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Home built heat treating oven
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: August 27 2006 at 2:10pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

Here is a link to the guys webpage that got me started on the project.  http://www.britishblades.com/home/articles.php?action=show&a mp;a mp;a mp;showarticle=31

 

Here is the company that sell the temp control I am using, they have a basic on for about $35 I used on my powder coat oven and an $89 one with ramp soak and hold ability I am using on the heat treat oven , ebay also has quite a few of the conrolers in the $30-$40 range  http://auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPa th=1&products_id=15  This guy also sells a nice solid state relay used for switching the element on and off.

 

These guys sell a ready made element that works well for the heat treat oven , same place the brit article refrences http://www.budgetcastingsupply.com/

If your cheap like me, you can order the heating element wire from these guys and wind 5 elements your self for the cost of 1 from BCS http://www.resistancewire.com/mainpage.php?page=home

I wind element on the lathe just like winding a spring, quick and simple, You can check resistance of the element as you go with a multimeter and cut at the proper place for the resistance you need. Kanthal is the wire you will need for this project, I bought a 100 foot piece on ebay for $16 delivered of the .047 diameter.

For the fire bricks i bought the k23 fire bricks from Davens in atlanta for $2.35 a piece http://www.davensceramiccenter.com/ , these are avail on ebay, only problem I found was they are very delicate and most places want to individualy wrap them and shipping is about 2 buck s a brick. If you live in the big city just look for pottery supply and you should be able to find them .

I am building my oven a little on the large side, 13x13 x 22.   Hope some of this rambling helps

I will upload  cad drawings of my oven and pics thrugh out the week



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  dcorb

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Posted: August 27 2006 at 3:05pm | IP Logged Quote dcorb

Thanks for the good information. While I am not planning on building a heat treat oven at this time I am very interested in building a powder coat oven. I will be looking forward to your cad drawing postings. How about some details on the powder coat oven?

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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: August 27 2006 at 6:53pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

the powder coat oven I built is an old punch card cabinet with a home wound element and one of the $35 Digital controlers from the link above. Its pretty simple, the controller attaches to a $8 thermocouple and turns a $10 sloild state relay on and off to switch the element. One of my friends built his in an old 4 drawer filing cabinet and a dryer element, another one I have seen was made from an old metal shop cabinet with an eye from an electric stove as the heat source. I will post pics of mine tonight on another thread
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: September 17 2006 at 10:20am | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

Finaly got off my arse yesterday and started welding together the cabinet to hold the fire bricks for my heat treat oven . Here are a few pics

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Posted: September 17 2006 at 10:22am | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

 

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  041x

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Posted: September 17 2006 at 8:24pm | IP Logged Quote 041x

PBB,  Your new oven looks like a gaint.  Post pics when you are done.  Here is my oven that I just finished today.  PBB gave me the idea and info for building my own.  It draws 15.6 amps when it is warmed up.  I have a 20-amp outlet.  It takes 4 minutes to warm up to 1400.   I'm glad I didn't build a 240-volt oven.  Every brick cracked when I heated it up.  Is this normal? I used mortar to seal the bricks up.   Maybe that's why they cracked.  I was looking at this coating that brownells has to stop the decarb.   Have any of you used this before or have other links where I can purchase this coating?    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p= 23076&title=ANTI+SCALE+COATING
The controller I have holds the temp within a degree at all times.  This is going to be great.   It’s on the small side but it is all I could afford to spend.  What do you guy’s use for quenching oil.  I have used 30wt motor oil but I think your suppose to use cutting oil or an oil that doesn't have additives in it. 





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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: September 18 2006 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

thats great , those little temp controllers are great arent they? The one I am wiring to my oven shows a resistor from one of the terminals the thermocouple hooks to and going off to another terminal, did you wire a resistor of any sort in yours? It doesnt specify value, maybe its for a thermistor, not sure, will be firing it tommorow

The other controller I have shows a resistor also and its included, I need to round up a big heat sink like yours for my solid state relay

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  041x

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Posted: September 18 2006 at 7:13pm | IP Logged Quote 041x

I was very surprised how well the controller worked.  It is the same one you are using.   I just set the automatic PID tuning and it goes  through its steps and after that the temp says within one degree.  It was really easy.   The resistor is like you said it is a thermistor.  You don't need to run the resistor with you K thermocouple.  I just wired the red ended spade connector to the + theromcouple terminal.  Do you have a manual for your controller?  Since you need to set it up for a K thermocouple and a bunch of other things.   Let me know if you need the manual I can email it to you.    Did the bricks in your other heat treating oven crack also?    
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: September 18 2006 at 11:42pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

