Induction Forge: Put… put your knife in it
How Does Induction Heating Work?
“When a magnetic field changes near a metal or other conductive object, a flow of current (known as an eddy current) will be induced in the material and will generate heat. The heat generated is proportional to the current squared multiplied by the resistance of the material. The effects of induction are used in transformers for converting voltages in all sorts of appliances. Most transformers have a metallic core and will therefore have eddy currents induced into them when in use. Transformer designers use different techniques to prevent this as the heating is just wasted energy. In this project we will directly make use of this heating effect and try to maximise the heating effect produced by the eddy currents.
If we apply a continuously changing current to a coil of wire, we will have a continuously changing magnetic field within it. At higher frequencies the induction effect is quite strong and will tend to concentrate on the surface of the material being heated due to the skin effect. Typical induction heaters use frequencies from 10kHz to 1MHz.”
Induction heating description from: http://www.rmcybernetics.com/projects/DIY_Devices/diy-induction-heater.htm – they also have an interesting how-to on making your own.