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About mutant

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/10/1968

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  • Location
    . Long Island, NY
  • Interests
    working with metal
  1. I would start off small and easy since you can always upgrade. Make a simple charcoal furnace and use a hairdryer as the air source. I would also start with aluminum for various reasons. The main being it's lower melting temperature compared to bass or cast iron. Try melting the AI into ingots as a first few projects, an old muffin tray is great to use. After a few melts, try your hand at lost foam casting. I've done a few projects and it's a great hobby. Do your research, ask questions and use common sense. There is a pretty big risk factor with this hobby but it can be done relatively safely. Check out Alloy Ave. It's a website dedicated to the backyard metal caster. I also have a few casting videos up on youtube.
  2. That's part of "Among other reason" in what I wrote. You'll be surprised how much charcoal dust and forced air will sand blast away material.
  3. Head over to It's a site dedicated to backyard foundry. Lots of great info and peeps willing to help out. I'm pretty new to casting as well but from what I can tell from your video, looks like whatever you made your mold out of wasn't fully cured. You were getting steam bubbles and, as others have stated, that's pretty dangerous. Your container failing is common with using charcoal. Among other reasons, a blower and charcoal acts like a powerful abrasive and can quickly wear down material. It's why I switched over to propane. Casting is dangerous but with some basic knowledge AND using common sense, can be done safely and relatively easily. Do your research, ask questions at Alloy Ave. Good luck, be safe and have fun! Check out one of my more successful casting videos here -
  4. Your shop is looking fantastic! Don't feel bad about the size, mine is only 33 square feet.
  5. I think it can be very versatile if you can use the burners separately. If not, don't worry, it's pretty easy to make a propane burner. You would need a high pressure regulator anyway. That would be the most expensive part.
  6. There's always a risk with anything you do. Some hobbies are more riskier than others. Understand those risks but more importantly, at 16, make sure your parents know as well. Do your research, ask question, and seek guidance. You'll do fine and have fun.
  7. Forging and casting are two different things. I've seen a few people make a furnace that can be used for either casting or forging. For casting, you can do this relatively safely if you stick with some common sense and PPE. Making aluminum castings is as addicting as blacksmithing. As suggested, head over to You'll get some great advice from people with experience. I would stick with aluminium for awhile if you're just getting into casting. I also wouldn't try to forge any metal but cold rolled steel until you are more experienced.
  8. I say go for it! From my very limited experiences with my leg vise, they're pretty simple devices. Take your time dissembling, de-rust, lube and reassemble. There are a few videos on how to fabricate a new spring.
  9. I live on the island as well and haven't found any association out by us. The closest place to take a class is in downtown Brooklyn.
  10. This is only my 3 or 4th item that I've ever forged on my own. It's my version of a letter opener that doubles as a butter knife. Heh.
  11. Wow! My fragile little mind has officially been blown. I'm so jealous! Not only is the trailer setup so awesome, it's also bigger than my tiny smithy! Great job!
  12. Nick, That hammer came out great! Not bad for just taking one class over a month ago. I'm jealous you're able to get in so much forging time. Nice work man.
  13. Nice! I did something similar. I should go take a photo and post it. I have my anvil sitting right on the sand. It's easy to raise/lower the anvil by adding/removing sand. It also helps to dull the ring. -m
  14. I made a box out of plywood and used 1x2 too skin it and make it look nice. I then filled it with sand. This helps a ton with sound and I can adjust the height as needed by adding or removing sand.
  15. My shop is 33 square feet so yours is like the castle of blacksmithing compared to mine.