Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sumopanda

What To Look For In A Used Kiln?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I'm looking for a used kiln.  Hopefully a Skutt or an L&L.  I'm looking for a programmable one that will fire to cone 10, although I plan to fire to cone 5.  (It's nice to have the option.)  My question is, what should I look for when I actually get to see one in person?  What am I looking for concerning the elements or control panels?  Is there a way to test it without doing a full firing?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good luck finding a kiln that has a programmer.  most older kilns for sale are not that young.  an older one can be good if the price and condition are right.  also be sure you can transport it back home.  there are lots of recent posts here on how to buy and connect a kiln.

 

if you have an opportunity to look at a new one, maybe a dealer nearby, notice how the elements lie in the grooves. take your camera along and reach down inside and take the pic facing the elements.  now that you have what it should be, go shopping.  you might find that the kiln was used originally by someone who is not available to ask about previous use.  the usual seller has no idea that the kiln is not called "sitter"  which is on the box they see first.  look at the way is is sitting wherever it is.  is it used as a shelf for anything the seller put on top of it?  you have an amateur who knows nothing about care of a kiln.  is everything included?  can be a real bargain. 

 

in any kiln for sale look at the lid, its hinge, its cracks, and check out the elements.   do they stand straight up and down or do they lean over, each coil touching the next?  not saying that one with old elements is a bad purchase, just pointing out what to look for.  an old car might need new tires, any reason you would not want it just for that?  the photo you took of the new one will help you negotiate a price, that is why you will take it along.  

 

it is a decision only you can reach.  you might ask both skutt and L&L for their latest brochure and use it as a guide.  good luck.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are you located? Knowing this will help poster make suggestions.

 

As Oldlady said, programmable kilns don't come up for resale too often. They are relatively newer, so the first owner, is still getting good use out of them.

 

I have seen a programmable Skutt go up for sale on Govdeals.com, for a steal. It was fairly local to me, so I bid on it. It ended up going for more than I was willing to pay, but the winner still got it for an amazing price. Since then, I haven't seen many similar kilns come up at all, for a decent price.

Surplus sites, like the one I mentioned are your best bet. They include photos, and generally don't know what they are selling, or don't care, so prices are lower. Sites like eBay and Craigslist, sellers tend to overvalue their item. "A device that can create temperatures over 2000 degrees! Obviously that is worth thousands of dollars, regardless of the age or condition..."

The one I mentioned on Govdeals, was being sold by a well off school district. It was listed as old, but really wasn't at all. They were probably getting something newer and nicer.

 

So it kind of depends on how long you want to wait. If you want a kiln soon, you may have to go with a manual kiln. If a used programmable is a must, then waiting will be necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just looked at craigslist for DC.  someone is advertising a "sitter kiln"  for 150.  talked to the man with a heavy accent, it is a Gare, model 2327, 45 amp, 240 V 10,800 watts.  $150.   picture shows bottom section is tall and there is a shorter section on top.  no other info.   typical seller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned above, you're going to have a hard time finding one with a digital controller. When they do come up they are typically near new, like they bought the kiln and never used it. They are usually priced like a discounted new kiln, so not exactly a bargain unless you happen to be in the market for a new kiln.

 

You can find lots of goo manual kilns, though, and can always hook up an external digital controller for around $500-600.

 

When looking at used kilns, check that the bricks are good condition. If they are beginning to yellow, that's a sign that they have been fired a lot and will wear out sooner than later. If the element coils are all standing upright and the wire looks to be in decent condition, then there's a good chance the elements will work for a while longer. New elements will cost roughly $50 per element to replace them. The wiring in the control box is cheap to replace, but if you're not comfortable with doing it yourself, then open up the box and make sure it looks good. Bend the wires and see if they're still flexible. If they crunch then they're old and need replacing. If the connections are corroded then they need replacing. If the boxes have inter-box plugs, take the kiln sections apart and check for corrosion. Those plugs go bad a lot, and can be replaced by hard-wiring the sections. Get a brand that is still in business.

 

Get a Craigslist app on your phone that will store searches and set up a kiln search. Check it 3 times a day. If a good deal comes up it will go fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.