making a burnout oven –  CAL 9500P Set Up & Programming the Programmable PID
- Articles, Blog

making a burnout oven – CAL 9500P Set Up & Programming the Programmable PID

Damn, these are expensive. We can do better
than that… Hey guys, a burnout oven is a useful bit of
kit if you’re into Lost Wax Casting and Lost PLA Casting, or even if you’re looking
for a Pottery Oven, though they’re not cheap. But you can make one MUCH cheaper, especially
if you make use of a programmable PID. Today I’ll be converting my electric furnace
into a burnout oven. I’m going to be taking a quick look at the CAL 9500P unit and showing
how it can be used to Step, Ramp and Soak, which are extremely useful functions.
Now I’m not going to be telling you how to make an electric furnace here, because
I’ve already covered all that in other videos, AND for this tutorial you will need an electric
furnace. I made my electric furnace out of Grade 28
insulating firebricks. Again they’re not cheap, but they’re nice and light, so they’re
easy to work with. Cutting these precisely is simple if you follow my short video guide.
Next you’ll need heating elements – resistance coils. Now you can buy these, but you’ll
save a bundle on MUCH better quality if you make your own. I used Kanthal wire and made
these with a simple jig. Look out for this video tutorial on Coil Elements where I show
you how to build the jig and use it. I also cover all that nasty maths and make it easy
with a free online calculator. Building the furnace was much easier than
you’d think. You really don’t need building skills or a certified electrician to do this.
Just common sense and a safe working practice will do the job. And these video tutorials
cover everything in FULL. Now I was a little ambitious with my furnace
build. I incorporated a lifting mechanism to raise the furnace for easy crucible access,
but this really isn’t necessary. A simple box construction would do the job for you,
with a lid made from lightweight insulation. I ran my furnace with a simple PID controller
and it still works great. Tap in the temperature and sit back and wait. But that’s not how
a burnout oven works. Burnout ovens need much more control. This
can be affordably achieved using the CAL 9500P process controller. There are other units
out there, but this was the one I went with. Again it’s not cheap, but with a bit of
shopping around I got mine from here at a great price with excellent service.
It’s a 1/16 DIN controller, so it fitted perfectly into the opening left in my old
control unit. Wiring it up was an absolute doddle with these
screw terminals. And the wiring was basically the same as with my other PID, with only the
terminal numbers changing. I will admit the instructions baffled me a
little initially, but I got there. For my purpose, the initial configuration of the
unit went like this. Input type for me is a Type K Thermocouple.
I know that doesn’t look like a K but it is.
My Unit preference is Celsius, though Fahrenheit and other units are available.
The main output is a Solid State Relay so I chose SSD for Solid State Relay Driver.
And that was as much information as I needed to put in, so I ignored the unit for 60 seconds
as I puzzled over the manual and it thankfully took itself back to the default display.
What it now needed was a program. The CAL 9500P allows up to 31 programs to be stored,
and each program can be thought of as a burnout sequence.
This is the recommended burnout sequence for the investment plaster I use, so this seemed
an obvious choice for my first Program. So let’s do it.
From the default display, press the Up & Down arrows at the same time for 3 seconds.
Down arrow. Star and down Arrow for Level P which is how
we add programs. Up Arrow, and this is Program 1, which is
perfect, so Up arrow. Now Run is exactly what it sounds like. Should
the Run Program be on, off or on hold? The default is “off” and we’ll keep that
so Up Arrow. “Fail” is in case of power outage, and
what the unit should do next. For now I’ll select Continue.
I’m not interested in this, or this, but Seg 1 is needed.
Each action can be thought of as a segment – a doing point if you like.
The very first thing we need to do is get the temperature up to 230 within an hour.
Now we could ramp this, but it’s not indicated as being necessary, so I’ll start with a
Step. So Type is Step.
The Temperature of that Step is 230. EoP I’m not interested in.
That’s segment one finished, the first instruction, so let’s add segment 2.
Well on the diagram a 3 hour soak is recommended here.
So Type is Soak. The Soak Interval or duration is 3 hours which
is 180 minutes. EoP still not interested.
Add another segment and this time we want to Ramp the temperature all the way to 730
degrees but, importantly, at a rate no faster than 150 degrees an hour. So…
Type is Ramp. Ramp rate per hour is 150.
And the target temperature is 730. Hbu and EoP I’m not interested in, so it’s
on to the next segment. The diagram tells us once we’re at 730 it
needs to Soak at this temperature for 4 hours. So…
Type Soak. Soak Interval is 4 hours which is 240 minutes.
EoP ignore. Add another segment.
This time the diagram tells us to drop to our casting temperature and gives this as
630 degrees. It’s not bothered about the rate of the drop, so we can just Step this
down. So… Type Step.
Step target temperature, 630. EoP none, and add one last segment.
This last bit is just for me. I’m going to allocate myself some time to get everything
ready and I know what I’m like, so I’ll add a Soak time of 2 hours, which is plenty,
even for me. So to exit the Program Level, hold the two
arrow buttons for 3 seconds and return to the main display.
Now, a Program has been added, but how do we run the program. Well I expected something
easier, but it seems to run a program you need to do the following.
Hold the two arrow keys for 3 seconds. Down Arrow.
Star Down Arrow to Level P. There’s Program one which is the one I want,
so Up Arrow. And Star Up to turn Run On.
Now press and hold the two arrow buttons to execute the program and return to the main
display. It takes a few seconds whilst it has a think
and you can see it’s saying Soak 230, which is effectively what we asked it to do. I’m
surprised it doesn’t say Step 230 and then Soak 230, but ultimately it’s the same thing
in this case. And the irritating flashing green light indicates
that everything is on. So the Solid State relay will have triggered and the coils will
have been energised. And it works.
It takes a bit of getting used to, but the CAL 9500P allows me to convert my furnace
into burnout oven. Just one last tip, remember to vent. Plaster,
for instance, holds a lot of moisture which doesn’t fully disperse until around 400
degrees Celsius, so I wedge a small metal flat bar under the lid until I reach 400.
This venting helps extend the life of the coils.
I just want to say that this video wouldn’t have been possible without the support of
my Patrons. It’s through their kind donations that I’m able to bring you builds like this,
so if you think you could spare the price of a coffee each month, then please take a
look at my Patreon account. And that’s it folks, an electric furnace
made into a burnout oven with a programmable PID, for hundreds as opposed to thousands,
which is a significant saving. Hope you enjoyed this one guys. Take care
and thanks for watching.

