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Building a "Hot Box"


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Slow day at work today so I used a bit of scrap 1/2" plywood and some 2x2's and started building a hot box to bake on gun finishes.  Tomorrow I'm gonna pick up some foil lined foam insulation and 3-4 lightbulb bases and wire it up to a hot water heater themostat to control the temp. It measures roughly 48" long X 12" wide X 24" tall on the outside with 1-1/2" thick walls.

Hoping that some 100w floodlights will heat it pretty well and a couple 110v fans inside should keep the temp inside fairly uniform.

Gonna use this to speed up the cure process on my new stock for my Rem700 sps 308 as well as a few other paint/camo projects I've been itchin to get started.


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I'll put up some pics when i get a chance. I was planning on using a water heater thermostat but couldn't think of a good way to mount it to the outside of the box so the temp could be set from outside and still get a good temp reading on the inside. I and trying different wattage lightbulbs to get the temp that I want. I started with 4 - 150watt bulbs and it hit over 180F in no time flat. I reduced it to 2 - 150watt bulbs and it still got to 177F but took about 1/2 hour. Then tried 4 65watt par38 floodlight bulbs and hit about 150F in about 1/2 hour. Next I'm gonna try some 40watt bulbs and see what the temp does. Hoping for about 120F max with 4 bulbs and then I can turn off bulbs to tune the temp.

I bought a $5 BBQ meat thermometer from Harbor freight and drilled 3 small holes in the front at the top, middle and bottom so I can probe and read the temp inside. 

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OK here is the hotbox as it is now. I still havnt wired in the water heater thermostat but might just leave it as is. I will be adding a few small hooks along the inside to run steel wire across which will allow me to suspend parts inside while they cure.

I bought a 4pack of 43 watt wally world brand lightbulbs yesterday and one has burned out already but coulda been from moving it around.

I wired it with 2 switches that power the inner and outer sets of light separately so I can tune the temp. With 2 bulbs the temp settles at about 121f and with 4 bulbs at about 138f.

The wiring is kinda ghetto for now but once I make up my mind whether or not im gonna hook up the thermostat I'll finish up the wiring properly.

I havnt tallied up what I've spent on this little project but its probably a bit less that $40 but I already had the plywood, fans and most of the wiring parts. 







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OK so I have successfully finished this project and wired in a dimmer switch (Thanx MG).

All said I spent a bit under $60 building this and it works pretty well.

With 4 X 60Watt equivalent bulbs that are rated at 43watt being used I get a max temp of just over 150F.

I've set up some hash marks with temp readings on the plate that the dimmer and main power are attached to.

Now I gotta just start another refinishing project.  :thumb:

Thinking of doing something with my GSG1911, maybe a 2 tone or maybe like the tiger stripe camo pattern I experimented with on the OEM GSG522 stock and foregrip


Should look pretty good on a 1911.

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