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useful life of pottery equipment (depreciating equipment)

updated wed 10 sep 03


David Hendley on mon 8 sep 03

I have found that all my pottery equipment has lasted and lasted and
lasted, long after it had been fully depreciated.
I have never worn out a piece of equipment and had to replace it,
but have had to repair several things.

I bought a used Brent C wheel, used it for 7 years, and then sold it.
I bought a Pacifica Glyde Torc 800 wheel new in 1979 or '80
and am still using it. The pedal and/or control box went out in about
1993. Since a new, improved control system was available, I
replaced it with the new electronics.
I've never even replaced the drive belt.

If you are gentle with an electric kiln, it will last for decades. My
Paragon was given to my by a school because it was "worn out"
10 years ago. I replaced an element then, and all the elements a few
years later, and one on/off light.

I bought my Bluebird clay mixer used in about 1980, from a friend
who had bought it used 5 years earlier. I think it was one of the first
ones ever built. The motor burned out about 8 years ago, and buying
and installing a new motor has been the only repair. The gears and
drive chain are looking pretty worn, and should probably be replaced
within the next decade.

My Bluebird pugmill is only 5 years old. It has had the cam on the
auger, and the bar the cam moves replaced once. These parts are
designed to wear and meant to be periodically replaced.

My homemade extruder form 1976 still works as good as the day
it was built. My ball mill , "Denver Fireclay" brand, circa 1955,
is still running with all original parts except for the jar.
My Ohaus scale, free because it was slightly damaged from
a fire, is at least 40 years old. My banding wheel is of the
same vintage.

My wood-fired kiln is another story. My first one lasted 7 years.
With the improvements made from learning from the mistakes in
the first one, I'm hoping for double that this time.

David Hendley

----- Original Message -----
> If I deduct now, I simply don't pay any tax, but next
> year I have few deductions other than operating costs
> and I will pay.
> With depreciation I moderate the blow.
> How long do kilns last? My guess is a nimimum of 3
> years and most likely 5 years until they require major
> rebuild. What's your guess?
> Pug Mills? Maybe 10 years is reasonable? Your guess?
> Wheels?