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Thread: EM's Equipment Recommendations and Reviews

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by elixirmixer View Post
    I have chosen this kiln to calcine plant ashes specifically, and exclusively.

    I figure if I never run it over 450 degrees, and do t put anythig except a bit of ash in there, then hopefully this little baby will last a life time.

    I will probably one day down the track, get their other model the QuikMelt Pro, for pouring ingot ect.

    I've heard that the electric kilns of ebay made by Chinese manufactures are very dodgy, sometimes they wouldn't even reach the temps that were advertised and one persons set on fire so I've avoided them completely.

    This week the computer should hopefully be up and running again and I can start taking photos and setting up some well presented posts. ElixirMixer needs an administration upgrade I think.

    Plenty of old tech around here to bitch about in terms of dodgy equipment, less than ideal methods, and money down the drain.

    This has inspired a question that I might relocate....
    There is a point of view that plant ash should not be calcined too high temp. Perhaps you have found already like me that plant ash eats into the glaze of the crucible readily so unglazed is preferable. Also with electric kiln a lid on the crucible is important because the caustic vapour of plant salts can effect the electronics of the kiln.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    A decent-sized electric kiln that can go so high as 1500ºC is not only going to be more expensive, it will also not likely work on household currents and will need higher voltages/wattages.

    The furnaces and forges of the times of the alchemists & chymists did not get that hot either, unless we are talking about the blast furnaces for producing iron and steel, which employed "batteries" of double-bellows, sometimes powered by animal or water wheels, to achieve such tremendous temperatures, but this was practically industrial scale stuff, not something you would find in an average alchemical/chymical lab. The forges & furnaces you would typically find in the labs of alchemists & chymists would not reach much beyond 1350ºC even when using hand-operated single bellows. Even today, operating with electric air pumps and fans and combustible gases it is still difficult to go much beyond this temperature. You need very efficient refractories and insulators to be able to prevent heat dissipation and thus get the temperature higher.
    The one I have does the trick and works with 220V (the standard of my country), not with 380V (triphasic... the current that uses, i.e, the water pump of my building, the elevator, etc). It would be pointless to write a review, because it's "made in Argentina" by an independent company (actually, it's a small family business)... but the weight is around 60 kilos, so no sane person would buy it unless you live here... the shipping cost would be more expensive than the product itself.
    The refractory material is by far thicker (the "internal refractory walls" are more or less 18cm thick) and it has a very good insulation. i.e, the oven can reach 1500ºC inside, but the external metal remains touchable even after DAYS of extreme heat. It also has a very slow drop of the temperature (from 1500ºC to room temperature, it takes some 30 hours). The nice thing of finding a "family business" is that they had a conversation with me and they built it according to what I said (and included a chimney that can be opened or closed as a gift).

    The "super hot" temperatures have been useful to experiment a few things with ceramic.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    The one I have does the trick and works with 220V (the standard of my country), not with 380V (triphasic... the current that uses, i.e, the water pump of my building, the elevator, etc). It would be pointless to write a review, because it's "made in Argentina" by an independent company (actually, it's a small family business)... but the weight is around 60 kilos, so no sane person would buy it unless you live here... the shipping cost would be more expensive than the product itself.
    The refractory material is by far thicker (the "internal refractory walls" are more or less 18cm thick) and it has a very good insulation. i.e, the oven can reach 1500ºC inside, but the external metal remains touchable even after DAYS of extreme heat. It also has a very slow drop of the temperature (from 1500ºC to room temperature, it takes some 30 hours). The nice thing of finding a "family business" is that they had a conversation with me and they built it according to what I said (and included a chimney that can be opened or closed as a gift).

    The "super hot" temperatures have been useful to experiment a few things with ceramic.
    Yes, at that higher voltage it is possible. Other countries, like the United States, use 110-120v which would make it difficult to be able to power a larger kiln that can reach such a temperature.

    How big is the chamber (i.e. the "combustion chamber", which for an electric kiln is a misnomer since there is no combustion going on inside it) of the kiln you had custom made?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Yes, at that higher voltage it is possible. Other countries, like the United States, use 110-120v which would make it difficult to be able to power a larger kiln that can reach such a temperature.

