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For a long time I had been watching YouTube clips and reading about people making their own aluminum smelters and figured one day I would go ahead and make my own. Time passed and there was always another project or reason why I never got around to making one.

Then I decided one cold winter’s day to go ahead and make one so that it would be ready for spring when the weather turned better and I could go ahead and start melting the aluminum I had been collecting.

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Step 1: The Project Starts

The project started when a friend gave me an empty but new propane tank and I already had a full one for my barbecue along with a spare that will be filled in summer.

The first thing I did with it was give it a wipe over so that it was clean. Not a necessary step but it gave me a chance to examine it and decide upon the next stage.

Step 2: Some Health and Safety

Firstly some Health and Safety warnings: Propane under pressure is dangerous and there is a risk of fire and explosion if not dealt with in a safe manner. So it is important to ensure before producing any sparks while drilling or cutting to ensure the gas is removed and do all that you can to prevent any risks of explosion or fire. Do not smoke while undertaking the process of prepping the tank or while cutting into it.

There may also be residue inside the tank clinging to the sides of the inner walls that could possibly still be flammable even after opening it so be cautious and take care. Remember that it is a hazardous material and treat it with respect and caution.

Also remember that propane is bad for the environment when released directly so try and limit that by using it first for its intended purpose to limit the contamination. In other words use the gas and try to ensure the tank is completely empty.

Stay safe in all of your projects, remember if you get hurt, you wont be able to create things.

Step 3: First Things First

Ok so now on with the project we go. After inspecting the tank and deciding on how I wanted to progress I turned the knob on top to open and released the pressure. Even when empty there will be pressure built up inside from residue of compressed gas.

Step 4: Ensure All Residual Pressure Is Released

Now I was lucky as this tank has been stored covered and is basically a new tank, if you use an old one it may be harder to deal with along with being dirty and all bashed up.

The next step is to remove the pressure screw that on this model is located on the side of the brass section. I did this using a small screwdriver and because of the decent condition of the tank it was easy to just unscrew.

Again this model has one and because it was new and in good condition it came out very easily and there was a release of pressure as it popped out of place. Older ones may be in a different position or be hard to extract but it is best to do this whenever possible as the main section may not release all the built up gas.

Step 5: Remove the Brass Section

The next step and one that I forgot to take a photograph of was to remove the brass section on top. I did this by wrapping a thick section of cloth around the brass and by placing a length of metal pole through the holes on the side of the handle I bashed turning the brass and moving the pole to the next section until the brass came out. Now because this was a decent tank that was an easy thing to do.

Old ones may be harder to do as they corrode on top and the threads seize up. This is why some people drill holes in the tank to fill it with water. If you do this be very careful even though it is for the most part drained of gas it could still be a risk.

A slow speed drill that doesn’t spark would be best and if possible while doing that try and use water to wet as drilling to ensure no sparks happen.

Step 6: Fill Up With Water

Next I used the garden hose and filled the tank with water allowing it to over fill and pour out. The smell was strong to start with but soon it went away.

Step 7: Drain and Repeat Previous Step

I then turned it upside down and allowed the water to drain before I went ahead and repeated the process twice more. I then left the tank outside overnight as I was not in a rush to get it all done and that helped the smell and any excess vapors to dissipate.

Step 8: Getting Ready to Cut

The next day when I got home from work I took the tank back into the shed and resumed the project. I had decided where I wanted to cut and I could have used the grinder and metal wheel to cut it but instead I wanted to cut it by hand with a metal hacksaw.

This to me was a safer option, although at this point it seemed safe to use a metal disc and grinder I didn’t want the sparks to fly all over the place and also I wanted a more controlled cut that was as straight as possible. I began by marking off the section with painter’s tape that I had siting ion the shelf so that I could follow the line around as I cut.

Step 9: Cutting the Tank

I began the cut by slowly cutting away at the metal just deep enough for the blade to hold like a deep scratch and then began to roll it slowly around so that I had cut through the initial layer of paint and made a line. This helped keep it all straight and made it easier to cut through.

One tip I would give at this point is to place two sections of wood each side back and front of the tank so that it doesn’t move around while cutting and roll until you move it. So I continued the cut along the line rolling as each section was through. It didn’t take me as long as I was expecting and the cutting was relatively easy.

