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Thread: New Furnace Construction

  1. #1

    New Furnace Construction

    Hi all,
    I thought I post a few pictures of my completed furnace. I didn't take any pictures of the build, so the pictures will only be of the completed build. I've used it for a few melts already, but haven't taken any pictures of the furnace in action, so the next time I melt, I'll make certain and take a few pictures of the furnace in action.

    The shell is from an old water tank from a water well setup. It has the following refractory/lining:
    1) 2" of ceramic blanket closest to the skin
    2) 1" of of fire board
    3) 2" of Cast O Lite 30 refractory
    This combination is on the floor, walls and the lid.

    The burner is a fuel oil burner (diesel, kerosene, etc.) from a salvaged hot water washer. I had to change the the burner nozzle from a 2.5 gal/hr to a 1.25 gal/hr nozzle because it was getting to hot. I will eventually put an electronic temperature controller in-line for temperature control.

    I must say, this baby is a beast and will melt aluminum very quickly. I haven't tried cast iron yet, as I'm still just learning the 'ins and outs' of melting and pouring. So far all I've done is melt and cast into ingots, because I'm still in the learning phase of melting and pouring. I've just recently started making a couple of flasks and will purchase some green sand and/or oil-bonded sand so I can begin learning the art of casting. I'll probably just start out with some basic shapes to get the hang of casting.

    The piece that you see on top of the furnace is for placing material above the furnace for pre-heating prior to placing in the crucible. Speaking of which, I don't have a proper clay-graphite crucible yet. Currently I'm using a piece of stainless steel pipe with a bottom welded on as my crucible. So far ,after about 5 melts, I haven't seen any signs of degradation to the crucible.

    2017-02-16 17.44.25.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.44.43.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.45.10.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.45.41.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.45.53.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.46.09.jpg

    2017-02-16 17.46.20.jpg

    I'm new at this, so let me know what you think. I welcome constructive criticism as well.
    Last edited by marcaap; 02-19-2017 at 02:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Wow! That is a beautiful job. What are the internal dimensions of that beast?

    I am a few steps behind you and am at the "reading everything I can" stage. I too have ambitions of progressing to iron, after I gain some experience, and will plan a furnace to take me there.

  3. #3
    Mister Ed,
    It's 12" deep by 15" in diameter inside the furnace.

  4. #4
    Nice Job. Thats a good looking setup ya got there. Wish ya had some pictures of your burner build.
    Visit me:
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  5. #5
    Yes I agree, I really wish I had taken some pictures during the build

  6. #6
    I'm getting a few cracks along the wall and bit of erosion down in the bottom of the furnace. Would it be beneficial to apply a coating to the refractory to prevent further deterioration? If so, what would y'all recommend.

    2017-02-21 11.11.55.jpg

    2017-02-21 11.12.02.jpg

    2017-02-21 11.15.30.jpg

  7. #7
    Administrator Site Admin
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Huatulco, Mexico
    Those cracks are normal. That's the one good use of the furnace cement from the big box store―patching cracks; although I rarely bother.

    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  8. #8
    Okay, thanks for the inform

  9. #9
    Senior Member caster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Like Richard said above, the cracks on the walls are not a problem. Maybe its me, or the picture, but it looks like the bottom of the furnace is missing a big piece. Structurally you want to have sufficient strength on the bottom to hold up the crucible and charge. I can't tell by the picture but the bottom looks like glass to me. If the bottom is compromised I would reinforce it.

    Nice build. Myfordboy showed on his video cooking with the vent of the furnace. When I saw your warming rack I thought BBQ. What a better way to spend time waiting for the melt then grilling on the furnace.


  10. #10
    I think it's the lighting that makes the bottom look weird. It actually has the same structure as the rest of the furnace, with retainer rods for the refractory to bond to. I removed the plinth to take the picture and the refractory is discolored where the plinth normally sits.

    I just ordered a few supplies to begin experimenting with casting. I'll probably just start off with casting a few normal shapes (square, rectangular, circle) to get the hang of mold making.

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