    How big is the chamber (i.e. the "combustion chamber", which for an electric kiln is a misnomer since there is no combustion going on inside it) of the kiln you had custom made?
    The chamber is SOMEHOW custom made. I bought it from a small family business that creates klins for several uses (chemistry, ceramicists, industries, etc)... so they interviewed me and asked me what I wanted and they "customized" a model they had, but they didn't begin from zero.

    The combustion chamber is not very big because the refractory material is VERY thick... the "floor" is 20x25 cm; the height is 13 cm (i.e, that's one of the "customized" things... they gave me the amount of cubic centimeters I could have... but it was up to me how to distribute them... I decided that I wanted it "wide" and sacrificed a bit the height, because 13 cm was good enough for me). I did an animation with 3 photos as to show it to you:



    (in the two frontal photos you can see a black "dot"... it is a hole that is connected to the chimney that you can open or close as you wish).

    It has a very good isolation, as you can see in one of the photos, you can open it with bare hands when it's red hot inside. The metallic heaters are "inside" the refractory material, so you can't see them. It is definitely not "portable" (the floor is 1 meter* x 80 cm and the height is 65 cm... and it weights some 60 or 70 kilos... I had to ask a friend to help me to take it out of the car and get it into my house, I couldn't lift it by myself). If I am not wrong, I payed for it $450 dollars. It was the "biggest" one they could build for 220V... the other ones would either have less heat or had to work with 380V, which is our triphasic voltage here, but I didn't want it to be triphasic because it's obviously a burden).

    *1 meter including the "controls".... the box itself is 80x80 cm... but the controls are "attached" to one of the sides... not visible in these photos because of the angle of the pics... but they are normal digital controls without anything quite surprising).

  5. #15
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    Can anyone recommend an incubator brand?

    I'm specifically looking for a decent size, that can maintain a 37.5 with an accuracy of +_ 0.2%
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixirmixer View Post
    Can anyone recommend an incubator brand?

    I'm specifically looking for a decent size, that can maintain a 37.5 with an accuracy of +_ 0.2%
    What I did is visiting yet another family business and ask them to buy the mechanism for an X amount of liters (i.e, the electric & electronic parts)... and then I placed them on a box that looks like a small closet. They whole thing works perfectly and I payed maybe $40 for an incubator with internal proportions of 50x50x75 cm.
    I just saw some "Lab incubators" of similar characteristics and they go from $350 to $1,000.

    I would take a look at some people selling incubators for chicken eggs in your area and phone them asking them if they are willing to sell you the electric mechanism only (for the amount of liters that you want). The one I have works from room temperature to 42ºC... and it's +- is more or less 0.2ºC...

    If I were you, I would investigate that other option.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixirmixer View Post
    Can anyone recommend an incubator brand?

    I'm specifically looking for a decent size, that can maintain a 37.5 with an accuracy of +_ 0.2%
    One DIY option is to buy a cheap cooler, a heating pad and an electronic control







    Bam... you have an incubator with high precision controls

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    One DIY option is to buy a cheap cooler, a heating pad and an electronic control







    Bam... you have an incubator with high precision controls
    Excellent system you have there. I use heating pads for sweat distillations as well as incubation and curing of the united elements into the Quintessence. I also use Variac controllers for absolutely precise heat control from sweating temps to 1400F calcination for kiln control.

  9. #19
    I use a 'petpad' but it is pre-set to 38 centigrade any website with DIY info about switches and heating pads?

    Also a cheap reptile egg incubator is about 1/4 the cost of a lab incubator but the temperature variance is about + or - 5% so not as accurate as Elixirmixer Specified.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Excellent system you have there. I use heating pads for sweat distillations as well as incubation and curing of the united elements into the Quintessence. I also use Variac controllers for absolutely precise heat control from sweating temps to 1400F calcination for kiln control.
    Thanks z0 K. I didn't occur to me to use heating pads for sweat distillation but that's a really good idea.

    A kiln is my next DIY project but can't really justify the $200 cost to build it right now but... compared to the $400-$500 for a bench top kiln, $200 is a bargain. I was thinking of going the Variac control path and it sounds like you prefer it as well. Thanks for the tip.

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