Sunday, March 26, 2017

Making A DIY SSR Heat Sink For My Gare Electric Kiln

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

The last thing I knew I'd eventually have to do after Converting my Manual Gare Kiln to PID Controller Programmable Kiln was to install two SSR heat sinks, one for each SSR. I was contemplating buying some online which I could have done for about $30-$40 each, but since I already had a foundry and a mill I decided to cast my own blanks and then use my mill to cut the fins into the block of aluminum.

Little did I know that I was going to learn MANY, MANY, PAINFUL lessons during the process.

Lesson #1: Sharpen your slotting saw
Lesson #2: Don't use staggered tooth slotting saws on an under powered mill
Lesson #3: If you have to do #2, take light cuts
Lesson #4: Take light cuts
Lesson #5: Take light cuts!
Lesson #6: When the milling saw starts cutting with harmonics, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, TAKE LIGHT CUTS
Lesson #7: Fixing your lathe/mill with your lathe/mill is amazing


This is the heat sink I'm aiming for

Currently I have the SSR modules mounted on a 1/4" piece of aluminum

The kiln with one of the aluminum pieces visible

A block cut from a regular 2x4

My son helping me (cast his McDonald's toy)

The mold

Another attempt (the first one didn't turn out)

Sifting some green sand over the wood patterns

The completed mold ready for pouring

Cleaning up the rough surface of the cast

One side done

Another view
The measurements I calculated using AutoCAD

About half-way done with the slotting saw

Another view

Another view

Another view

The finished heat sinks. The right one got mangled pretty good (see lessons #1-6 above)

Another view

The finished (good) heat sink

The finished kiln with the two heat sinks

Side view of the heat sink

Another view

The kiln heating up

The PID controller which controls the SSR relays


Metal lathe & accessories
DIY Kool Mist System For Lathe And Mill
Adjustable wrench
Aluminum foundry
Propane burner for foundry furnace
Ingot mold for aluminum

2 lbs aluminum
Dykem layout fluid


Way too long, but the fact I had to fix the 24-tooth gear in my mill head didn't help

$80 bucks

The second one turned out really nice, but boy, did that project take long!!!


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