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Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

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  • Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    I had a 30" oven that was fully digital (got it for $12! Just needed an element), but I left it plugged in, which I NEVER do but I just forgot, and of course lighting struck and apparently fried the control panel. New panel is $300+, so another oven was definitely the best option.

    I found a 30" double oven on CL for $85. Pretty nice shape, it's got knobs so no control panels to worry about. I picked it up and took the doors off and the exterior panels. Im about ready to cut out the center section and make it into one oven. Im going to use the top oven's broil element and the bottom ovens bake element, and possibly incoprorate some kind of fan if necessary. What would you recommend on patching up the holes? Im sure I can re-use the metal that I cut out, but should I just use sheet metal screws? Should I use some sort of sealer around the patch panels?

    2 more questions kinda on the same topic:

    A. How come the 30" I had before measures 25" inside width, but this one I have (and another that I have looked at) measures 22.5" inside? Thought that was a little peculiar.

    B. If sometime down the line I finally do make my own oven, and I still only use two elements, could I basically transfer all the components and wiring from the "single" double oven to my new fab'd oven? I know the bulk of the money is going to be in the actual framing and structural part of the oven, so if I can cut costs on the electronics by reusing what I already have then Im definitely going to try it.

  • rbroker
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    No the walls won't be good enough. Find the thickest metal you can find. This will give better reading that the 18 guage walls. It takes time for those thick pieces to get to temp, and just as long to cool down. A thin peice of metal will actually cool down when you open the door giving you inaccurate readings.

    I had six gears found at work, each 1/2" thick steel. I kept track of what the oven dials said vs what the part piece was. And made adjustments from there. I had hot spots in the back corners, at a 40 degree spike in temp from the peice 6 inchs away. Make an adjustment wait an hour and recheck, did it over and over for a weekend or three.

    And as I noted, the dials were highly inaccurate.

    I think if I had to do it all over again, i wouldn't. LOL way more trouble than its worth. The racking is by far the biggest pain in the ass. I would rather have spent money on a used commerical fridge and converted that to an oven.

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  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Im working on the wiring situation right now, so hopefully Ill have her ready to go by nightfall.

    So when you were going through the trial and error of temperature readings, you would put metals in there as if they were being cured and took the temp of that metal? I assumed you could just take the temp of the interior walls for the most part to get an appx. temp range.

    Im still debating whether or not I want to flip it over on its side. For one, Id have to mount the element(s) on top of the already existing rack "holders" that would slightly decrease my working area, as well as having to figure out some sort of racking system and a rack that could hold a decent bit of weight over such a long stretch of space without bowing or giving enough to flex and fall out of the rack. Ahh, how I love to over think things!!

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  • rbroker
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Wow, Im impressed. That looks way cleaner than my oven. Great job!

    I'd put money on it that you won't be able to get the oven temps equal top to bottom, so you'll have to turn it on its side soon. If you put elements on the side your usable area will be next to nothing because you can't get too close to those elements or you get major hot spots.

    Thats why I had to use the fire brick.

    As for wiring, I just used the same wires that the oven came with. All I had to do was plug them back in, and away we went.

    I have two dials. I turn the bottom unit to 475 on the dial, and the upper to about 425. That gets me 400 even. It took a few days of trial and error to dial in the oven. I used some thick metal chunks and put them in the oven all over top to bottom. Then made temp changes and checked them about every 45-1hour. It took a while, but once I found 400 I could then find 375, and 425 etc.. I had to leave my fan on low, because it moved too much air on med, and high and actually kept the temps from rising. Not to mention it blew powder off the parts

    keep us posted!

    Leave a comment:


  • SCOTTRODS
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Originally posted by spills View Post
    Granted I havent been dealing with ovens for long, but mounting the elements just on the side like that seems to me that you could have some colder spots in the center. I could be wrong, but that's the first thing I thought when I looked at that oven.
    Heat rises, You'd have to be sitting the part on the floor of the oven for it to have a hard time coming up to temp. I talked to Ted (on email) and he also told me there's not a "known" high temperature.... Sounds dangerous huh?

    The size of the oven you're building is small enough that you could just use the on on bottom, and add one to the back wall if you just want faster heat-up times. Otherwise, I bet just one element would be enough to git 'er hot. Don't put in that second element until you've tried it and you'll see what I mean.

    Leave a comment:


  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Granted I havent been dealing with ovens for long, but mounting the elements just on the side like that seems to me that you could have some colder spots in the center. I could be wrong, but that's the first thing I thought when I looked at that oven.

    Leave a comment:


  • ed_denu
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Originally posted by spills View Post
    I have NO idea how to tell wattage, or if there's even a way to check. Any input?
    Rather than rely on manufacturers markings if any, the best way of telling the wattage of your elements is to do an ohms check. Then multiple resistance(ohms) times volts(240) and that gives you power(watts).

