Small Foundry Furnace for Casting Jewelry

Small Foundry

Small Foundry

So what are we going to need for casting jewelry? Well, for instance we will need a furnace for the melting of metals.

So how do we go about obtaining one of these? I bet there expensive and take a lot of work. Well, yes and no. If you decide to buy a furnace from a store it can run hundreds to thousands of dollars, while it may be convenient to run to a store to pick one up, it is not cost effective in the least bit. Also considering that a furnace is so easy to make yourself and cheap there is really no reason for you not to make your own.

Before we go into building your own furnaces lets take a look at the different kinds and which will suit you best for your needs.

Cupola Furnace:

Cupola furnaces are very popular with the backyard foundry enthusiast’s and are very good for casting jewelry. They are cylindrical in shape, supported on four legs and points vertically like a smoke stack. On the bottom of the cupola there are doors that swing out to “drop bottom”. These doors allow fuel, excess metals, and other wastes to fall or “drop” from the furnace. The outer shell of the cupola is usually made of steel while the inside is made of refractory brick and refractory patching material. Cupola’s are capable of heating at very high levels. For this reason they are suitable for melting bronze, and iron. Aluminum can also be melted but caution must be used in keeping the temperature low. For most home foundry’s the cupola is the way to go.


With the reverberatory furnace heat is reflected off a reflective surface such as brick. This will be able to melt metals for casting jewelry with the added benefit of not having the metal touch either fuel or flame. The process of a reverberatory furnace is to place metal in a depression and aim heat over it and against the wall where it will reflect back upon the metal and melt it.

As far as small scale foundry’s go these are the two to go for. There are of course several other furnace types that work on different principles like the electric arc furnace, or the electrical induction furnace, however they are mostly used in larger scale industrial applications. As far as casting jewelry and metal jewelry making purposes the cupola and the reverberatory furnaces will work just fine and also be very easy to construct.

There are other aspects of these furnaces that we will look at in the next post. Until then make sure you check out “Metal Casting: Appropriate Technology in the Small Foundry” A great book on everything you need to know about starting your own small foundry. Thank you for visiting! Visit back often and also make sure to join our RSS feed to receive automatic updates in your email whenever there is a new post. Have a great day!

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