A charcoal forge for casting aluminum electrodes and casings can be made from a blow dryer and some clay bricks. Aluminum scrap comes in a variety of forms, mostly involving impurities of one form or another. This scrap can be reduced to (more or less) pure aluminum oxide (what we commonly call aluminum is actually aluminum oxide) by smelting it and removing the impurities which float to the top. The molten metal can then be cast into forms which are convenient for use in low and medium voltage al-air or al-oxide energy generation systems as well as other casting applications.
Unlike many other forges this one can be reasonably used in a residential environment without attracting undue attention from the neighbors. It's not particularly noisy and doesn't project huge fiery jets. It doesn't require permanent construction or a specialized installation. It can be put together, used and torn down in a single afternoon.
I really like many of the propane designs I saw but most people don't have a propane burner or nozzle assembly to spare so I decided that design which leveraged existing BBQ technology would be more widely useful.
The mandatory note: I believe the insurance company add that says 25 burned down their houses attempting to deep fry turkeys. Don't be an idiot.
No blow dryers were injured in the making of this instructable if would be nice if folks who tried this exercised great care and caution and no humans get injured in trying to do this.
As promised in the title the key are ingredients are common red clay bricks and a household blow dryer.
23 ordinary red clay bricks. I had some used brick laying around but new brick from Home Depot costs about 17 cents each. You can get firebrick if you want (I didn't). The concrete bricks would probably be okay but I can't speak to that.
An ordinary blow dryer. You can pick up a cheap one at Walmart or Target for around $15 or you can use on that you have. It will not be damaged or changed in this process.
A coat hanger
A BBQ grill at 18 inches in diameter. When all was said and done I used the top grill from my Weber, you will learn more about this decision in the next step.
Charcoal or biochar briquets, the charcoal must be sufficiently formed to rest on the fire grill.
A 30oz steel can. I happened to use Rosarita Refried Beans, this is a standard super market can size and almost any 30oz can should do. A small size may be used but for this design the 30oz is appromiximately the largest size that can be accomodated.
A catalog or magazine, preferably with slick, glossy pages ( clay paper ). We actually only need one page from it which will be damaged in the process.
A long handled tea spoon or small ladle for removing slag.
A 1 foot or so piece of steel pipe of approximately the same diamater as the blower tube on the blow dryer is convenient. Different diameter pipe may be used but if so a smaller diameter should be chosen.
A 2 foot or so wooden stick or pole that can be used in handling the crucible.
A can opener. I didn't show all the tools needed but I'm showing off the fancy, shmancy one I have...
Okay now if we've got all the bits together let's make a furnace...