Step 10: Finished the Cut

The finished result was a decent straight cut as the sections came apart and also fitted back together well. If I had used a disc cutter then it would have been faster but the lines would have probably been wobbly along with lots of marks where it had slipped during the cut.

Step 11: Clean Up

The next stage was to remove the tape and clean up the tank so that it was nicer to work with and completely eliminate any risks from residue.

The tank was actually cleaner than I had thought it would be inside and there was no real residue clinging inside. I took it inside and washed the entire thing with dish soap and hot water before drying it off and returning outside.

Warning, before you do this make sure that you use an old washing scrubby and clean up inside or you may end up in trouble for making a mess in the kitchen.

Step 12: Worn Down But Worth It

Next I took a metal cleanup wheel, to start with it was a new one and about four inches but by the time I was done it was worn down and no longer had any use. I used a drill so that I could get inside as I cleaned down the tanks. At this point it was the only real cost involved and was around two dollars but worth it to ensure clean surfaces and safe edges.

Step 13: No Sharp Edges

I cleaned up the lips with a fine file and the grinding wheel so that they were free from snags and also more level. This will endure that the lid sits better and ensure that I don’t get any cuts while making or using the tank.

Step 14: Enlarging Top Hole

I then used a metal hole saw to enlarge the hole at the top of the tank. I wanted a hole big enough to feed sections of aluminum into the crucible while smelting and also to ensure good venting of fumes. After I had cut it out I filed down and cleaned it up to ensure a nice clean safe edge.

This was a little harder to do as there was no way to hold the pilot drill section inside so a few times the hole saw slipped but eventually it caught and cut out.

Step 15: Making a Hole for Air Pipe

The next step was to cut out the intake hole for the air to be blown in at the base of the tank. I marked out where I wanted it and used a three quarter inch hole saw to cut out a clean hole.

After I leaned it up and filed it down. I didn’t want it too high and cut it out so that once filled with the lining it would ensure I had a decent thickness on the base and it would blow in adequately.

Step 16: Making Inside Pipe Section

Now came the no weld pipe connection, as I have no welding equipment and did not want to use glues or anything that could cause an issue later I had to come up with a way to connect the in pipe securely. I collect scrap so after a rummage through what I had I found the suitable solution, a piece of heavy metal steel pipe from a bike seat.

Step 17: Inside Pipe Brass Connector

The idea I had was to use this bike seat piece of tubing to push firmly into a brass plumbing fitting that I had sitting in my collected fittings. Now the brass fitting was an additional cost even though I already had one from a past project and was not used it did cost around three dollars new from Lowes.

This section of pipe is for inside of the tank and will make the inside air inlet that will be surrounded by the lining. The first thing I had to do was file the pipe down enough for it to fit with some bashing into the brass section.

A tip, do not bash on the thread end or the thread will damage and be hard to use, instead wrap the brass with a cloth and then bash down on the pipe into the fitting to ensure threads aren’t damaged.

Step 18: Pipe Connector

Once I was sure the pipe would fit snug into the copper fitting I attached the fitting into the hole using two screw on discs, well actually they are more hexagonal than discs. They are actually intended for electrical use and used to clamp down conduit pipe. I had these spare from remodeling but new they are less than a dollar for the pair.

I screwed the first on, slid the thin end with the push part inside through the hole and then screwed and tightened as much as possible the other on the outside. There was a tiny gap between the tank and the seal but after adding lining it will be ok and cause no issues. It will also withstand any heat and not require any welding.

You could weld them if you have the equipment or use some form of metal bind but I didn’t see the point as it was tight and sealed enough.

Step 19: Snug Seal

From the inside the fitting is secure and a good seal and ready for the thick metal pipe section to be added to the inside.

Step 20: Insert Inner Pipe

Next I cut down the metal pole form the bike seat to a few inches, the thickness that I wanted the lining walls to be and then I bashed the pole into the fitting until it was secure and a tight fit.

Step 21: Top Lining Support

Then it was onto the top of the tank, I decide to leave the handles on as they would become part of the opening and closing features of the tanks and I had no reason to remove them. So I drilled some small holes and used long screws and bolts to insert four supports for the lining.

