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Gallery, Projects and General => Neat Stuff => Topic started by: backofanenvelope on February 13, 2015, 02:58:38 AM

Title: ALU melting
Post by: backofanenvelope on February 13, 2015, 02:58:38 AM
Found on the interweb and thought a well put together vid for aspiring casters.

https://www.innamag.com/melting-cans-with-the-mini-metal-foundry/ (https://www.innamag.com/melting-cans-with-the-mini-metal-foundry/)
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: RobWilson on February 13, 2015, 12:58:14 PM
 :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: "Light the foundry "  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :palm:



Rob
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: S. Heslop on February 13, 2015, 01:54:33 PM
I advised someone a while back on another forum not to try doing what he'd seen in that video. It seems alot of people have seen it and decided that they knew everything they had to know about casting metal, and hadn't looked any further.

I'm having a hard time wording how the video makes me feel, so bear with me. I think the guy is a ****. He's making little easily digested 'science experiment' style videos aimed at the 'lifehack' crowd, which I have nothing against, except he's encouraging people (and most likely kids) to try do something fairly dangerous at home without any understanding of the hazards involved. He's not given any warnings about potential dangers, and even suggested that putting cans with soda left in them into the molten metal is totally safe.

I hope the guy's just an idiot, but with his weaselly little hidden disclaimer in the video description it feels like he intentionally neglected to mention it in the video itself to make it more likely to get posted about. It wouldn't be half as appealing (to his target audience) if the guy admitted 'this is really dangerous and you probably should read into it more before trying it out for yourselves'.

Anyways sorry to be grumpy about it but this stuff just really frightens me. It's the kind of thing I might've tried out when I was 13 and didn't know any better.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 13, 2015, 10:04:41 PM
The really glaring health issue to me is the burning of synthetic can coatings and particularly the non-stick coating on the muffin tin.  Many flourine based modern coatings like PTFE when degraded by excessive heat (well beyond the rated cooking temperature use in cookware) are extremely hazardous to breathe.

The dsclaimer "Use common sense," is ludicrous. Not everyone is aware the seriousness of the hazards involved other than the obvious high temperatures.

Aluminum for melting should be clean, and plain uncoated steel molds should be used for ingot making, in case someone here doesn't realize it.....understandably.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Ginger Nut on February 14, 2015, 12:02:02 AM
Thanks for sharing that quite a good little crucible set up NOT.

Its grossly unstable being a bucket shape wider at the top easy to tip pouring hot molten metal and charcoal onto a person or surface.
The blower tube and hair drier set up like he had a gust of wind and instant fire or burnt person.
Let alone the tube inserted my also melt with the heat and the heat travel along the tube to the plastic one hot melt plastic.
Kitchen tongs please I've picked up a set of tong resting near and edge of a BBQ and dropped them just as quick due to radiant heat.

As the fellows above have said "DangerMan"

Other things spotted was very little PPG personal protection gear, sneakers ? nylon sox? nylon clothing? :jaw: :jaw: all these will and can ignite standing near an open fire or BBQ.

Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Eugene on February 14, 2015, 03:53:50 AM
I'm glad it isn't just me who thought the guy a cretin.

I've worked in die-cast shops and take it from me getting even a small blob of molten zinc ally on you can really spoil your day. That set up was, as Ginger Nut said, horribly unstable and well capable of tipping over and dropping a couple of pints of liquid metal over his unprotected feet.

However it did show the valuable lesson of how not to do things, so I'll bear it in mind when I start on my casting project in the Summer. :(

Eug

Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: RobWilson on February 14, 2015, 04:10:48 AM
I actually turned it off @ "light the foundry "   :bang:  , but decided to have another look this morning lol oh my did it get worse .

I cant agree more with everyone above's comments, ALL bring up very valid concerns  , yet another bullshit youtube video demonstrating that  if you cant even get the terminology right its all down hill from there .   


Rob   
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: John Rudd on February 14, 2015, 06:11:01 AM
Agreed the guy is a cretin.....he seems to exhibit the same blasť approach on every vid I've seen of his on youtube and this us no exception......
I can't imagine what he was thinking when he created this vid......no sense of danger of any kind....

