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Induction heater for the home shop

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  • Induction heater for the home shop

    Watching Dan Gelbart's latest video he showed a small induction heater that heated a piece of steel right NOW.
    Considering M. Gelbart's considerable knowledge and talent I was wondering if building one would be within the realm of mortal possibility?
    Or mine at least.
    Len

  • #2
    They are sold for not too awful much. Some mechanics use them for quickly heating stuck bolts, etc. They're small handheld units that can heat a small piece of steel to red heat in a few seconds. You should be able to build one, but might not be worth the time and effort when you could just buy one for not too awful much.

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    • #3
      I'd love to have one too. I tried to convince my Boss to get one for hardening O1 gauge pins (we make a lot) a couple years ago but he didn't want to. Right now we torch harden/oil quench everything with oxy/ac. I might buy a small one for home one of these days if I get enough money in the shop fund that doesn't get earmarked for something else right away.

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      • #4
        I wouldn't build one. You can do it but building the circuit so it does not fry itself is non-trivial.

        The ones for heating bolts are cheap now: https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Indu...dp/B07XNZV1RP/
        And then there are board level setup to put together your own stuff from little: https://www.amazon.com/Treedix-Volta...dp/B086V6CYM6/
        To larger: https://www.amazon.com/Induction-Hea...dp/B083FYTV3L/

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        • #5
          Mini-Ductor is a pretty popular one. I know a guy who has one, works pretty good.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by macona View Post
            And then there are board level setup to put together your own stuff from little: https://www.amazon.com/Treedix-Volta...dp/B086V6CYM6/
            I've got this little guy. While it's fun to play with, it's usefulness is pretty limited. It's what made me want to get a bigger one.

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            • #7
              A couple hundred watts is fairly easy to build. I've done it and it worked well for small stuff. When you get to 10 kW, it becomes a design project.
              Last edited by J Tiers; 10-12-2021, 01:37 PM.
              2730

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan

              Everything not impossible is compulsory

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              • #8
                Didn't realize they've come down that far in price, back when we were looking at them a few years ago it was around $5k (could have been a bigger unit too, can't remember the details). 15kw for $2k CDN, isn't too bad imo. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N1POEDV/...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

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                • #9
                  You can buy ready made boards with outputs of 50 to 1000 watts quite cheaply. I wouldn't try to make that part. You normally have to come up with a suitable power supply, arrange for cooling water to flow through the coil (for the higher powered ones anyway), arrange for a control circuit and overheat protection, housing of the components, high current connections, etc. I've seen several videos of people putting this stuff together- as well as some spectacular demonstrations.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    Most of the simple ones don't seem to have had any protections. Maybe they do now. The boards don't look like it, though. Maybe the $94 one does. It should.
                    2730

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Everything not impossible is compulsory

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The plant that I used to work in had rows and rows of induction heaters that would melt a powdered metal disk into the end of a valve lifter. I recall an electrician tell me that the department used as much energy as a small town. It heated the pellets white hot.
                      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                      THINK HARDER

                      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                      • #12
                        casting steel and cast is something that would be great to add to the home shop capability list. Currently, it needs an oil burner. If you could do so with a induction heater I think would make it so much simpler, smaller, quieter etc that it would have a lot of appeal
                        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                        • #13
                          In this video they make steel for a knife with an induction furnace: https://youtu.be/fuToSTnZTTY

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                          • #14
                            Back in the 70's my firm somehow came by an induction heater and it came in very useful for heating small ferrous parts. Inside was a glass valve about 1 foot high and 6" diameter. The cooling was by water flowing through the coil which was copper tube and as it had 1/4 BSP connections, it was easy to make custom sizes and shapes. It was possible to do minature soldering and brazing being cleaner than a gas flame.
                            Years later I worked in manufacturing aircraft parts, and our firm also made production machinery for the motor manufacturers. One machine used to rough out a Ford crankshaft prior to grinding the journels and part of the process involved fitting a gear which drove the camshaft. There was a built in induction heater which heated the gear and the machine then fitted the gear and held it exactly in position while it was shrunk fit in place.

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                            • #15
                              I sold induction equipment for years. What we see in this thread is 500 watt to 5 kilowatt machines. I sold those and big stuff up to four megawatts. That's a lot of power!

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