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

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Old 12-18-2015, 01:47 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: North Central WI, USA
Posts: 74
Question Wattage Needed for Small Kiln & PID REC.

I decided to start a new thread v/s my existing thread in this sub forum for these two particular questions regarding a small kiln I will be making soon.
I am planning on using 1084 already annealed from New Jersey Steel Baron and maybe even some 5160 (apparently not annealed).

A) What wattage will I need to have for a home made 110v kiln of the following approx. size to achieve efficient heating and not real long heat-up time? (I'm only guessing at 1800-1900 watts)..........:

1) IFB's will be 3" thick not 2.5" thick....(getting free from my nephew). For my small compartment size I don't feel there is a big need for 220v and would prefer to not go that route and just stick with 110v heating element.

2) Internal compartment size will be approx. within 4.5 to 5 x 5 to 6 x 12 to 14".....give or take and whatever works out best. I really don't need a much bigger compartment since my largest knife will never be more than 8-9" long.

3) I may just buy a pre-wound heating element if I can find some that won't be too long at the wattage I need. The web site at states to NOT cut their pre-wound elements shorter (changes their wattage values listed). If this becomes a problem, I may have to wind my own which is doable.

4) If I have to wind my own elements I need to know what gauge Kanthal A1 to purchase for 110v heating element in my compartment size and how many feet in order to achieve the wattage I will need. It might even be possible for a place like to answer this part for me....not sure.

B) What specific PID controller do you recommend?

1) I'm not sure if it will be all that necessary for mine to have the "ramp & soak" feature since I'm not sure what the more standard ones are capable of. An alarm or two output might be a nice feature to have though IMO. You guys tell me!

2) So far I have looked at and EBAY and AMAZON, but as I said I'm not sure what I need or how important some of the features are. I MIGHT be willing to spend the extra money for the ramp and soak feature if it would make it a lot easier for me in case I have to normalize or anneal. Might even make it easier for "soaking" at temp before quenching too........not sure, again you tell me.

I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer regarding these questions.
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1084, 5160, art, buy, case, home, home made, knife, made, make, making, problem, small, steel

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