaVinci is a top loading, 20 cubic foot kiln. It uses three 14x28 inch shelves per row. It's a standard 3 ring, 27 inch deep kiln. With only two rings it would still have more interior volume than a 27x27 round kiln (Skutt 1227 or L&L E28T), but be much easier to load. Plus rectangles make for more efficient use of interior space than circles.
Neil Estrick
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L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com




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