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Electric Kiln Choice


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#1 fergusonjeff

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:28 PM

I appologize for yet another "which one should I get" post, but I have searched all that I can and am really looking for some specific information that might help me make a choice.

 

I am currently using a 7 cu/ft old Duncan kiln that I got used.  I like the size, although I would not mind something a little larger. 

 

I have been looking primarily at the Skutt 1027-3 and the comperable L&L models.  The first question is why I should choose one over the other.  The Skutt is a little cheaper.   There is available repair service for both brands within a couple hour drive (I live between St. Louis and Kansas City, so anything is a 2-hour drive). 

 

The real complicatign factor is that a store in St. Louis has a used (from an Elementray school) Skutt 1227 with a new Skutt computer controller, new elements and an old (but working) vent system.  I would need all new shelving, but would still come out ahead and have a larger kiln. 

 

Can anyone point out any major positive or negative aspects to any of the options?  How about some options I have not thought of?

 

thanks for any help, and I really appreciate all the great information I get from the site on a daily basis.



#2 neilestrick

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:38 PM

Do some searches here on the forum and you'll find lots of answers to your questions. Briefly, L&L will last longer due to the hard ceramic element holders, and fire more evenly due to zone control. If you have specific questions about L&L, or would like to hear my opinions based on years of repair work, feel free to contact me directly. Both Skutt and L&L are good brands, but there are differences.

 

As for that used kiln, make sure the voltage and phase are correct for your installation, or you're going to have to put some money into it. There's a good chance that it's wired for 208 volts or 3 phase or both since it's coming out of a school. You need 240 volt single phase for a home kiln.


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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:50 PM

I own 3 skutts (2- 1027s) and one 1227)  and over 35 years with skutts I recomend L&L-I feel they are better made with better quaility materials. The stainless is better the element holders are far better. I feel skutt is always cutting corner and playing catch up.

The cost is more and sometimes you get what you pay for.

I bought all my skutts used but a new kiln I would buy a L&L

My 2 cents

Mark


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#4 fergusonjeff

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:00 PM

Mark and Neil,

  Thanks for your quick replies.  You were two I was hoping to hear from. 

  The used kiln is being sold by a local ceramics shop, and they are replacing the elements and upgrading it from a manual to a new Skutt controller.  I assumed they will wire it for single phase home use, but I will make sure.  Since it is an older kiln, it won't have the new lid-lifter system, but I am perfectly capable of lifting a kiln lid. 

 

  I have searched the archives, but the restriction on words being at least 6 letters makes it hard to search for terms like "kiln", "Skutt", "L&L",....

 

Mark, aside from the extra size, are there any major differences between the 1027 and the 1227?

 

thanks again,

Jeff



#5 neilestrick

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:08 PM

The benefit of the lid lifter design, other than it being easier to open, is that is is a more stable hinge, so the bricks shift around less when opening and closing the lid.


Neil Estrick
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#6 Joy pots

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:26 PM

Hi, I've had a Skutt for 40 years, only problem was it was moved incorrectly & damage was done to the bricks. It doesn't have an electronic timer. It still fires right on so far. I have had elements etc. changed over the years.
Joy

#7 Mark C.

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:44 PM

My mistake my smaller ones are 231's and skutt has gone to newer number systems and the larger is 1227 they all are older manual kilns -no fancy controllers only cone shut off tubes. The 1227 has a timer for extra shut off protection

I just bisque(08) in these and really now only in the larger 1227.

I have had all the skutt lids replaces as well as most of the screws(also stainless??) and the bands also needed repair over time- as the spot wields all came loose on all three kilns.The newer 1227 is made from a more rusting stainless than the older skutts I have.

The older skutt hinges where very poor but they are better as Neil said above in post.

You know after owning skutts since the mid 70s I'm just ready for another better kiln-now thats just me and I'm getting tired of replaceing every part -There must be a better one out there. On the positive note these elements last almost forever just doing biqsue fires.

Mark


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#8 fergusonjeff

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:29 AM

 If I go new, I am leaning toward the L&L.  My real dillema is just whether or not I should go with the used 1227.  The store sent some pictures and it looks very nice.  Just one small chip in the interior near the bottom of the side.  It will be completely new electronically, but will have an older style lid.  The new electronics would not do much good if the structure falls apart soon.  The used one would be around $1900 with shelves and a used vent, delivered, compared to a similar new setup at around $3300. 

  Thanks again,

Jeff



#9 neilestrick

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:56 AM

$1900 is a great price, especially if the bricks are good. Might go with that...


Neil Estrick
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#10 Darla

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

If you're two hours from KC, you're only a little further to Brackers Good Earth Clays in Lawrence.  (only a mile off of the turnpike - North Lawrence exit.)    Awesome place.  Family owned.  Awesome people.  I bought my Cone Art there, and 18 months and 80 firings later, I'm still 100% happy.  They have Skutt, L&L, and ConeArt, and guided me thru the whys and how comes.  

 

http://www.brackers.com

 

http://shop.brackers...c-Kilns-C9.aspx

 

(I do not work there, nor am I a family member - although they do treat me as if I was.)



#11 oldlady

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:12 PM

thanks for posting the location of brackers.  i have tried to find their location to check shipping charges but was unable to locate them.


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