Learning how to melt metals at home can enable you to complete arts and crafts projects that were previously confined to more state-of-the-art and professional facilities. In using common, household items to melt metals, you can save time, money and effort in producing moulded metal crafts and other products. Through investing in some basic tools and equipment, you can create a homemade rig capable of melting most soft metals in the comfort of your home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Standard microwave
- Masking tape
- Silicon carbide sharpening stone
- Stainless steel measuring cup
- Casserole dish
- Oven gloves
- Tin shavings
Modify your standard microwave by removing any internal platforms or turning tables and taping over the holes that allow air to enter the cooking chamber of the microwave.
Place your silicon carbide sharpening stone on the bottom of the microwave. This will act as the heat transfer for the process by transforming the microwaves into heat that will ultimately melt the metal.
Place your stainless steel measuring cup filled with your tin shavings on top of the stone.
Place the casserole dish over the measuring cup on the stone. The casserole dish will trap the heat from the stone to create a convection oven effect that traps the heat in closer proximity to the metal shavings in the measuring cup.
Microwave the materials on the highest setting for 15 minutes or until the tin shavings have melted.
Tips and warnings
- Use a firebrick-and-silicon-carbide furnace enclosure for metals that are more difficult to melt, such as silver.
- Wear gloves and goggles when handling all of the materials both prior to and following the microwaving.
- Handle the ceramic dish carefully when removing it from the cooking chamber. The drastic shift in temperature could cause the dish to crack or shatter.
- Understand that smelting metal in a microwave is a non-traditional use of all materials involved in this process.
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