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I was frustrated with the price of electric burnout kilns for ceramics, metal annealing, glass enameling, and melting precious metals etc,. so I decided to build my own. Most kilns that run at these temperatures cost between $600 and $1200. With a little help from a guy at a ceramics store, I built one for about $120 (not including the power controller and pyrometer). This little electric kiln can get up to 2000 degrees F and is easy to make without any special tools besides a handheld router. I also wanted one that I could take apart and replace the element, since these are inexpensive.

Materials:
1. 8 x 10" bolts with nuts- 1/4" diameter
2. 7 x soft insulating fire bricks (4 1/2" x 9" x 2 1/2"- make sure they are soft)
3. About 7 feet of angle iron from Home Depot (this is the frame) (4 x 14" legs/corners, 2 x 9" floor supports)
4. One sheet of thin aluminum (for the door). At least a 9" by 9" square
5. One 1/4 inch x 19" coiled heating element (stretched to about 28") out of 16 gauge Kanthal wire. I had this wound for me at the local ceramics store. I recommend you wind your own or as a ceramic supplier in your area to wind one for you. In my other instructable, Electric Kiln #2, I give directions on how to wind your own.
6. One small hinge with screws
7. Fire proof pins (should come with element) or you can make these out of the Kanthal wire.
8. Short outdoor extension cord rated to at least 10 amps (cut down to about 6 feet)
9. Stand alone ICS kiln controller. Sundanceglass.com has one for $84.
10. 1" thick Kaowool- about 1 foot square

Tools:
1. Hand held router with 1/4 inch bit
2. Wrench
3. Needlenose pliers
4. Hacksaw
5. Wire cutters/stripper
6. Drill
7. Tin snips

