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Wanted: Oven Help

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  • Wanted: Oven Help

    I am 16 years old and have been powdercoating for a couple of months using the harbor freight gun and an old house oven. My results have been great and I have been thinking about building a bigger oven for a while now and have been most definately reading through the forums. However i would still like to rap it all up and figure out how i should do it. I am looking at building one that is 8ft tall 4feet deep and 4 feet wide ( oh and by the way yes i do have a part time job so i have the money to finance this project.... i am still trying to save as much $$$$$ as possible and create an efficient oven at the same time so i dont run up the electricity bills.) Now for the questions:
    *How many oven elements should i use. I have 220v to run off of.
    *Does anyone have any wiring diagrams... I know i am going to run ssrs and a Pid off of ebay but how do i wire my lights and fan in.
    * what type of insulation would be good. At first i will be using this for powdercoating but would like to have the ability to do ceramics in the future.
    *which wire should i get
    *and lastly what type of sheet metal and what guage should i use on the inside and outside. Remember cost effective but still quality.
    As for the rest of the oven i plan on using steel studs depending on the thickness of my insulation and framing it all together with rivets. The plan is to use this for powdercoating snowmobile chassis and motorcycle/ atv frames.. thanks, Pep

  • #2
    Re: Wanted: Oven Help

    Welcome to the forum, but before you start purchasing any material please supply a little more information concerning where the oven will be placed and the electrical service capacities available to you. IMO the biggest mistake people make is planning too large an oven without consideration of the electrical requirements. Many people think that 240 volts is all that's required to power any size oven they can build. Voltage isn't the issue as most every house/business in the U.S. has 240 volt service. What's important is the amperage capacity of the service/sub panel.

    A 128 cu ft oven is going to need at minimum 75-100 amps of dedicated power. Keep in mind that this is for the oven requirements only, any additional loads placed on the service such as AC units, compressors, lights, household appliances, etc. all count against the total. I'm fairly certain you are not going to have a circuit of this capacity readily available so count on the added expense of having an adequate circuit installed by a qualified electrician.

    You mention keeping operational costs moderate, but an electrical powered oven this size, depending on your local rates can easily cost $2 per hour to operate. This may not sound like much, but can certainly add up depending on usage.

    I'm not looking to discourage you, just to ensure you have considered all the variables before proceeding and spending your hard earned money.
    Last edited by ed_denu; 05-19-2014, 10:01 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Wanted: Oven Help

      Thanks Ed. I checked my breaker panel this morning and on my breaker panel I have two 30 amp breakers going the outlet I was planning to use. Would this be my max amps then? Like I said I'm only 16 so I'm not an expert electrician. I'm still learning. However if i need any major electrical work i know the electrician that wired our barn.As for the 2 dollars an hour that sounds ok to me and my parents. We would just monitor how many hours I ran it then I'd pay at the end of the month.


      • #4
        Re: Wanted: Oven Help

        It's really not (2) 30A breakers, it's a double pole 30A breaker. That circuit as I mentioned earlier is no where near what you are going to need for the oven size you are looking at. You mention that this service is in a barn/out building. Go back to that panel and look at the main disconnect. It should have a number on the trip handles. Typically these may be 100 or 200 amp rated. You need this information before proceeding further.


        • #5
          Re: Wanted: Oven Help

          I did look at that this morning and the main breaker said 100


          • #6
            Re: Wanted: Oven Help

            That's going to be marginal for the oven size you are planning, but I'm going to change direction a little here and assume the 4x4x8 is the OD, not the ID so the internal size would be more like 40x40x88. In that case you can probably get by with 12k watts(4 3k elements). You would still need a 60-70 amp circuit but that's more do-able.

            In worse case you would not be able to run anything else while the oven is going. You might get the electrician you know and run some of this by him for his thoughts. No offense, but this isn't a job for someone with no electrical experience. You might update your profile to show where you are located. The further North the more watts needed especially in winter.

            Or, you might consider something a little smaller, say 3X4X6 or keep the 30A circuit currently in place and keep the size to around 45 cu ft.
            Last edited by ed_denu; 05-20-2014, 01:05 PM.