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Details of Building the Powdercoat Oven

   Before we start the actual construction details, I think discussion of a few tools is in order. The main tool needed is a sheetmetal brake. Here is a picture of my brake, obviously a low budget model (I actually paid $50 for it at a welding shop). Those of you familiar with this type of brake will notice that the clamping leaf is not stock. Apparently some previous owner had bent the original and fabricated a homemade leaf. This type of brake is slow to use and doesn't (in my opinion) make the sharpest bends, but it is tolerable for the purpose here. Capacity is 36" wide x 18 gauge, but I have my doubts about whether it could handle 18 gauge steel.
   A few of the hand tools used for this project. Not shown is a drill for drilling the pop rivets holes. Other than the brake, not many specialty tools were needed. A shear would have saved a lot of time and made squaring the panels a lot easier.

 The first step is building the base. The base is constructed from 3-5/8" metal drywall studs, available from building supply houses. The studs were laid on edge and fastened with pop rivets into a frame with two bays. These two bays will have burner pans installed in them to enclose the bottom of the oven.

Click on this picture to view a larger size.

   Each bay of the base has a burner pan as the floor. This pan provide support for the heating elements and prevents heat from escaping from the bottom of the oven. The two outer flanges lay on the base rails and are pop riveted for fastening.
   This picture shows a burner pan installed in one of the bays and the heating element being installed.
   The next step is the construction of the panels that make up the shell of the oven. The panels are made of 28 gauge galvanized sheetmetal wrapped around a core of 2" rigid fiberglass insulation. Typical procedure was to bend a single piece of metal 4 times to form it into a rectangular box, then fill the remaining two open ends with separate fillers. All seams are fastened by pop rivets. This picture shows the brake making the third bend.
   This picture shows placement of insulation in a panel. This is not the same panel as in the previous picture. This panel overlaps the panel adjacent to it and you can see the overlap protruding about 1-1/2" at the bottom of the picture. This panel actually requires three separate fillers to enclose the insulation. The drawing in the next frame will show better how the panels are constructed.

Here is a drawing of the oven. Click Here to view a PDF file of this drawing.

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(Apologies for the copyright mark, but I've found these drawings posted on another website without any acknowledgement of where they originated. This material is free for all to use, but it IS my material, and I would like to be credited for it)


 The electrical panel shown here was fabricated from the same sheetmetal as the rest of the oven. The two round objects on the bottom of the panel are actually 220v receptacles. Two heating elements are wired together and plug into each of these receptacles. This allows the oven to be disassembled easily for storage.

Click here for a larger view with labels. Warning: 200K file.


 The schematic to the left shows how the oven is wired. The heart of the electrical system is the contactor, which is an electromagnetic switch. Power (110v) is routed through the ON/OFF switch and is controlled by the thermostat. This circuit activates the coil of the contactor, which closes the 220v circuit that feeds the heating elements. The thermostat causes the contactor cycle open and close to requlate the termperature. The oven has an interior light and switch which I have omitted here for clarity.

Click Here to view a PDF file of this drawing.

All text, images, and drawings are Copyright ©2004-2006 by Gary Brady

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