Would you weld without a mask? Answers on the back of a postage stamp..... :doh:
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: dawesy on February 14, 2015, 06:56:27 AM
While this is all true and I agree with what's said, I think it's more to do with the current culture.
Should we really have warning stickers on everything? Or should we not look and think ah this part could be dangerous so I'll take these steps.
This is what bugs me with H+S rules today. The current trend is 'if there's no warning signs then it must be safe' rather than teaching people to risk assess before they do something.
Yes more info on correct ppe would be good but if you aren't aware of the dangers of very hot things, especially liquids, then really doing things like that is not for you.
The reason we have so many idiots about now is because HS stops them being naturally removed from the gene pool.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: lordedmond on February 14, 2015, 07:08:00 AM
Yep

The guys a complete idiot of the first order

Now I do not own use a furnace of any description but I served my time and did a further five years at Stanton iron works who ran base exchange units and quite a few cupolas plus six induction furnaces the bigges was a modest 1.5 megawatt unit
So I have seen a lot of metal melted

To say you can put wet cans into a melt is insane , the guys used to put the bales of scap steel around the top of the induction furnaces to warm up and dry out if they were damp , well one day i was doing maint on the control panel , we did it live so as not to stop production , they kicked in the said bales guess what have you seen 7 tons of molten iron going skywards it's a fair sight , anyway no one was hurt but the crane track and crane above was destroyed along with the furnace coil.
That made a lot of work for us to refit it all
The cause was guessed at but full tin cans were found it some other bales so take bets.
Much larger bangs were made when the prop was pulled from under a cupola at the end of the shift , have you seen the counter sunk bolts used to hold chequer plate down turned into wine glasses

Stuart
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 14, 2015, 11:11:33 AM
I don't agree that health and safety labels plastered all over common tools purchased these days is the equivalent annoyance to releasing popular culture how-to videos on soda can melting.

Rather than text disclamers, proper explanations of what not to do and especially, why not, should be included in this kind of supposedly instructive foundry practice video, seemingly aimed at teens.

Proper explanations aren't mere disclaimers, and very important to an audience, not just an amateurish attempt to avoid responsibility. Here, every problem is minimized, and fast talk eases the way to what is essentially a popularity sell for the narrator. Then some afterthought warnings to "use common sense" are tacked on, probably to deal with viewer complaints, and the guy moves on to a new video subject.

A similar clown is the guy who does the greepowerscience videos.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: doubleboost on February 14, 2015, 12:05:13 PM
The video is very well out together (editing ect)
Such a shame that the content is rubbish
With no safety at all
John
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 14, 2015, 02:06:33 PM
There's a big difference, too between someone documenting an experment or method he/she has tried out vs. an expert producing a tutorial with instructions people are supposed to follow.

For me the first is usually fine, even if it's an amateur and there are problems, mistakes, etc. and these are talked about. And the attitude is modest. That can be interesting and helpful, and even fun.

It's the second that better get it right.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Manxmodder on February 14, 2015, 03:57:27 PM
Agree with you all about the disregard for proper safety in this guys video.
 The bit that really chilled me was watching him pushing cans under the surface of molten ally,which are highly likely to contain residual drops of liquid soda pop.

He's been extremely lucky that in delivering any liquid beneath the metal surface he didn't get an instant steam explosion and the resultant ejection of molten aluminium......OZ.   
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: DavidA on February 15, 2015, 08:29:21 AM
Although there are a lot of problems with this video,  I think you guys are being a little hard on him.

Firstly,  right at the top there is a warning that covers much of what you (rightly) complain about.

And he does add some warnings as he goes along.

But think about it.

Anyone who is going to try this has already built the furnace. So they must have some ideas of what is involved.

His safety clothing is somewhat lacking,  But I have watched full time foundry men pouring iron with no safety protection except a pair of goggles.

The thing that worries me is the top heavy way the furnace is supported.

Let he who is without fault cast the first stone.

