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L&L vs. Cress


ECpot
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Hi!

I am new to this wonderful community! I am a beginner potter.  Started pottery at local studio but due to covid, I purchased my own wheel and now I am dying to get a Kiln in my garage.
After a long research, I decided on L&L easy fire 28M, 240, 1 phase and even installed outlet and breakers.  However,  live near LA and all distributors near me are telling me it will take about 4-6 MONTHS to get a kiln.  One distributor suggested Cress kiln with 4weeks turnaround time.  
the best quote I received was from the ceramic shop so far ( l&l)

what do you guys suggest for me?  

1. Wait 4-6 month to get l and l?

2. If I do, should I consider getting 28S (18” depth) or 28M (23” depth)

3. Buy Cress kiln and start firing in 4weeks? ( will need to research my cress kiln options )

I welcome all your expertise and suggestions!  Thank you.

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Hi EC!

I'd suggest the bigger kiln - given you'll be in your studio a lot; if you really like plates, platters, and such, perhaps the wide one, eh?

Four to six months seems like a long time, aye, however, by then you may have culled/recycled quite a few pots - I'm still (just over three years in) finding they look different after sitting for a while, particularly when compared to "the latest." Researching glazes, gathering materials and mixing test batches all takes time as well.

Consider fitting your kiln with a kiln vent, your studio space with supplemental venting and provision for make up air.

Edited by Hulk
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@ECpot Current lead time on L&L is 12 weeks, not 4 to 6 months. The L&L will last longer and be easier to repair/maintain.

The e28S is 7 cubic feet in volume, which is the most popular size sold in the US, however it's usually sold in the e23T version. The wide, short e28S  is easier to load, though, and will have less wasted space than the e23T. As a beginner, it's hard to know what you'll need 5-10 years from now, but most people don't need a kiln taller than 18". Even with the bottom shelf in place you'll have 16.5" to work with, which is a really tall pot. I make 12 pound lidded jars that will fit in that size kiln. The e28M would give you a little more height, but it has the same power draw and more volume which means the element life won't be quite as good. If you ever get to where you need more than 7 cubic feet, it might mean you actually need a second kiln.

Whatever you decide, get the Quad elements, as they'll pay for themselves in longer element life, and also get the Genesis controller.

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Granted I am a big fan of L+L, but I think waiting a few months for the L+L is worth it, considering you will use it for the rest of your life. 

Both times I bought a new kiln, the suppliers who sells it does not ship it to you. They turn around and order it from L+L for you, and it gets drop shipped from L+L. Which means you are not tied to your local suppliers. You can shop around to other suppliers and see if others have a better lead time. Price can vary a lot between suppliers too. 

Edited by GEP
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Wow, thank you for all your suggestions! 

3 hours ago, neilestrick said:

@ECpot Current lead time on L&L is 12 weeks, not 4 to 6 months. The L&L will last longer and be easier to repair/maintain.

The e28S is 7 cubic feet in volume, which is the most popular size sold in the US, however it's usually sold in the e23T version. The wide, short e28S  is easier to load, though, and will have less wasted space than the e23T. As a beginner, it's hard to know what you'll need 5-10 years from now, but most people don't need a kiln taller than 18". Even with the bottom shelf in place you'll have 16.5" to work with, which is a really tall pot. I make 12 pound lidded jars that will fit in that size kiln. The e28M would give you a little more height, but it has the same power draw and more volume which means the element life won't be quite as good. If you ever get to where you need more than 7 cubic feet, it might mean you actually need a second kiln.

Whatever you decide, get the Quad elements, as they'll pay for themselves in longer element life, and also get the Genesis controller.

Good points!  Really! You even answered my unmentioned questions about elements and controller.  Thank you!

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4 hours ago, Hulk said:

Hi EC!

I'd suggest the bigger kiln - given you'll be in your studio a lot; if you really like plates, platters, and such, perhaps the wide one, eh?

Four to six months seems like a long time, aye, however, by then you may have culled/recycled quite a few pots - I'm still (just over three years in) finding they look different after sitting for a while, particularly when compared to "the latest." Researching glazes, gathering materials and mixing test batches all takes time as well.

Consider fitting your kiln with a kiln vent, your studio space with supplemental venting and provision for make up air.

Distributers wait until they have certain number of orders from customers hence the wait...  guess not as many folks are getting l&l in California?  
my studio is in the garage so I was going to skip the kiln vent and instead add quad elements and digital controller.  Is the vent must?

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43 minutes ago, ECpot said:

 Is the vent must?

It'll make your elements last longer, make your glazes look better, and keep all the particulate matter from the kiln fumes from landing all over your garage.

44 minutes ago, ECpot said:

Distributers wait until they have certain number of orders from customers hence the wait

It depends. If the kiln company gives a discount for shipping X number of kilns at the same time to their business, then yes, they'll wait. But if it's being drop shipped to your house then there's no reason to wait. But shipping from L&L to California for a single kiln is usually about $450-500.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all your suggestions!  I ended up ordering from the ceramic shop.  L&L easy fire 28S with control panel, quads elements and vent.  I went with shop furniture kits instead of L&L.  Lead time is about 12-14 weeks.  Since I am in California, I expect it will be more 14-16 weeks.  Will be posting lots of ‘help me!’ On kiln firings in near future.  Thank you in advance for your guidance.  