I have the manual it just doesnt detail the resistor shown in the wiring diagram, and the other one I bought actually came with a 220 ohm 1/4watt resistor in the package but also never mentions why or for what. I still need to read up on programming. I didnt have any problems with my bricks cracking but I did ramp up slowly to drive out moisture. I mentioned your bricks cracking to a fellow at a small foundry today and the first thing he asked was had you grouted the brick. He was telling me we need about 1/16" for every two bricks for expansion. Surgery tommorow, hopefuly I will be back in gear in a day or so and finsh mine up, just need to fit the door. I did order a door gasket today from mcmaster for my side swinging door
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  041x

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Posted: September 19 2006 at 6:46pm | IP Logged Quote 041x

Thanks for repling about my brick question.  Next one I'll have to leave them loose.  Thats a good idea to slowly bring up the temp.   Hope your 100% again so.  
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 7:57pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

finaly got around to hanging the door on my heat treat oven today, ran it up to 2000 degrees with no problems. Amazing just how quick it comes up to temp with 2 1500 watt elements. Here is a pic of 5 soumi bolts at 1300 degrees.

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  tommerr

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 8:52pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

Panacea: Thank you for the link to the English knife makers site. That started me thinking very hard about doing an engraving class in England (?).

Suomi bolts at 1300F??? Why anneal them? I am 99% done with a conversion technique which involved no softening. A bolt at 55Rc, as the Finns said about the Suomi, is "an everlasting gun". Special tooling is required but special tooling is but an order away. Please forgive my wondering mind. "My" hour is late and work of late has been trying and fun scarce. I wish I had your 21st century machining skills. Mine are still rooted in the early 20th century and deeply rooted in the 18th century London tool maker's tradition. Your Gatling gun parts are so wonderful. Please make different parts!

All the Best

Tom
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 9:09pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

really just an excuse to fire the new oven. I machined one of the hardened bolts with a carbide endmill but considering how little my semi will be used I thought I would anneal the next one before machining just to give it a whirl . Even dead soft I doubt it will ever wear out.
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  dcorb

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 9:13pm | IP Logged Quote dcorb

Just got back from Fleet Farm, walked past the sheet metal. $17 for a 24x48 thin guage sheet metal sheet. I was really hoping for something cheaper to build my oven out of.
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  panaceabeachbum

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 9:19pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

I salvaged all my sheetmetal for my build from an old ac unit pulled out of my parents house, cut it all up with one of those cheap air niblers from harbor
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  tommerr

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

NO, NO!!! Only the very best will do. Too much is not enough. Cheap is only cheap. Don't we deserve the very best???

All the Best

Tom
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  ShuckersFan

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Posted: October 04 2006 at 10:12pm | IP Logged Quote ShuckersFan

So exactly how big is that thing?  I am once again amazed with all the cool stuff you make.
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Posted: October 04 2006 at 11:00pm | IP Logged Quote 041x

PPB,  That looks great.  Did you plum in the argon?
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Posted: November 26 2006 at 4:09pm | IP Logged Quote panaceabeachbum

 

Hardening 1050 Carbon Steel

Last Changed: March 1, 2003
Copyright 2006   Craig W. Nadler  

General Notes

*        "The New American Machinist's Handbook" shows the Hardening (i.e. quenching) Temperature for 1050 to be 1475F/802C to 1550F/843C. I heat the small pieces to 1500F/815C  but something like a breast plate or a helmet I heat to 1550F/843C.  This is because large pieces it will cool off somewhat in the time it takes for me to grab it with a pair of tongs (sometimes two pairs of tongs) and quench it. If you heat them to 1600F/871C like I used to do they are much more likely to warp.

*       The electric kiln that I use for heat treating is a Paragon HT-22D (shown at the bottom of the page).

*        I'm sure there are better alloys then 1050, the reason I picked 1050 was because it was the closest to the period 15th century steel  used for armour.

*        There are three times during the heat treating process that plates can warp. The first is when it's heated to 1500-1550F  /  802-843C it can warp under is own weight under some circumstances. For larger pieces such as breast plates I would said that you should build a frame to keep the piece from warping. The second is when you pick it up with the tongs to quench it, the pressure from the tongs can easily warp the plate if you grip it the wrong way.  The third is when you quench the piece. Having the piece go into the water in such a way that it is symmetrical side to side seems to help eliminate warping. I've found that when I quench in transmission fluid or oil that plates don't seem to warp during quenching (unless it happened earlier in the process). However I been geting much better results with water quenching then transmission fluid or oil.
 
 


Quenching in Water

Relatively Soft Temper for 1050 spring steel (deforms instead of cracking):

        Heat the pieces to 1500F/815C and quench them in water (around 60-70F /  16-21C). Then reheated them to 660F/ 349C for 30 minutes to temper them. Test plates heat treated using this method have a hardness around Rc38 and seemed to have the same dent resistance as mild steel plates 80% thicker.

(The following chart shows my best guess of what the dent resistance of 1050 spring steel heat treated with this method is relative to mild steel.)

