Help: NiChrome wire, making a dry/cure/melter panel 330f
Can anyone answer a few questions for me or direct me to a site for Nichrome information?
My background: I'm more into mechanical tinkering: drill press, saw, lathe. I have minimal skills in Arduino. I have very little understanding in Ohm, Resistance, etc....many things electrical. I can read an electrical schematic and build it; but, I have no clue how to design it.
My purpose for this: heating panel for vacuum form machine as well as a curing plate on top of wet paint and coating (two different machines).
I'm trying to make this: http://www.infraredheaters.com/solar-f.htm <--- something like this with it's blown air as a convection-like dryer over water base coating.
My requirement is:
1, 120v prefer, highly desire. 220v isn't an option at the moment until I move to a new place.
2, +250-350f temp range, I'll be using an Arduino to set this up
3, 14" x 18" panel
4, as efficient as possible, I want it as close to 1000watt as practically possible.
My questions are: size of nichrome? length? How tightly should I pack the wires. Should I use a dimmer switch to control the heat? would that be a good idea? Where can I find information to get 120v AC into nichrome to give me 330f without killing myself or burning down the house?