How to select the right skutt kiln for you

Your Skutt kiln should be with you for quite some time, therefore it is important to select the model that will meet your needs now, and in the future. To help in your selection process, we have constructed a series of questions that should help you narrow your search to the models which will work best for you.

Which models will fit in the area you have chosen to locate the kiln?

Skutt kilns require 18" of clearance on all sides from combustible walls. Check the outside dimensions of the models that interest you to determine if the kilns will fit in the area you have chosen to place it.

Which models will fit the pieces you wish to fire?

Next, you need to find out if the chamber of the kiln will be large enough to fire the pieces you produce. The 3 things to consider when choosing the necessary chamber size are:

  • What are the dimensions of the largest piece you will want to fuse or slump?
  • Do you want to be able to fuse on multiple levels in one firing?
  • How do feel your needs will grow in the next 5 years?

Which design style best suits your needs? 

There are three basic design styles to choose from: Top Loaders, Front Loaders, and Clam shell. All three have their advantages. Top loaders are cylindrical in shape and have lids that open from the top. Front Loaders have a rectangular or square shape and are hinged on the side to open like a door. Clam shell designs are hinged on the back of a square design and open like a clam. 

Which models will work on your power supply?

The next step is to find a kiln that will operate on the electrical service of your building. Ordering a kiln that does not match your electrical service can be very frustrating and expensive to correct . 

Some models require an electrician to install the wire from the circuit breaker panel to the wall receptacle as well as the receptacle. It is also wise to have the electrician verify voltage, amperage and phase when he visits on-site to estimate the job.

Voltage: One of the common misconceptions regarding voltage is that 220V is an actual voltage reading in the USA. Rather, it is used as a generic term for appliances that can run on either 208V or 240V systems. As a general rule 208V is common in schools and businesses and 240V is common in residential areas however exceptions are quite common. The GM10F and GP706 run on standard 110V household outlets.

Amperage: Most buildings have a limited amperage available without having the power company upgrade service. In some cases it will be necessary to install a dedicated breaker to run the kiln. Your circuit box or fuse panel must have room for the breaker or fuse that corresponds to the model you choose.

Phase: Kilns can be wired for single-phase or 3-phase power supplies. Single-phase power supplies have two current carrying wires and a ground wire and are common in residential and industrial areas. 3-phase power supplies utilize 3 current-carrying wires and a ground wire and are usually only found in businesses and institutions. There are exceptions, and some buildings have both supplies available. All 110V outlets are single phase.

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