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Thread: Kelly's Furnace Build Log

  1. #11

    Other Features, Bells, and Whistles

    Storage Cabinets

    I never have enough storage space and it seems I’m prone to misplacing things. I hate wasting time looking for tools; really hacks me off and happens more and more the older I get. I also took a look around my shop and a lot of things speak for floor space but don’t use the room directly above. In keeping with the theme to have my entire foundry (or as much as I practically can) portable and within the given foot print, I added the storage cabinets to fill in some space and create some dedicated storage for the tools of the trade; a place for everything and everything in its place….. sort of. I won’t be able to get flasks, a muller, or mold material in there but hey, most everything else. They swivel away from the interior so you can access the actuator mechanisms and stored ingot trays. I have some interesting ideas for stuffing them full of foundry equipment so will be adding to this section as time goes on.

    Leveling Arms

    I think the furnace is pretty stable as is but the lift mechanism does potentially put 100 lbs-200 lbs six feet into the air. My driveway has a little drainage grade too so these allow the furnace to be leveled and also obtain a broader base. I don’t know these will get a great deal of use on the foundry but I have several other heavy tools on portable stands in my shop that have the same size square tube in their base so they can also use these same levelers….and they will definitely get used there.

    Furnace Base Lifting Jack Screw

    The furnace base(s) can be kind of heavy and hard to move since they are cantilever mount on the post. To save my back I made this jackscrew assembly. It bolts to the carriage and base rail on the mobile base. You just loosen the furnace base mast clamp and drive the screw with a cordless drill. The idea was to be able to adjust the height of the furnace base, thusthe crucible height, for a crucible pouring cart that also is adjustable height.This is all to accommodate pouring different height molds. Something similar to this could probably be used for a furnace lifting mechanism.

    Burnout/Heat Treat Insert Module for Larger Furnace

    I have the steel shell made but not the refractory insert as of the initial post. I figure I may as well wait until I use my electric furnace a bit to see how my previous IFB work performs but I am planning the same approach for this insert module. The IFB will be machined for resistive coil grooves like the A20 Furnace Refractory Module but they will take fewer laps around the larger diameter shell so the same pair of resistive coils used in the smaller electric furnace can be used. That will also make it compatible with the same power management and control system. Since this will concentrate the applied heat in the lower section of the furnace, if needed, I plan a small aspirator that uses a small amount of compressed air to create circulation and more uniform temperature throughout the furnace when used for heat treatment. This would be similar to an aspirated burner but much smaller volume of gas displacement. I also plan on making a heat treat grate that installs along with the insert.

    That's all for now folks.


    Furnace Build Update 2-21-2017 - Lifting Crane

    So I finally got around to making the Crane arm, carriage, and lifting hardware. I had originally placed the mounting plate at the top of the mast on the furnace lift as provisioning for a crane to lift the different furnaces on and off. It could easily be adapted to lifting a crucible as well. For the guiding the carriage, I just used a couple ball bearings on top and then brass set screws on each side and bottom. One set screw has a knob so it can lock the carriage. There are also stop rings that can be positioned on each side of the carriage. The actuator is the same 400lb, 8-inch stroke actuator I use on my pouring cart and drill press lift. It can lift the furnace fine but I wouldn’t want the large furnace very far out on the arm. I figure I can make an extension for the arm and another support post on wheels making it a small gantry to maneuver molds and up 400lbs. The mounting plate on the crane has hooks so you can just set the whole thing in place and then bolt it on and off easily securely to the mast mounting plate.

    Here's the crane carriage

    Here’s the crane in action lifting the larger A60 furnace onto the lifting mechanism.

    …and now with furnace in place. That middle section is the 8kw electric insert. It can be easily removed for fuel fired service.

    I’m finishing up the lid lift mechanism and should have that done shortly. I also have a forced air natural gas burner in the works but I may put my smaller A20 electric furnace back on the lift and cast a few things in the interim.


    Build Update 5-9-2017

    I completed my lid lifting mechanism over the weekend. Like the rest of the build, it isn’t simple but it does make using the rig easy and enjoyable.

    I am bumping into the limit on the number of pictures allowed in this post but there is a very detailed post about the lid lift build at post number 99 of this thread, here, at the link below

    Last edited by kcoffield; 09-06-2017 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Build Update

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Suffolk, UK
    I was going to start a build thread.............I'm sure a few pics of reractory being thrown around isn't going to cut it now!

    Amazing thread.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    ahhh... wow

    Might as well shut down the forum.

    Anybody got a bucket and some red clay..?

    I honestly don't have a word in my vocabulary that best describes how I feel about this build. I'm not going to say "I'm speechless" because that's just corny. How about I simply promise to revisit this thread at some later date after I find a word that best suits my emotional state.

    Good stuff man...

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Witness the return of the Enola Gay.

    That is quite a demonstration of planning and fabrication skills Kelly, not to mention the time and effort involved. There's an aweful lot to digest here and quite a bit to learn as well. Thanks for presenting it!


  5. #15
    Senior Member caster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    The engineering and fabrication is awesome. Can't wait to see the castings.


  6. #16
    Built-in swiveling cabinets? C'mon! You may as well add a waste-heat burger and hot dog grill insert while you're at it. Truly impressive and I can't help but wonder, what future plans do you have that could inspire such a creation? Also, are you hiring? lol

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Vibert View Post
    ahhh... wow

    Might as well shut down the forum.

    Anybody got a bucket and some red clay..?

    I honestly don't have a word in my vocabulary that best describes how I feel about this build. I'm not going to say "I'm speechless" because that's just corny. How about I simply promise to revisit this thread at some later date after I find a word that best suits my emotional state.

    Good stuff man...
    I believe the word you're looking for is "Schwing!".

    Awesome job, extremely professional work you do.

  8. #18
    Do me a favour, do you not sleep!
    I'm sure you must work for NASA, selling pipe was just said to make us feel better, believe me it does not.
    (walks away head down kicking the dirt and muttering I thought mine was pretty good!!!).

    eagerly await your casting results & they better be bloody good or else
    The only time You're not following your nose is when your going backward!.......Andy (ME) .
    Have you filed in "Who do you think you are?" "War Grade Report" " My photo's"

  9. #19
    I can melt a beer can! :-(

    Seriously nice build.
    Visit me:
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  10. #20

    You sir, have won the internet today. "Explore, Before..."

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