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Hackerspace Projects from the DIY Movement: Project #5: Bronze-Melting Blast Furnace

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John Baichtel shows you how to make your very own bronze-melting blast furnace.

This excerpt is from the Rough Cuts version of the book and may not represent the final version of this material.

From the Rough Cut

It’s traditional for hackerspaces to create a coin design with the hackerspace logo and then output it on a 3D printer. Quad Cities Co-Lab took their coin design one huge step forward by making theirs in bronze with the help of a homemade blast furnace.

Hackerspace Profile: Quad City Co-Lab


Quad City Co-Lab

1033 East 53rd Street

Davenport, IA 52807


Organizational type: Iowa nonprofit, 501(3)c pending

Founding date: April 2010

Number of members: 20

Dues: $30/month


  • Steve Hamer, president
  • Jeremy Borchert, vice president
  • Ben Ziegler, secretary
  • Arron Lorenz, treasurer

Size of the space: 4,200 sq. ft.

Notable equipment:

Welder, blast furnace, drill press, table saw, and MakerBot

Space details:

Former commercial space divided into three major rooms to separate louder/dustier activities from the rest. There’s a conference room, classroom, studio, server room, and kitchen. The organization removed walls and carpet in the shop area and reworked the electrical and network.

Figure 6.3 The entrance to QC Co-Labs. Unlike many hackerspaces, the space wasn’t originally industrial in nature, but rather a standard office. Credit: Zak Kapua

Figure 6.4 A soldering class at QC Co-Lab has members assembling electronic kits. Credit: Matt Metts

Figure 6.5 The space’s electronic tinkering workbench, already in place even as the organization moved into its new facility. Credit: Zak Kapua

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