Hello all! First off, this is my first post to this site, and I'm super excited to join this community! Recently, I became enthralled with the idea of casting my own waffle iron (hence the name Madam Waffles), so I set off to design my own foundry to cast iron. Below I have briefly described my idea and design up to this point. I would greatly appreciate some feedback on the design! If there's something glaringly wrong, I'd like to know before I start the build. Additionally, my specific questions are as follow:
What are the rough calculations you do to determine the size of your foundry? (I don't want to have to go in with the heat equation, material properties, etc. Is there a rule of thumb for the combo of insulation materials I'll be using?)
Will this actually get hot enough to melt cast iron?
Is 20-gauge steel over-engineering the outside? Lol
Does the little table thing I have for the crucible make sense? Is it necessary?
I'm planning on making this propane-fueled with a forced air burner. The following screenshots show the bare-bones structure. It is to be made of 20-gauge steel sheets, 1-inch, and 2-inch square pipes. I want to weld those things together (I'm a xxxx welder though--just starting out, so that'll be fun). The weird piping coming off the side is the air blower (I got lazy with the CAD so did rough estimates for layout/dimensions. That's why it's square and then cylindrical.). I did not show the gas line piping, but it'll be a combination of brass fittings with a solenoid valve for safety (connected to the blower) and a needle valve.
The hook things on the side are for a thermometer. I plan on finding smaller ones, but those were the only ones on McMaster that were close to what I wanted (I wanted the CAD).
Height ~22.5 inches
Diameter ~18 inches
Burner Diameter: 1-1/2 inches
I want to have two 1-inch ceramic blankets with 1/2-inch of refractory on the sides (3/4'' on the lid and bottom). Additionally, I want to put a kiln brick(?) (the white bricks that are good insulators--not fire brick) under the crucible on the little table thing in the center.
Sorry in advance for lack of jargon, newbiness, etc. I appreciate and welcome all comments, questions, and concerns! Thank you!