If you’re going to work with foam latex, then you will need something to cure or “bake” it in. You can not use an oven you bake food in, because of chemicals put off by the baking process of the foam latex that would make any food cooked in it, toxic. The design that we used is a slightly modified version of one we found online. The key difference is we doubled the dimensions which ended up increasing the volume of the oven by a factor of five!! This may not sound like much but the more air there is in the box, the long your heating will take and more power you will need to maintain the heat.
I would love to tell you have a set of plans that I could link or that I could build another should I need it, but if you have followed the progress of this costume then you know we did a lot of this from intuition and a couple good guesses.
I knew we would need a cooking area of at least 5 feet wide and 4 feet seemed like a good number for both depth and height. I sketched out a quick design and overly engineered this with 2″ x 4″s as the main structure.
I used corner brackets to ensure perfect corners. These are a god send when you are in a hurry and may not be a fantastic wood worker. I also added caster wheels to the corners so that we could move this beast once it was completed.
The outside was sheathed in 3/8’s plywood to clean up the look and for the inside of the box we insulated it with 2″ thick foil coated foam insulation. The gaps were sealed with foil tape to ensure a good “airtight” seal…
The guide we found used aluminum angle stock to build a a shelf. This was just not practicle for use due to the size of the oven and the cost of the material. We choose to go with wooden slats. These were spaced at 2″ intervals.
The doors proved to the hardest part of the installation. They were built to interlock with each other to help with the seal and heat retention.
The last part of an oven is the heating element. I looked into using several different methods, from forced air to what we ended up using… 2 1800 watt flat plate griddles. These ended up being perfectly suited to the need. Through some trial and error we found temperature settings that would allow us to hold the oven from 150 degrees to a high of 180 degrees for and long as we needed.
A fan for circulation inside the box is needed. We found a small AC fan that was enough to move the air inside and prevent any hot spots forming on the molds as they baked.
The build was far from the hardest part of this costume but one more thing that was required to even be able to work with foam latex. Total cost was about $200 dollars including the thermometer and heating plates.