View Full Version : Recommend a good starter kiln?
06-27-2005, 12:51 PM
I am looking to purchase an electric kiln and need some advice on which brands to look at, what price I should expect to pay, etc. I have in mind a kiln large enough to hold several pieces, perhaps 24 inches across inside (that's just a guess though). Any advice on how to go about purchasing a good one? I am on a tight budget but I want to buy good quality.
06-27-2005, 03:42 PM
Coincidentally, I'll also be looking for a kiln, soon, though a jewelry kiln. The one you'll need is going to be a bit pricey, given the size. Clay-King has the best prices I've seen, so far, and they carry all the top brands, including Paragon. Here are their large models: http://www.clay-king.com/largekilns.htm
P.S.: Here's a good consumer guide to buying electric kilns: http://www.hotkilns.com/buy-kiln.html
07-26-2005, 08:43 PM
Thanks Gary. I will check that site out.
I have heard that buying a used kiln is not always a good idea because the elements might be burned out, which is very costly to replace...can anyone else verify or deny this?
07-28-2005, 11:45 AM
An element for a large industrial kiln can cost $150+/- and elements for smaller ceramic kilns can cost $15-30 per element. Element replacement costs depend on several things:
-Where you purchase the material.
Always shop around for prices. Some places will already be familiar with you brand of kiln and be able to produce a set cheaper than the original manufacturer.
-Number of elements.
If more than 2 elements are trashed in your second hand purchase, replace all of the elements. If the elements are really trashed, the kiln may not have been built well or may have been abused.
-Gauge, material and length of element wire.
Just like anything else, more material or specialized material costs more. Also the larger the gauge, the harder it is to coil the wire.
When considering a used kiln, find out the manufacturer, interior cubic foot size and number of elements. Call the manufacturer and get a price quote for the elements and that should give you a good ball park cost.
The Insulating Fire Brick or IFBs that make up the wall of the kiln are fragile. Any kiln with cracked bricks should not be considered. The grooved pathways in the brick are also prone to breaking. Any sign of the grooves being broken means the elements have been replaced often and/or the kiln design is poor or it was abused. Always use element pins.
Some element companies include: Euclid (canada), Hyndman (indiana) and Duralite (connecticut) http://www.duralite.com
I think in the long run buying a new kiln is a better investment. Eventually, way down the road, you will need to replace the elements. Look for a kiln that well insulated, has elements that are easy to replace, uses an MDR or SCR relay and has an easy to use controller.
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