Smelting Aluminum Cans to Ingots


Introduction: Smelting Aluminum Cans to Ingots

About: I'm a Furniture maker and inventor

Ingots are blocks of pure aluminum that can be remelted easily.

Step 1: Equipment Needed for Smelting.

First you need your safety equipment. "Safety First" Eye protection, Leather Gloves ( Temperatures getting past 1240 degrees Fahrenheit your hand will need them.), Long sleeve shirt and pants.(Ember do sometimes fly out of the Furness, along with it getting very hot.), and a pair of shoes(foot protection).

Next you need is a Furnace. this is something that you put your wood, charcoal, coal or heating material in with the crucible. The crucible is where you put your aluminum to be melted. It doesn't have to have the cement or plaster lining the inside but this helps make it hotter and last longer. It also needs to have a hole in weather the bottom or the side at the bottom for your air source.

Air source: I use a shop vac with the hose so it blows. you can also use a hair drier. A PVC pipe can be added to the end so it doesn't melt.

Fire starter: matches lighter...etc

Tools: You'll need a way to pull the Crucible such as pliers and a way to scrape the slag off the aluminum.

Oh if you missed it wood charcoal, or coal.

Water or fire extinguishing system.

Step 2: Set Up

Choose safe area.
Put crucible in Furness with burning source (wood).
Put air source blowing into the hole on lower part of Furness. Put aluminum in crucible. Light wood, and wait for good fire before turning on air. Wait for aluminum to melt.

Step 3: Slag Removal

Using tool, remove all the lumpy slag from the aluminum.

Add baking powder and mix to remove air and trapped gases that may cause air holes in metal later.

Add low salt to make the aluminum more fluid.

Step 4: Pour Into Ingots

Pour into cupcake pan for small ingots or into mold to make things. My next instructions will tell how to make green sand molds and loose sand molds. Add water to cool down faster. (WARNING): Cracks may occur when adding water and cooling metal quickly. Ingots are ok but parts you may want to cool over time.

Step 5:



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    14 Discussions

    yes wood is what I use the most...easier to get and cheaper..partical board is also good is you see bad furniture on side of road...I've gotten it hot enough to melt holes in some Good crucible and melt steel and copper ...don't underestimate wood.

    Did you get a hot enough fire from just wood?


    2 years ago

    Good info, but please, learn how to spell "furnace" (et al) :

    Good job, Dave

    You absolutely NEED a respirator when working with molten aluminum, even when working outdoors.

    5 replies

    No you don't.

    Aluminum doesn't give off toxic gas. As long as you don't breathe it in directly your fine.

    Exterior is paint, interior is plastic. Not harmless, but no more dangerous than the smoke from an average campfire.

    You don't need a respirator during this process. When you start from the ore you do. Second for the average person that will be doing this outside because we'll not very smart indoors with the smoke and ashes....think about it.

    Old barbecues are a good source of aluminum. They break up easily with a hammer and smells good when you melt it. :-)

    Yes but you can use bread pans or anything like that. Mine is just temporary till I make parts later.