I’ve brought this up in Discord before but thought I’d formalise the discussion on the forums. I’ve talked to a few members - mainly from the metalshop - to see if there’s any interest in a heat treatment furnace. The response I’ve received is that a heat treatment oven would be a good addition to the space and suits the current capabilities of the metalshop well but I also believe forge members would be interested in the item. Hardening tools will also work well with the universal grinder (which is almost fully operational) which can be used for finishing parts after hardening.
Paragon produces seemingly quality furnaces at a good price point. Of the Paragon range, I believe the KM-18T would be the best choice as it is the largest size that runs on the standard 240V 10A. Larger models are available but require a higher amperage rating. Along with the oven, I believe it would be beneficial to get the knifemakers heat-treat kit from the same distributor as the oven. The furnace itself costs $2872 and the kit costs another $297. A costly consumable required for knifemaking is heat treatment foil and it may be beneficial for the space to buy this. The largest size I could find locally is a 7.5Mx0.6M roll which costs $178. The total cost of this fitout would be $3347 + shipping.
I believe this would be a good tool for the space as it opens up another aspect of both tool making and knifemaking but I would like to hear other’s opinions on the topic.