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17 hours ago, ECpot said:

Will be posting lots of ‘help me!’ On kiln firings in near future.

Prepare yourself by reading every book about kilns and firing that you can get hold of.  Even the really old ones that came before digital controllers.  First kiln I fired had a digital controller, second had switches, and a temperature dial, no kiln sitter.  I was OK firing it as I had knowledge of what was going on.

Enjoy

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:06 AM, neilestrick said:

The e28S is 7 cubic feet in volume, which is the most popular size sold in the US, however it's usually sold in the e23T version. The wide, short e28S  is easier to load, though, and will have less wasted space than the e23T. As a beginner, it's hard to know what you'll need 5-10 years from now, but most people don't need a kiln taller than 18". Even with the bottom shelf in place you'll have 16.5" to work with, which is a really tall pot. I make 12 pound lidded jars that will fit in that size kiln. The e28M would give you a little more height, but it has the same power draw and more volume which means the element life won't be quite as good. If you ever get to where you need more than 7 cubic feet, it might mean you actually need a second kiln.

Whatever you decide, get the Quad elements, as they'll pay for themselves in longer element life, and also get the Genesis controller.

Why would you prefer using 2 of the 7 c.f. kiln to a 10 c.f. one?  Just those particular models or in general?  I've got a 2927 and I like the size since it's flexible  space for loading., most of my pieces are all different sizes. Is there better energy usage in the smaller kiln in general, or again does that vary model to model based on something, like being direct wired?  What do you think of the Quad Pro?  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, kswan said:

Why would you prefer using 2 of the 7 c.f. kiln to a 10 c.f. one?  Just those particular models or in general?  I've got a 2927 and I like the size since it's flexible  space for loading., most of my pieces are all different sizes. Is there better energy usage in the smaller kiln in general, or again does that vary model to model based on something, like being direct wired?  What do you think of the Quad Pro?  Thanks!

It depends on how you work. If you like a faster production schedule, or do a lot of custom orders where filling the kiln faster means faster deliveries, then smaller kilns are the way to go. Larger kilns are great if you don't mind waiting longer to fill the kiln, or make large pieces. The larger the kiln, the lower the cost per pot to fire them, but I think the schedule it more important since the firing costs per pot are really low regardless of the kiln size unless you're dealing with really small kilns.

Direct wiring has no effect on kiln efficiency or firing cost. Kilns over 50 amps are required to be direct wired, but you can direct wire any kiln if you want to.

I just ordered an eQ2827-3, which his 10 cubic feet. It will replace my 21 cubic foot L&L DaVinci. I want a smaller kiln for the reasons I stated above- faster turnaround time and  less time piling up pots before there's enough to fill the kiln. My students will love having things fired more often. We currently have to get about 5 weeks into a session before there's enough pots to fill the DaVinci, and during glazing week there's not enough to fill it until at least 3 classes have glazed. It'll be nice to fire every couple of weeks, and load it up for glaze work after each class.

The eQuad kilns are great if you need more power than the Easy Fire models have. I think the eQ2327-3 isn't really necessary since the e23T-3 has plenty of power, but for the 10 cubic foot models you need the eQuad if you're on single phase power. The e28T-3 is only rated to cone 8 on 240V 1P service, and cone 5 on 208V 1P service, but the eQ2827-3 (same size) is rated to cone 10 for all versions. The 3 phase Easy Fire models have almost as much power as the eQuads, but they cost less, even if you upgrade to the Quad elements. However the added benefit of the eQuad models is that they have branch fusing in the control box, which adds another layer of surge protection to the system.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/18/2020 at 10:49 AM, ECpot said:

Thank you for all your suggestions!  I ended up ordering from the ceramic shop.  L&L easy fire 28S with control panel, quads elements and vent.  I went with shop furniture kits instead of L&L.  Lead time is about 12-14 weeks.  Since I am in California, I expect it will be more 14-16 weeks.  Will be posting lots of ‘help me!’ On kiln firings in near future.  Thank you in advance for your guidance.  

I am near LA too and am looking an L&L from  The Ceramic Shop... 

Are you getting delivery at a residence? If so did you need to pay for extra lift gate service  (beyond the $99 fee)?

 

Thanks 

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23 minutes ago, Girl on Fire said:

I am near LA too and am looking an L&L from  The Ceramic Shop... 

Are you getting delivery at a residence? If so did you need to pay for extra lift gate service  (beyond the $99 fee)?

 

Thanks 

Yes.  It was $40 extra. 

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ecpot, do you already have the kiln?    seems so from the last post, above.   so the wait was not very long after all.   you will be enjoying that kiln for many years.

btw,  you never have to use the words "help me", that is what every member here tries to do.    screaming  "help me" in all caps instead of just asking a question is not necessary.

 

'

Edited by oldlady
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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

@girlonfire, I received my kiln 2weeks ago.  It took about 12 weeks.  Fedex freight delivery was nice.  I live in neighborhood where big truck is easily accessible and garage near the street.  Delivery person lowered the pallets rolled over into my garage and helped me to open up the boxes to make sure all contents are intact.  You can schedule delivery time and date once the shipment arrives to your local warehouse.  

Edited by ECpot
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