Casting Metal

To melt enough metal for this pour, we will need a furnace that can exceed 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This furnace is a forced air propane homemade unit that is more than capable of hitting the target temperature. We will not be going over the construction of it here, there are a number of good furnace build logs online if you are interested in that. Stay away from any that use plaster of Paris or pearlite. Furnace builds, Furnace builds

FurnaceThe metal used for this pour is Aluminum. These ingots were made from an aluminum extrusion.

Aluminum

Extrusion is not great for casting because it is missing some trace elements that help it flow smoothly and shrink less. We will be adding a couple of those elements back into the melt today. Silicon and manganese will be added at 10% and 0.2%.

Trace elements

With the furnace going, the aluminum is preheated on the lid to make sure there’s no moisture introduced to the molten pool of metal. Steam expands about 1600 times if it does that at the bottom of a pool of molten metal you will end up wearing it. Once the aluminum has melted, the crucible is pulled from the furnace.

Crucible furn

The molten metal is then poured into the pouring basin of the mold in a smooth constant stream.

Rammer pour

Once pouring is complete, the mold is left to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Poured

 

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