    Leave a comment:


  • SCOTTRODS
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Originally posted by spills View Post
    thanks man, Ill check those out. So you think it would be more beneficial to put an element on top and bottom and leave the sides alone? I was originally thinking about doing that, but Id have to re-do my track system. How would you suggest wiring the elements up, just use the circuitry for the top bake (for the top-mounted element) and the bottom bake (for the floor-mounted element), or just use one circuit and splice the wires from there to the two elements?

    For what its worth, inside measurements are: 41"x18"x22"

    No matter what the inside dimensions are.... You should mount the elements as low as possible in the oven. In your case I'd recomend on on back and the one that's already on the floor. Simple logic (and oven design) all have heat rising. The only reason there's a broil element on top, is to brown the food by direct radiation. Of course that helps raise the temp faster, but that's just a nice side effect. I bought a "Ted's Fabrication" oven off ebay. Its 40-1/2" wide 44" deep 66" high and only has two 2700 watt elements in it. It hits 400 degrees in 20 minutes and draws approximately 27 amps according to the info on it. The calculations I get out of it are just under 25 amps. I haven't put a meter to it just yet, but it's still more than enough to cook powder and ceramic coatings. And back to my original point... Both elements are located at the bottom wired in from the back, mounted vertically on each side wall. Like this...

    Leave a comment:


  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    thanks man, Ill check those out. So you think it would be more beneficial to put an element on top and bottom and leave the sides alone? I was originally thinking about doing that, but Id have to re-do my track system. How would you suggest wiring the elements up, just use the circuitry for the top bake (for the top-mounted element) and the bottom bake (for the floor-mounted element), or just use one circuit and splice the wires from there to the two elements?

    For what its worth, inside measurements are: 41"x18"x22"

    Leave a comment:


  • JTW37
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    I did a search and come up with a couple of links for you to look at. These are local threads.

    http://forum.caswellplating.com/oven...ven-build.html

    http://forum.caswellplating.com/oven...check-out.html

    Leave a comment:


  • JTW37
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    If you look real close on the elements toward the wire connection, you will find the wattage located there. It's real fine print, but it is there. 12,000 watts is 50 amps, so you will want to stay below that. Mine is right at 8400 watts and it heats up fine. I have a total of three elements. My amps draw is around 35 and that is only while it is getting up to temp. After that, I know it draws less. Just don't know what it is. take your total watts and divide by 240. This will give you the amps you would pull.
    Last edited by JTW37; 10-06-2008, 08:32 PM.

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  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    couple more. The 2nd pic shows the heating elements I have right now. I have NO idea how to tell wattage, or if there's even a way to check. I was thinking one bake element on bottom, and 2 bake elements on the sides. Any input?
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    got some pics, Im gonna work on a diagram to show what Im talking about as far as wiring goes.
    Attached Files

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  • spills
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    Ok, Im ready to wire this thing to the wall finally! Only thing I have left is to figure out how to wire up the elements. I had thought about laying the oven down on its side, but I dont wanna have to fab up some sort of racking system again, and then I would have to place the elements on the original grooves for the racks. So for now Im leaving it standing. Dimensions are appx 48"x16"x23" (Just guessin, I havent measured it exactly since I chopped it up). I was thinking about having one element on the bottom, and then two on the sides. All the original controls are left intact, so I have control of 2 broil and 2 bake elements. Could I wire it so that the original bottom bake element runs the one element on the bottom, and then splice the wires for the original top oven bake element to the elements Im putting in on the side? I still have two temp probes, so I would assume that even if I use the original circuitry, it should cut off once it reached its set temperature. Did I confuse anyone yet?

    I will try to get some pics tonight after school to show how everything is setup, as well as a diagram of what Im talking about as far as wiring.

    Leave a comment:


  • rbroker
    replied
    Re: Advice on chopping up a double oven to make a single? And other questions...

    The fan evened out the heat to a plus or minus 15 degrees without bricks, still to much variation in my book. I put the fire brick in so I could utilize the bottom 6 inches of the oven, without it..my usable area was very tiny and I was getting cloudy powder from over heating. It was a 35 x 10H x 18 oven at that point. You can't do much with that narrow space.

    The bottom of a peice close to the burners would be 575 degrees, and the top just 10 inchs taller would be at 400. Now its the same from top to bottom, plus or minus 5 or so.

    I had two elements on the bottom when it was standing upright. At the time, running a top element didn't occur to me. Now I wish I would have done so.

    I moved the factory hinges from the bottom of the door, to what would be the right side. It was a major pain, I couldn't find industrial dishwasher hinges cheap enough.

    There are BTU calculators posted. Being that I haven't a clue what brand or what wattage Im running, I'll have to make due until the money tree starts sprouting bills again.

    In terms of welders, I got a Lincoln 180C. The C has infinite adjustablilty. Its a 220V and it works awesome, couldn't be happier with it. I got mine on ebay with a "free" cart. Talk to a welding supplier they might be able to give you a better deal for used equiptment if you pay cash. wink wink. Thats what they told me at least.
    Last edited by rbroker; 10-01-2008, 10:19 AM.

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