About Earl Carter

Read All Posts By Earl Carter

40 thoughts on “making a burnout oven – CAL 9500P Set Up & Programming the Programmable PID

  1. Damn Geoff I’m only four minutes into this and I am way out of my depth this is clearly above my paygrade. I would bloody love a burnout oven but I would have to use plaster of Paris as investment pasta or jewellers plaster in Australia is impossible to source. not to worry one day my friend very interesting anyway I’ll have to rewatch your other video before I continue with this. But who knows maybe Jannich will send me a surprise package of a nice little burnout oven for me to compete with the big boysπŸ€”πŸ‘πŸ».

  2. Quite a powerfull little controller, I had to setup a ebay pid for my dad's heat treating oven, and it was a pain to do.. I bet if I were to do it again I would rather just build a arduino based one since that would be easier for me lol

  3. Your videos link together like lore building upon itself. Where will the tale bring us to next? Find out on the next episode of Vegoil Guy!

  4. i hope some day you will have a million channel and enough money to buy all gear that you require , even tungsten-rhenium wire (the ultimate wire for oven)

  5. I have to ask as ive been looking, if a programmable tabletop kiln can get to the temperatures I need, could it be used as both a melting furnace and a burnout oven? I understand that the crucible will cool by the time I get the metal melted and that may cause issues but if I can fix those issues with luck or a bunch of sanding the savings of not needing a oven and a furnace might be worth the extra work

  6. Hi Geoff. Interesting alteration to your electric furnace/oven. I guess that now you will be able to design programs to dry out your plaster molds and also to preheat your metal. You could also use it to do a pre or post heat treatment.
    Your watch is looking rather tight and painful on your wrist which is a worry. How are you fairing in the heatwave? Mark

  7. Cool setup Geoff!
    I would hafta watch all of your other vids about this stuff, and build along with them to really understand all of this.
    I will build my own burnout oven eventually, and when I do this is where I will come to get the insightful information I will require.
    Can't wait to see it in action on a future vid!
    Thanx for the show Geoff! πŸ˜€

  8. This is a brilliant video Geoff! Great information and explanation of adding the controller. This is exactly the problem I had with my kiln. I have to manually adjust the dial to increase the temperature, while using an external pyrometer. Then I have to leave the kiln at a certain temp for the desired hours and try to remember to adjust the dial. My memory is a sieve at the best of times and the dial is pure guesswork. Not too mention I seriously underestimated how hot the kiln could get!