Dave,

p.s.

In his description on wood ,  our colleague S Heslop is demonstrating a very dodgy process utilizing an unguarded table router, One slip and it bye bye fingers.

No one complained.

Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: dawesy on February 15, 2015, 09:06:15 AM
Anyone who tries something just because 'they saw it in a YouTube video' without checking on the dangers involved for themselves deserves all they get imo.
Also the part of 'cans with liquid still in them ' would this not just evap off before the can melted? Cans are hard to completely empty after all.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 15, 2015, 09:30:55 AM
I don't have a problem with the furnace body itself actually, I doubt it will knock over easily. And I don't usually do a lot of freestyle kicking around a firing furnace. But I do have a problem with the inhalation of fluorine degradation products by kids watching this video. That can be a one time mistake. Take out the non-stick muffin tin recommendation in the movie, period. Warnings aren't sufficient.

Yeah, I kind of cringed when seeing Simon's routing of the pulley photo -- but as I said before, it's one thing to show what you've done, as opposed to telling others how to do things. We all take personal risks, commensurate, hopefully, with our skill level.

I don't know anyone who cuts wood on a bandsaw that uses metal gauntlets, either.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Manxmodder on February 15, 2015, 09:52:32 AM
Anyone who tries something just because 'they saw it in a YouTube video' without checking on the dangers involved for themselves deserves all they get imo.
Also the part of 'cans with liquid still in them ' would this not just evap off before the can melted? Cans are hard to completely empty after all.

Also the part of 'cans with liquid still in them ' would this not just evap off before the can melted? Cans are hard to completely empty after all.

Yes it may evaporate off if left on the surface,but if you push the water containing can beneath the surface of the molten metal the water turns to flash steam with an expansion rate approximately 1600 times liquid volume (1cc of water becomes 1600cc of explosively expanded vapour)

If this process occurs beneath the molten metal surface the outcome isn't going to be good,this is how many serious foundry explosions occur......OZ.

Just an edit for addition here:
 About 15 years ago a mate of mine had a furnace setup to melt a plentiful source of scrap pistons,for many melts he had never had any problems until one day he was melting a batch which had been laying outside. Some of the pistons still had rings fitted which were seized in the grooves,but little known to him water was trapped behind them.
One such piston was added to the molten metal and pushed beneath the surface with tongs causing the trapped water to flash steam and eject a quantity of liquid ally into the air. Fortunately nobody was injured,but safety lessons were certainly learned that day.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 15, 2015, 10:42:47 AM
Preheating in the foundry exhaust is a simple way of not only eliminating the possibility of moisture from scrap stock, but in reducing melt time. I'm speaking of massive stock, like pistons, not soda cans.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: DavidA on February 15, 2015, 11:35:36 AM


....I don't know anyone who cuts wood on a bandsaw that uses metal gauntlets, either....

This is a very dangerous thing to do. Ok with a band knife but never with any blade that has teeth that can grab a chain mail glove.

At the chicken factory I worked years back an operative lost part of his hand when he pushed some meat into s pair of serrated rollers while wearing such a glove.He shouldn't have been able to do it, but he over rode the safety on the gate that would have prevented his hand getting near the rollers.

Dave.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: backofanenvelope on February 15, 2015, 01:13:32 PM
Apologies for unleashing such an un-madmodding vid, I did wonder at the quality of content but then my noob knowledge of such things got the better of me.. I also have a very healthy regard and respect of body parts and the potential damage to them by casting and other modding activities so shan't be carrying out my casting in such a cavalier method. Will go a sit at the back of the class with dunce hat on for a bit  :doh: :D
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 15, 2015, 01:16:05 PM
Hey BOE, don't sweat it!!!! What else would we have such a good time grousing about?  :beer:
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 15, 2015, 01:28:15 PM


....I don't know anyone who cuts wood on a bandsaw that uses metal gauntlets, either....

This is a very dangerous thing to do. Ok with a band knife but never with any blade that has teeth that can grab a chain mail glove.

