I saw an article on using a microwave oven to melt iron. Obviously this
is not your normal microwave. Is there a way to boost the output of your
microwave for more normal use?
I have a 700 watt GE microwave/stove/conventional oven so I really can't
just replace the microwave oven.
Any other groups that may be more pertainant? I know this is a bit off
base but this group tends to have the hands-on types that actually have
done what they type about.
Yes, it is an ordinary albeit big microwave oven.
The trick is that high-temperature foam ceramic and/or fiberglass-like
insulation is transparent to microwave energy, while trapping the heat,
so the temperature just keeps increasing.
Which brings us to a problem: How do you tell how hot it is?
Not really. Or rather, not enough to be worth the trouble. The
magnetron is what it is. Likewise the power supply, and these two are
the main cost drivers. Everything in such an oven is exactly as big as
it needs to be, and not one iota bigger. It's a very cost-sensitive
market, and pennies count.
And this really is one of those if-you-have-to-ask questions: If you
don't already know enough about how a microwave oven works to answer the
above question, the oven's 2,500-volt 1000-watt power supply is likely
to cut your education short.
I've seen some postings on other groups/websites on this, but their
consensus was that while it was a cool trick, it really wasn't worth the
trouble for real use. For one thing, 1000 watts isn't all that much,
and resistance heating is far simpler and cheaper.
I've seen a web article about doing this in a standard microwave.
the trick is you need something electrically conductive and about
the right size (to couple to the RF wavelength) to absorb the
microwave energy. Some ores will absorb enough even when a
powder, otherwise you may need to "dope" the ore/raw material
with a ring of steel or metal compatible with what you are trying
to melt, or some carbon or graphite. Once the metal starts to
melt, it will become a conductive single mass and take over the
job. Somebody did gold assays with multiple crucibles of ore
samples, but he had to add a conductive material to the mix to
get it started.
I would NOT recommend doing this in an expensive kitchen
appliance, even if you live alone. If there's a "woman in
the house", don't even THINK about it! You can likely find
an older, big microwave with a trashed electronic timer/control.
There should be one big and one small relay or Triac switch.
The big one goes to the main power transformer, the small one
runs the light and cooling blower. You can bypass these and
just put in a big power switch, or clock-type timer. Note that
when the electronics board goes belly-up, it will likely cause
the "suicide" fuses to pop. By law, microwaves and a few other
appliances like clothes washers need suicide circuits to blow
"no user servicable parts inside" fuses when a malfunction
compromises the safety system.
You just don't want molten steel getting loose in a $900
kitchen appliance. And, if you are melting steel or gold
in crucibles, spills, splashes and failed crucibles will
Finally, you can melt, MAYBE, a pound of steel in a microwave,
if you are REALLY patient. That could take a half hour, and
inches of refractory around the crucible. If you want to melt an
ounce of gold or silver, however, it should work quite well.
Jon Elson wrote:
<snip> > You just don't want molten steel getting loose in a $900
You sure have expensive taste in kitchen appliances :-).
I could get a decent domestic microwave here for under £100.
Try putting steel wool in an old microwave if you want some fun.
Not me! We still use an Amana microwave we got from my mother in law.
It is from the early 1970's. I've made a few repairs to it, but the tube
The original post said "700 watt GE microwave/stove/conventional oven"
so I'm asuming this is an all-in-one contraption. Those are expensive.
Or light bulbs, ceramics with gold leaf trim, turkey bags with wire ties,
or my favorite -- a friend tried to dry out wet holiday fireworks after a
surprise storm. You needen't even ask, only a drunk person could
possibly think up such a plan! Results were totally predictable, the
friend had to carry the exploding oven out the door to the backyard
while all hell was going off inside. (I'm having trouble seeing the screen
due to the tears in my eyes right now!) Just too bad I wasn't there, just
hearing it retold was enough. I have seen the microwave, however. It
actually didn't look as bad as I would have expected!
And normally replaced with a conventional gas or electric range and
a "Vent Hood" style Microwave oven, and with a LOT of change left
We have condo complexes who call as the old All-In-One MWO ranges
break in the various units, and they need a new receptacle in the
--<< Bruce >>--
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