best kilns?? -

best kilns??

This is the main board for discussing general techniques, tools, and processes for fusing, slumping, and related kiln-forming activities.

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best kilns??

Postby Martha » Thu Mar 20, 2003 1:40 pm

i need advise on what kind of kiln to get for fusing. I want one big enough for big bowls (maybe over 20 inches), should I get a viewing hole? What are the best kilns? best controllers?

Glenda Kronke
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:44 am
Location: Austin, TX

Postby Glenda Kronke » Thu Mar 20, 2003 2:16 pm


The best advice anyone can give is to research. There are as many answers as there are types of kilns.

I think if you take the time to search the archives,(I know, it is a lot of reading) you will find tons of helpful information that will (hopefully) let you make an informed decision.

Good luck!

Jim Robins
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 5:31 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Postby Jim Robins » Thu Mar 20, 2003 2:37 pm

I am sure the archives have a lot of discussion on this. You can use a kiln designed specifically for glass or use a ceramic kiln, which can go to much higher temperatures. As far as manufactures, it depends on who you talk to. I have heard Paragon has good kilns, but some people don't like the controllers. Some people like Denver kilns and evenheats, others don't. I have two Skutts. My coffin kiln is specific for glass and I can do two 20" bowls at once. I also have a skutt ceramic kiln which works great. I like the Skutt controllers and have had great service from them. The new Skutt clamshell kiln also works well.

Peep holes are nice so you can look in and not have to open the lid as much.

Hope that helps.


Tess Farley

Postby Tess Farley » Thu Mar 20, 2003 7:38 pm

Whatever brand you decide to get, you should get the largest kiln you can afford, with a controller. You may want to just do bowls right now, but once you catch the fusing bug, you are going to want to do bigger and better projects. Also, with a larger kiln, such as the large oval kiln that Evenheat makes, you can fire several projects at one time, rather than one at a time. A year and a half ago, I bought an Evenheat 18-9 with Rampmaster. It's a great kiln, but there have been many times I wished I had the big one so I could fire more at a time. With the 18-9, my kiln shelf is only 15.5". For now, it looks like the only way I'll ever get a larger kiln is if Jacques comes and helps me build one. :wink: What's that you're saying Jacques -- when frogs fly??!!!

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Re: best kilns??

Postby Beth » Fri Mar 21, 2003 11:56 am

Martha wrote:should I get a viewing hole?

A peephole and viewing window are different. A peephole is a small hole drilled into the wall of the kiln. A viewing window (in JenKens) is a 2-1/2 inch quartz (?) window. You can see most of the shelf through it, but almost nothing through the peephole. When the kiln is dark, you can shine a flashlight through the peephole and look through the window. All but the smallest JenKen kilns automatically come with a window.

You might want to call Marty at Centre de Verre ( after visiting his website. He's a longtime board sponsor and carries 4 different brands of kilns.

I like that the elements in JenKen are in grooves rather than pinned into a flat lid, so it's more unusual for one to droop. Good customer service was important to me, and found if Marty can't help (he always tries, spent 40 minutes talking a friend through re-wiring a new controller, sent a hand-drawn diagram) then Mike or Randy at JenKen are great.

(Sometimes even if controller names are the same, they're different, made by different companies or are a later model. I bought an upgraded controller once and found the company had taken away a feature.)


Delores Taylor
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:05 pm
Location: Woodinville, WA

Re: best kilns??

Postby Delores Taylor » Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:38 pm

Martha wrote:i need advise on what kind of kiln to get for fusing. I want one big enough for big bowls (maybe over 20 inches), should I get a viewing hole? What are the best kilns? best controllers?

We have lot's of great sponsors on this board who will help you with that. Check out the links above there are many nice and friendly folks who's knowledge will greatly assist you with your choice. They'll also help with information on what sort of wiring is needed, etc as all those issues come into play in a person's choice.

New toys, are always a treat, have fun.


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