When heating and cooling the inside will expand and shrink and the last thing I want is for the lining on top to drop out while I’m melting so these will help hold it all in place. I decide to use four around the sides and two shorter on the top but more could have been used.

The lining mix will pour in over and around and seal them in. I added a few washers to the top short bolts just to get a better grip.

Step 22: Top Form

Now it was time for the forms to be made. I began by making the top form using old card rolled up and wrapped in painters tape. Once I was happy it was secured I then sealed up the outside with more tape so no mix would seep through.

Step 23: Main Form

I then made another form from card for the inside and figured out how thick I wanted the lining walls. I decided to go with enough space to ensure various crucibles could be used along with a decent amount of coal.

I also cut out an indent in the card for the inside section of pipe to barely feed into so that when poured the lining would not clog up the pipe section.

Step 24: Ready to Pour

I then covered the inside form with tape and positioned it loosely as I continued on to making the mix for the lining.

At this point I carried it all in to the house as it was freezing outside and my feet had begun to freeze. Also it ensured that the mix would be at room temperature and be easier to use. I allowed the tank to warm up before I began the process of filling it so that it would not cause any shrink later on.

Step 25: Refractory Mix

I had researched a lot of different types of refractory lining and had decided to use a cheap effective one seeing as this was the first time and I didn’t want to spend out on decent lining to find something go wrong and have to waste my money.

So I used a mix of fine play sand that I had siting in the shed, plaster left over from remodeling and a small amount of Bentonite clay that I had ordered for making green sand later on.

The mix ration I used was based on a fifty fifty equal mix of sand and plaster combined with enough water to make it a slop mix and then I added two cups of Bentonite clay at the end. It was not necessary to add the clay but I figured I had it so would use some to firm it up.

While mixing this all up make sure to wear a face dust mask as the plaster is very fine and you will end up inhaling it, also make sure that you clean up the dust that settled later on the counters so as to not get in trouble and mix up on a tarp or something suitable to ensure no trouble.

Step 26: Pouring Refractory Mix

Once the mix was ready to pour into the tank I began by filling the main section first to ensure I had made enough followed by the top. Thankfully I had made enough and had some left over that I discarded once dry.

I poured spare sand into the center to weigh down the form and prevent it rising as I filled it with mix,

Step 27: Top and Bottom Filled

Once both sections were filled I gave them a little shake to settle the mix to a level and then had to wait for it all to dry.

The room was a decent warmth because it was winter but I didn’t want it all to dry too quickly as it would cause the mix to crack so I wet it all down a few times during the drying time.

Step 28: Form Removal

Once the mix had set overnight I then went ahead and began to remove the forms from inside. The main section was heavy but had set well and once removed the inside looked good.

Sure there were a few indents where the card had warped a little but nothing to cause any issues.

Step 29: Clean Up

I then proceeded to remove the top insert and then cleaned up all the mess I had made along with giving the refractory a cleanup just to neaten it all up a little more.

Step 30: Air Pipe and Blower

The next stage was to add the air blowing pipes and blower. Many people had used hair dryers with cold settings on, but I did not have one and the cost of a new one was not something I wanted to pay and finding one at a thrift store didn’t happen.

So I used an air bed blower that I had in the shed. The force was decent and steady so I made up a connection set of pipes for it.

I set it up dry as in not glued first to see how it fitted and luckily the pipe was at the same level as the blower so it was straight.

Step 31: Air Pipe

Because I had used the threaded copper fitting I was able to buy two three quarter inch cast iron threaded fittings and a length of pipe that all screwed together.

The price was around six dollars from Lowes and made it easy to fix together. I tightened the metal pipes as much as possible as they would be staying connected and it ensured that I could screw in cpvc pipe easily.

Step 32: Attaching Blower

For the cpvc attachment section I used a cpvc push to male thread section on one end of cpvc pipe that would screw into the metal pipe.

I forgot to take a picture but I also made another section of pipe that this section screws into and then that section screws into the metal pipe just in case I needed to make the air in pipe longer. This was just in case the blower was too powerful and turned out I didn’t need it.

