How can I significantly increase the temperature in a relatively medium sized wooden box effectively to 300∘ 𝐹? The box is 3.5 feet in height, 2.2 feet in width, and 9 inches in length. Also I put insulators (like styrofoam) around the box with lots of tape to make sure no heat has escaped. I've inserted a hole where a hair dryer goes into the box so that it can generate heat (around 100 degrees in heat). I've also tried decreasing the size of the box, any ideas or tools that can help generate more heat? Preferably 100−200 degrees more to reach 300∘ 𝐹?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you share what you want to use the "hot box" for so we can be of more help. $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Jul 24, 2020 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ The goal is to steam the box (using a humidifier) and increase the temperature in the box relatively fast (within 10 minutes). $\endgroup$
    – Cam Sep
    Jul 28, 2020 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Once again though, what exactly do you wish to accomplish by doing this? Are you trying to see how far the wood wil warp with wet heat? Are you trying to get it to char slightly to look like it went through a fire? Are you putting something else in the box to cook it? Are you trying to steam labels off? What? $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Jul 29, 2020 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ I am trying to steam pieces of clothing. $\endgroup$
    – Cam Sep
    Jul 30, 2020 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ You don't need very high temperatures to steam wrinkles out of clothing. You don't normally use a closed box either, if excess water vapour can't escape, it will over-wet the fabric. Easiest is to just hang the piece on a clothes hanger or frame over a boiling kettle or pot of water, even a steamy bathroom is enough for lighter fabrics. $\endgroup$
    – Gwyn
    Aug 6, 2020 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


Do you know the burning temperature of the wood you intend to use? According to a quick search on the 'net, you're in trouble at about 450° F. Extended temperature at that level will ignite the wood.

Your insulation should be inside your enclosure and the enclosure should be non-combustible.

A hot air gun blowing into a well insulated enclosure will likely reach your objective temperature.

The code for the temperature symbol - ° - is alt-0176 unless that's what you used and the italics code has shifted it downward.

  • $\begingroup$ SE supports HTML entities: ° for degrees, Ω, μ, π, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Jul 16, 2020 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ Styrofoam will also melt long before that temperature is reached, and the adhesive in the tape will lose effectiveness. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 16, 2020 at 20:33

First of all: DON'T TAKE WHAT IF? AS ADVICE. Anything that involves hair dryers in boxes will start fires over most of North America.

According to Sciencing, "wood" will start to burn at 570° F or 300° C. Fire Engineering magazine mostly clarifies this, saying wood at this range of temperatures will "gradually char and usually ignite after several hours", though at the lower temperatures of 450-500° F or 232-260° C. (I would read the specifics, but then I'd have to subscribe to the magazine.) (Also, there must be different ignition temperatures for different kinds of wood, but none of the sources specified what kind they were using.)

Long story short, your box will catch fire after a while, and will char significantly before that. That's not a good side effect of "dehumidification."

It is a cool idea to use hair dryers, though. They work by heating air and blowing it over the thing that needs to be dried (most often hair). Hot air speeds evaporation by both heating the water and having greater humid capacity. Moving air will also speed evaporation (which is why you feel cold after stepping out of the pool on a windy day).

Rather than increasing the temperature of the air to the ignition point of wood, why don't you set the hair dryer at a cooler temperature, make sure the box is well ventilated, check for any hot spots (like right in front of the dryer if you face it towards the one of the walls), and give it a few hours?

If your goal is simply to heat a box to a really high temperature, though, I'd advise you to use a different material.

Good luck!

  • $\begingroup$ A hot air gun is a safer suggestion compared to a hairdryer... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 21, 2020 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! What's a hot air gun? $\endgroup$
    – Palbitt
    Jul 21, 2020 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_gun and not for druing hair... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 21, 2020 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ A hot air gun (or heat gun) is basically a hair dryer...for inanimate objects...when your goal is not to dry stuff. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 21, 2020 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ Ahh. But if if you don't have a heat gun, a hair dryer would work, right? $\endgroup$
    – Palbitt
    Jul 22, 2020 at 0:54

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