I looked around for a suitable sized steel dustbin ( trash can) but couldn't find one suitable at the time, so decided to roll my own.
This is how my furnace was made.
I bought a small sheet of 0.5mm steel from the local DIY store and some 25mm x 25mm steel box section. The sheet steel was cut to size and rolled to form the body and the box section added to form the legs. One of the legs is longer than the others and extends to the top of the furnace.
50mm x 6mm galv screws and nuts were used to join the ends of the sheet together, passing the screws through the long leg and into the steel casing. There were left full length on the inside as this will help hold the refactory in place.
A hole was made for the tuyere and a disc of MDF cut to be a snug fit on the inside of the casing. Two further pieces of MDF were cut and holes made in them to suit the outside diameter of the casing. These 2 formers were placed as shown below to keep the casing in shape when the refactory is added. The disc has a sheet of plastic laid on top to prevent the refactory sticking to it.
The disc in the photo is resting on top of some wooden packing equal to the height of the plastic paint can which will be used for the inside former, less the thickness of the disc. The 20mm dia white plastic tube you can see was to form a trough and escape hole for any metal spills but this has proved to be too small.
If I were to make another furnace I would not bother with the drain hole but add another inlet in the side for a blower. See the details of my blower at the bottom of the page. This has speeded up melt time as well as using less gas.
From a garden center I bought a 100Lt bag of Perlite and from a stove center, two 12.5 Kg tubs of Fire Cement. After the job was finished I had half a bag of the perlite and about 1/4 tub of fire cement left.
At the bottom, some galvanised steel wire was tied between the protruding screws inside the casing to help key the refactory to the furnace, like the reinforcing bars that are used that in concrete.
The mix was then added .........
.....and smoothed to a nice finish.
Another mix of refactory was then added around the former .This was then left to dry naturally for a few days until I felt the former could be removed. Once it was removed a 60 watt light bulb was suspended inside to speed up the drying process. Next I dried it further by putting it inside the kitchen oven. It just fitted. Since the furnace was made we have had a new oven and I don't think my wife would let me do this with the new one!
You can see in the photo below I also added a ring and rods to give extra support to the bottom.
The lid was made in the same way as described to the dimensions shown in the drawing.
I already had a Sievert propane torch set which has an economy setting, the main flame can be shut off and a smaller flame kept going. I made a new necktube to fit it using a jet from one of the nozzles I had. It is not essential to use a torch handle, a simple gas tap would do the job. I use an adjustable regulator set at 2 Bar (28psi) and this incorporates a hose protection valve which cuts off the gas if the hose should fail.
A hose clip determines the length of tube that goes inside the furnace.
Close up of the jet.
New burner design.
I have simplified the burner design to use plumbing fittings and no jet is now needed. Easily made in a hour or less. Details coming soon.
If you are thinking of making a burner before I get the details out send me an email for details.
To hold the burner in place the bracket shown below was added, the holes are a loose fit on the burner tube. The burner tube is not sealed into the large hole in the furnace (this is called the Tuyere) This allows air to be admitted around the burner.
The furnace was heated up slowly several times to prevent cracks before being put into service.
I was surprised how little I used. I weighed the gas bottle before and after the melt and found 0.3 Kg had been used. From this I got 3.88 Kg of metal after the dross had been removed.