Arts and crafts don’t involve that much melting — plastic beads and glue perhaps — but when you upgrade to metal, it’s hard to get anywhere without a bit of heat. Not one for half measures, self-proclaimed “King of Random” Grant Thompson built his own arc furnace to transform hard materials into their gooey counterparts to create copper ingots and… carbonite Han Solos?
The furnace part consists of two carbon rods taken from a heavy duty battery and a stick welder built from bits of microwave. Put the rods together inside the proper protective container and moments later, you’re playing with temperatures well into the 1600°C range.
Thompson uses his jury-rigged furnace to destroy copper and steel pipes as well as a couple of rocks he found in his backyard. His crowning achievement? A tiny replica Han Solo inside his cosy carbonite prison. It looks really cool, actually.
Despite the do-it-yourself vibe, it’s hard to recommend this project as one you can try at home. As Thompson points out in the video’s description, not only do you have to contend with dangerous levels of heat and electricity, but the potential for toxic fumes depending on the materials you’re using.
Thompson’s rig tops out at four minutes of continuous running, after which the electrodes are too hot to hold and run the risk of melting his gloves.