Who Here Has Melted Aluminum?

I had my dad weld up an ingot mold out of 1 1/2" angle steel, yesterday, and I started wondering. How many people have melted aluminum here? I have, but here its so hot (Florida...Southern Florida.), that its almost unbearable to melt it anymore. I'm getting into sand casting, and I was wondering if anyone had experience in that area. My .gifs are of my foundry, and how I made it. (they aren't exact)

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its a lion10 years ago
we went to melt some aluminum in the oven we had in class one day but it took it so long to get up to temperature, the aluminum was in there for about 5 minutes before the bell rang and we had to turn it off. about all it had done was turn bright red and had just started melting some of the really fine shavings.
my school has this kiln,it is so strong the teacher says it can even melt small pebbles
John Smith (author)  its a lion10 years ago
Was it an oven, or a kiln?
it was an oven. it was quite old, and took forever to heat up. probably the layers of ash that was caked onto the heating elements. surprised it never caught fire...
PKM9 years ago
I've melted small amounts of aluminium (scrap and cans) in a coffee can furnace, burning wood charcoal fired with a paint stripper hot air gun. I wasn't quick enough to get any decent casts out of it but made a nice vague ingot shape (shrank a lot, probably from insufficient de-slagging).
John Smith (author) 9 years ago

i have since switched to a propane burner. Details of it here:

I am Alt Ctrller there. Also on AIM.
darkanima939 years ago
I melt lots of metals lead, copper, Aluminum. but I use a plain old torch works good takes a few to heat up the Aluminum.
Sedgewick1710 years ago
I have melted aluminun and copper before using a coffe can furnace.Man was that fun to do.I am trying to build a real furnace sort of like the one in your GIF,but I can not find any fire clay were I live bescause no one has heard of it.
John Smith (author)  Sedgewick1710 years ago
If you go to your local well drilling place, they might give you a broken bag of bentonite, which can be used in place of fireclay.
Alright,I will check that out thanks.
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