My Aluminum Melting Furnace!
Here's my newest project, an aluminum melting furnace! This will allow me to melt aluminum and do some sand casting and may be hot enought for copper and bronze (hopefully). I'm using an old electric smoker that I picked up on freecycle. Here I'm taping the bottom using tin foil and using a wooden dowel for the middle for a drain hole in case I get a crucible that breaks and spills molten aluminum. The aluminum foil on the bottom just holds in the cement while it sets up. On the bottom of the smoker there is a lip that curls in that should keep the cement from falling out of the bottom after it sets up.
My biggest expense is the Castable Refractory Cement used to line the furnace. Since I poured the bottom, I've found a cheaper alternative from a local foundry supply store. This cost me about $40 for just the first few inches. I think I should be able to finish it with Flowcast 31 for an additional $130.
OK, I took a break from my cement work and decided to build my burner. I used the design found in the internet using black gas pipe and brass fittings as can be found on the internet searching for 'reil type burner'. If it wasn't for my freecycle drill press that I picked up I wouldn't have been able to drill precise holes for the brass burner tube and set screws.
I picked up this high pressure LP regulator on the internet.
Here's my pile of tools that holds a small piece of aluminum to test the burner to see if the temp is hot enough.
Success! My first aluminum melt! I'm sure once this burner is inserted in the furnace I'll be able to get even hotter temps!
Soon to come: Finishing the furnace, melting aluminum in the crucible, and SAND CASTING!
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Site posted on July 9, 2005