Driveway Aluminum Foundry

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Introduction: Driveway Aluminum Foundry

This is made out of a coffee can, popcorn tin, and an industrial blower. The crucible is an iron pipe reducer and plug. It is fueled by charcoal. I will be uploading more pictures tomorrow.

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    17 Discussions

    Wow. That's awesome! My dad worked in a foundry for years and when I told him about people doing this he said they must have charcoal confused with actual coal like they used. I guess the blower is what makes it so hot.

    Well, for aluminum you only need to get it to about 1220.58 degrees F... A typical backyard tree burning fire gets up to like 1500 or so. More than enough to melt Aluminum. Of course if you were to melt steel or such you would need flames far more hot about 1000 more degrees.

    I agree with Fenris the bbw - I have always read that you should not pour aluminum over a concrete surface, as the concrete could explode (you may want to consider moving your foundry off of your driveway)

    That aside, NICE setup!   Once we have our house renovation done, I have a spot in the back yard where I hope to set up a furnace and start melting dead hard drives.

    1 reply

    before you melt down the platters look into reclaiming the outer foil layer its a platinum alloy = $$$!   I used to melt mine down and always wondered why the resulting AL looked so nice.  About 2 dozen+ down the drain big time dough, dough!  live and learn like they say.

    Nice. : ) Using wet sand isn't dangerous, I always use wet sand. The real danger is in pouring molten aluminum over a non-porous surface such as concrete, steel, or wood. The steam can't escape like it can in sand so it just expands under the metal, throwing it everywhere in a red-hot fire storm of death. Do you know what that popcorn tin is made of? I might incorporate one into my foundry if it works well.

    2 replies

    A quick note on using wet sand. If you get it too wet, it will stick to whatever you're using to mold the sand with. If you're trying to make a mold by pressing a shape into the sand, it might mess up.

    That's really neat! Keep up the good work =)

    Looks like your sand didn't hold together too well... You need to add bentonite and water, this bonds the grains of sand together. Then you can push any shape in, and it will hold nicely.

    For my ingot mould, I welded the ends of some angle iron off, lay it on it's side, and made a base for it. Does the trick nicely!

    3 replies

    There wasn't a mold in the sand. I was just using it to pour into. Couldn't adding water cause an explosion since it would boil the water?

    Just don't make it sopping wet. It would be like water in hot grease. The sand mixed with crushed clay kitty litter and just enough water to make it damp works OK.

    "damp" may be the wrong word... mix slowly and throughly, until it just begins to bind. Think more like a dry snowball, rather than sandcastle. It should hold together when you squeeze a handful hard and break pretty cleanly into two pieces. if it crumbles, it's still too dry, or you didn't use the right binders.