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can i use hair dryer or toaster nichrome to make a lead forge? Answered

a brilliant idea(as they often are) crossed my mind this morning which was to build a 3 in one heating machine.
1. a charcoal maker, heats up wood to the point where it converts to charcoal.
2. burner gas generator. the flamable hydrocarbons released from the sun bleached wood (hite and crumbly, i got tonns of it literally, like moled plane wood), to make fire to reuse for a stove or heater, for something i may want to heat at the same time.

3. lead forge , for melting lead to fill my lead electrode molds, so i can electrolyze in sulfuric acid and then sell, or use, as lead dioxide electrodes for chlorate making etc.

Now, butane and propane are completely unreasonable sources of heat, and too expensive as well, so i wanted to know,
if the nichrome heating element inside a toaster or a hair dryer, could reach temperatures in excess of 330 degrees Celsius?

i want to wrap the nichrome wire , around a steel crucible , separated by fiberglass of course to prevent the nichrome actually touchings the steel,
so that when i apply power, the wire heats the steel (which will not be exposed to air) with the nichrome, and therefore heats whatever is inside the crucible , however, i want ti to also be able to reach temperatures in excess if 330 degrees Celsius, so that i can also melt lead.

is this possible?
otherwise, what kind of nichrome can i directly apply to 240v (wall output) assisted by large contacts for obvious reasons to do so.

i know for a fact that nichrome drawing 5 watts is capable of melting lead, as i have melted lead before with my battery powers 5 watt soldering iron, which's soldering tip is a hollow piece of metal with nichrome inside.

i want to be sure that this machine will work before i go and buy some second hand toaster or hair dryer at the dump shop.

so, will it work?
Ive seen hair dryer heating element used before to heat sodium hydroxide inside a steel crucible, in a sodium electrolysis cell, and it went over 320 degrees Celsius. i think. but i cant be sure.

i still need a second opinion, thanks



1 year ago

Hey Im guessing you understand how circuits work and how to stop a battery short circuiting and blowing up. So basically i want to make a electric lighter with nichrome a batter and a few other things so what else would i need so i dont blow the battery up. Would be really thankful if you reply i know this is a old thread


7 years ago

You cannot ( don't want to ) use fiberglass. Mica or some easy to use high temp ceramics is what you use. Then build an insulating brick ( High Temp ) shield
insulating enclosure see the adds on the side page.

I don't think you realize how much electrical power will be needed.
You may realize propane is the easy way.


At $40 for 400g, i dont think it is. especially since charcoal needs to be heated for several hours at less that 350 celcius.

I probably should have mentioned that i only want to be heating a crucible which is maybe maximum 10cmH x 4cm dia. something very small.
Propane is definitely not an option.but it must be hot enough to melt lead and prefferebly zinc

O.K. you can use nichrome heating element But it will sag and must be
supported or it could short out.
I melt lead in a hand held iron ladle with a butane torch in a few minutes.
Good luck man :-)

no problem, ill just rest it on plaster, asbestos or something heat resistant.
My question is though, how much and what kind, of nichrome, would i need so in order to do this? i really dont want to just go and buy a fat high powered soldering iron element, and merely use that. they can reach about 500-800 celcius the industrial ones (1500watts) and would do the job for sure. i Know they use nichrome, so i know for certain its possible.
But nichrome is expensive and i dont have the luxury of being able to do trial and error.

Nichrome wire comes in lots of diameter sizes including flat just like
resistors come in different sizes and values.
Once you have the nichrome wire from some appliance ;
  • Electric room heater ( No Fan )
  • Bread toaster
  • Toaster oven
  • Hot air blower ( hair dryer )
  • Electric barbie
  • Steam iron
  • Warming platter
Then you will have to use all the nichrome wire because it is sized for
your power line. 
You cannot use less of the wire as it would cause more current to
flow and over heat the wire possibly sagging or even melt breaking
at a weak spot.

Then it is your ingenuity in laying down the wire to heat your crucible.

Hope this helps you.


essentially what im trying to make is like a soldering pot e.g http://www.dealextreme.com/p/300w-temperature-controlled-soldering-pot-blue-golden-220v-48764

but i know i can not only make one better , but cheaper too. Plus i wanna learn how to use nichrome for heating and stuff.