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Connor Lyons

Heat Treat Oven Build - Success!

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So after quite a long while of slow progress, I plugged in my HT oven last night and nothing blew up in my face! In fact, she glows hot and beautiful just as intended. Ultimately stoked!

IMG_20190108_132253511.jpgIMG_20190108_125354633.jpgIMG_20190108_150100543.jpg

 

I still need to add some additional kaowool insulation on the door as well as a proper latch. And make a removable cover plate to go over the heater connections outside the control box. 

It runs on regular old 120v household outlet with a 20amp breaker. There are 2 heating coils in parallel with a combined measured resistance of 6.2 ohms. That comes out to 19.4 amps on paper, which had me worried I would blow the breaker. But the heating coils actual resistance increases as they heat up, so I suspect it actually draws a bit less. So far I've only run it for about 40 minutes, but it made it up to 1800 deg.F without issue in that time!

I bought the bricks, thermocouple, high temp mortar, and coils at Seattle pottery supply, just a few minutes from my house. They can make custom heating coils from kanthal wire to any resistance and size specs you need there, but mine they had on hand and premade as spare parts for the little 120v kilns they sell there. Super convenient! The kiln expert there was super helpful too. The PID controller and SSR I got off Amazon.

I used Dan Comeau's website as my bible for building this thing, and I cannot stress enough how amazingly useful it was! He has all the info you need to build one of these and some really useful calculators and tools to make it easy for even a dummy like me! If you want to build a HT oven, definitely check it out: http://dcknives.blogspot.com/p/electric-forge.html?m=1 

As you can see mine is super beefy and covered in sheet metal, but I made it keeping in mind the fact that I'll be moving in June and will need it to survive being lugged around to my new shop. I think all in all I have about 400-500 bucks invested in this thing, but I'm sure it could be done for much less depending on what you have lying around. I bought damn near every piece of this specifically for this project.

I won't be able to put it to use for another week or so, but I'll be back with an update when I do and when I get the final bits sorted out.

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On 3/20/2020 at 5:02 PM, Greg Hudgins said:

It''s been a little over a year. Any updated pictures? How is it still working?

 

Just used it 2 days ago, still works like a charm. I'll post some updated pictures and little things I've run into with it when I get a chance in the next few days.

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