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Just How Old Is Too Old For A Kiln?

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9 hours ago, terribleterra5@yahoo.com said:

I have two big kilns to give away not sure about them they were my mothers and she is dead and I hate to throw them out free to anyone who can pick them up in Richmond California By March 18, 2020 Please text 510-688-2475 

A description of the kilns would be helpful...pix too...

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I have one from the late 70's. I do my best to make repairs often and keep it in good working order replacing elements, switches wiring blocks and wiring as needed. Replace lids and bottoms also. Not a whole lot of work, I do happen to have an L&L, and the bricks get very little wear.




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I readily concede that old kilns last a long time if they are kept in top condition.

Of course the flip side of that is that if you invest in a new kiln now and keep it in top condition it may well last you for the rest of your life so unlike something like a new car there is value in that.  Shortly after I started this thread I came to the decision that it was worth it to me to just buy a new one. That was a few years ago and I got a new Skutt 1027 for just under $2500 with vent and tax and I picked it up and drove it 2 thousand miles to Texas. The used ones I found that had electronic controllers (non starter for me) were a grand or so the savings would have been around $1500 and I put the first miles on it. Since a lot of used kilns will need a new set of elements sooner than later and maybe some minor repairs the extra cost was probably really under a grand when alls said and done.  At least that is how I justified it:rolleyes:

In addition to starting with a new kiln I also was able to pick out the right kiln for me. Shopping the used market I was pretty much trapped in whatever was available and since I was adamant about having an electronic controller that meant little choice (the cost of external controllers or the retrofits available at the time really made buying new a no brainier).

All of that said if I was broke I would get the best $200 manual kiln I could find and move on.  

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  • 9 months later...
On 9/30/2016 at 7:32 AM, Callie Beller Diesel said:

When I called Cress to get the right manual and electrical diagram from them for my new-to-me model, they said it was sold to the original owner sometime around 1983. The brick is pristine, and the elements look pretty tight. The electrician is coming today to hook it up, so I'll keep you all posted.

What model is it? I am trying to find operating instructions for a,Cress B23H I just acquired. When I called Cress they said they “no longer support “ this model. I’m hoping someone can help me figure out how to work it.

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@CeeJay I think it actually might have been someone’s custom build. It’s marked clearly as an FT31, but that’s not a number they manufactured a lot of, I guess.  I gave Arturo the numbers on the plate and he sent me 2 wiring diagrams, and my kiln uses elements of both. It’s got the thumb wheel, a timer, a kiln sitter, and it has a really rudimentary set of servo motors that turns the kiln up at different rates. It’s like a weird steampunk version of an electronic control panel. 

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