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Good afternoon,

 

I'm totally green. I'm planning to cast some parts I need and I need some advice. I bought everything I thought I'd need including a crucible. I mistakenly thought I could easily melt aluminum with a Coleman propane torch. Now I'm thinking I might need a forge, but the ones I saw in my price range are called coffee can forges and I don't understand how to use a crucible with them and it looks like they use a small propane torch like what I tried and failed with. 

 

Can anyone help point me in the right direction? I have a crucible and I want to melt aluminum. I can't make a wood fire because I live in an area with very high fire danger so it has to be controlled with no airborne ash. 

 

Please keep in mind I don't know anything.

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No problem there. I wasn't sure what the most appropriate place would be so whatever helps me get the best info is much appreciated. 

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Quoting the post just prior to your reply is frowned upon, as covered in the linked thread. Also knowing where in the world you are located helps with answering, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show it.

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Alright I guess using this forum is going to be more than I can manage. I'll close my account and look for another avenue to get the information I need. 

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Try the alloy alley website.

SLAG.

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1 hour ago, mike83350 said:

Alright I guess using this forum is going to be more than I can manage. I'll close my account and look for another avenue to get the information I need. 

Any forum worth asking serious questions isn't likely to candy coat answers. Steve just gave you a straight answer. If you can't take a polite correction you may not be able to manage a worthwhile forum.

Sad.

Frosty The Lucky.

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When starting out, the learning curve looks more like a ladder than an incline.

You are not expected to get things right the first time. That is why corrections are made and advice is provided.

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My advice would be to find someone near you that can help you out. Casting metal is dangerous and if you don't know what you don't know you're likely to get hurt or set something on fire. An accidental spill or broken crucible is a good way to ruin your day.

Pnut

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So you feel that its better to buy the forge and then find out it doesnt work, You really think that  is better than being told now? 

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We can take this down a couple of notches and still be responsive and accurate, I believe.

As Steve previously stated a casting furnace is probably what you will need.  Essentially that is just a forge oriented vertically with the opening (possibly after a door is removed) at the top large enough to grab out the crucible after the stock metal is melted.  You will get better heat transfer using the same heat output torch discharging into an insulated chamber than just using it in free air to heat a crucible.  We have no idea how large your crucible is, or what it is made of, but I doubt a coffee can forge placed on end will suit.  Note that you need a certain amount of air gap between the crucible and the furnace inner liner for the flame to fully develop and transfer heat.  I suspect that you will need a better burner as well.  There are lots of great posts on this site regarding burner and forge design that will apply.

A couple of additional points:

  1. As SLAG indicated, this forum is primarily dedicated to blacksmithing activities and you may find considerably more info on a more casting oriented forum
  2. As pnut noted casting can be extremely dangerous, but at least you aren't planning on casting iron or bronze.  Still, it is important to use the correct PPE and have the right tools to manipulate the crucible as well.
  3. Use of cast aluminum stock (aluminum rims, engine parts and the like) will likely give you a better product than using things like old beer and soda cans
  4. Don't know what you are planning on casting, but I recommend you prepare for a bunch of cleanup.  With any rough casting you typically need some, and a first casting will need a lot.  You may be more economical machining from stock.

Good luck

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