On the end where the blower fits I used a three quarter inch push to inch push fitting in cpvc. Now I had the pipe and most of the fittings in the shed form remodeling but the pipe length and fittings cost under ten dollars from lowes new.

The blower fit snug into the fitting and because level with the hole it sat nicely in place. I then went ahead and glued all the pieces together using cpvc cement and allowed them to dry.

Step 33: Making a Frame Base

Now that the main smelter was done I decided to make some additions to it.

The top is heavy and although I could pick it up I wanted some type of mechanism that would allow me to easily open and close especially when it was running. After a rummage through my scrap I came up with an idea and began to build something suitable.

I didn’t want to spend out on this and if I ever make another improved version I will probably spend out for things I don’t have and make an improved system of framing but for now this works for me.

I began with a heavy metal plate which is actually from an old bike stand that was being thrown out. It had some holes in it already and was a solid base for the tank to stand on and prevent the frame from flipping over.

Step 34: Frame Supports

As I mentioned I have no welding equipment so I was coming up with something that was no weld.

I intend to rectify this and learn how to weld at some point so future projects like this can be easier and have more solutions but for now this will do.

I began by using two sections of an old cast iron bed frame to make riser sections on the plate. Note old cast iron like this is hardcore, to drill through or even cut was a mission and in fact was the hardest part.

I ruined a few good metal drill bits trying to use this metal so instead of using it like I has seeing as I had a load of it I limited it to what I could get away with as I didn’t want to ruin even more bits.

Also cutting took forever so frustrated I found other solutions as I went along. I used some decent nuts and bolts through to secure the structure was secure and would take punishment over time.

Step 35: Handle and Tilt Frame

For the top section I used another part of the bike stand for a handle and attachment and only had to do a little drilling which was easy to make it usable for what I needed.

Step 36: Securing the Handle

The stand section had a curve to it so it was easy to drill and secure it to the original handle section of the propane tank and make it secure with a few nuts and bolts.

Step 37: Bracing the Frame

I then used a piece of metal that I had to brace together another section of the stand, I intended to use the iron bed frame sections but drilling holes was nearly impossible so I turned to a different solution.

If I could have I would have used them and welded them but alas I had to do something different. I then secured it all together with some nuts bolts and washers.

Step 38: Big Bolts and Washers

I then used these bolts, nuts, washer and small tube pieces to make pivots so that the frame would be movable back and forth and would last over time, also it helped fill the gap between the frame with minor bending

Step 39: Attaching Moving Frame Section

I then positioned the frame together and secured using the bolts and tube so that it would move back and forth but yet remain secure as it held any weight.

Step 40: Sturdy Moving Bolts

The bolts system worked and I only had to bend the frame slightly for it to be a snug fit and should ensure that it withstands the abuse from moving the top back and forth.

Step 41: Top Moving Frame Section

I then used two more sections of cut down bed frame to attach the top of the propane tank to the frame and used another bolt, washer nut set to enable the lid to be tilted before it is drawn back.

Step 42: All Together

Then it was all done and put together, after an initial inspection and tightening of bolts I added a little thread lock here and there and it was ready to go.

Step 43: Easy Open and Close

I tested the system out and was pleased that the lid now tilted all the way back away from the tank and was far easier to use than just lifting the top on every time I wanted access to the inside.

Step 44: Painted Up

To finish it all off I spray painted the entire thing with a basic auto grey undercoating. I had already done it to tank and it made it all look clean and unified. Now the whole thing won’t if made correctly get hot enough on the outside for this paint to be an issue and it makes it all look much nicer.

Step 45: Getting Ready to Fire It Up

Now at this point I will say I had no intention of melting with the smelter yet, it had snowed and I had no real area to start smelting along with no crucible to use.

But I wanted to test it out first to see how well it heated up and if it needed any changes.

Step 46: Fired Up

I also wanted to dry it out completely, due to being outside it had absorbed some moisture and well I wanted to fire up my creation.

So I used wood coal brickets, not the solid brickets that I intend to use when smelting but I had a bag of wood clumps coal from summer left over and I loaded it up and light it.