0.035"  / 20 gauge  / ~0.9mm   =     0.063" / ~16 gauge / ~1.6mm
0.050"  / 18 gauge  / ~1.3mm   =     0.090" / ~13 gauge / ~2.3mm
0.062"  / 16 gauge  / ~1.6mm   =     0.111" / ~12 gauge / ~2.8mm
0.075"  / 14 gauge  / ~1.9mm   =     0.135" / ~10 gauge / ~3.4mm
 
 
 

Moderate Temper for 1050 spring steel (will usually deform instead of cracking *):

* If a plate with this temper is bent to the point of deforming it and straightened repeatedly it will crack after doing this a few times.

        Heat the pieces to 1500F/815C and quench them in water (around 60-70F / 16-21C). Then reheated them to 600F/316C for 30 minutes to temper them. Test plates heat treated using this method have a hardness around Rc44-45 and seemed to have the same dent resistance as mild steel plates 100% thicker.

(The following chart shows my best guess of what the dent resistance of 1050 spring steel heat treated with this method is relative to mild steel.)

0.035"  / 20 gauge  / ~0.9mm   =     0.070" / ~15 gauge / ~1.8mm
0.050"  / 18 gauge  / ~1.3mm   =     0.100" / ~12 gauge / ~2.6mm
0.062"  / 16 gauge  / ~1.6mm   =     0.124" / ~11 gauge / ~3.2mm
0.075"  / 14 gauge  / ~1.9mm   =     0.150" / ~  9 gauge / ~3.8mm
 
 
 

Hard Temper for 1050 spring steel (will crack under some circumstances *) :

* If a plate is bent to the point of deforming it may crack when straightened again.

        Heat the pieces to 1500F/815C and quench them in water (around 60-70F/16-21C). Then reheated them to 570F/299C for 30 minutes to temper them. Test plates heat treated using this method have a hardness around Rc48 and  seemed to have the same dent resistance as mild steel plates 200% thicker. If a flat plate is bent back and forth to a 90 degree angle after a couple of bends it will crack.

(The following chart shows my best guess of what the dent resistance of 1050 spring steel heat treated with this method is relative to mild steel.)

0.035"  / 20 gauge  / ~0.9mm   =     0.105" / ~12 gauge / ~2.7mm
0.050"  / 18 gauge  / ~1.3mm   =     0.150" / ~  9 gauge / ~3.9mm
0.062"  / 16 gauge  / ~1.6mm   =     0.186" / ~  7 gauge / ~4.8mm
0.075"  / 14 gauge  / ~1.9mm   =     0.225" / ~  5 gauge / ~5.7mm
 
 
 

Very Hard Temper for 1050 steel (plates will crack in half if bent to far):

* If a plate is bent to far it will probably crack instead of deforming.

        I heat treated a few test plates using the following method. Heat the pieces to 1500F/815C and quench them in water (around 60-70F/16-21C). Then reheated them to 550F/287C for 30 minutes to temper them. Test plates heat treated using this method have a hardness around Rc50. When I put the test pieces on my anvil and hit them with a ball peen hammer about 5 times or so pieces of the plate cracked off. With another test piece I clamped one 4 inch end of the 8 inch by 4 inch plate in a vise and grabbed the other with a pair of tongs to see how far it would bend before breaking. The plate broke in half at about a 70 to 80 degree bend.
 
 



Quenching in Brine (Salt Water)

        All the fire scale comes off when you quench in brine unlike quenching in water. The dent resistance after tempering the plates seemed about the same as with a water quench. Using Brine didn't seems like it was worth the effort.
 
 


Quenching in Mineral Oil

        After talking to a number of other armourers and knife makers that do heat treating it sounded like I could get better results using an oil or transmission fluid quench.  So I bought quenching oil (low-viscosity, straight mineral oil) from McMaster-Carr. The plates plates that I quenched but didn't temper bent much easier then test plates that had been water quenched and tempered to 600F/315C or even 660F/348C. The quench took much longer in the oil then in water and far longer then in fast moving (stirred) brine. The plates seemed much less likely to warp during the quench. Quenching in the oil cleaned off the fire scale similar to quenching in brine. I not sure if this is due to some special property of the quenching oil or if quenching in any mineral oil does this.
 
 



Quenching in Transmission Fluid

        I heat treated a few test plates by quenching them in transmission fluid. The plates that I quenched (but didn't temper) resisted denting about the same as test plates quenched in water and tempered to 660F/348C. However unlike the plates quenched in water the untempered plates quenched in transmission fluid cracked after 5 to 10 or so hard hits with a ball peen hammer in the same area.
       If the plates quenched in transmission fluid had been tempered they would be less likely to crack. However they would still be easier to dent then even a water quenched plate with a 660F/348C temper.

Copyright 2006   Craig W. Nadler 

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Posted: December 22 2007 at 2:14am | IP Logged Quote owenaero

Nice job.  very imformative thank you for the links.
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