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Found 21 results

  1. I've been researching the web and all of the forums and I've had a small hiccup with my first foundry build. I built a box of dirt foundry and ended up burning through the bottom of it and caught it on fire a little bit. I plan on modifying it but I picked up a 20 lbs propane tank today that has a valve issue and I got to thinking. Does anyone have experience with pouring plaster of Paris and play sand mix over kaowool for use in a charcoal foundry I'm only going to be melting mostly aluminum, brass, copper and possibly try my hand at making some bronze or aluminum bronze in the future once I get more practiced. I'm just beginning my journey into metal casting but I've done a ton of research and I've read a few things about casting refractory over kaowool but not plaster/sand mix. I know its better to buy a tested refractory I was just looking at alternative options. Any advice would be appreciated and thank you in advance.
  2. I have been playing with a WVO fueled Burner in a pile of bricks as a furnace. Had a bit of a disaster when I went to melt some aluminium and burned through the steel crucible in about 4 minutes.
  3. Hello fellow metal workers, I have some questions regarding making aluminum tank tracks for a robotics project. The tank tracks are 4.25" wide x 5/8" tall (length TBD) they are made up similar to the way an Abrams tank track is put together. I found a metal works company who specializes in turning small 6061 aluminum - rubber coated wheels and though expensive they can produce what I'm looking for. So now I'm back to the tank tread portion which I'll probably make myself. My experience: 10+years experience with TIG welding/fabrication and can weld most things. Many years ago I read a book on backyard metal casting because I wanted to cast aluminum tank treads. Back then the guy was using a Pyramid furnace (the company is no longer in business) to cast aluminum tracks. So here I am wanting to pioneer this venture again with many questions. After reading the beginner pinned thread and all the safety precautions, Aluminum casting seems a little scary/intimidating as well as an enormous investment of time to learn a whole new universe of skills and the safety surrounding them. Therefore I've come to these questions which I hope others can help me answer. A:) Would a furnace produce acceptable enough results in fit and finish for this type of application? (or am I better off in fabrication?) B:) How much cost investment is there in buying a high quality furnace, crucible and safety gear? C:) Roughly how much time investment is there in learning to cast small aluminum parts? D:) What is the mold material needed? E:) Are there any up to date extensive youtube videos or good book recommends specifically for casting aluminum. I have concerns with doing it safely as well making sure the mold is built correctly. Additional massive concerns about what the results will be after I Invest huge amounts of time and money in it. Will the results be good enough for this use? And more importantly will they be better than a machined/welded/fabricated alternative. In other words: Which route is shorter and produces the best results? I'll attach some drawing and pics of what I'm trying to manufacture. Thank you, Av
  4. Hi Guys, Been looking into casting some of my own parts as 1 off part purchasing is bloody expensive and no where near as fun. so I have been doing some research on casting, forging, furnaces and so on. I have put together a bit of an improvised plan for a 44 gallon drum, as i want something that can handle some decent size casts as well as have the capacity to go up to irons and steels when i get experience with the craft. As i wouldn't mind doing a bit of smithing as well. From all the designs I have seen, they all require the basic drainage in the bottom, a hole in the side for the burner and an exhaust at the top. they should be made of either fire bricks or recastable suited for the purpose / temperature. Which you could make yourself that could handle up to 1000 oC or purpose made recastable with some ratings of up to 1600 - 1800 oC which i will be using for this project. before i started on the project i wanted to put the basic idea up for critiquing to see if there is anything i have missed / save wasting my time and money. Also one question with the recastable, as you would expect the the drying and first burn instructions are quite extensive, with the first burn what's the best way to control the temperature? would it be a propane burner? with controlled burns to raise the temperature slowly? or any other suggestions for the first burn?? Cheers for any help. 44 gallon drum furnace design.pdf
  5. Here is the start(midway)building of a Heat Treating / Burnout Oven(for lost wax casting wax burnouts) I'm building. 14" x 14" x 17-1/2" tall inside. This will have 4 heating elements. Grooves made with a standard wood router and a template. The temp will be controlled by a PID digital controller w/ ramping step option. More pictures to come.
  6. Howdy! I'm planing on making a forge where I can melt iron, charcoal, sand, and glass to make carbon steel! I am very fascinated by Wayne Coe's Inswool Kast-o-lite Plistix/ITC-100 Propane forge in a 20 gallon tank. I would absolutely love to go along those lines for my propane forge, but I want to get everything (if I can) locally at a Home Depot/Lowes or something. But I need do need my forge to reach temperatures of almost 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. There aren't any refractory supplies near my location and if I can i would rather not buy online. Thank you!
  7. Nobody Special