Step 1: Cutting the channels

1. Pencil the channels in as a u-shape 1/4 inch wide. I left about an inch, to an inch and a half from the edge and the top of the "U" so the elements are not too close to the opening of the kiln.
2. Route out the channels with your router using a 1/4 inch bit.
3. You will need to cut one of your fire bricks down to a square 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" for the back and route out two straight channels. This will be the back wall.
<p>Thank you for this Instructable - it was one of the key documentations I needed for making my own so that I could make my fiance's engagement ring (http://www.instructables.com/id/Casting-Rings-From-Startup-to-Finish/).</p>
<p>that is awesome! You are the first to post one! Do you have an instructable for your ring? That is a cool setting- did you make it out of Pmc clay?</p>
<p>Yes, I detailed the ring making, kiln build, vacuum chamber construction, and the necessary step-by-step guide to all (see the link above). I actually ended up 3D printing the initial ring using a polyjet printer available at school and then converting it into wax using a rubber mold (the 3D printed parts didn't burn-out the best) before casting.</p><p>I would have had a much harder time with everything without your instructable!</p>
<p>sorry, I didn't see the link:) - I love the PID controller! That is a nice upgrade-I'll have to add one to mine. I make jewelry also but I'm old school. I want to learn the lost wax casting so I'll be visiting your instructable often in the future. Congrats on your engagement!</p>
This is a great idea; but you have to do your sums, I was looking for a place to cast some gold, on a one off basis. Couldn't find anywhere so next choice was looking for second hand equipment with the idea that I could sell it on afterwards but there is very little available in the UK. So next idea was ok I'll make my own, what do I need, a kiln that will let me both burnout wax and melt gold. Perfect your kiln will do both. But if im not using a centrifugal casting system then I need a vacuum table for both the investment and pouring the metal that's ok I can build both.<br><br>Then I discovered casting houses! Yes their gold price is higher than Cookson or Rio grande but the overall extra cost is a fraction of the cost of building your kiln let alone the vacuum table! <br><br>So as much as I would like to cast the two items ill get a much better quality job done for less money with a casting house. <br><br>Dan<br>
<p>We're on Hackaday!</p><p>http://hackaday.com/2014/12/10/casting-engagement-rings-or-other-small-metal-parts/</p>
<p>That is amazing. I used this kiln to make my fiance's engagement ring too but I didn't document it like you did. I will definitely be using your walk-through to improve my process for when I start making the wedding bands! Thanks!</p>
This is great!! Simple and functional. And very well explained, I have no doubt I can make this with your instructions. Thank you so much, I would never be able to afford one otherwise.
awesome. i want to make so I can blow glass. wondering how I could do it and bam -your instructable. thanks.
Terrific!!. I have been trying to find an inexpensive kiln for copper enameling for years. Never could afford a store-bought one. Thanks. This appears to be fairly easy to build. <br> <br>Robert Larkins
An excellent project and so simple! <br>I'll be assembling one of these soon for smelting Tin (Sn) ore.
Thanks!
Thanks! I have been wanting to make -- not a high temp kiln, but a low temp oven for polymer clays, and this instructible gave me insight on how to construct it.
Thank you so much for showing how to make a kiln! I have been wanting one forever but where I live they usually run $1500 and up -- way out of my budget. Now I will be able to build my own at a much more affordable price. Thanks!
You are more than welcome. I was in the same boat! Necessity is the mother of invention.
Awesome Ible!!! <br> <br>Expensive store bought kilns have the same problem with the elements popping out - they heat up, expand, and voila, out they pop! (so don't take it personally!) <br>My paragon kilns have metal staples that hold the elements into the channels - they often come loose and need to be pushed back in, I believe they're just steel - would that work? <br> <br>Also, for around your door - perhaps a woodstove gasket would work? I've used it instead of foil as a gasket, works great, cheap as hell. <br> <br>Either way, nice job. Looks a helluva lot nicer than my waffle iron kiln! <br>
Thanks- your waffle iron kiln is a great idea and one of the first ones I looked at before building this. I almost built your waffle iron kiln but for some of my projects I was afraid it might be too small. Thanks for some of my original inspiration!
<p>Hello sir, I was wondering how much watts this furnace uses.</p><p>I am making a furnace myself and I can only use 1500-2000 watts due to my outlets having a max of 16A AND the group being connected to the living room and fridge.</p><p>So there are little amps left for me.</p><p>My furnace (Foundry) is 0.15 cubic feet, do you think this is enough to heat it up to Alluminium melting temperatures?</p>
<p>Probably not. I'm not an electrician, but I have mine in the garage and I can barely run anything else on that circuit without tripping the breaker. On dedicated circuit you will have enough heat to melt aluminum though.</p>
<p>this furnace itself is overkill for an aluminium furnace. Honestly you could make one out of a steel bucket hair dryer plaster of Paris and sand and melt aluminium with charcoal or modify it to use propane. Trust me, that kind of furnace could melt steel if the coals are hot enough</p>