    I'm going to have to pull my finger out and fix the kiln, but now you've given me hope that I can modify it to make the process automatic.

    Thanks mate!

  9. Your a wiz, I was just talking to a friend the other day wondering if we could make a kiln using the burner, this is much better! Cheers VOG

  10. Do you prefer SSD over SSR? As I see the CAL MAXVU8 is the cheapest in the range of controllers but of course less features.

  11. Very pretty! I've about Β£230 less of a budget, so considering the el-cheapo chinesium XMTG-7000 from aliex for about Β£15, seems to do the same funtion for a burn out, though just a single, even more awkward to set up, programme. Think it'll suffice for just doing plaster burnouts/cooking? xD

    e.g. of it's function

  12. I need to do something like this with my small electric kiln that just has an on/off switch… The cheap imported PID's are tempting, but somewhat confusing to set up from what I've read, as they require reprogramming to reset their default (low) maximum temperature limits in many cases. Might be worth paying the extra money to not have that hassle, but that's something I need to think long and hard about before I order anything… This is helpful, thanks.

  13. Great tutorial Geoff! I gotta fix mine one of these days as I kinda smashed it into a million pieces while making other things πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ oops. Your vid makes it easy to follow! Great job πŸ‘πŸ»

  14. Wow, those instructions at 3:45 are an absolute nightmare. The video seems quite helpful if anyone is doing the same project with this controller.

    Now that you have the burnout oven, maybe time to revisit making molds directly from Warhammer minis?

  15. After watching this I'm already wishing for a programmable PID with a USB interface for programming… still a nice little upgrade

  16. Great video. That run process is totally bonkers though hehe…. Shame these companies cant add a couple of extra buttons and a bigger screen. Cheers πŸΊπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  17. I think I mentioned when you asked the community back in April whether you should make this video, that at least in the US if you get caught venting something like this directly into the oven you can be very heavily fined by the EPA or even arrested, so you need to have either a dedicated and filtered exhaust port or else a filtered vacuum port both for your own health and the health of anyone around you and for legal reasons. My personal preference would be a vacuum port so you can pull down the container's atmosphere to further aid in burnout and sintering, but I'm not sure how well an oven like this could hold a vacuum without an external enclosure or how difficult it might or might not be to control a vacuum pump via PID (though I have had thoughts that it might be feasible to control both heat and vacuum using an Arduino RAMPS or other 3d printer control system, assuming it can withstand the currents and voltages involved).

    Would you be willing sometime to look into how to add a ported valve to an oven like yours and whether a container made of firebrick can hold even a low vacuum?

    Thanks for all the informative videos you provide!

  18. excellent! Always a pleasure to watch your vids. and being able to make, upgrade and then successfully use your own equipment I find always more satisfying than just plain buying the product – plus it saves money and in case of repair you know how to fix it. Maybe cast some organics in the future (succulents, small pinecones, crab claws etc now that you can easily adapt the burnout cycle? some would probably fail due to incomplete burnout – but still….

  19. I think it’d be really cool to see a Lost PLA casting of a Fallout 4 Nuka World thirst zapper 😊 just a suggestion and love your work. Perhaps a casting challenge of Fallout between you artbyadrock and BigstackD!

  20. This video will, IΒ΄m sure, be hugely useful to a large number of people.
    I did find it odd that the unit "thinks" in minutes when youΒ΄re setting the 3 hour soak time, yet in degrees per hour when it comes to setting ramp speeds. Still, itΒ΄s brilliant – and it even fitted straight into its predecessorΒ΄s mounting hole : )

  21. Well above my Paygrade Knowledge. If you need to know how to Neuter a Cat or remove Tumors from a Dogs intestines I'm your man. Knobs-what's wrong with knobs, you know, like on an older Stove with little Gradient marks for temps….Knobs, yeah, that's the Ticket. πŸ˜€

  22. Is it possible to have an automated foundry/burnout oven such as this but uses waste oil instead of electricity as the main heat source?

  23. If you are in the US… Here is the proper ramp/soak controller from Auber Instruments. The ones on fleabay that are 30bucks don't perform this vital function.

  24. Heres one for 20 USD…..
    It appears to have 7 steps…..,searchweb201602_9,searchweb201603_55

  25. Just out of curiosity, what does your workflow look like? It seems like it takes at least 12 hours to burnout a mold leading directly to casting, so do you set up the burnout the night before?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *