Follow up question. What does Dogwood Ceramic Supply do with your old kilns?
Yes, seriously. All kilns used by Dogwood Ceramic Supply are destined to end up in the good ole trash can. Not that we are frivolous with our kilns. The typical top loading Paragon Kiln will last Dogwood Ceramic Supply around 5 years (give or take) though we have 12 years and climbing of usage on our front loading Paragon Dragon kiln. What usually kills off the kilns is a combination of rust (remember we are just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico and all that nice salt air), blow ups in the kiln from customer's wares and repeated element changes due to the debris from all those blowups. While using the Preheat Mode on the Digital Controller has reduced the blowups in the kiln used for pottery there is little we can do about the salt content and high humidity of the ambient air in South Mississippi for all kilns. Considering the rust issue associated with the kilns in South Mississippi we actually consider ourselves lucky to have the kilns last as long as they do.
Would switching to another brand of kiln help the rust situation of kilns in South Mississippi? Nope. Salt content in the air combined with high humidity and frequent usage is the perfect formula for rust. In fact we have seen kilns from other brands that have lasted only a year or two not because they were other brands of kilns but because they were located even closer to the Gulf of Mexico. The only real solution to reduce the rust issue for all brands of kilns would be to use the kilns in an air conditioned room. However, being a bit cheap, we would rather buy new kilns on a regular basis rather than paying a high electric bill caused by trying to cool a room at the same time the room is being heated by a kiln.
Bottom line, why would anybody buy a used kiln (aka a pile of rust) from Dogwood Ceramic Supply?
What about customer's kilns, don't you get trade ins?
The only driven to church on Sundays is a real rarity for a used kiln. It happens. It is rarer than hen's teeth but it does happen. The few kilns remotely deserving of being considered a viable purchase as a used kiln will be sold to friends or family long before any stranger will ever see the kiln. This means anything resembling a used kiln in good condition is never going to be offered to Dogwood Ceramic Supply. Besides, why would somebody trade a used kiln into Dogwood Ceramic Supply for $50 when the person can sell the used kiln for $75 on an auction site?
$50, is that how much is a used kiln worth?
Being generous, yea, maybe $50. Granted there is always somebody trying to sell a used kiln for a lot more bucks. Sometimes a lot more bucks. Sometimes they sell used kilns for a living so it is in their best interest to drive the price of used kilns as high possible.
The worse "professional" used kiln sellers were the vultures from around Houston Texas (yes, we know your names) who swooped into Southern Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with the intent of snagging all the water damaged kilns from the area even though it is common knowledge that a water damaged kiln can not be easily repaired, if at all. One of the vultures even had guts to admit they were selling the water damaged used kilns on auction sites to unsuspecting buyers.
Can a "good" used kiln ever exist?
Sure. Somebody buys a new kiln with the intent of doing x, y or z. They get bored, busy, sick etc. The kiln sits around for a couple weeks or months and will eventually be available for sale on the open market. Actually long before the used kiln is available on the open market the kiln will usually be sold to close family or friends. The longer it takes to sell the kiln, the greater the relationship distance between the buyer and seller, the less the kiln is worth. Once the kiln is being offered to resellers (such as Dogwood Ceramic Supply) as a trade-in or hits the auction market for sale to everybody the value of the kiln is $50 at best.
Our suggestion for those who really want to buy a "good" used kiln is to increase their circle of friends.
website last updated: February 2014
Dogwood Ceramic Supply
12590 Dedeaux Road
Gulfport Mississippi, 39503
Telephone (228) 831-4848 Fax (228) 831-3111
Showroom Business Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 10AM to 5PM
Thursday 1PM to 6PM
Closed Wednesday and Sunday