Note: I am replicating this post on rec.crafts.metalworking.
I am in the process of cleaning up the place for a Badger Blacksmiths meeting next Saturday. One of the other members (Don Hogenson) will do the main demo, making a pair of tongs. But I, as host, am expected to do some stuff, too. And I have plenty of things from which to choose:
Demo running a couple of generators from my Chinese wood chip Gasifier ---not much metal content, but might be interesting to some
Demo the use and making of blacksmith anvils from pieces of railroad rail --- I will have one piece set up to cut the basic shapes w/torch --- One set up on Mill to show truing the face ---One set up on a stand to show truing w/ angle grinder ---One set up on surface grinder to show finish grinding of face ---One set up on a stump to show that they really can work, as long as you can keep it from moving ---Several pieces on a table to show/explain sizes/weights of rail
Show off trip hammer collection
But here's the question and intro to it: Several years ago a guy (Keith Johnson) drove up the driveway and unloaded a 5KW Westinghouse induction heater made in the 50's or 60's. He had been at Bob Bergman's shop in central Wi to get an air hammer. Bob asked him to deliver the induction heater to me to test/evaluate. It is about 4 feet cubed. Tube type. It's mostly a 5KW radio station transmitter tuned to a lower frequency, I think. I have never fired it up. It takes about 50 amps of single phase 220 to run it. And a water supply to cool the output coil. I think I will try to get it going for the demo. It came with only one output coil, but that one is about 4 inches long, with an ID of about 2 inches, so I should be able to heat 1 inch bars pretty well. -----IF it works at all. The manual tells me that there's about10,000 volts running around inside, so I think I will keep one hand in my pocket.
Anyway, are any of you guys fooling around with induction heating? We had some guys from Ameritherm up here 4 or 5 years ago demonstrating a 5KW solid state unit that was about 1/20th the size of "my" machine, but it was about $28K retail. Now the Chinese have a 5KW knock off of it for about $3K. A friend of mine in AZ (Dan Jennings) bought one and it exceeded his (somewhat low) expectations. Others (Roger Degner, for instance) have since gotten them too. So, what experiences do 'yall have with this method of heating things?