Past Projects

Metal Casting

Technical Video Rental cool project award!
Cool Project of the Week Award

Now this is probably one of my all time favorite hobbies. There is just something really cool about being able to take old junk, melt it down, and cast it into something new and useable. This was one of the first projects I did, going back about 3 years I guess. The furnace started life as a 5 gallon metal bucket that I believe came from the theater here in town, I think they got oil in it for their popcorn popper. A contractor that was here doing some work on the house had a couple of them and said I could have this one. The lining in the furnace is castable refractory, which is a mix of different materials, fireclay, etc and it acts as an insulation for the furnace. I have tried using propane burners in it but I think I really prefer just using charcoal. That's right! I melt aluminum here in my home foundry using common ordinary everyday grocery store charcoal. A couple of blowers, that I got for free, blow air into the furnace and keep the fire very very hot, in fact the steel crucible I use will come out of the furnace glowing red.

Here's a short video of my foundry running on charcoal

Here's a picture of my homemade foundry setup. The furnace was made from and old 5 gallon metal bucket and was lined with 2" of castable refractory.

testing my first homemade propane burner

This is my newest propane burner. I made this one out of 1 1/4" gas pipe and pipe fittings. This thing really puts out the heat but it's not good on slightly windy days. I am planning on making a new burner in the future from Michael Porter's book.