As both experimental and theoretical studies in atomic physics move towards more complex atoms and more sophisticated methods, the design and characterization of atomic beam sources is becoming important as specific requirements emerge. This is especially the case when both electron impact and laser excitation are combined. The design of an oven is presented here together with characterization of the atomic beam parameters of importance to both electron impact and laser excitation experiments. The oven is designed and tested using calcium but is relevant for a range of atoms. In this study the oven was tested at temperatures up to 710 degreesC.