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Finished my modified Protoform table!

 
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Lagomorph
Newbie


Joined: 26 Jul 2014
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:22 am    Post subject: Finished my modified Protoform table! Reply with quote

Here it is! It only took me a year and a half. I am a full time dad so chasing a toddler around takes most of my time and attention Smile

Specs:

2 feet x 2 feet frame
25 ceramic elements
2 zone heat control
30 gallon tank
Gast pump

It months to tweak and tune and a professional electrician to help wire it up, but IT IS AWESOME! Pulls ABS, etc no problem. My only issue is heat (colder, wet climate) so I often have space heaters to keep the shop warmed up, otherwise it messes with my temperatures and timing.

Thanks for everyone's help on this forum, and if you're even thinking about it - go get those Protoform plans, so worth it!

Video below

https://youtu.be/EY2--jwu_jY
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crashmann
Master


Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice video and beautiful work on building the Protoform vac table!

Can you provide some additional information about the digital temperature controls for the ceramic heaters?

Charlie
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Lagomorph
Newbie


Joined: 26 Jul 2014
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Crashmann!

I'm using ceramic infra red E-mitters from Tempco
http://www.tempco.com/Infrared/Ceramic%20Emitter%20Style%20CRH.html

And this heat controller from RK instruments. I used 2 of them to control 2 zones.
http://www.rkcinst-usa.com/product/single_loop_PID_temperature_controllers.html

There's a couple big mercury contactors in mounted in industrial electrical boxes behind the table. Everything runs to buss bar type wiring up top above the table. I used high temp wire since the heat can still rise up and affect the wiring.

The upper element housing has (from the bottom to the top)
- ceramic elements
- upper tray (I had this waterjet cut from stainless steel as the ceramic heaters have these oval hot dog shaped mounting bases, and they use spring clips to hold them via the backside of the upper tray)
- above the tray I have a few strips of aluminum, with expanded steel on top, sandwiching a layer of high temp fiberglass / foil fabric (used for race car engine bays, and reflects 90% of the heat downwards), then the bus bars for the wiring, some more aluminum bars suspended above, then a vented dust cover on top).

I know this setup is probably overkill but I wanted the heat to be really consistent and not mess around with nichrome wire etc.

Hope that helps!
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