How To Make An Electrical Arc Furnace

The King of Random Channel Youtube
Views 9,741,752 131215 1686

Published on Mar 05, 2015

How to hack flashlight batteries and a fire brick, into a desktop arc reaction chamber. ...For hobby metal melting, and for science!

Some quick links to a few of the materials I used:

[✓] Lantern battery:
[✓] Forstner Bit:
[✓] 3/8 Drill bit:

Endcard Links:

Micro Welder:
Laser Blowgun:
Magic Mud:
Matchbox Rockets:

See What Else I’m Up To:


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Risk of electric shock, fire hazards, and toxic fumes depending on what material you're working with. Dust from refractory brick should never be inhaled, as it can damage lungs and cause long term respiratory challenges. This project can reach temperatures in excess of 3,000ºF (1,648ºC) which is well beyond the melting point of hobbyists. Caution, care and expert planning are required to mitigate risks. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at your own risk.

Music By: Scott & Brendo (“Photographs” - Instrumental)

Project Inspired By:

This project was originally inspired by Theo Grey and his book, "Mad Science". After seeing the concept, I couldn't find any information anywhere on the internet or in libraries about arc furnace experiments, so I set out on my own to achieve these results.

Project History & More Info:

If you're wondering where you can get fire brick locally, try a quick Google search for “refractory materials” in your city. I called a couple of companies near me and asked if they'd sell to the general public. All of them said yes.

If you can't find anything locally, try searching major hardwares stores online. They usually have inventory online that they don't carry in the stores.

The insulating fire bricks I got were the 3” x 4.5” x 9” Alumina-Silicate Brick variety. I got a box of 10 for $33, effectively making them around $3.30 each. I went one step further and designed the furnace so that 2 of them could be made from one brick, cutting the cost in half, making each furnace a pro-rated $1.65 each!

They're extremely lightweight, and capable of withstanding the temperatures used in steel working, but soft enough you can cut and carve them with kitchen utensils if you need to.

In reading and studying history a bit, I learned that some of the earliest forms of light were made using carbon arc lighting. Large amounts of electricity were pumped through carbon rods, making a bright arc and providing light.

To scavenge carbon electrodes, I took a lesson from NurdRage ( a couple of years ago I saw his video on what could be scavenged from a carbon-zinc lantern battery ( It's useful to know what common everyday materials are made of, and these heavy duty batteries are containers packed with carbon rods, zinc metal, and manganese dioxide. I tucked the information in the back of my mind until now.

In this project I tried melting the zinc casings from the lantern batteries, and casting them into a small ingot, formed with a mini muffin tray. Be cautious of the zinc oxide fumes produced. I haven't personally suffered any ill effects from working with it, but some people claim it can give flu like symptoms, or a fever if inhaled in large quantities.

Zinc has a relatively low melting point 787.2°F (419.5°C), so the Arc Furnace is able to melt each casing into liquid zinc in around 5-10 seconds. That's amazing!

I don't have an exact purpose for the zinc yet, but it's an easy metal to work with, easy to cast, and great to have on hand for a future projects. It's also one of the main metals used for making a simple carbon-zinc battery.

The black stuff pulled out of the battery casings is manganese dioxide. It's a useful chemical for experiments with hydrogen peroxide, so it's worth hanging onto.

Although I haven't verified it, I believe any stick welder can be used to power the mini arc furnace, and for most hobbyists, that would definitely be the easier and safer way to go. I just don't own a welder, so I used the one I made instead. You can see how to make it here:

The longest I've run the unit continuously is around 3-4 minutes, and the electrodes get so hot at that point they can seriously burn your hands, or melt your gloves. I wouldn't recommend running it any longer than that.

