Foundry 1.0 – The Beginning
This was my foundry as it originally appeared, it has since been redone/modified/upgraded (see other foundry sections).
This is the original foundry, the 1/4″ copper pipe supplies propane from a 40# cylinder (out of frame) the blower pipe is just 1″ galvinized gas pipe. The blower (bottom left) is an old bathroom vent fan with the top half of a 1 gallon milk jug used as a reducer to the 1″ blower pipe.
Here you can see the crucible full of aluminum chunks from broken up lawn mower parts. You can also see the lining of the furnace made of eight cut firebricks, this is a poor design due to the fact that though the bricks are easy to find and can withstand a lot of heat, they don’t insulate much at all so it takes a long time for the foundry to warm up enough to melt the Al. I will probably rebuild the inside of this furnace using a better lining to make it more efficient.
A shot after the aluminum has melted, the steel rod is being used to make sure there are no unmelted chunks on the bottom of the crucible. The Al in the above pic still needs to be skimmed to get the impurities off the top before it is ready to pour.
Here’s a result of the first melt and pour. Each ingot is about six inches long and weighs about 9oz. In the top right of the pic you can see a test casting that was cast using the lost foam method with a pattern milled on the Phoenix Redux. I’ll add a section on the lost foam process later.
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