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Heat Treating and Metallurgy Discussion of heat treatment and metallurgy in knife making.

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Old 02-08-2016, 09:12 PM
mstrick96 mstrick96 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
I built my own kiln awhile back and it is actually pretty easy. I did it before I retired while I was accumulating tools and machines for my workshop. Also, I just enjoy building my own "stuff" whenever I can.

I'll review my notes and diagrams and try to reconstruct my reasoning on the design. Also, I'll try to find my schematics and will post photos.

Here is a brief over view that I think will answer some of your questions.

First of all, I decided to go with 220vac. It was easier to get the power I needed. I'll have to look up the wattage I ended up with. Can't remember.

I bought some mild steel angle iron and welded up a frame for the fire brick. I laid out the firebrick and cut the steel to fit and welded it. I used a furnace cement that comes in a caulking tube between the brick. Mainly to help hold them in place. I didn't put any sheet metal on the sides, etc. no sealing problems.

I had planned to weld up a door with a rope type seal, but wanted to try the kiln out before I got that done, so I just stacked the fire brick up on the front as a "door". I found that I actually like that better than having a hinged door because I can easily move a brick to look inside without affecting the heating too much.

I built a separate control box for the PID controller. I used a regular 115vac relay instead of a Solid State Relay. I also added a couple of indicator lights to tell me what is going on.

I don't bother to use all the fancy programming features in the PID controller. I just program in the temperature I want it to go to and turn it on. It's nice to know that they are there if I ever need them, but I doubt that I'll ever need anything other than the simplest mode.

I've had it to 2000 degrees F, but it should go to 2200 or so. 2000 is all I need. It takes 45 minutes to get to 2000 degrees.

Since I got it working, I've been finishing getting the rest of my workshop set up, so haven't really worked with it much. I'm just about there though and ready to start grinding steel!
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Old 02-09-2016, 04:03 AM
David Eye David Eye is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: North Central WI, USA
Posts: 74
Thanks mstrick96....very appreciative you took the time to write that info up.
At this point in time I now have more than one electric wiring diagram to go buy.
I have another thread I started some time ago regarding the making of the kiln itself.
I've pretty much decided the design of my kiln now, but it is too cold in my northern Wisconsin garage and pole shed to work on it. I have most of the materials already on hand.
Once I start making progress on the kiln I will be posting to that kiln thread, especially since others have asked me to do that.
Thanks again for your help and input.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:40 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 45
I have heat treated a couple more knives since I last posted on here. I am still having some problems with the temp in my kiln being uneven. Out by the door its about 20?c cooler. I added some weight to the door closing system and that helped but I think my biggest mistake was to not make my door the same size as my kiln ( see my pictures in my profile ). I'm going to make a new door and see if that helps.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:20 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: North Central WI, USA
Posts: 74
Cat skinner, thanks for letting me know.
I was planning on making my door basically full size.
I also was planning on designing a simple screw type door lock mechanism so that I can tighten the door down against the rope material I will be using for a door seal.
Let me know how your new door works out for you.
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