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Used/second hand pottery wheel & kiln


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Hi everyone,

Please excuse my general lack of knowledge around ceramics. I am a complete beginner and am desperate to set up my own workshop. I have the space as I live on a farm in Australia with sheds available. I have been advised to buy my initial start up equipment second-hand if possible and I am finding it difficult to source any Australian based second-hand listings or forums that can point me in the right direction. Does anyone have any tips on how to go about this? I am located in Sydney, NSW specifically. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Alex :) 

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Hi Alex,

Might take a while to find good equipment, meanwhile, research pricing, features, etc. - get an idea what you'd like to start with and fair prices...

Not seeing anything here, but keep looking https://sydney.craigslist.org/

...and facebook marketplace (set location to Sydney) - am seeing a few kilns and one wheel a Venco in Wagga Wagga, hrm, $950 is about $600USD; looks like Venco is still in business, parts available, etc. I'd stay away from cone drive, however, many swear by them.

...and local adverts and classifieds

...check also local ceramic supply outfits for postings, specials, leads

Good luck! I'm still happy with my ancient used kiln and still covered by warrantee (was in) brand new condition wheel! The kiln came with a few old warped shelves, and brand new shelf set, assortment of posts, several boxes of cones, and several pounds of glaze materials as well. The wheel seller tossed in a box of tools and some bags of clay - I asked, as they were sitting right there.

Edited by Hulk
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15 hours ago, Alex said:

Hi everyone,

Please excuse my general lack of knowledge around ceramics. I am a complete beginner and am desperate to set up my own workshop. I have the space as I live on a farm in Australia with sheds available. I have been advised to buy my initial start up equipment second-hand if possible and I am finding it difficult to source any Australian based second-hand listings or forums that can point me in the right direction. Does anyone have any tips on how to go about this? I am located in Sydney, NSW specifically. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Alex :)

Do you have acquaintances who are into ceramics?

Get advice on what to look for when buying second hand kilns etc.

Also be careful of what electricity..if not buying gas, your kiln will draw and what is supplied to your farm.

Don't buy too small as you'll outgrow it fast.

Also great books around on kilns and firing.

Are you making stuff now?

Suppliers sometimes have second hand gear also.

Kilns are expensive in Australia.

Good luck, search the forums here, i think sound advice has been given on what to look for before purchasing second hand kilns.

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On 4/10/2020 at 2:29 AM, Alex said:

I have been advised to buy my initial start up equipment second-hand if possible and I am finding it difficult to source any Australian based second-hand listings or forums that can point me in the right direction.

While I certainly don't see anything wrong with 2nd hand I personally see plenty of upside to buying new stuff if you can afford it. All of our stuff was new when we bought it and the upside was that each item was matched to what we thought our needs were and then I researched to find the best I could afford that would meet that need. Buying used can work out that way if you are then willing to sit and wait after all the research for the right thing to come along but more often than not buying used means just buying whatever is available that comes close. Since even really old pottery stuff last for freaking ever you may be saddled with a perfectly good whatever that works but doesn't really meet your needs for a really long time. I think one good example would be buying too small or too large a kiln. It takes so much hoopla to change them out that you are more likely to just live with it. 

As a beginning potter you may have to do some work to figure out what you need. Have you taken classes? What are you primarily going to make because that makes a huge difference in how likely you are to readily find good used stuff. When it comes to the kiln think about how often you plan to fire and the size of the pots you are going to be firing. When you are considering a kiln it might be helpful to make a cutout of the size kiln shelves and then arrange pots on it (pots can't touch each other when glazing) and figure out if the kiln you are getting will accommodate the pots you want to fire. A small kiln might hold the pots you make and take less time to fill so you can fire more often and a large kiln holding a 100 pots might take you longer to fill than you want to wait.

I would spend lots of time on the 'what' I need first and then you can see whats available new and used and make an informed decision.  Maybe it ends up being a bit of both new and used.

Edited by Stephen
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