Author Topic: finally going to build my furnace  (Read 4371 times)

Offline texta

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finally going to build my furnace
« on: June 08, 2014, 07:13:19 AM »
made a start on it 12 months ago . i did put some pics up but it may of been in another forum can't remember ( i seem to forget things lately , to many birthdays maybe )
anyway i have all the outside metal work part of the furnace built ,and made a lp gas burner and last year i bought a box of superwool blanket 1 inch thick stuff and thats as far as i got until now .
last week i got 4 bags of play sand and some bentonite to make the green sand with and today my son delivered for me ( i ordered this stuff from up the coast near where he lives so he picked it up for me ) 2 bags of pyrocrete 145 and 5 kg of sodium silicate . only thing i have not been able to get yet is some zircon paint , i can only find it in 25kg buckets and it will be plus a fair bit of courier charges . but i think i could skip the zircon paint and make a hot face over the blanket with the pyrocrete maybe not as good but it would work , would'nt it ???? .  need to build a muller too .

johno


Offline tom osselton

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 05:41:13 PM »
You could try a ceramic shop for the zircon.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 05:49:32 PM »
Always exciting to build a furnace and begin casting! :thumbup:  What will you be melting?
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline texta

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 12:30:06 AM »
only be doing aluminium to start with then i may progress up to the hotter stuff . i do have a bit of a collection of old brass taps and a few other bits of brass that i could have a try with too .i also have a heap of old cast iron like a few tractors worth and a few old implements but i dont know enough about iron yet to even think about melting that lot .

johno

Offline vtsteam

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 10:14:08 AM »
johno, for aluminum practically anything can serve as a furnace for melting. I've cast Tesla turbine parts using an open fire of fallen pine boughs from spring cleanup!

Cast iron is quite a bit more demanding, and it took me nearly a full summer to learn enough to turn out a couple of unflawed castings. But the process is absolutely absorbing.

Interestingly, I've never used propane for melting either -- though there are plenty of designs out there for it. For aluminum it was always charcoal or wood, and for iron, used motor oil and diesel fuel.

And my furnaces, both kinds, were built from fire clay and sand, and for iron, used hard fire brick. Cost has always been a consideration, but never an inhibition.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline NormanV

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 04:20:31 PM »
Casting aluminium is easy. My first castings were made about 5 years ago when I lived on the Falkland Islands. Supplies were tricky to obtain so I had to use what I could get. For my furnace I managed to find some old fire bricks from Rayburn cookers, I crushed them up and mixed then with fire cement that came ready mixed in small, very expensive pots. I can't remember the exact mix but it worked, the lid of my furnace broke up a little bit but it did the job. For casting sand I had to use sand from the beach mixed with cat litter. For fuel I used peat, sometimes difficult to light but free. I made many successful castings.
When I returned to UK 3 years ago I was excited at what I thought would be the easy availability of materials. But, everything is so expensive here, plus the area that I live is not industrial so I had to travel long distances to obtain materials. Eventually I had built a furnace using posh firebricks, then came the problem of fuel. First I tried charcoal from B & Q,. it was out of season so they were selling it off cheap. But what sort of charcoal was this? To suit "modern" life they had made it easy lighting. You cannot believe the smoke it produced for the first 15 minutes! It blanketed the road where I live. To this day I am amazed that I did not get complaints from neighbours. So, I went over to propane, at first I was concerned about the cost. If you have seen my build log on my milling machine you will see that I have made quite a few castings. So far I have used one cylinder of gas that cost 27. That doesn't seem too bad to me. If you can make your own charcoal as Steve (vtsteam) does, or have free peat, then go that way but I think that propane is simply the best.
As far as casting brass or iron goes, it scares the s--t out of me. Stick to aluminium (or if you are from the colonies, aluminium).

Offline NormanV

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 04:42:46 PM »
I can't even spell it wrong!
I meant to say ALUMINUM!
Is that right(or wrong)?
I am confused.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 04:57:53 PM »
Actually the charcoal I used to build my lathe, milling attachment, engines, etc. was the store bought charcoal briquet type used for barbecuing here. Mainly because I was living in a Boston suburb then, and that was easily available -- plus I'd built the Gingery charcoal furnace.

Last summer I made charcoal from wood as an experiment to see if it could be used in an iron melting cupola -- didn't work well for that. I'm sure it would melt aluminum, but it tends to burn up fast being relatively low density.

I'm still interested in using wood for casting aluminum, since I have abundant supplies of that -- the charcoal making barrel liberates terrific heat for nearly an hour in making charcoal from wood, more than enough to melt a large quantity of aluminum.

I've been thinking about making a more compact purpose built wood fueled aluminum furnace.

I use propane for oxy-propane cutting steel, and brazing. So no prejudices, but the huge amount of wood here just asks for uses. Plus I like doing projects that are "different".
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline mattinker

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Re: finally going to build my furnace
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 06:59:38 AM »
I can't even spell it wrong!
I meant to say ALUMINUM!
Is that right(or wrong)?
I am confused.

There is no right spelling for the Element Al, if you pronounce it Aluminium, it has two i's, if you pronounce it Aluminum then it has one i.

Your spell checker should know how you pronounce it if yo tell it where you come from!

Regards, Matthew.