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Kiln - should I buy it?

For sale at work

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John Coates03/11/2012 08:39:52
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558 forum posts
28 photos

Advertised at work is a 3kw 1200 degree electric kiln. Diameter 22" and 23" high

Wondered whether it would be worth buying for the workshop?

Would that spec be useful and what for? Having read about folks using the domestic oven I think this would go down far better with SWMBO !!

John

Ian S C03/11/2012 09:08:41
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7468 forum posts
230 photos

You could take up aluminium casting. Ian S C

Tony Pratt 103/11/2012 10:30:36
1963 forum posts
12 photos

Would be good for all types of heat treatment of metals, tempering oil blacking etc. Also melting certain metals. It needs a temperature controller to be really versatile.

Tony

Andyf03/11/2012 10:56:07
392 forum posts

If it's meant for 230v operation, it'll draw around 13A and be a bit on the limit for a domestic plug and socket.

At 1200 deg. C , it should be good for brass and bronze as well as aluminium.

Andy

AndyP03/11/2012 11:06:58
189 forum posts
30 photos

Sounds ideal, I use mine all the time but then I cast a lot.

I note you said 22" diameter, does this mean it is a 'top loader'? - typical for a hobby level pottery kiln.
If so be warned that classicaly we load and unload a furnace hot unlike potters and a top loader is particularly unpleasant (some would say downright dangerous) to use that way.

A kiln with a door on the front is a much better proposition for our use.

You would want it to come with its controller because they can be bit spendy as well.

Andy

JA03/11/2012 11:09:11
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1359 forum posts
80 photos

I would grab. Controlled heat treatment and silver soldering.

Obviously a controller would be needed.

JA

Michael Cox 103/11/2012 11:33:57
550 forum posts
27 photos

I think there are plenty of cheap controllers available on ebay.

Mike

Clive Farrar04/11/2012 07:51:05
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119 forum posts
41 photos

Hi John, bearing in mind the comments above then it could be too good an oportunity to miss if the price is right.

If it dosnt meet all of the criteria then Mike said it all in the last post.

instead of getting a contoller sell it to a potter etc and then put the profit towards what you realy do want.

Even if it is a top loader is there any reason why it could not be put on its side to make it safer for hot use.?

Regards Clive

Clive Farrar04/11/2012 07:54:52
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119 forum posts
41 photos

Of course there was an article within the last 12 months to make a gas furnace froma 25 lt can and kitty litter and fire cement. That was a top loader so it is obviously workable with care.

You nee another project to make bent tongs ot T shapped ones with a curved gripper and lip on the pot.

I did hear the stainless steel tea pots etc from the sale rooms make good crucibles.

Regards Clive

Tony Jeffree04/11/2012 17:31:43
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499 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by AndyP on 03/11/2012 11:06:58:

I note you said 22" diameter, does this mean it is a 'top loader'? - typical for a hobby level pottery kiln.

If so be warned that classicaly we load and unload a furnace hot unlike potters and a top loader is particularly unpleasant (some would say downright dangerous) to use that way.

A kiln with a door on the front is a much better proposition for our use.

You would want it to come with its controller because they can be bit spendy as well.

Andy

This does indeed sound like a typical ~ 1 cubic foot setting-space top-loading pottery kiln (I have one in my garage). They cost around the £1100 mark new these days, depending on whether a controller/thermocouple is included & how sophisticated the controller is. The modern ones will generally fire to 1300 Celsius (stoneware/porcelain firing temperature), so this one may be an older design.

If you are lucky, it will have an electronic controller that allows you to control ramp rate up to temperature, soak time at temperature, and ramp rate on cooling, which could have useful applications in metal shop use. Be aware though that pottery kilns almost invariably have exposed heating elements - in a top loader like this the elements would be carried in horizontal grooves in the side walls of the kiln. Obviously, touching these with metal objects when the kiln is powered on would not be a smart move, either for the operator or for the kiln.

Regards,

Tony

Edited By Tony Jeffree on 04/11/2012 17:32:28

Brian T04/11/2012 19:36:38
4 forum posts

I would say that it largely depends on your application and the price wether it is a worthwhile buy.

I am in the process of building a 2.5 kw electric kiln which will end up costing me about £150 and that includes the ramping controller, SSR, thermocouple, insulating bricks, elements, a lot of 50mm fibre blanket and the case. I just finished a small 500w test kiln which cost me £30 in materials. 

The most expensive single component is the programmable ramping controller at £49.

Complicated they are not.

Potentially hazardous they definately are, they do get rather warm!

Brian T

Edited By Brian T on 04/11/2012 19:40:12

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