Step 47: Getting Hot

To start with the coals got hot quickly just like on a barbecue and when I turned the blower on it was soon light well and on its way to getting hot. So I popped the lid on and stepped back for a few minutes.

Step 48: Real Hot

Soon the smelter was real hot and burning well, the air was pumping well and there was no smoke.

There was a load of steam coming from the refractory and by heating it up like this I was driving the steam out and curing inside completely.

I was pleased with how it was performing and after it had all burned up the inside had held up well and is now ready to be fired up once I make a crucible later on when the weather gets better.

Step 49: Air Unit Modifications

There was a modification that I made to the blower for two reasons. Firstly the blower I had was one that plugged into a car charger. So I had been using a power pack to plug into.

Now this is good because the power pack I have lasts a very long time and has both regular plug and car adapter plug so I can transport should I ever find myself needing to be smelting somewhere I don’t have power.

But I wanted to be able to plug into a decent extension cord. Secondly the blower made some real noise a sit was old and had years of abuse.

Step 50: New Blower

So I spent out one evening when I was in the clearance section of my local Walmart and noticed they had a new blower for five dollars. It came with a variety of attachments that pushed onto the blower.

This means I can use one for my creation and still use the blower for other things.

Step 51: Selecting the Best Attachment

I selected the one that I wanted and the one that I would have the least amount of other uses for and decided it was now going to be permanent secured to the inlet pipe.

Step 52: Minor Modification

I could have left the end nipple bit on but decided to cut it off for no real reason.

Step 53: Fixing on Atachment

I then glued it into the pipe so that now it just pushes onto the blower and is one less piece that can get lost when I dismantle the pipe section.

Step 54: Finished Modification

Now it all fits together snug and level and will last longer, hopefully it will do the job for a while.

I did keep the additional section of extending pipe so that if this blower due to being newer is more powerful I can extend the pipe and lessen the air blast into the smelter.

Step 55: Fired Up and Running

In this short movie, the creation is fired up and running well, although it seems like smoke is coming out, it is actually steam being driven out of the refractory.

The annoying noise is due to the fact that I used the old worn out air blower while recording and have not yet made a new one using the new and quieter air blower.

Step 56: Final Thoughts and Notes

So after completing the build, testing it all, cleaning up and being happy with the results. I packed it all away in the shed ready for when I have a suitable crucible to start melting the aluminum that I have building up.

For my first time making one I am happy with the smelter and it should perform adequately for what I want. However even though I haven’t used it at this point for melting I am already thinking about getting welding equipment, learning how to weld and keeping things I find along the way with the aim to make something better maybe further down the line.

Step 57: Additional Information

ADDITION: So I created this in winter and wrote all this shortly after, since then I have actually used it to melt aluminium. It worked very well but there was an issue with the crucible that I made, the aluminium melted real quickly and was all looking great until the crucible failed and filled the base of the lining with solid aluminium.

I am currently looking into a better crucible idea while trying to refrain from spending out too much on a suitable solution. The problem is I have had issues with the crucible that I punctured being too eager to melt.

So for now I have repaired the damaged refractory and once I have a suitable crucible I will video and photograph it all in action.

