I’ve welded a steel mold for casting ingots from metal scrap. I’m planning to use it mostly for pouring brass, aluminum, bronze and copper.

Step 1: Easier to Work With Lead

Now, I’ll test my new steel mold by casting lead. If something goes wrong it’ll be much easier to work with lead which has 327.5 C° (621 F) melting point than with other metals. I covered all inside surfaces of a mould with slack lime. It should prevent any metals sticking.

Step 2: Nothing Unexpected Has Happened

During the test, nothing unexpected has happened. It was easy to take out a bar when it cooled down.

Step 3: ​The Weight

The weight of the lead ingot is 1.142 kg (or 2.5 lbs). In the future, I’ll try to use this steel mold for pouring other non-ferrous metals.

what do you coat the mold with to avoid the lead from sticking?
Hi robojeron. I used slack lime to prevent sticking. This material is used even on metallurgical plants. Molds made of pig iron on iron and steel works are covered with this chemical. It's very cheap and could be bought in building material stores.
<p>I welded up some scrap steel angle iron as a &quot;U&quot; and capped the ends to give me a mold for rectangular solid aluminum bar stock, works great too. The rounds and rectangles that I cast for myself are beginning to pay off now, having a selection on hand means I can get on a project as soon as the mood strikes me. ☺</p>
<p>Yes. That's also a good idea. I've made it from channel bar (U-section) and welded sides. Do you use it for aluminum, brass casting or both? I polished surfaces, made angles but still afraid that when casting copper or brass, metals can stick together. On iron and steel works slack lime is used on iron molds to prevent metals welding. And of course they pouring steel which has +300-500 degrees to the copper melting point. Nevertheless, iron of course is much better for casting purposes than steel. I make new smelting furnace, so now can't test this mold by casting aluminum and other metals. Believe to do this in 2 weeks if my furnace doesn't crack during drying and testing. :) </p>
<p>My furnace is just a basic open forge cup, not very efficient so the best I can do is aluminum melts. I use wood as a fuel, it gets me what I want, and is free, I use old 1 quart saucepans as crucibles too, all in all it's a surprisingly effective setup. My main patterns are lost foam type since I do mostly one- offs, I hotwire knife instead of woodcarving the shapes I need. I have about 80 pounds of clarified aluminum ingots on hand with about another 80 of bits broken up and ready to process, I'm choosy about the source and have mostly die or sand cast bits that I have recovered for this use. It's a fun hobby and if good safety practices are followed, it is a very satisfying one too, diverting scrap from the waste stream.</p>

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