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Norm35

New Kiln Buyer

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I have enough power for a high temp kiln, but I am not sure which is the best clay to work with, the low- or mid-fire. In the past, I have only worked with high- or low-fire. I don't know that much about mid-fire.

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You might be better going with a high-fire kiln, cone 10.  Even if you only work at low-fire or mid-fire ranges, you would always have the option of going higher.  If you buy only a lower firing kiln, you limit your options for the future.  I have a L&L kiln that can fire to cone 10, but only fire to cone 6. 

 

Also, I'd suggest getting one with digital controls. 

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Will you be running the kiln off the same electrical panel as your house?   Also consider how far you have to run the wiring.  I found it to be more cost economical to install a separate meter box and panel.     How many amps do you have?

 

Lots of discussions here about kilns.  RESEARCH.  Read every thing on the forum about kilns.  This is the most important decision you will make.  Especially if you plan on firing above Cone 04.   It's pay a little bit more for a good kiln now or continuously pay (in time and dollars) later. I have an L&L now for my glaze kiln.  Spent a year changing out elements & griefing over a lesser kiln.  No regrets at all with the L&L.  I do use another kiln for bisque (cone 04) with no problems.   Even though a kiln says it will fire to Cone 10 doesn't mean you can do it on a continual basis w/o a lot of replacements.

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Working at cone 6 is generally considered preferable for functional ware over low fire, since you can get clay bodies that vitrify. From a kiln safety standpoint there is no difference. Contact me if you need any info on L&L, or any questions in general about setting up a kiln in your home.

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Thank you for all of this advice. I am looking at a Skutt KM818. I have a 40 amp 240 volt outlet ready to go and it sounds like working with at least cone 5 or 6 would be worthwhile over low-fire.

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