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Ventilation for burnout oven and vacuum casting

Hi there,

I am finally going to jump and buy a burn-out oven, vacuum caster, and electro-melt for my jewelry studio.

Here are my questions:

  1. How many cfms are sufficient for ventilation?

  2. Beyond going to Home Depot and doing my own set-up (leaning this direction), do you recommend anywhere in particular to buy a system which can vent to the outdoors? The systems sold by jewelry suppliers (Quattro, Durrabul, etc) all vent into their own filtration, not to the outdoors.

Thank you for any advice!


A side note to your question. You may want to invest in a steak dewaxer. It melts most of the was out using a steam chamber. It may not be sufficient for carves wax, but it works very well for injection wax and it reduces your burn out fumes and smoke by at least 90%

darn autocorrect! *STEAM Dewaxer!

My guess is an exhaust fan system the sucks 4× the total cubic feet of studio air in an hour. Take your height width length = volume and divide by 4. Look at what your fan can pull. I have two exhaust fans in my studio which is 850sf with 8 foot ceilings. Allow for replacement air. I use acetylene, a centrifuge, a vulcanizer, two kilns (burnout and enamel). I have a vacuum caster but don’t regularly use it. I have a dual arbé polishing station that catches all the polishing and grinding material. Fans / ducting are strategically located with shrouding/ hoods for the heavy duty work.

A good way to test your exhaust system is to place smothering paper near your exhaust area. If smoke meanders away from the vents, you need to make adjustments until it captures EVERYTHING.

None of this stuff is good for your lungs.


Thank you Jeanne - I don’t have one, but will look that up. You are right, the majority of my fumes will be from the burn-out of the wax itself. Great idea!

Interesting - I will try this out and see what I get! Thank you Eileen!

I was looking online, and 1. they are a lot more expensive than
when I got mine in 2006… 2. you can make a homemade
version…just search online, to try it before buying one, and
lastly, check Rio for used equipment. that is actually where I got
mine…through their used/demo stock division.

Hi Wendy,
I replied to someone not too many months ago… but from Amazon I bought a fan, a thermostat ( plugs into a regular outlet) Just had to use hole saw to drill out… put in a 6” dryer vent type louvre I attached photos
You might look for that
Best wishes,
Julie Georgiades

Good luck, i built my own exhaust system (frankenvent) after research, and consulting my budget. The smoke test working is fun to watch.


Thanks Julie!

I searched your name, but didn’t find any other posts - do you remember the name of the topic? I could try to search that way. Navigating this digest is not the easiest for me. But, I understand what you are describing and it sounds similar to what I’m thinking, so thank you!


Hi Wendy…what you are looking for in a commercial product is Vent-a-kiln. I just checked and the 32 inch version of this circular hood and blower is about $520. It has a 5 inch duct and a 265 cfm blower and is recommended for kilns up to 28 inches in diameter. Burnout ovens are small enough that you could use something much narrower and you could probably rig an old repainted kitchen hood that would work or even build something yourself. You might check ebay and craigslist and even pottery forums for used equipment. I have a burnout oven but plan to use it on a covered porch with a concrete floor. Much simpler that way. If I ever go to casting a lot, I can look at an indoor installation. HTH, royjohn