Introduction: Valentines Day - Aluminum Heart Chain

In this Ible I will provide a short summery of a cool project for Valentines day, metal casting is one of many hobbies that I have and when I do have some spare time I like to cast some aluminum objects. In the next steps I will briefly explain how I created an aluminum heart chain using recycled scrap aluminum.

This is the first time I tried to use the lost foam casting process usually I use the traditional sand casting process, basically the main part is taking Styrofoam placing it in casting sand and pouring molten aluminum over it...well more or less ;-).

The molten aluminum vaporizes the Styrofoam and the molten aluminum fills the shape of the previews Styrofoam. I decided to use foam hearts for this project linking them together into a heart chain.

To connect all the foam hearts I used ordinary craft sticky glue and it worked very well. For the fist casting I used Green sand oppose to oil bonded sand.

Step 1:

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To be honest I didn't invest much in the first lost foam casting attempt and the results speaks for themselves with massive casting defects, so I decided to try again and this time to use oil bonded sand.

Step 2:

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I created a new Styrofoam hearts chain and this time combined donuts Styrofoam links between the hearts, the links where a bit tight but I took into consideration that they might fuse with the hearts. For the sand casting I used Oil bonded sand that is much easier to use and mold around the the Styrofoam hearts.

Once all the hearts where in place in the sand I glued the sprues where the molten aluminum was poured into. I was not sure if this casting would turn out but I had no doubt that it will be more successful the the first attempt. And it was indeed!!

Step 3:

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I opened the sand flask and carefully released the solid casting from the sand and there I revealed a really nice aluminum heart chain coming out of the smoke ;-)

The aluminum casting turned out very well and I was extremely happy with my 2nd ever lost foam casting attempt. Now the next step was cutting the sprues and cleaning the extra aluminum.

Step 4:

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To cut the extra sprues I used my electric reciprocating saw, its quick and effortless. After cutting the extra aluminum I gave it a final clean with an angle grinder and aluminum discs scaling the grits.

* On the safety side I do recommend to use high grade face mask during the aluminum pouring process and during the aluminum cleaning part.

Step 5:

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In the next images you can see the end results of my first aluminum heart chain, great gift for Valentines Day made from recycled scrap aluminum.


loony1 (author)2017-02-12

REALLY cool, complex casting project! I work in a Foundry and am always impressed with personal casting projects. This one really takes the cake! Thanks for sharing!

NutandBolt (author)loony12017-02-12

Hi loony1, Thanks for your comment I highly appreciate it coming from a specialist in the trade, indeed it was a bit more challenging casting then my usual sand casting ones ;-)

Bruce_T_NZ (author)2017-02-11

Very nice work indeed. Not an easy task and you did a great job

NutandBolt (author)Bruce_T_NZ2017-02-11

Hi Bruce_T_NZ, thanks for your comment ?

mrsmerwin (author)2017-02-10

I love this. If my dad were still around I would have one.

NutandBolt (author)mrsmerwin2017-02-11

Hi mrsmerwin, thanks for your comment I am happy you liked the project.

About This Instructable




Bio: Couple of years ago I created my metal casting blog and over the years I uploaded many projects, my main goal is to increase the ... More »
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