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Product Advice for American living in Denmark


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Hi All, writing as an American from East Coast but living in Denmark. I am in need of a new kiln after buying 2 used that I couldn't get working properly (I live on an island with only 6,000 people - none knowledgeable about kiln tech/specs/operation/parts etc. and my husband and I are useless for various reasons. I will sell the 2 to people off the island and get back some money).  In Denmark there is one manufacturer of kilns and, as such, they get hefty prices for quality I'm not so sure about.

Before, I buy, I'd love to  hear anyone's recommendations, experience or knowledge of qualities/reliability/durability of kilns in EU (some being sold in the U.S. as well)? (Rhode, Nabertherm, Paragon, Olympic, Cromartie, Potterycrafts, possibly Skutt- many others made in the UK)? I would absolutely be buying an L&L in the U.S. if I were there (and couldn't join a shared studio). Rhode and Nabertherm are closest to where I live in Denmark. L&L does not have a supplier in EU, though I do have one on the East Coast who will ship to me - so I am considering that too. I know though that customs duties will be outrageous, and tax will include the duties and shipping costs plus price and tax the whole amount at 25%! All  those I can find in EU will require shipping to where I live so would consider the right kiln from UK or other EU countries.

Any ideas - they will be highly appreciated! 

THANKS in advance :)

Edited by Jen WC
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55 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I've heard great things about nabertherm kilns.  German engineering and whatnot. ;)

That is what I would have thought too. Rhose and Pyrotec are also German. But as someone wrote in another thread, maybe it was you!, all manufacturers choose where they will cut costs or add features. I'm a big fan of how L&L holds the elements. But I did start looking at Nabertherm tonight . . . still researching.  Thanks for the feedback.

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Nabertherm are great kilns, but a but difficult to work on. They bury everything in the hinge panel, and it's a very tight, very confusing layout. The wiring diagram for the last Nabertherm I worked on was 5 pages. Every other kiln I've worked on was 1 page. That said, you shouldn't need to do much work on it, other than changing elements, and the folks in their office were very kind and helpful when I needed them. I haven't worked on any of the other EU brands.

Personally, I don't like kilns that aren't sectional. They're more difficult to move and set up, and much more difficult to replace bricks. If you're careful with your personal kiln, brick replacement won't be a big issue, though. For schools and community studios where I do the majority of my repair work, it's a major issue.

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Thanks Neilestrick, 
That is good information to have. It points me to things I hadn't known in terms hinge panel! I will definitely look there. Also as far as the sectionals. I'll look further into them. I was thinking about tiles when focusing primarily on right-angle kilns. Davinci looks great, for example, but is very expensive and then has the high Danish sales tax (25%) to be paid on it including the transportation cost wrapped in, and customs duties. I might have found a company that will import it for me - and then I can possibly get what I want and not have to pay the incredible extra costs in DK. 
Still - gonna give a re-think to the sectionals!
Thanks again :)

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I'm in the UK, and have a very old Potterycrafts kiln.  It's had new elements and thermocouple since I've had it.  Also replaced the very basic timer with a proper programmer.  It's a small top-loader.

At the community centre we have a larger front-loader, don't know what brand it is, was bought from Essex Kilns.  Have had no problems with it, it's about 7 years old, fired once a week most weeks.

 

Whatever you buy, pay proper attention to what you plug/wire it into.  Many here are much more knowledgeable than I am, they'll help you out when you get to that stage.

Edited by Chilly
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@Jen WC Chilly just reminded me of something. It seems like we get a fair number of people here on the forum with European kilns that have controllers that aren't very functional. They only do one or two ramps, don't have a cone fire mode, etc. US controllers usually have these functions, but not all the EU models do. I don't know if we're just dealing with older models, or if that's just how it is with those kilns. Be sure to check out the controller and make sure it has good functionality. It should be able to do custom programs with at least 5 or 6 segments, and ideally would have pre-programmed firing schedules for any cone.

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19 hours ago, neilestrick said:

It should be able to do custom programs with at least 5 or 6 segments, and ideally would have pre-programmed firing schedules for any cone.

My programmer is from Stafford.  It's higher spec than the one at the centre which is an Ipco.  Both are programmable for up and down ramps, just that the Stafford has more segments. You get what you pay for.  I think almost all new UK kilns come with decent digital programmers.

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