Step 58: NphRandom

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<p>for when you put bolts on the top half why not add metal clips like the ones on trumpet cases to keep it down</p>
<p>Use a fire extinguisher for your crucible.... they are perfect</p>
<p>As for adjusting the air flow rate, you can drill a series of holes in your feed pipe and place a sliding sleeve over it, thusly making it fully adjustable.</p>
<p>Another option is something like the 555 timer based motor speed controller circuit on the net (see my hot wire cutter), I used a 16A fet on it and it handles 24v also, great for auto use for controlling anything even 12v items at 24v. My solar setup is 12v and the truck is 24v.. I have a leaf blower running on one.</p>
What do you make a crucible out of?<br>I've read that a steel crucible eventually dissolves into the aluminium and you have to get a new one(also the steel getting into the aluminium will make the alloy structure different).<br><br>I have looked into graphite crucible but they seem like a lot of work to maintain and cost a lot.<br>
<p>The only two options that I have found out about are steel and graphite, the graphite ones don,t need much maintenance really just clean them up, but they do cost a ton, however you get what you paid for and they last a long time. That is why foundry's and pro people use them, plus they take a higher heat so can be used to melt gold, steel etc.</p><p>As for steel dissolving into the aluminium, that I have never heard of and there is over a thousand degrees difference in temp for melting steel, even small amounts wont begin to melt until they reach at least 2600 while aluminium melts very easy at 1220. One thing i have never had is steel melt and mix with aluminium, the problem comes with using too thin steel like a tin or something that is so thin it basically breaks because it ruptures from the heat.</p><p>I made a crucible using a small colemans gas tank, it was real good, worked great however my smelter was so hot and it glowed like steel does when you go to hammer and work with it. I was eager and pushed a thick chunk length of aluminium down forcing it in and ended up tearing the base, sooo, yea aluminium filled the base. I am sure that if I had just left it and not been so forceful it would have worked.</p><p>I am currently looking for an empty fire extinguisher as the walls are thicker and would work better, but if i cant fond one i will but a small section of wide steel thick pipe and a steel plate and have someone weld the two together.</p><p>Below is a picture of what happens when you force a piece of long thick aluminium down and puncture the red hot crucible. I am actually going to put up the step by step of how i made it as i think if not forced and punctured it should still be an ok crucible and will show how they can be made along with be a cautionary tale for others.</p>
what I read was that the heat causes the steel to rust faster then normal, the iron oxide flakes off into the aluminium and contaminates it that way(does not melt the steel).<br><br>I am familiar with the melting point of metals, so I was looking for an alternate crucible that would not break the bank, contaminate my aluminium, and have to be replaced every ten melts due to the heat induced rust.<br><br>My thoughts were on possibly coating a steel crucible with a heat proof material, but I have yet to find anything that will work.<br><br>Thank you for the quick response, interesting story about pushing it to hard, I'll remember that.
Cast iron crucible works for me... It will sustain the melting of copper and mild steel (tin) properly seasoned between uses keeps the aluminum from adhering, and from rust forming. It also holds the heat much better, cutting down smelting time, and keeps the metal molten as you pour into your molds... I also use cast iron molds (old cornbread molds) so my castings look like small pieces of corn or hearts...season hot cast iron with beeswax, excellent release agent and prevents rust
<p>a forge is on my 'wanna build' list along with. . . </p><p>Don't know if this technique will work but when melting lead I used to coat the mold with carbon from an oxy/acetylene torch - acetylene only, no oxygen. The lead popped out of the mold like the Teflon pan commercials. The carbon coat lasted forever unless damaged in storage. </p><p><strong>Melting Point:</strong> 3823 K (3550&deg;C or 6422&deg;F) - should work</p>
<p>Thank you for the comment, I will keep an eye out for cast iron items.</p>
<p>See if you can find a ceramic based refactory mix. Used inside of a thick steel vessel, it would make contamination from rust a non-issue.</p>
thanks for the comment that is a good idea to consider.
<p>You don't need to get the steel up to its melting point in order for it to be dissolved by the aluminum. This can happen with any dissimilar metals when the alloy of those metals has a lower melting point than that of the metal with the higher melting point. The alloy is continuously formed at the interface between the solid metal and the liquid metal. The alloy then melts and flows away from the solid metal leaving exposed fresh metal to be converted into alloy. You can demonstrate this by heating lead or tin until liquid in a copper crucible. Both lead and tin have melting points far lower than copper, but eventually the tin or lead will eat a hole through the copper and pour out. A copper pipe slip cap fitting can be used for the copper crucible. Obviously, do this experiment over a bucket of sand.</p>
