View Full Version : Planning a new melter?

04-16-2006, 05:38 PM
I followed along with great interest when texasflyboy was building his new smelter in this thread http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=5126 .
I thought the final product was very impressive.

However, in the early stages of figuring out his heating elements, I thought there should be a 'neater' way to heat up a pot. Today I think I found it.
Browsing around at McMaster-Carr ( http://www.mcmaster.com/ ), I happened upon catalog page 471.

If you are considering a smelter project, be sure to look at the heaters available there...especially the hi-temp tape, and ceramic ring styles. There are also links to temperature control units spaced around in the text.

Blacktail 8541
04-16-2006, 11:34 PM
This supply place is huge with a lot of good toys!

04-17-2006, 12:30 AM
I think the great part of Texasflyboy's pot is that he used a lot of what he had on hand and his constructive abilities to put it all together.

You are right, there are some excellent heating elements on that site. It would be an interesting project to utilize some of them. However, sometimes it's more gratifying to use a pile of junk and extra parts to build a functional device.

04-17-2006, 02:07 PM
However, sometimes it's more gratifying to use a pile of junk and extra parts to build a functional device.
No disagreement from me on that. As I said, he did a bang-up job...

04-17-2006, 10:39 PM
Don't worry, I often use McMaster Carr also.

As it happens, I did spend a lot of time thinking about a heat source, and did comtemplate using ring heaters, tape, and immersion heaters. There are a lot a variations out there.

But... I, me, personally, choose the route I took for these reasons:

1. My old pot had range elements. Therefore, I would not be futzing with the tried and tested design.

2. A very large well stocked applicance parts store is about 5 miles from where I live. I can drive there in 10 minutes or less and browse around for interesting parts, or get replacement parts.

3. I was familiar with the electric load requirements for range elements, as they are stamped on the side of the base, so it was easy to do the math.

4. And finally, the KISS principle ruled. Range elements are simple, easy to get, easy to use, easy to change, and easy to hook up.

But, I realize that a lot of folks who want to build their own pots will vary from my design. And I encourage this.

Improvements to the design will only benefit us all...so press on!