The Aluminum Foundry

Introduction: The Aluminum Foundry

I know there are tons of coffee can foundries on here but this one is a more permanent one. I basically just copied this guys. Be nice this is my first instructable, plus as I mentioned I am just telling my story of making this guys with a few of my own pearls of wisdom and experiences thrown into it. As this is a post creation instructable the pics and lack there of are a little weak.

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Step 1: Materials

1 - Stainless steel stock pot. Job lot around $7 bucks
Should be around {Ht 10in W 11in}

2 - High Temperature Furnace Cement (hardware store) Around $12 ea
Home depot plumbing section i think which i found odd, just ask some one for furnace cement. Its gotta contain silicates. I bought 2 64 oz tubes with a lot left over which is good for repairs it stays nice resealed in the tube after mixing.

3. Perlite like $10 bucks
first i found this at walmart but when i needed more i could no longer find it there so i went to plant depot. 18qt bag will be more than enough.

4. Buckets
for mixing i used 2, just pour back and forth while mixing

5. Paint can
118 oz full or empty, just a normal paint can.

6. 1 Stainless Steel Pipe 6in long 2in wide pipe with end cap.
Home depot again it was really cheap. wider is better. The original dude welded an end piece on a wider pipe but i have no welder so i just bought the stuff I think it was called a nipple or something.

7. 1 Stainless Steel Pipe 12in long 1in wide
right next to the other pipe at home depot.

8. 1 shop vac
I use a shop vac on blow cause i read somewhere probably from the same guy the hair drier didn't really do too well but you could try it.

9. Welding gloves
safety first

10. Something to grab the red hot steel pipe.
I bought some ancient metal working tong things at a flea market after I ended up wreaking a pair of welding gloves grabbing the crucible after we just started melting stuff because we were so excited and because my father doubted the foundries capabilities so i lit it prematurely to prove him wrong, you could weld your own contraption outta re bar or something. Make sure you figure this out before your first melt cause I'm telling you when its done you just wanna start melting.

11. Something to scoop out slag with
I use a bent stainless steel spoon, you wont need this if you use melt stuff this is pretty pure aluminum. Razor scooters w00t!!!

12. Aluminum to melt
As you can see i am a big fan of melting razor scooters, aluminum siding, cans, some engine parts. just scrounge some stuff up.

Step 2: Procedure 4 Mixing Cement & Perlite

Put cement in bucket add a little water. Now the dude i ripped this off from said:

"You will need about 1 part (by volume) of Furnace Cement for each 4 parts (by volume) of Perlite so for a two gallon bag of Perlite you will need a half gallon of Furnace Cement. If you use much less than four volumes of Perlite for each volume of Furnace Cement all of the passages between Perlite beads will be sealed and it will take a long time for the cement to set (it needs contact with air). If you use much more than five volumes of Perlite for each volume of Furnace Cement the resulting material will be quite weak. You will also want to have some Furnace Cement to use as a sealing coat on your lining."

I followed all of that.

also he said this

"The Furnace Cement has about the consistency of roofing tar and is very sticky. It is MUCH easier to work with if you add about 2 cups of water per gallon of cement. This makes it more like a thin plaster. A rubber spatula is good for getting the cement out of the plastic tub."

but forget the spatula use your hands but be warned it made my hands burn and itch around my nails no big deal but i figured I'd give you a heads up.The amount of water I added was way more than that and it came out fine just add slowly as you go along and you'll be fine.

Add the perlite slowly to the cement as you mix it.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Now get your pot.
Mark off 2in up from the bottom.
Then cut a hole for your 12in pipe above that line.
Fill to the line with the perlite mixture.
plop the paint can in the middle
Insert the 12in pipe into the hole pressing against the paint can
fill around the can with the perlite mixture
pull the can and pipe out cleaning up the hole
let it dry for a bit then drop in a few pieces of match light charcoal to cure it not too much and don't fan it too much or it'll dry too quickly.

Now for the lid you could use a cinder block. but what i did was:
I took the lid from the pot; cut a hole in the top around the existing handle which was in the middle of it.
Added some handles to the top with some screws then put a bunch more random screws in the lid.
Now something you need to know about mine is i ran outta the mixture while coating the pot so there was like 2in of the pot that was uncoated in the mixture. So after it was cured i filled it with sand to where the perlite mixture was put some serane wrap down and then filled with the perlite mixture using a Sterno can for the hole. Then just rammed the lid with the screws into it Yeah it was a bit ridiculous, but it came out great.
I would recommend doing something similar to my lid with the perlite mixture to capitalize heat retention.

Step 4: Melting

Put your crucible in the center
pop your 12in pipe to the edge of the inner wall
fill with match light charcoal
let it burn for a little bit before
popping your lid on and firing up your shop vac or hair dryer.
I have the shop vac like 4-5in away from the pipe, you gotta play with the distance depending on what your using and its power, you'll see what I mean.
Once the pipe is red hot your good too go.
Now mine gets red hot just as the charcoal runs out so i usually pop some more in there.

It's great fun and you could really end up making some useful and cool stuff check out this site for ideas and help. I mean you could just buy one off that site but for $400 bucks and they run off propane which you could just make this one run off a, and you wouldn't have fun making something truly unique.

I would recommend adding cans to already molten aluminum because cans like to burn. Also cutting the tops and bottoms make it more pure. Start with the tops and bottoms then add the center of the cans. I've melted an old razor scooter, that was the best cause the pipe just slowly slide down as it melted. Anything

Have fun be safe.

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    5 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 1

    hi i was just wondering if i could use some portland cement because i cant find furnace cement at my local hardware stores and i live in australia if you can suggest anyplaces that might sell it in victoria thanks in advanced


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Nah, I read some other Instructables and they said not to.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i am not sure how much to use, but sand foundrys are mixed with oil.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Your garage may be nasty, but no one should judge you for that.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I really like your idea about using the stockpot as I would think it would add a bit of strength for the long haul. You might check out your flea market again and see if you can find an iron ingot mold. They used to be popular for people who cast lead miniatures for their leftovers.