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View Full Version : Workshop oven, what do I need?



The Artful Bodger
01-30-2010, 12:40 AM
Sometime soon we will be moving to a new house and I will have a new shop to fit out.

I am thinking that I might be able to accommodate some sort of oven for treating, hardening and anealing metals etc. Maybe brazing too.

What are my options? I doubt I can buy anything suitable around where we will be going so it will need to be home made. Can I do all that in an electric oven? If so would I be able to get suitable materials from a potters' supply?

The alternative is an LPG oven but that seems more of a fire hazard.

Kibby
01-30-2010, 06:45 AM
Here's my thoughts: You may be able to find a pottery kiln on the cheap. DO get electric. DON'T get a gas model. You want a kiln that can easily do 2000F and hold it there a while. The caveat here is that most pottery kilns are loaded from the top. They are very difficult to use for anyone attempting to treat metals. Imagine opening the top and set your sleeves on fire while you are trying to grab your piece and quench it. You get the idea.

That said, I've had a Paragon knifemakers furnace for years. It is a good solid unit, and you can't go wrong with one. That said I think the next one I get will be an Evenheat. I have grown to respect their construction and quality. Their customer service and dealer network seem to be better also. Top top it all off, their prices seem to be a shade better.

The next step up from this is industrial-grade furnaces that will cost you and arm and a leg and maybe your first-born.

CountZero
01-30-2010, 06:54 AM
Most of the pottery kilns I have seen load from the front through a door, but they are kind of large and expensive. How big the kiln has to be depends on the size and shape af the stuff you want to but in it :)

Based on your previous post I say you can build it yourself:) but if you can find an old kiln in need of repair for cheap....

Edit: and yes you will be able to get what you need from any godd potters supply, might be expensive though. Especially temperature sensors/controllers.

EVguru
01-30-2010, 12:01 PM
I was lucky enough to get a Gallenkamp muffle furnace free from work. I'd help spec a repair/upgrade to one and as soon as that was fixed, they were given a more modern one (in looks anyway!) and were using that instead. I was angling for the old one, but then the 'new' one broke and they started using the upgraded one and finally realised just home much better a modern controller was (like I'd been telling them all along!). I got the newer looking but broke one and just have to do the same upgrade. Not expensive using the Chinese equivilent of the same controller and solid state relay.

They do turn up on ebay (certainly in the UK) from time to time.

lazlo
01-30-2010, 12:07 PM
I am thinking that I might be able to accommodate some sort of oven for treating, hardening and anealing metals etc. Maybe brazing too.

Can I do all that in an electric oven? If so would I be able to get suitable materials from a potters' supply?

Like Kibby says, look for a muffle furnace -- you can find them really cheap. I started out with a little benchtop lab muffle, which works great for heat treating small parts. More recently I ran across a Moore heat treat furnace, which is basically just a big muffle furnace.

Carld
01-30-2010, 12:34 PM
I got a pottery furnace with front door loading at an auction cheap. I haven't used it yet and may need to put new coils in it to get a higher temp. I have been putting off testing it for how hot it gets as is.

What temp does most pottery furnaces get to anyway?

CountZero
01-30-2010, 12:40 PM
They should go to at least 1000C many newer 1300 or over. About 1300C seems to be the maximum for heating with resistance wire.

Too_Many_Tools
01-30-2010, 03:56 PM
Many used furnaces will need new coils...so does anyone have suggestions as to how to recoil a furnace?

And how about updating the controls?

TMT

The Artful Bodger
01-30-2010, 06:20 PM
Thanks for the information guys!:)

Now I will be on the look out for a used one and eventually make a muffle furnace if nothing comes to hand in the meantime.