<p>Thank you for the comment and interesting information.</p>
<p>I like the fire extinguisher idea. I am part of a volunteer fire brigade and we are always getting out of date ones dropped of by local service agents. I would approach your local service agents to see if you can get an out of date one. CO2 extinguishers have a better shape for a crucible</p>
thanks for the comment and that is a great sugestion, i didnt even think about asking my volunteer friend if he can get some so will ask him in the morning, thanks for that suggestion.
<p>Be careful with the welded on bottom piece. If one piece of steel heats faster than another repeatedly, the whole weld can fail. If that were to happen right before you go to pour, you could have what is commonly known as &quot;a very bad day&quot;.</p>
<p>Thanks for the comment, that is a concern for sure, I have considered that happening so I am looking more to using something that is already one complete piece like an exstinguisher or maybe just pay out for a graphite one. Have enough bad days as it is lol.</p>
<p>I've used a 2.5&quot;ID cast iron cap and pipe. It was a bit expensive, and hard to get to temperature in my furnace, but its rock solid. Cast iron melts at a lower temperature than steel, but still much higher than aluminum.</p>
Then drill though it
Brush stale is wooden handle of a yard brush cut a little off the end and hammer it in
<p>I have made a smelter unit myself that is fired by propane for melting aluminum, I took a small automotive steel body fire extinguisher cut it down and it makes a great crucible. The melting point for aluminum is much lower than for steel.</p>
<p>You might consider using tanks that are sold containing either helium (for balloons and parties ) or air conditioning refrigerants. The latter are especially easy to get from any automotive shop that refills auto AC systems. By law, they may not be refilled, so you are doing the shop a favor by hauling them off.</p>
Easy way on a gas bottle to give a pilot for the hole saw is to hammer an inch long piece of brush stale or equivilant diameter dowel then drill through the centre of the dowel ? job done
What is &quot;brush stale&quot;....thanks
<p>&quot;equivilant diameter dowel&quot; I think a stale is a handle ie a broom handle, mop handle</p>
<p>As an alternative to adding more pipe to reduce your air pressure you might try adding a &quot;T&quot; to the straight pipe. You could then cap the T or not to change air pressure. This would keep the whole set-up a bit more compact. With a threaded cap and a split at the end of the &quot;T&quot; pipe you could gain some adjustment capability. I suggest this presuming that the air pump you have has only 1 speed. </p>
<p>Hello and thank you for the comment and interesting information, that is actually a really good idea and would be a simple solution to control the air flow.</p>
<p>Forgot to tell you - the best(really the most likely) way to find a steel frame/ parts from a bicycle these days - look for a BMX-style bike that is set-up for trick riding. (Only one pair of gears, axle extenders on the wheels, and no brake controls on the handlebar.) Some trick BMX-ers use handlebar brakes, but it is kinda rare, because unless a special attachment is used, they cannot spin on the front tube for their tricks.</p>
<p>You should know that most cheap bikes bikes are now made using alloys. That includes the seat post. You may not have a steel post - it could be any number of alloys, even an alumininum alloy.</p>
<p>I recently prepared an old propane tank for cutting. I could not unscew the whole top valve but I did unscrew the valve stem handle and the pilot purge screw. I found that ordinary aquarium air hose could be pushed into the tank through the valve stem hole. I then hooked up an aquarium air pump and let it purge the tank overnight (upside down). Using the same air line I figured out a way to hook the tubing up to a water line and then filled the inside of the tank with water and emptied it several times, which in the end does a good job of removing any traces of propane.</p>
<p>Purging a propane tank</p>
<p>I'm actually kind of surprised that you used a propane tank for this forge and didn't consider using propane to fire it! It would be trivial to convert what you have to propane/air and since that is the combination most blacksmiths use I would think that it would provide for a more useful configuration.</p>
hello thanks for the comment, i am considering making a gas fired one at some point. I didnt make a gas one this time because coal is cheaper and also being a first project like this i was unsure about it all plus wife was a little cocerned lol. But i do really want to make a gas one and if i do i will make sure to research it all first.
Just a little niggle, it's melting, not smelting. Smelting is converting ore (bauxite in this case) to metal. A whole other deal....
<p>Thank you immensely for an outstanding instructable and engineering. I can't praise the entire project appropriately, but will just say Thanks!</p>
How would you go about cutting the Coleman gas can? I have an empty one that I'd love to use as a crucible. Thanks
<p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Small-Propane-Tank-Crucible-No-Weld/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Small-Propane-Tank...</a></p><p>Thank you for the comment and that is a link to a crucible that I made and then re-made after stupidly piercing the first one.</p>