Categoy: Education

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  • Kink_TigerzYT - Channel Youtube
    Kink_TigerzYT - 13 hours ago


  • Xun Yap - Channel Youtube
    Xun Yap - 2 days ago

    Make a big one

  • Jireh Choo - Channel Youtube
    Jireh Choo - 3 days ago

    Electric arc furnance >>>> Arc reactor

  • Monkey Boy - Channel Youtube
    Monkey Boy - 3 days ago

    what did or can u, estimate the temperature of the furnace? For instance, England's industrial revaluation came with the invention of the Arc Furnace. Could i melt iron in a similar forge? the sort of iron u extract from sand with a large magnet?

  • SkittleZ PlayZ RobloX - Channel Youtube
    SkittleZ PlayZ RobloX - 4 days ago

    His voice is just....UGHHH😻😻💞💞💞

  • Cameron Cole - Channel Youtube
    Cameron Cole - 4 days ago

    Do more vidiooes like this one and I like the shirt

  • Sondre Meier - Channel Youtube
    Sondre Meier - 4 days ago

    Is 144 V to much?

  • XTREME LIAM - Channel Youtube
    XTREME LIAM - 4 days ago

  • andrew harrison - Channel Youtube
    andrew harrison - 4 days ago

    Would love to make this but I can't make the arc wielder

  • Nick's Garage - Channel Youtube
    Nick's Garage - 6 days ago

    What are the pro/con of heating element vs arc for a smelting furnace.

  • Nicholas Buege - Channel Youtube
    Nicholas Buege - 7 days ago

    can you explain how you got electricity to the locking pliers through the wires pls

  • Yusuf Yıldırım - Channel Youtube
    Yusuf Yıldırım - 7 days ago


  • meatloaf666999 - Channel Youtube
    meatloaf666999 - 7 days ago

    You can also source carbon electrodes at most welding supply shops, they're used for carbon arc touches like you made and carbon arc gouging, the latter being the most common use for them today.

  • You-Tube Junkie - Channel Youtube
    You-Tube Junkie - 1 week ago

    😎 👍

  • Tadesan - Channel Youtube
    Tadesan - 1 week ago

    Really cool video and project. Dig it.

  • Erick & Deer the Goat - Channel Youtube
    Erick & Deer the Goat - 1 week ago

    I think I could make a plasma gasification like this

  • Crimson Cringemaster - Channel Youtube
    Crimson Cringemaster - 1 week ago

    What about brass?

  • G.G - Channel Youtube
    G.G - 1 week ago


  • Blorox Cleach - Channel Youtube
    Blorox Cleach - 2 weeks ago

    Easy to make, now i'm melting my classmates.

  • PrincessTS01 - Channel Youtube
    PrincessTS01 - 2 weeks ago

    Hard KOR

  • Rob Farmer - Channel Youtube
    Rob Farmer - 2 weeks ago

    How hat can it be can it be 800

  • The Gaming Killer Gods - Channel Youtube
    The Gaming Killer Gods - 2 weeks ago

    Thanks!!! Mow I have gold ingots

  • Cerberus - Channel Youtube
    Cerberus - 3 weeks ago

    Welder's protective shades #6 at least should be worn to spare you the Flash that easily results during this or any welding operation. Great demonstration!

  • Yogesh Kumar - Channel Youtube
    Yogesh Kumar - 3 weeks ago

    Great work

  • The goat gamers - Channel Youtube
    The goat gamers - 3 weeks ago

    Y not just use a ruler?

  • 만춘덕 - Channel Youtube
    만춘덕 - 3 weeks ago

    한국인들은 모여라

  • Everett Brooke - Channel Youtube
    Everett Brooke - 3 weeks ago

    Great video but just wondering if you could use a plugin to power it

  • Gagoope Molamu - Channel Youtube
    Gagoope Molamu - 3 weeks ago

    how much voltage and amps does one need to get it going?

  • Gaming Ed - Channel Youtube
    Gaming Ed - 3 weeks ago

    If it's as bright as the sun it's not dangerous if it's brighter it's dangerous

  • Gaming Ed - Channel Youtube
    Gaming Ed - 3 weeks ago

    This is soo useful I hope it works for gold