At the chicken factory I worked years back an operative lost part of his hand when he pushed some meat into s pair of serrated rollers while wearing such a glove.He shouldn't have been able to do it, but he over rode the safety on the gate that would have prevented his hand getting near the rollers.

Dave.

I meant real metal gauntlets:

(http://www.thegreenhead.com/imgs/medieval-steel-gauntlets-2.jpg)
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: S. Heslop on February 15, 2015, 02:00:00 PM
Apologies for unleashing such an un-madmodding vid, I did wonder at the quality of content but then my noob knowledge of such things got the better of me.. I also have a very healthy regard and respect of body parts and the potential damage to them by casting and other modding activities so shan't be carrying out my casting in such a cavalier method. Will go a sit at the back of the class with dunce hat on for a bit  :doh: :D

Yeah don't worry about it. It's why those sorts of videos annoy me, they could fool anyone who didn't know any better.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Will_D on February 21, 2015, 05:59:26 AM
Now apart from the 'Elf'n'Safety issues of the above video what about the castable refractory he was using?

50/50 Silica sand and plaster of Paris seems a very simple to get mix.

There is NO support for amateur foundry stuff in Ireland.

So the idea of getting 25 kgs of castable refractory material from the UK is a bit of a non starter. To say nothing about green sand.

Do you think his refractory is up to the job?
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: NormanV on February 21, 2015, 07:02:45 AM
Will, I built a foundry when I lived in the Falkland Islands and buying refractory cement was definitely not possible. It was possible to buy 1 kg tubs of ready mixed fire cement but to build the whole foundry with that would have cost a couple of hundred pounds. Instead I bought four pots of it, thinned it down with water and mixed it with "grog" that I made by breaking up and passing through a 1" mesh sieve a load of fire bricks that I managed to scrounge. It turned out to be entirely successful, no cracks appeared in it even after many firings. The lid was made of the same stuff in a sheet metal ring with wire reinforcement criss-crossing it.
For moulding sand I used sand from the local sand dunes mixed with fullers earth cat litter.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Eugene on February 21, 2015, 09:42:45 AM
Will,

I'm doing the planning for a foundry too; one of the better internet sources for all things home machinist is "Mikes Workshop" as per http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/furnace.html (http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/furnace.html)

The mix he used in his set up is .....

1. Portland cement - 1 part by volume
2. Clay - 1 part by volume. I used clay based cat litter. This is available from most supermarkets
3. Perlite - 7 parts by volume.

Looks simple enough and details of the mixing procedure are given on the site; I think I'll go with this procedure.

Eug
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 21, 2015, 10:51:32 AM
No, do not use portland cement., it won't last, it will calcify. That occurs at 600C or about the melting temp of aluminum. Use of Portland cement by amateur foundry makers has been an ongoing problem ever since Lionel Oliver first put up a portland cement furnace on his website in the early 2000's -- however he at least used a flowerpot liner (clay) so not as bad as people who use portland cement directly with no protection for the material.

Plaster of Paris (gypsum)  is MUCH more refractory -- it's used in bronze casting as a molding material -- bronze pours at a lot higher temperature than aluminum melting temps -- Mattinker can tell you and has personal experience.

Also in industry, plaster of Paris pouring basins and liners are used for even iron. Plaster of Paris has a high insulation value there, which is why it is used -- see Steve Chastain's molding books for references to this. And on the popular internet video scene, plaster of Paris is used in numerous small benchtop forge videos and ripoff videos. One of the more popular is mentioned in the intro to this thread's flick.

As I said, my objection to this video is not with the furnace body, but with the cavalier disregard of coatings combustion products.

