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Does it matter who you buy a kiln from?


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I'm about to buy my first kiln. It's not a big one (I only have 50amp service available) but it's a big deal to me! I don't want to make a mistake or a bad decision on what I consider a big purchase.

I've pretty much decided on an L&L E23S with 3" bricks and vent. It will come to almost $2800.

I used to live near The Ceramic Shop in PA although I'm about 4 hours away now. I like a lot of their in house products. I'm also only about 75 minutes away from Sheffield Pottery in MA although I haven't been there yet. Both sell the L&L and the price is pretty close.

Has anyone heard anything bad about either of these  vendors? Is there something else I should know? Is there another preferred vendor or way to buy a kiln that I don't know about?

Does it matter who you buy your kiln from?

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I decided to buy a kiln from @neilestrick.

He has been very helpful to me since I joined this forum. He obviously knows what he's talking about and is generous with his time and expertise. He also gave me a very good price quote. No one here responded about the other two vendors I asked about so I don't have any additional feedback about them (good or bad).

I decided it matters to buy a kiln from someone I "know" rather than a vendor whose customer service is unknown to me.

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I will echo those comments regarding @neilestrick. I recently bought a kiln and while ended up going with a different vendor I just want to empathize how amazing and helpful Neil’s advice, expertise, time etc were invaluable.  If I lived on the mainland I would not hesitate to contact him for a new kiln!

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1 minute ago, Morgan said:

I will echo those comments regarding @neilestrick. I recently bought a kiln and while ended up going with a different vendor I just want to empathize how amazing and helpful Neil’s advice, expertise, time etc were invaluable.  If I lived on the mainland I would not hesitate to contact him for a new kiln!

Thank you Morgan! What did you end up deciding?

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I purchased my L & L Easy Fire kiln with 3" bricks from Sheffield. I purchase glaze, tools, etc from Sheffield. I don't buy clay from them because I can purchase closer to home and pick it up in person.  I have always been happy with Sheffield's service.

Neil gave me some good advice before I bought my kiln as well. :) 

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7 hours ago, Morgan said:

No problem! I ended up going with the smaller L&L equad pro-2327. Of coarse now that I have been stewing on it I wish I had gone with the middle size but it just seemed a too big for my needs and probably is.

The eQuad models are amazing, and the 2327 is the most popular size kiln in the USA, so it'll probably work for you  just fine. The 2827 is a big kiln, too big for most people unless they're  selling a lot of work. Let me know if you need any help once you receive it.

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Don't want to make his head explode. but I have to say, Neil is a gem. I am doing my thing today primarily due to the very kindly demeanor and generously shared expertise  of, specifically, John Baymore in person (for hooking me up with his anagama firings & these forums) and virtually online & by phone, of Neil, for safe kiln installation on the porch of a house trailer in rural NH. May be TMI, but I'll leak out that I was running on fumes that were getting more toxic by the minute when I hit a fork in the road with one spur heading to ceramicsville. So yeah, it matters who you buy a kiln from LOL!

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