<p>yeah, well, tell me how well you can use metal clay, or glass enameling with that design and get back to me. This kiln has multiple applications besides melting aluminum.</p>
<p>The thing is, I need it to be electric!</p>
<p>I am in the same situation with my electric. You could make the coil shorter ( like 16 inches and stretched to about 29) and that way it won't draw more power. Keep in mind it will heat up faster. This was made to run on 110V. Just make sure you use a variable control and then you can control the amount current coming through and also the temperature.</p>
<p>I wonder if I could use the components from a heating gun (element + circuit board), remove the thermal fuse, and plug it directly to a wall outlet? The element is 1500W.</p>
<p>if your coil is too short it will heat up too fast and the temperature will be hard to control. It may just heat up and burn out the coil. You definitely don't want to plug it directly into a wall outlet. Get a controller.</p>
I'm trying to build a furnace to burnout gold, and silver will this kiln be able to do that?
<p>It should, yes</p>
Could you use a Yeeco AC 110V 4000W SCR Voltage Regulator Speed Control Driver Dimming Dimmer Thermostat Governing Temperature Governor Fan Motor Controller instead of a variable controller
<p>No, I don't think so. I have since done some asking around. What you really want is either a PID controller (read some of the comments above) or an Infinity Control Switch (ICS kiln controller). Sundanceglass.com has one for sale.</p>
<p>How are people terminating the Kanthal wire? I am not seeing ceramic terminators that isolate the electrical wire from the kanthal wire. obviously you want steel between the copper and kanthal. Does anyone have recommendations?</p><p>Thank you!</p>
<p>I updated the instructions to include an easier way to do this. There are brass connectors you can buy from some of the ceramics suppliers. I just used some steel bolts with two nuts to separate the wires. </p>
<p>I just finished building this kiln. I bought two silicone-insulated wires (which can withstand up to 600 F), stripped about two inches of each, joined them with a screw terminal thingy from the hardware store, then wrapped everything in several layers of fiberglass for (electrical) insulation. The idea was to create a sort of air-cooled bridge.</p><p>I don't know if you really need to go that far; the silicone insulation may be enough on its own to withstand the heat. But since this was my first time building a kiln I decided I'd err on the safe side (and maybe redo it later).</p>
<p>I use copper split bolt connectors as recommended in this book. https://www.amazon.com/Electric-construction-potters-Robert-Fournier/dp/0442301340</p>
<p>The ceramics store gave me steel crimps. I found that they heat up the copper wire too much though, so I recently added a screw and nut to the connector to dissipate the heat. I will update the instruct able with a picture soon. </p>
<p>Thank you for posting this - I would like to build one, but have questions about the PID - SSR - Thermocouple type needed. Have searched ebay - amazon and the likes and find lots of units and youtube videos on what has been used for kilns and other applications (all units mentioned seem to no longer be available), but cannot determine exactly what I need to purchase for a 2000 deg metallurgy kiln similar to yours. Also found video on winding Kanthal wire and sources, knowledge and so I feel confident to make an element. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.</p>
<p>Hi again--i will post a new instructable soon on my next kiln that has instructions on how to wind an element. It is real easy though.</p>
Mine is a K-type thermocouple. I don't have a PID controller on mine, so i cant help you there. Look at some of the links in tge comments. Others have put pid controllers on theirs.
<p>Hi! thanks for the instructable i've just finished mine and i'll post photos one is all finished, i have a question though what gauge is the aluminum door, i didn't found any on Home Depot here in Mexico, so i went to a specialized sheet metal store, i found that they have many gauges of the sheet and since it's aluminum i was wondering which of these will work better for the door.</p>
<p>Thanks so much for these amazing instructions. But I'm a bit unsure that aluminium is the correct material for the door. Surely aluminium has too loo low a melting point (660C), whereas this kiln goes up to 1000C. Why isn't the door melting?</p>
<p>Because it is insulated with Kaowool. Lol</p>
Hi, I'm not really sure the gauge on the door. I'm guessing about 22 or 24. It doesn't really matter as long as you can bend it with your fingers. Too thick and you will need a metal brake to form it.<br><br>Hope that helps.
It sure does! At least I have a reference, thank you very much again!
<p>Great instructable! There is an out of print book available which goes into a lot of depth for those interested. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Electric-construction-potters-Robert-Fournier/dp/0442301340" rel="nofollow">https://www.amazon.com/Electric-construction-potte...</a> </p><p> I use a Bartlett Controller and solid state relays. I also used copper split bolt connectors where the elements connect to the electrical cord. I purchase my element wire from Duralite.</p>
I'm curious about your router. Where did you get it?
Home Depot
Is it the DeWalt?
<p>Ryobi</p>
Thank you very much for inspiring me to build this! it cost me about $150 and that was mostly Electronics and the fire brick. the controller is one of the cheap my PIN controllers from China / Amazon. a lot of people use those who support is widely found online. thanks again!
Cool! Nice work. Glad you found it helpful!
<p>What is the name of the source of electricity</p>

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