I've just built a new furnace with a plaster of Paris sand mix, so if you want to know how well it works, I'll be able to tell you shortly

There are other references to using Plaster of Paris with bronze on sculpture casting art sites.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 21, 2015, 11:00:08 AM
Also, you can melt aluminum in practically any furnace composition that will stand the heat -- a woodstove for example with hot embers in it, a hole in the ground, a woodfire, loose or bound bricks, a steel box or barrel, etc. People make a big deal out of it, and that can be fun, buying expensive stuff, and doing high tech things, but if you don't have money or access, you can still melt ALU.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 21, 2015, 11:26:29 AM
I just looked at the Mikes workshop furnace, and pretty much guaranteed that the Portland cement on the inside face has calcified and it's the clay and perlite that is now holding it together in the hot area. Still, if it works it works. The cement cures quickly to form, so useful that way, but you do need clay and perlite to make it work. Many have tried pure portland cement furnaces without understanding and those have failed over time or if overheated -- brass melting, etc.

I'm hoping that the sand/gypsum mix will allow bronze melting and steel forging as well as aluminum melting.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: ian_in_the_midlands on February 21, 2015, 02:57:47 PM
At the risk of hijacking the thread (maybe a new one should be started?), I thought I would mention my favourite 'don't try this yourself' Youtube video:

     


The fun starts at about the two minute mark.
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: awemawson on February 21, 2015, 04:07:56 PM
I can't believe he's pushing that through the table saw with his fingers and not a pusher - crazy man  :bugeye:
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: dsquire on February 21, 2015, 04:36:00 PM
At the risk of hijacking the thread (maybe a new one should be started?), I thought I would mention my favourite 'don't try this yourself' Youtube video:

     


The fun starts at about the two minute mark.

Ian

I guess that this lad has no future use for his hands and fingers. Some guys just don't seem too have much between their ears.  :zap:

Andrew

Not only the curved rails but also several other cuts are way above my comfort zone.  :poke:

Cheers  :beer:

Don

ps: Andrew, I had started mine before you posted yours.  :D
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: philf on February 21, 2015, 05:09:31 PM
Quote

I guess that this lad has no future use for his hands and fingers. Some guys just don't seem too have much between their ears


Although he did care about his ears - he was wearing ear defenders - bizarre!
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Eugene on February 21, 2015, 05:12:21 PM
Steve,

Thanks. Just what mix of Plaster of Paris and other thingies do you recommend? 'Tis all very confusing.

Eug

Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 21, 2015, 06:17:52 PM
Eugene, I really didn't mean to play down Mike's mix, if it sounded that way -- I realized after my first reaction to Portland that the clay and perlite were what made it work well, and the cement just gives it shape and quick drying. In back of the hot face I'm sure the cement is well insulated by the perlite, so unaffected. It's actually a smart mix, and I like it. I'm sure you can melt ALU well with that.

And to be even more honest at this point, I really can't recommend a poP mix, since I'm just trying one out now, but I promise to tell (and show) how it works out, good or bad. I'm using equal parts poP, sand, and cold water for my mix.

See here for whatever happens:

http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,10482.0.html
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: RussellT on February 22, 2015, 05:21:27 AM
Hi Steve

Have you considered High Alumina Cement instead of Portland - a bit harder to find but not that difficult here.

Russell
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: Eugene on February 22, 2015, 05:25:35 AM
I might just pick up on Norman's idea and use two or three pots of fire cement instead of the Portland in Mike's mix. I've got one to hand already.

Just to pick up me laddo in the video .... what a shame he shows such unsafe working practises. He's obviously a pleasant and inventive sort of cove with artistic talent and practical skills that I admire, but as the saying is "I've grown attached to my hands".

Eug
Title: Re: ALU melting
Post by: vtsteam on February 22, 2015, 10:14:04 AM
Eugene, I don't know what is available over there, or for him when Norman built his. I used perlite and tubbed Rutland brand (US) furnace cement on my first furnace as the lid (not the body, which was strictly fireclay and sand, per Gingery.)

I found that the lid cracked flaked off in chunks and deteriorated fairly quickly and I was patching it frequently. Here (and it may be different where you are) tubbed wet furnace cement is made up of sodium silicate (water glass) and clay. It's main use is in fireplaces between frebricks, where it is well protected.

The label heat rating isn't very high for a metal melting furnace. In short, it works for aluminum, or did for me, but isn't very refractory against furnace flames, and requires frequent patching in my experience (and the brand and type available). Your mileage may vary.