<p>Melting aluminum is risky business. Before you do that be sure to read up on thermite. Thermite makes use of a mixture of iron oxide and powdered aluminum. A special ignition mixture is used to ignite it and piece of magnesium foil used to ignite that. Thermite is used to weld or fill in voids on big ship propellers, weld heavy ground cables to ground rods for lightning protections, stuff like that. Anyway a thermite reaction only needs an iron crucible and bunch of aluminum and oxygen in the air all heated up to a good high temperature. A thermite reaction can spontaneously occur. It happened in a school shop's forge room once when I was in the shop area. All of a sudden there was a heck of a bright flash in the forge room. Fortunately no one was in that room at that moment. The iron ladle and aluminum vaporized inside the gas furnace. </p><p>So what could have prevented that nearly disasterous event? It's rather simple. You carefully coat the inside of the iron crucible or ladle with something called whiting. I believe whiting is a mixture of lime and water made into a thin paste. it's been a while (54 years ago). I would chat with the people at a place doing metal casting to find out what the current trend is toward that. There may be new coatings and they may sell you some. All the best with that, Aluminum casting was one of the highlights of the years I took metal work classes in school shop.</p>
<p>Hello and thanks for the comment and thank you for this piece of great information, hope you have anice remainder to your day.</p>
<p>&quot;fit with some bashing into the copper section,&quot; ??</p><p>You Mean &quot;Brass&quot; Section surely ?</p><p>As In The Brass Fitting For Copper Pipes !</p>
<p>Hello and thanks for the comment, I have changed that section to Brass, I titled it with brass but for some reason I was saying copper, thank you for pointing that out.</p>
<p>I sold propane for a living. So here a few facts to keep you safer. Propane with the right amount of oxygen really goes boom. Propane is heavier then air so will sink to the floor and build up from there, (you can fill a glass with vapor, but don't). That is not a 'pressure screw' but a spit valve, it connects to a small line that is deeper into the tank then the valve itself, and when filling the tank will give you an indication of how full the tank is by spitting liquid. (you are supposed to fill it by weight, with a scale) You were correct it is best to consume the gas rather then dump it, as it involves less gas that way. </p><p>Being heavier then air with only vapor left in the tank, with the valve open you invert the tank and stand it on the handles. ALL the gas remaining liquid, or vapor will settle out. Sorry the stink will remain as it is NOT part of the gas and is only added so you know the gas is around. Invert the tank several hours or over night, remove the valve and do the water flush a few times to keep the stink off of you. In its raw form the oder is hard to get off you hands and clothes. Be safe, be cautious, we only get one life to live.</p>
<p>Thank you for the detailed comment, it is always nice to hear from those who actually have real experience with things like using propane. Safety is very important and I have never been one to rush into something or take unnecessary risks. I figured the smell was an additive like in regular home gas as natural gas has no smell. Again thanks for the good onformation.</p>
Great logical presentation including photos. I'm saving this for my research. TY
<p>Thank you for the comment, glad you like it.</p>
<p>Very nice instructable. I have several old tanks and fire extinguishers. The only thing stopping me is the 100 other projects in front of me. Thank you for taking the time to post this instructable.</p>
<p>Thank you for the comment, I know the feeling of so many projects it seems there is always something else that catches my eye along with those projects that pop up that take priority, hope you find some time to have a go and good luck with all youre projects.</p>
<p>Nice furnace! I built a similar one a while ago, and it appears in some of my Instructables. I bought a clay-graphite crucible from budgetcastingsupply.com and have not had it fail over the &gt;20 pours I have used it for. I would recommend them, as their prices were not too high. My crucible holds about 700g of aluminum.</p><p>Also, if y it are getting into welding, grab some steel stock and make some lifting/pouring tongs. I had a friend make some for me and they are very useful for the more fragile clay-graphite crucible.</p>
<p>Hello thanks for the comment, I think I may get a graphite one eventually, for now I will play around with some other ideas and if Ii am allowed will invest in some welding stuff and do as you have suggested and make some good tongs along with a load of other things i am sure.</p>

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Bio: NphRandom is just that very Random. Here on Instructables NphRandom is an outlet for uploading and sharing some of my Project content, that include but ... More »
More by NphRandom:Small Propane Tank Crucible (No Weld) Tools For Use With Propane Tank Smelter (No Weld) Propane Tank Aluminium Smelter (No Weld). 
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