I've seen a lot of cool videos about melting metals, so I tried to do it myself. I tried to craft totally free melting furnace from the backyard scrap. During the whole process I didn’t spend even a cent. I don’t think that I’ll use this aluminum and copper melting furnace for too long because in my opinion homemade metal foundry should be more efficient, safe, handy and of course multi-purpose. So, that’s just an experiment if I’m able to do this. In addition, this furnace will help me to test different mixtures on their ability to withstand temperature up to 1100 oC (or 2012 oF). Therefore, in the future I’ll be able to make much better furnace.
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Step 1: Making Furnace Frame and Lid From the Old Bucket
First of all, I took old steel bucket which was used as a garbage can. I made a hole for the pipe which should supply the air to the furnace. After that I made ventilation holes near the center of the pot lid which will cover our furnace. It will help gases to circulate.
Step 2: Building Furnace Walls for Additional Protection and Temperature Sustainability
Secondly, I took some bricks, which were left from our house building more than 30 years ago. These bricks should work as external walls of our furnace. According my plan, they will work for the temperature sustainability and of course as additional protection. They won’t be so hot as a crucible and all nearby objects. The bucket is rusted and in fact don’t have a bottom, that’s why we need such walls.
Step 3: A Crucible
After that, I made a crucible using a can from canned meat. I know that some people do such things but this was a mistake….
Step 4: A Blower!
As a blower, I decided to use old vacuum cleaner, which has the function not only to suck an air but also to blow it. I’ve decide that it’s better than hairdryer which many people use for that purpose. It worked fine, but it was too powerful for such a little furnace. I had to degrade its power.
Step 5: Charcoal As a Fuel
As a fuel, I used charcoal. It was made by myself using firewood as a raw material. In addition, when the experiment was in process I added several little pieces of coal. Coal has grater burning temperature than charcoal. I think it helped me to increase the temperature faster but it smelled awful and black smoke appeared.
Step 6: Beginning of Hot Testing
I've burned the charcoal and started to increase th temperature.
Step 7: Test Results
Finally, I melted aluminum but it burned through the hole in the can and casted on the bottom of the bucket. I took it and prepare to use it in the new crucible made of pipe.
Step 8: Second Attempt
After first fault, I've made new crucible and casted round aluminum ingot.
Step 9: Several Tips for Those Who Will Try Melting Aluminium or Other Metals the First Time.
1. In my opinion, it’s not a good idea to use a tin can as a crucible! Cans can be made of different tin thickness and soldered using various ways. And when you use charcoal it is hard to control the temperature and it’s easy to burn something you didn’t expect to destroy. :) If you have an opportunity, try to use something more reliable than a can.
2. Remember to do everything safely. Temperature is grate.