If you’ve been metalworking for a while now, and are looking for a new project to challenge yourself, perhaps you’ve considered creating your own foundry from scratch. Aluminum is an extremely versatile and common metal, so creating your own furnace to melt and cast aluminum may be the perfect way to increase your knowledge when working with metal, and let you create your own castings whenever you want. Read on to learn the basic steps to building your own foundry.
Why Build Your Own Foundry?
Building your own tools from scratch can be incredibly fulfilling, and can help you get a deeper understanding of how they work. However, if you’re in need of high-quality aluminum castings right away, consider contacting a professional Aluminum Foundry instead. It will take many years for you to develop the techniques needed to cast complex aluminum objects, so be sure to set reasonable expectations for your homemade foundry.
Working with molten metal can be extremely dangerous and should not be taken lightly. Always wear suitable protective equipment while working on a project like this, and while working with the finished foundry. Make sure you understand the different risks and precautions associated with working with aluminum. Please also note that these instructions are for enjoyment and hobby building only. Also, take the utmost caution when working with a gas cylinder. Misusing them can cause serious injury, so don’t be afraid to take it to a professional if you are inexperienced.
10 Easy Steps
- Cut the Gas Cylinder. Make sure that the Cylinder is empty, and then drill two small holes. It might be helpful to fill it with water to be safe.
- Cut Inlet Air Hole, then weld a 2.5″ pipe at an angle to create a vortex and keep the heat in the center.
- Create Hinges for the Lid. This allows you to open and close the furnace easily.
- Place metal screws around the furnace body and lid to support the refractory and keep it from shrinking or moving.
- Create the Refractory. Use a mold and fire cement and make sure not to use too much water when mixing the cement, Also make sure that there are no air bubbles, and follow the cement instructions carefully.
- Once the refractory is cured, light the foundry for the first time to test it. If the refractory is doing its job, the outside of the furnace should not get very hot, since the cement is insulating it.
- Your foundry is almost ready, but it will be heavy and hard to transport. You can create use a hand trolley to create a way to move the foundry around.
- One of the last things you’ll need is sources of aluminum. Since aluminum is so common, you’ll be able to find it in many places like lock parts, door handles, aluminum brackets, and more.
- Before you start, make sure you have appropriate tools, like stirring rods, skimmers, safety gear, and more. These can often be purchased online at an affordable price.
- You can use a sand and clay mixture as an inexpensive mold for whatever you are trying to create. Contain it with a flask made from wood or metal.
Enjoy Your Foundry
Congratulations, you’ve created your own foundry from scratch. Now that you’ve taken your metalworking to the next level, the sky is the limit for what you can create. As you cast more and more aluminum, your skill will improve, and you may find ways to improve and upgrade your setup. You’ll soon be giving discarded aluminum new life in ways you may never have expected.