    bloom7

    Bit of iron bloomery goodness.
  8. Nobody Special

    bloom6

    Bloom straight out of the furnace. Tried to compact while too cold. Broke into pieces, some furnace bottom and slag still attached. Forced to stop at climatic moment to deal with wife's chicken customers who showed up unannounced, driving my dog insane. Hit it while too cold. Sigh......Well, got some good pieces to reheat and refine.
  9. Nobody Special

    bloom5

    Bloom immediately after pulling out of furnace. Too cold! Some of my wife's customers showed up unannounced, dog going nuts, forced to deal with them.
  10. Nobody Special

    bloom4

    Furnace was damaged by thermal shock of cold rain on hot clay. Eventually started coming apart. Had to patch quite a few times. Gave up on recycling slag after awhile because tuyere was getting blocked and I didn't think the furnace would last.
  11. Nobody Special

    bloom3

    view down the "spyglass" into the tuyere.
  12. Nobody Special

    bloom2

    furnace after first charge
  13. Nobody Special

    furnace5

    Well, chicken emergency is over, supposed to rain tommorow, and gotta work in the morning, so firing what I've got to harden a little against the rain. Loaded up with charcoal remnants and stuck a blow dryer to where it would force air in the slag hole. Nice effect. Probably should have built a fire around the outside too, but not gonna have the opportunity to watch it and make sure nothing relights from the ashes. Such is life. Finish tommorow or the next day, weather depending then ready to smelt!
  14. Nobody Special

    furnace4

    well, tuyere's in, got the first 20 inches up, minor chicken emergency, finish it later. Gonna be about 14 inches i.d. at bottom by about 30 inches tall. 12 inches i.d. at top. Walls about 3 inches thick. Tuyere is black pipe at 10 inches high, pointed about 20 degrees-ish. Built around a box wire frame.
  15. Nobody Special

    furnace3

    log stuck in for slag hole
  16. Nobody Special

    furnace2

    Bloomery attempt number 1, the muck and a very puzzled four year old. Daddy, didn't I just get into trouble for exactly the same thing? About 2 parts red georgia earth (a lot of clay, but a little sandier here than some spots) to 1 part fireclay, and a nice helping of pine wood chips to honeycomb it a bit once fired.
  17. Nobody Special

    furnace1

    Base for my first bloomery attempt
  18. Me at the Etowah day use area in N. Georgia. All that remains of the biggest iron working area in the south prior to 1900. All under a lake now, except for this blast furnace, which is around 60-70 ft. tall and could in its heyday run around 9 tons of pig iron a day. Same area I go to get my hematite.
  19. I'm interested in getting started in casting, and I intend to do primarily investment / lost wax casting, for things like blade fittings/pommels, scabbard fittings, buckles, and really anything else I feel like casting. Online sources are good, but what I'm looking for are recommendations on books for learning what I need to know to get started in lost wax casting. I intend to build a waste oil furnace like this one: http://www.artfulbodgermetalcasting.com/2.html for melting the metal. Dan Manders recommended a book for lost wax, but it seems to be a little hard to find. I also found this one on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Casting-Reference-Revised-Edition/dp/096159845X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1 Does anyone know if it's any good? I also realize I need a kiln if I'm going to do lost wax, so I did a search on the local craigslist, and here is what I found: http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/art/2915998885.html Is this a good deal for this type of kiln? I figure if I do get it, I should be able to use it for heat treating as well.
  20. In a couple of weeks time, I will be traveling a considerable distance to take a look into a used continuous furnace we are looking into buying. The furnace we are looking into is a Can-Eng Continuous Belt line. It is gas fired. Max temp is 960 C . The line consists of a cold loading entrance, hardening furnace, belt quench, post belt washer/temper. It will be re-bricked prior to shipment. This will be the first time we buy used machinery, What should we look at when visiting the furnace? and tips on what to pay special attention to? What documentation should we ask the seller to provide? Is there some kind of "buyers guide"? Maybe a list of questions that should be answered before actually buying the furnace? All your help is much appreciated! Thanks HRF