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Recently Finished Building My First Ht Oven.

Discussion in 'Heat Treating' started by Wuatt, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. Wuatt

    Wuatt New Member

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    Howdy everyone, I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on this forum for the vast wealth of knowledge that you all give back to the community.
    I would also like to give credit where credit is due on my build, and that is from a video by Red Beard Ops, and in turn, our very own Dan Comeau. Since Red Beard Ops stated in his video, he got a significant amount of his information from Dans post on him building his own oven. Dan, you truly are one of the largest sources of knowledge in this community that I have come across so far, truly amazing!

    Back in March I begun my heat treat oven project, and by the start of April I had pretty much given up, as I kept getting stuck on the same few things. But by some stroke of luck, I found Red Beard Ops video on his oven while scrolling around YouTube in May. And by another stroke of luck, the oven he was building turned out to be very similar to the one I had started earlier in the year. So you may notice quite a few similarities in the door latch, as well as wiring and the use of rivets to secure the outer shell meterial to the frame.

    Here are all the pictures! (If it works lol)
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    The internal Dimensions of the oven are about 18" long, 7" wide, and 6.25" tall, this was almost the perfect size, if anything, it could have been smaller.

    The coils are made out of 16g A1 Kanthal wire run in series with a total resistance of 17.2Ohm resistance.
    [The best way I have seen to secure the heating coils to the oven, was displayed in Red Beard Ops video, I already had my bricks together as well as the grooves in place before I had seen this, and had to make significant altercations due to my coils falling out, if you are able to, I highly recommend trying it the way that was shown in the video.]

    The bricks I used are K23 light fire bricks, that I carved to fit into eachother for a better airtight seal, and then secured together using Imperial Refractory Cement which I got from Canadian Tire.
    [One tip I would like to share on this, is if you intend to mortar your bricks together, ensure that you slightly increase the size of your frame, because the mortar joints will add around 1/16 - 1/8 to the measurement of the bricks.]

    My frame is built out of 1.5" x 1.5" steel angle with a 1/8" wall. and it is welded together other than the roof, I did not weld the roof on so that I could more easily fit the Ceramic fiber insulation into place.
    [A note on welding the frame. Be very cautious and mindful when welding the frame and roof to not let it warp, the roof of my oven warped so badly to the left that I ended up having to cut out the middle sections and weld in new pieces to correct the warp, which is not fun at all.]

    I used aluminum flashing as a barrier on my frame to keep the Ceramic Fiber Insulation secured in place up against the outer wall of the bricks. The flashing I used I found at Home Depot, it is gunmetal grey on the outside, and white on the inside, the colour choice was purely for my own esthetic taste and doesn't matter in the slightest, I secured it in place with 1/8" by 1/8" aluminum rivets.
    [When using the aluminum flashing, do yourself a favor and cut the pieces to size, then flatten them with a heavy object over night, working with the flashing when it kept trying to roll up on my was a pain, and resulted in my cutting my hands on the edges quite badly a few times.]

    I used 1" thick Ceramic Fiber Insulation as a secondary insulator on the outside of the bricks. My only recommendation on this is to use gloves, and a high quality respirator while working with it. This is really can be really nasty stuff when you're cutting it and getting it into place, it is extremely irritating on bare skin and it is really bad for your lungs if you breath in the small particles that come off of it when it is being worked with.

    Finally, the electrical work.
    I run my oven off a 240v 20a outlet, because of this I used 2 40DA Solid State Relays.
    The first thing I did was use 12/3 SJOOW cable that is connected to the outlet on one end, and each hot us run to its own 240v 20a breaker in the electrical box on the oven. This cable is rated up to 300v which is plenty for its intended use in my build. I also have a 240v 2a breaker protecting my PID controller. My elements are connected to eachother and to the SSR's with 10Awg fiberglass insulated wire rated for 300C (Or it may have been 200C) all of the components within my electrical box on the oven are connected using the same fiberglass insulated wire in 12Awg. [The wiring wasn't that complected, but it was quite detailed and this post is super long already, so if you have questions just shoot me a message!]

    The oven works way better than I ever could have hoped, and I am so beyond excited to put it through its paces on my upcoming work with stainless steel.
    Here is a super crude performance graph I threw together for this post!
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    Sorry for the long post everyone, I hope atleast a couple people got through the whole thing, and that I helped someone!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
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  2. Wuatt

    Wuatt New Member

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    The images aren't working, I'll try to fix them!
     
  3. Joelsund

    Joelsund Active Member

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    Looks awesome. Mine takes about an hour to reach 1600 :( running on 110v though.
     
  4. Wuatt

    Wuatt New Member

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    Thanks man! And
    Thanks man! And an hour to 1600 isn't bad at all!
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Very nice build! Congrats. I am sure that you learned a pile of things, and you have a very useful tool for your shop.

    Dan
     

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