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    Londonderry, New Hampshire

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  1. I don't plan on casting anything much more than stuff that will fit in a 5 in diameter flask. That is the largest I feel comfortable handling and will fit properly on the vacuum table. Also, I use 100% investment plaster. Kerr's Satin 20 is what I have right now. For my smaller pieces it is much easier to clean out. I saw a really cool CNC machine making crowns at my last dental visit. The processes they use have really evolved. No more developing film, just a buzz and the x-ray appears on a PC and few minutes with a CAD app and then send it to the CNC machine.
  2. not going to use steam. I share your enthusiasm for living closer to the edge. My electric kiln burn out schedule for jewelry is usually: 300F for 2 hours 700F for 2 hours 1350F for 4 hours 900F until cast remove flask from the kiln and place on the vacuum table molten silver or gold in a ceramic crucible is kept under the torch to keep O2 away, right up until it is poured into the flask. as soon as the metal fades from cherry red and solidifies (about a minute) drop the flask into a metal bucket full of water the investment dissolves out of the flask like alka seltzer retrieve casting from warm water after a few minutes cooling The casting I plan to use the Aluminum Bronze for has a lot more wax and a lot less I'll use build a fire pit outside for the burn out... With a little forced air from a shop vac and some lump charcoal, I should be able to hit the right temps. I've also got to order some flux to protect the heel since I'm not using a torch to keep H and O2 out of the melt.
  3. wow, all great ideas...thank you! I really wanted to stay away from glues (it kinda of seems like cheating) but as you all mention, not know the metal composition makes using any heat pretty risky. Glenn, I think you're right. Making a mold will be my first step. Doing it right might take a lot more time but at least I'll be working over a "safety net". I agree that epoxy is probably the best route...I'm pretty sure it was broken by a child so I doubt it will be allowed to happen again.
  4. yeah, a friend of mine is a retired Marine cook that collects a disability pension because an idiot blew the doors off the cooking tent he was working in. The scaring goes right up to the point where his cotton t-shirt sleeve starts interestingly enough. Like I said before, I take safety seriously. If I was working with someone else or couldn't control access to my work area, I would order it today. I'll probably order an armored line and a flow check valve in the near future though... not because I fear a failure, mostly because I like playing with gadgets I use an electric kiln with a drain for jewelry burnouts (pretty small flasks) but I think I'll try something more old school for the flasks I have now (much bigger). I'll post the pictures regardless of my success. Hopefully I'll have some time this coming weekend.
  5. Cool, I have aluminum leggings to go over my jeans and under the apron. Boots, a welding jacket, gloves and facemask will finish off my outfit. I plan on casting Aluminum Bronze using a lost wax process. I'll post photos of the flasks that I have prepped. I still need to burn them out I have a fair bit of experience of small castings (jewelry) in silver and gold. Which is the process I plan on using, sand casting next year. I am glad it is finally cooling off in New England. Wearing all this xxxx xx xxxx in August. The leaves are in peak color.
  6. A friend of my wife has a casting of jesus on a cross that was broken into three pieces. I believe this is an heirloom. Here are some photos. I'm hoping to get some advice of the best process from putting it back together. I'd hate to just epoxy it. It isn't ferrous (not magnetic). I imagine the melting temp is pretty low. Should I try to braze or solder it? What flux or type of prep work would be the best?
  7. It's all good. I did buy 99.9% copper ingots but wanted to feel righteously green by recycling aluminum. My rudimentary knowledge suggests it is harder to find and recycle pure copper to recycle than aluminum. I imagine if I did the calculations I would find that the propane etc required to reduce cans was less efficient than buying it. Phil - Mine's is a buckeye grad student...small world... pnut - don't tell the wife, she'll make me wear one all the time.
  8. Just to be clear folks, I am a 55 year old senior engineer that works for a Defence Contractor. I have had a career in the Coast Guard as a Fire Control Technician (radar and weapon systems). I am a firm believer of common sense safety and I have been reading this site since April because not all sense is common. If you give me an opinion or suggestion, regardless of your resume, you should expect me to ask why. I appreciate these discussion because you never know when someone is going to say something that saves your life.
  9. That's very cool. I look forward to working with it. Thank you. please see my earlier reply to biggundoctor...I agree with you...
  10. I'm not going to make any excuses for my son's attire but I will say that I kicked him out of the area before removing the lid and pouring. I was wearing aluminum leggings over boots and jeans with a welding jacket under a similar apron and gloves and face shield. My father died of lymphoma and to this day I am convinced it was caused by absorbing 50 years of chemical cocktails through the skin... it was a different time then... safety is my primary concern. I know of a wheel/tire shop with a whole backyard full of busted wheels. How do you know the quality of the aluminum?
  11. I appreciate your caution. After doing a little research, I think I understand the difference in opinion. You have a background in glassblowing, correct? I believe Oxy/Propane torches are fairly common in that industry and, as Thomas said, a flame arrestor/check valve is recommended when you are using pressurized Oxygen and Propane in a torch. My burner combines air in a venturi, just like a BBQ grill. It will run at 100,000 btus on its own and up to 300,000 btus when a compressor line is attached. There is no chance of the air being forced into the fuel line since the fuel and air are combined in the venturi. Even when I add an air compressor on to it, it is still not going to make its way into the .30 jet in the burner. If I tried to over pressurize the air by cranking up the compressor the air will just escape out the vent holes at the back of the burner. --- Yes on the rigidizer and coating. The horror stories on this site were more than enough for me. I will definitely put a drain in before the next melt. Thank you. Do you have a suggestion other than drilling a hole? I used half of my cans on the first melt and lost about half the weight to dross/slag. I'm going to use Morton Light Salt (potassium chloride) for flux on the rest of the cans just to see if the result is significantly different but I have to agree that using cans suck. I'm already collecting it from other sources...I have an old ladder that will probably go in next.
  12. Good info about Acetylene. I will not look at my crappy Harbor Freight torch the same way, again. Thank you.
  13. I bought the burner from Devil Forge. Where and why would you add a check valve? thanks in advance
  14. I'm posting some of the photos I have taken as a thank you for all the great information that I have found here. I've learned more than a few things here including many safety tips such as using a rigidizer on the Ceramic Wool. My son helped me out as I ran around solving minor process issues. I tend to over engineer but figure this furnace will be fine for up to 2500F.
  15. 58 lbs and about 15.5 inches long My mother in law gave it to me after I spotted in the basement. She was using it as a door stop. It rings when I hit it and a hammer bounces back from it almost as high without effort. I know absolutely nothing about blacksmithing except what I have seen and read and have just started researching it. I would welcome any advice or observation. what does the 3 mean? it is the only marking that I noticed.