My PROPANE (!) Foundry

Hey, I'm sure you've read some of my other foundry questions and comments, so here's another. I have been using this with charcoal briquettes for quite some time now, and finally built a burner to convert to propane. I made my first melt with it earlier, and I don't think I'll ever switch back, no matter how high propane gets (price). I built a burner according to the instructions here, and it turned out fine, except that the flame won't leave the burner tube completely.
It fits pretty well in my helium tank foundry/furnace (a .gif on how I made it is below), heating it up to melting temps on full blast in probably <10 minutes. It is SO much cleaner, easier to make multiple melts( no refilling charcoal), and is alot quicker in starting and finishing a melt (no setting up blowers, positioning charcoal, and that stuff).

It was (at first) an easy choice to go with charcoal (cheap, could even be made for free), but after a couple melts, the fun got replaced by work, and I stopped melting metal. I discovered propane, built my burner for $35 total(including regulator) and was up and running within a day.
~$20 for a refill on propane when I run out is COMPLETELY worth it.

Sorry if this seems kinda persuasive, but I am trying to help either people on this site, or one of the countless wanderers from Google.

Some pictures of my testing (not my burning setup) setup are below.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 17Next »
Goodhart10 years ago
While working odd jobs in the neighborhood, I got enough money by the age of 15 to buy some smithy tools, a rivet forge and a small well used anvil :-) But then, we lived well out into the countryside too, farms all around....different mindset there.
John Smith (author)  Goodhart10 years ago
Sounds cool. I need an anvil badly, but all I can afford is the el cheapo cast iron Harbor Freight one.
Sadly my town is transforming into a city; old mom and pop stores are disappearing right before my eyes, and it is hard to find oddball items anymore.
I feel your pain. I can't find any of the oddball stuff I want, and garage sales aren't cutting it. sigh...
I know what you mean. The anvil I finally ended up with, was used at the machine shop of an automobile dealership, so it was used COLD all the time. The face was badly pitted and sunken in, but I wasn't going to do precision work on it anyway, not for awhile. So it served it's purpose. It cost me nearly $1.10 per pound: a 125 lb anvil came to about $135.00 they were going for about $2 per pound at some auctions. Getting it home was fun......(picking it up.....yeah I was lifting weights back then...was not easy).
John Smith (author)  Goodhart10 years ago
Wow, that's out my budget for sure.
Goodhart Goodhart10 years ago
Now that I think about it, since I was driving at the time, I must not have gotten the anvil until I was 16-17.....but I had collected most of my tools before then, even one of those "table" style vises (with the pole that gets buried into the ground)....swages, hardies, tongs etc. *sigh* I miss those days.....
ichiwazaryu9 years ago
Can you tell be more about the propanbe jet? I have one for a kiln that doesn't look like that, any idea if it would work? Do I need a high pressure valve too?
octavian2349 years ago
what if i took a coffee can and filled it with alcohol and then put in the crucible and finally the charcoal would it get hotter or blow up in my face
John Smith (author) 10 years ago
Ha, yeah, it takes time. Sometimes they'll never listen.
John Smith (author) 10 years ago
Haha, I knew you were 13; you've said it before. I've earned the respect of my parents. Over several years. First, I research something, then I mention it to my parents, letting them know about it, maybe getting them interested, then I mention it more and more until they finally know enough about it. Then, I ask if I can do it. Usually works. But, I need to know all of the pro's and con's about it, mentioning alot of pro's and a few WEAK con's. I make sure they are weak, that way they think that you are telling them everything. I do have pretty good parents, but they are only nice because I act nice back. I do what they say, and they appreciate that. My dad owns (and works at) a decent-sized (+1000 head) dairy barn, that has a shop building in it. They do a lot of repairs, and since it deals with food products, stainless steel and aluminum are used frequently. I scoop up the scraps. My stockpile is probably 5lbs raw scrap, and 2.98 lbs of ingots (measured yesterday). It is more than you'd think; aluminum is very lightweight. I haven't used cans so much, as they make an aluminum that shrinks like crazy, but I could if I wanted to.
1-10 of 17Next »