Buying a kiln, need advice
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    Question Buying a kiln, need advice

    I'm thinking of buying a used kiln, but don't have much experience in purchasing kilns. None actually. I'm looking at a discontinued Duncan Ceramic Kiln Model # Dk 820-2 for $150 which seems like a steal.

    Any advice, comments, questions I should ask would be GREATLY appreciated.

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    try getting a skirt. if you can find a nice dress then a kiln should be no problem...

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    Try to find out what condition the elements are in, if you have to replace them all when you get it then it won't be that much of a deal. Also check to see if you have the right voltage for it, some electric kilns require higher voltage.

    What are you firing?

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    TASmith is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    There are two basic designs to a kilm - kettle drum and closet. The kettle drum seems better because it's so large, you could fit a huge clay sculpture in there and fire it nice and evenly. But the logistics of getting a large, heavy, bone dry sculpture into there and pulling it out, without breaking it is very hard. Whereas, if you get one designed like a closet, deep enough and with removable shelves, putting in larger work is much easier. There's no bending over, losing your balance, etc. Also check to see the max temperatures. I think you need to go to "cone 10" for stoneware, if you want to make machine washable dishes.

    Last edited by TASmith; November 21st, 2010 at 01:30 PM.
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    haha, im so dumb....

    Kiln =/= Kilt

    lol

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    BFA in Ceramics here, lets start with what you need the kiln for and what you will be firing.
    You don't need a cone 10 kiln unless you want to do high fire stoneware and specific glazes, most studio potters use kilns that go to cone 6 and produce food grade products.

    So, like I said, post what it is that you want to do with it. Also, Duncan no longer makes kilns but you can use replacement parts from Paragon kilns for things such as elements and cone sitters.
    Since this a DK 820-2, you will need a 240v power source and service put in. Incase you are wondering you can indeed use a 240v kiln on a 208v service however, it will not reach maximum temperature and will take longer to fire. Obviously you cannot use a 208v kiln on a 240v service.
    The kiln if it is stock will not have a computer controlled firing mechanism, it will use cones and require a bit of monitoring initially to get used to how the firing works. It isn't terribly complicated and is a physical shut off instead of relying on a computer driven shut off.

    Just leave a message about any questions you have or if you want to know something!

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    Standard teracotta/earthenware is low fire (cone 04-06) and porcelain high fire (cone 9-11), it depends on what your kiln can do, and the materials you have. You can get white clay that you can fire at a lower temperature, it doesn't handle exactly like porcelain but it's pretty. You should get a good studio pottery book so you can get the right materials and set up your workspace safely. A lot of ceramic materials are pretty bad for you, even just the clay dust.

    a good place for info:
    http://www.potters.org/ (message board)

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