The poor incandescent light bulb — the very symbol of having a bright idea — is endangered. It’s being phased out all around the world: Brazil and Venezuela (since 2005), European Union (2009), and soon in the United States (2014). Granted, efficient CFL and LED lights produce more light with far less energy, but they’re just not as much fun.
The light bulb in the EZ-Make Oven creates enough heat to shrink plastic, harden polymer clay, or as in this DIY project, make wiggly creations by “cooking” plastisol. Have your own “aha!” moment and build this light bulb-powered craft oven, while you can!
The oven design is super simple: a light bulb in a can. Holes in the bottom serve as cool air intakes and for mounting the insulated feet and bulb socket. A grid of holes in the lid allows the hot air to rise up around the molds. An inverted loaf pan serves as a cover to hold in the heat.
The oven reaches about 300°F with a 75W spotlight. That’s just enough to fuse polymer clay and cure plastisol.
NOTE: Unlike thermoplastics that can be melted and remolded, molding with thermoset materials is like making a hard-boiled egg: once cooked, its form is permanently set. What starts out as a syrupy liquid cures into a soft, pliant plastic. Baby boomers might remember the Thingmaker toy from the 1960s. Use this new DIY version to create your own custom mold shapes out of easy-to-form sheet aluminum.
WARNING: The sides of the oven can get hot, so be careful and always use the cool wire handle to lift or move the oven.